Wind gusts and dry conditions in Southern California continue to pose difficulties for crews battling wildfires, one of which has destroyed about 800 structures and remains the fifth-largest in the state's modern history. Red-flag warnings had been set to end Monday but will now continue through the week, and smoke is worsening air quality throughout broad swaths of the state.
Drivers in Washington need to prevent distractions, The Seattle Times editorial board writes, noting that the state's number of traffic deaths is rising despite fines and advancements in vehicle-safety technology. PCI says fatalities are rising particularly in places where traffic congestion is increasingly a problem.
Commercial insurance rates in 2017's third quarter were nearly consistent with those from the same quarter in 2016, a Willis Towers Watson survey found. For policies written in Q3 2017, pricing either rose or declined an average of less than 1% for the ninth quarter in a row, although commercial auto experienced "meaningful price increases," Willis Towers Watson said.
The snowstorm that hit Georgia late last week is likely to lead to thousands of insurance claims being filed, according to the state insurance commissioner's office. Reported damage occurred as a result of vehicular crashes, falling tree limbs and power outages, among other factors.
A 2,500-acre wildfire in South Dakota's Custer State Park has been spreading largely because of windy conditions that are expected to persist in the days ahead. Crews are working to protect nearby buildings, while officials are seeking the cause -- likely a human, they say.
The House and Senate's ever-evolving tax legislation would eliminate a tax deduction that's now allowed for people who experience natural-disaster-related casualty losses worth more than 10% of their adjusted gross income as long as the excess amount is not covered by insurance. The Senate offers an exception for federally declared disasters, and damage from 2017 would still be eligible if the deduction is eliminated for 2018 and beyond.
Texas workers within the Hurricane Harvey disaster declaration zone will be subject to a worker's compensation deadline extension that gives insurers longer to process and pay claims. Workers Compensation Commissioner Ryan Brannan said it was "in the best interests of the workers compensation system to resume normal claims processing," with the extension lasting until Jan. 10.
Annuity sales in the US posted a 15% year-over-year decline in the third quarter, falling to $44 billion, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Among the various types of annuities, sales of variable annuities fell 17.5% during that period, while sales of indexed annuities dropped 9.5%.
A possible drop in Affordable Care Act enrollment this year combined with the potential repeal of the ACA's individual mandate make the future of the law unclear, according to experts. That could lead to premiums rising and more insurers exiting ACA marketplaces, leaving exchanges in some areas without an option, experts say.
Top-performing teams at advisory firms focus more on specialization, communicate frequently, offer more wealth-management services and have more assets under management than lower-performing teams, according to a study from the Investments & Wealth Institute and Janus Henderson Investors.
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