Three More property Insurers Asking For Big Rate Hikes At Hearings

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The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation held hearings Tuesday on major rate increases from three more property insurers: Florida Farm Bureau, First Floridian, and Kin Interinsurance Network. Last week you were reading Take Insurers’ Q1 Financial Results With A Pinch Of Salt. This week we’re bringing you:

The Commercial Court has rejected Piraeus Bank’s $71 million claim against mortgagee interest insurance (MII) underwriters in a judgment that Kennedys and Quadrant Chambers believe will be welcomed by the international marine insurance market.

At the centre of Piraeus Bank v Antares Underwriting Limited and others was the vessel known as ZOUZOU, which was detained in Venezuela for about 14 months from 2015 following an allegation of attempted diesel oil smuggling against its crew.

“The owners of the vessel claimed for a constructive total loss (CTL) under their war risks cover, but the war risks underwriters avoided the policy on the grounds of material non-disclosure by the owners, unrelated to the detention,” noted Kennedys and Quadrant Chambers, who were instructed on behalf of the successful defendants when the court handed down its judgment on Tuesday.

“Following the avoidance of the war risks policy, the bank sought to recover from the defendant underwriters under the MII. The bank’s claim was for about $71 million plus interest.”

Read more in-depth here.

(Reuters) – Millions of digital locks worldwide, including on Tesla cars, can be remotely unlocked by hackers exploiting a vulnerability in Bluetooth technology, a cybersecurity firm said on Tuesday.

In a video shared with Reuters, NCC Group researcher Sultan Qasim Khan was able to open and then drive a Tesla using a small relay device attached to a laptop which bridged a large gap between the Tesla and the Tesla owner’s phone.

“This proves that any product relying on a trusted BLE connection is vulnerable to attacks even from the other side of the world,” the U.K.-based firm said in a statement, referring to the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol – technology used in millions of cars and smart locks which automatically open when in close proximity to an authorized device.

Although Mr. Khan demonstrated the hack on a 2021 Tesla Model Y, NCC Group said any smart locks using BLE technology, including residential smart locks, could be unlocked in the same way.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Read more in-depth here.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation held hearings Tuesday on major rate increases from three more property insurers: Florida Farm Bureau, First Floridian, and Kin Interinsurance Network.

The Kin and First Floridian hearings began Tuesday morning but the Farm Bureau hearing was set for 2:30 p.m. Eastern. All are accessible on the GoToMeeting virtual meeting platform and all are being recorded, the OIR said. Registration is available here.

The hearings also are broadcast on The Florida Channel.

Public comments on the proposed rate changes can be submitted through May 31, by emailing ratehearings@floir.com.

If the rate increases are approved, they would be three of several significant increases requested in the last two years as property insurers try to manage the dire conditions in the Florida market. Florida Farm Bureau announced early this year that it has stopped writing new homeowners and rental property policies in the state. In March, AM Best rating firm downgraded Farm Bureau’s financial strength rating to “B++ (good).”

Read more in-depth here.

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