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    Why the Climate is Changing for General Insurance Regulation
    (Published December 4, 2017) Twelve years ago, in the U.K., general insurance firms and brokers found themselves on the receiving end of statutory regulation, which at the time must have felt like a significant shift from the previous regime. However, compared to the wave of regulatory change that has been aimed at the life and pensions sectors in this period, general insurance has had a relatively quiet time of things, and firms have been largely left to get on with running their businesses. However, recent developments suggest that this is all changing, and that the sector is going to be facing some tough challenges ahead. Martyn Oughton reports.
    A Question of Proper Notice for Nonrenewal of Homeowners’ Insurance
    (Published December 9, 2016) In March of this past year, there was an interesting court case that was decided by the South Carolina Court of Appeals with regard to insurance policy cancellation/nonrenewal law in that state. The case, Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company v. Grier, 785 S.E. 2d 208, was decided on March 2, 2016. The Court affirmed the circuit court’s opinion and held that, in a case where there were two overlapping laws that governed nonrenewal notice requirements for a homeowner’s policy, because one law was more specific than the other, only one law controlled the notice requirements.
    When the market turns – a “soft” insurance industry must prepare for Armageddon
    (Published November 28, 2016) When New Zealand experienced an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale in the early hours of November 14, 2016 it flashed up warnings issued two months earlier by the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) about the impact on the general insurance industry of “market-turning events.” Selwyn Parker takes a closer look.
    South Carolina Changed Its Position Regarding Punitive Damages Exclusions
    (Published October 21, 2016) Recently, South Carolina lifted the restriction on punitive damages exclusions in all liability policies other than automobile liability policies. The DOI issued Bulletin 16-09 to discuss the change in position, based on state law and court findings. South Carolina law contains only one statutory provision regarding punitive damages, and that is found in the definition of “damages” in automobile liability policies.
    Proof of Insurance – Yet One More Way to Use Your Smartphone!
    (Published September 30, 2016) These days, most of us have at least one smartphone, among other electronic mobile devices, that we use for just about every aspect of our daily lives – texting, email, internet searches, social media, map/directions, weather report, calendar of appointments, and – yes – even phone calls. Now, there is yet another task that we can accomplish with our smartphones – providing proof of automobile insurance during a traffic stop. This eliminates the need to carry a paper insurance card in your vehicle at all times, to make sure that your insurance card is up-to-date, and to be able to locate your insurance card quickly when necessary.
    Updates on Drones
    (Published July 22, 2016) ISO made a countrywide filing and received approval for various Commercial General Liability and Umbrella endorsements providing drone coverage. In addition, ISO has also developed Inland Marine non-filed classes endorsements for property related exposures. New FAA rule to allow operation for small unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System for non-recreational and non-hobby (commercial) purposes.
    The Sky is Buzzing: Drones and Insurance
    (Published July 1, 2016) The future is upon us. The sky is alive with all sorts of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The unmanned aircraft systems, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones, are aircraft without a human operator aboard and that can be remote controlled by an operator on the ground. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that, by 2020, potential annual unit drone sales could reach 4.3 million for recreational use and 2.7 million for commercial use.
    NAIC to Explore Insurers' Use of Big Data in 2016
    (Published February 15, 2016) Big data – the conversion of customer information collected and stored electronically into useful information – is changing how many insurers do business.  While the use of big data can aid insurers’ underwriting, rating, and claim settlement practices, consumers’ rights to privacy and protection must be balanced.  The 2016 NAIC Committee explorations of insurers’ big data use and any resulting recommendations will most likely preview how insurers’ use of big data will be regulated in coming years.
    Policy Language: Mean What You Say and Say What You Mean
    (Published December 22, 2015) In a recent Court holding, an insurance company was held to its word - well, literally to its words – contained within a contract that it had with one of its commercial insureds. The case, Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. F&M Equipment, Ltd. (f/k/a Furnival), Civil Action No. 14-1847, was decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Oct. 15, 2015, and is precedential. This holding should put insurers on notice with regard to how nonrenewal/renewal clauses are written within insurance policies.
    What Happens when Underwriting Guidelines are Marked Confidential in Texas
    (Published November 16, 2015) The Texas Department of Insurance recently issued a bulletin outlining the process it follows when an insurer requests confidentiality of the underwriting guidelines submitted with a filing for personal auto or residential property policies. This bulletin follows a ruling issued by the Attorney General’s office back in January of 2014, which found that an insurer’s underwriting guidelines for residential property policies are not considered confidential under the Texas Insurance Code. Bulletin B-0021-15, issued on September 11, 2015, reminds insurers of the ruling by the AG and provides information about how the DOI handles these confidentiality requests.
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