Insured losses from severe storms in the US are on track to surpass $10 billion for the 11th straight year, with hail accounting for 70% of that amount, compared with 20% from tornadoes and straight-line wind and 10% from lightning, experts say. Climate change's impact on hail is difficult to determine, although increased construction amid population growth is likely to push losses higher, according to experts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "Drive high, get a DUI" ad campaign aims to increase awareness of drugged driving. A Governors Highway Safety Association study found that testing of drivers who died in crashes in 2016 found that 44% had drugs in their system, compared with 28% a decade earlier.
A Standard & Poor's report says catastrophe bonds, collateralized reinsurance and other types of insurance-linked securities have "transformed the market" for reinsurance, notably in the property catastrophe business. The reinsurance sector has been able to harness such products and the capital markets to "increase its premiums while maintaining its net exposures," S&P says.
A study of Travelers data found wind to be the leading peril in personal property claims from 2009 to 2016, when it was the cause of damage in 24% of such claims. Meanwhile, non-weather-related water damage was cited in 20% of personal property claims, weather-related water damage in 11%, and hail in 16%, Travelers said.
Storms are bringing lightning risk and little rain to northern California and southern Oregon as crews continue to fight deadly wildfires amid dry conditions. Meanwhile, the firefighter who died on Monday after being struck by a falling tree while battling the Mendocino Complex fire in California has been identified as Matthew Burchett of Utah.
Heavy rain has caused flooding in parts of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has declared a state of emergency for five of the state's 21 counties. Crews have evacuated residents by boat in some cases and have rescued people from flooded homes and stranded vehicles.
The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority is restoring power to the last homes that remain in the dark because of Hurricane Maria, but officials say the island's power grid still has many weaknesses even after $3.2 billion has gone toward repairs and improvements. The utility's goal now is to create more resilience in the electrical system, which is "stable, but fragile," Michael Byrne, the federal disaster recovery coordinator for Puerto Rico.
China's latest announcement of a 25% tariff on $16 billion of US goods and Washington's recent sanctions against Iran highlights how uncertain global trade has become. There have already been several warnings about the possibility of a global "trade war" and the long-term impact on the world economy. What implications do recent tariffs have on global supply chains? Learn more.
The number of college students age 35 and older was 2.2 million in 2015 and is projected to grow to 2.4 million by 2026, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Going back to school later in life could mean a hit to retirement savings, and those doing so should avoid borrowing from a 401(k) to pay for it, says advisor Sean Moore of Smart College Funding.
A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis shows that between 1971 and today, lower-income Americans have grown poorer, while those in the top 10% of wealth distribution are nearly three times as wealthy. Economists attribute this in part to the fact that the housing market has not fully recovered from its prerecession peak, while the stock market is about 50% higher than before the recession.
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