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The Year in Review and a Look Ahead to 2019
Multiple December 21, 2018 Posted in: Blog Posts, General, News
When we remember 2018, its events and circumstances have been more varied and challenging than one might imagine. Hacks, ransomware and data intrusions were announced weekly. Volcanic eruptions, wildfires and mudslides decimated a record number of homes and forest acreage. The entire island of Puerto Rico continues to suffer Hurricane Maria’s devastating effects. We have also become numb to the numerous senseless shootings in places where we used to feel safe. 
Workers’ Compensation & Marijuana
Greg Fears December 11, 2018 Posted in: Blog Posts, News, Workers’ Compensation
Marijuana legalization is increasingly prevalent in the United States. Whether for medicinal or recreational use, marijuana is more acceptable these days. A greater number of physicians are prescribing it for their patients, and the U.S. marijuana industry is rapidly expanding. Yet it is still a Schedule 1 drug, as defined by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). So is an employee who is either prescribed or legally using marijuana eligible to receive workers’ compensation (WC) benefits if they are injured on the job and test positive for it?
Reflections on the CAS Annual Meeting and Our Profession
Multiple December 05, 2018 Posted in: General, News
At last month’s Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, we were each honored to become Associates of the CAS and receive our ACAS credentials. What made this time even more special was the fact that we had both followed “non-traditional” routes to join the actuarial profession. We’d like to share some of our reflections on our time at the meeting and our respective career journeys.
Where There’s Fire, There’s Smoke
Linda Brobeck November 27, 2018 Posted in: Blog Posts, General, Homeowners, News
We’ve all heard the old adage, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” but the reverse is now top of mind for those of us in northern California. Since November 8th, the Camp Fire in Butte County has burned over 150,000 acres, over 17,000 structures and has claimed over 80 lives, with several hundred souls still missing. While I certainly don’t want to downplay the fire’s devastation, I do want to draw attention to another dangerous matter: the air pollution it has generated.
Will Wildfire Losses Continue to Spread?
Zach Brogadir June 05, 2018 Posted in: Blog Posts, Homeowners, Insurance / Insurers, News
At the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) Spring Meeting, I had the pleasure of moderating a session entitled, What You Don't Know about Wildfires… Can Cost You. The topic drew a lot of interest, as 2017 was the most destructive and costly wildfire season ever recorded in the United States. The devastating wildfires affecting Northern California in October and Southern California in December claimed 43 lives and caused an estimated nearly $12 billion of insured losses. While California claimed the majority of 2017 wildfire losses, only about 13% of the total U.S. acres burned were in California. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, less densely-populated Montana and Nevada saw an even greater amount of burn. In total, wildfires scorched nearly double the 2016 area.
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