There were, of course, recurring topics and themes – from the coronavirus to business interruption to cyber to takeovers to the Trump administration to hurricanes – that dominated the national property / casualty insurance news in 2020. At the same time, certain individual national articles – some related to those popular topics and some not – caught the attention of more readers than others. The top 10 (plus bonus # 11) most read national articles on InsuranceJournal.com in 2020 were:
- Nationwide has left the building. Insurer makes remote work permanent in 5 states
There was a big move towards remote working within the insurance industry and perhaps no action captured this more dramatically than Nationwide's decision to institute a hybrid model that made many home jobs permanent and left most of the buildings outside the four main campuses.
- Tesla invites actuaries to help the company create a "revolutionary" insurance company
Elon Musk made news (and money) throughout the year and even caused a stir in insurance circles. His firm Tesla has tested an insurance product for its drivers in California and is preparing to build an insurance company, according to one of Musk's "revolutionaries".
- Insurance coverage for losses due to the coronavirus
The coronavirus was, of course, the most important story for the insurance industry and the world in 2021. This particular story in February was an early look at the impact of the pandemic in the insurance industry and advised companies to evaluate what their operations, revenues and insurance might be like . are affected by the coronavirus.
- Auto insurers are offering $ 8- $ 10 billion in discounts on coronavirus help
Quarantines and lockdowns resulted in fewer drivers and fewer kilometers. Insurers have reflected this downward trend in premium adjustments for their auto insurers. Most of the discounts were for personal line auto customers; however, a number of carriers are also targeted business customers. Later in the year, some consumer attorneys called on insurers to offer additional discounts.
- P / C insurers put a price tag on uninsured losses from business interruption from the corona virus
The industry faced growing business interruption claims, even from policyholders whose policies had virus exclusions. This was an early look – a warning to the industry – in March at the potential costs that could be between $ 220- $ 383 billion a month for small businesses in the US alone – or a quarter to half of the total surplus in the sector available to pay for all P / C. claims.
- Employers can exclude payroll for employees who do not work for Workers' Comp: NCCI
The employee compensation industry has moved to look at how to deal with the move to work from home and close businesses. The National Council on Compensation Insurance developed a reporting code in April so that companies that have suspended operations due to COVID-19, but employees who are at home but not working, do not have to include payroll paid to these employees in the calculation of the compensation premium of their employees.
- Allstate buys National General for $ 4 billion, Growing Auto, Independent Agent Business
It was a year of several major mergers, in which this one in particular drew a lot of attention. Allstate has begun to boost its auto insurance and independent agencies at a time when the coronavirus has reduced road traffic and claims.
- Zurich and farmers agree to purchase MetLife & # 39; s US P / C business for $ 3.94 billion
Zurich Insurance and Farmers Exchanges agreed to purchase MetLife & # 39; s US property and accident insurance company for $ 3.94 billion. The deal gives Farmers a nationwide presence in the US and access to new distribution channels.
- Insurers win most, but not all, COVID-19 business interruption lawsuits
The fate of thousands of business interruption lawsuits related to the coronavirus was of concern throughout the year. Since COVID-19 led to government shutdown in March, judges have dismissed many more business interruption lawsuits than they had allowed, but some plaintiffs continue to investigate what they see as weaknesses in the industry's legal defenses.
- US Treasury warns cyber insurers against paying ransomware requirements
Whether and when insurers should pay for ransomware emerged as a matter of concern. The U.S. Treasury Department warned that those who help facilitate ransomware payments could be in violation of anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations.
And an honorable mention …
- EEOC publishes updated guidelines on COVID-19 vaccinations and labor laws
When the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine started late in the year, the focus was on how it could work in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated guidelines on the responsibilities and rights of employers and employees in relation to the vaccine, including in cases where employers may require employees to be vaccinated. This news, which was published on December 12, shot to the top of the rankings in no time, past articles that have been live for months. If given more time, it will likely continue to rise and therefore deserve a place in the most popular stories of 2020.
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