A bill intended to curtail assignment-of-benefits abuse has the Florida House's approval, but it has stalled in a Senate committee that is considering a measure that would prevent insurers from including litigation expenses in their rates and would curtail fraud-related claims denials. "Florida Governor Rick Scott and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier have been vocal advocates for AOB reform, but they can't act unilaterally to stop the flood of lawsuits," The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.
Damage from last year's wildfires in California was estimated at $9.4 billion in early December, and some experts say the total could ultimately be about $180 billion, analyst Christine Barlow says. Insurers and policyholders face challenges in coverage for post-wildfire mudslide damage as well as additional living expenses.
Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings are considering how to take climate-related risk into account when determining credit ratings for governments and companies. Investors are calling for improved warnings about such risks and better insight into how extensively rating companies evaluate such risks.
Tsunami warnings along the Pacific coast of North America have been canceled in the aftermath of an earthquake centered about 170 miles off the Gulf of Alaska coast. No damage was immediately reported after the magnitude 7.9 earthquake.
Parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states experienced heavy snowfall and powerful wind on Monday. The National Guard was working to assist stranded motorists in Minnesota, while the weather led to runway closures and hundreds of flight cancellations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The National Weather Service confirmed two tornadoes in Arkansas and one in Mississippi on Monday, when homes, a church and other properties were damaged. Storms in Texas also caused damage, with suspected tornadoes and golf ball-size hail.
A Clutch survey of workers found that 23% of full-time respondents receive no employer-sponsored benefits. The benefits most commonly provided by employers include paid vacation time, which 65% of workers said they receive, and health insurance, available to 62% of employees, the survey found.
Setting contributions to a health savings account as the priority over a 401(k) plan can be a smart strategy for some, particularly those in higher tax brackets, write Robert Bloink and William Byrnes. Reasons to do so include HSAs' tax treatment and the ability to use HSA money for medical expenses years after they are incurred, Bloink and Byrnes write.
Surveys indicate that millennials might be investing more conservatively than they should be. A Fidelity Investments survey found that 16% of millennials have all their investments in cash, while a LendEDU survey found that 41% of millennials are forgoing investments in the stock market.
Wells Fargo data show that more than 82% of millennials have investments in a diversified portfolio, compared with about 77% of baby boomers. The trend among millennials is driven by their participation in target-date funds, said Jeff Kletti of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.
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