Why Snow, Hail and Wildfire Are Expensive for Insurance Industry

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ileads insurance market minute


Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading Amazon Reveals Massive Insurance Partnership. This week we’re bringing you:


Insurtech VOOM, Markel Offering Mileage-Based Motorcycle Insurance*

Mobility insurtech VOOM and specialty insurer Markel have teamed up to launch a per-mile insurance offering for motorcycles in select states.

VOOM will distribute the per-mile product both directly to riders and through select partners while Markel will provide underwriting and claims handling.

VOOM maintains that many motorcycle riders end up paying high seasonal insurance costs when their motorcycles sit in the garage for weeks and even months at a time. According to VOOM’s own research, the risk associated with low-mileage riding can be more than 80% lower than that of high-mileage motorcycling, but traditional insurance policies are annual across the board.

VOOM says per-mile coverage is ideal for motorcyclists who travel short distances or ride only on occasion. With this new offering, riders can pay a low monthly base rate determined by certain factors, such as the type of motorcycle they ride. The offering does not require a physical device or mobile app to track mileage or behavior. Instead, riders simply submit a photo of their odometers every month.

The offering is accompanied by online policy management and other coverage options including liability, comprehensive, medical payments, collision, uninsured motorists and accessory coverage are available.

The insurance is currently available in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Insurance is underwritten by Markel American Insurance Co.

Find out more in-depth here.


EZLynx partners with Onust to offer vehicle service contracts*

EZLynx has announced a partnership with Onust, a technology platform that allows independent agents to offer their clients a monthly vehicle service contract for mechanical breakdown.

The partnership gives agents the opportunity to offer coverage and increase revenue directly within the EZLynx Connect rating engine.

“EZLynx is excited for our partnership with Onust,” said Kevin Coplin, director of strategic partnerships at EZLynx. “A monthly vehicle service contract is a natural add-on product for our agents to offer while quoting their customers’ auto coverage. Onust’s subscription model is unique in the marketplace, and our agents’ customers get so much more than just a vehicle service contract.”

Vehicle service contracts can be expensive and are generally only available at the point of purchase at auto dealers. They can also be difficult for insureds to understand, EZLynx said. Onust has simplified the offering with comprehensive coverage at an affordable monthly subscription. Customers pay for only the services they choose and can cancel their subscription at any time.

Onust focuses on ensuring that agents and customers have the best experience before, during and after subscription sign-up, EZLynx said. The model is centered around Onust’s Member Advocacy Center (MAC), a service that assists both agents and subscribers in handling inquiries from new and existing customers. Once the agent initiates a referral from EZLynx Connect, a MAC team member corresponds with a prospective subscriber with minimal involvement from the agent.

Find out more in-depth here.


Why Snow, Hail and Wildfire Are Expensive for Insurance Industry*

If you’re having trouble wrapping your mind around the spree of natural catastrophes currently plaguing the world—from deadly July floods in Germany and China to the wildfires still burning in Greece, California and Siberia —you may be interested to know the professional risk calculators are too.

Climate change is exacerbating extreme and freak weather events so rapidly that even the insurance industry is struggling to keep up.

Late last week, reinsurance giant Swiss Re AG released its mid-year insurance losses and the figures were the second-highest on record. Insurers had to cover $40 billion in losses caused by natural catastrophes. The previous ten-year average for the first half of the year is $33 billion.

The insurance losses increased despite the fact that total economic losses from the natural disasters that they were based on actually decreased to $74 billion, which is down 31% from the year earlier.

Martin Bertogg, head of catastrophic perils at Swiss Re, said that the industry had been challenged by what is known as “secondary perils.” That is, while the insurance industry has historically done a good job of modeling relatively rare but potentially devastating events such as earthquakes and hurricanes, it’s battling to keep up with risks posed by snow storms, hail, tornadoes and wildfires. Those used to cause relatively minor damage but are increasingly morphing into something more costly. And that is a problem for companies, since many Americans have coverage for such events.

Winter Storm Uri, which pounded Texas in February with snow and subfreezing temperatures, is a good example. Uri caused $15 billion in losses, making it the largest loss from a winter event in U.S. history, Swiss Re said.

Find out more in-depth here.


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