Commercial

Hurricane Barry Serves as Flood Wake-up Call for Businesses, Homeowners

Barry touched down on the Louisiana coast as a Category 1 hurricane on July 13, shutting down businesses, tearing roofs from homes, flooding streets and halting oil production across the Gulf of Mexico. Even as the country’s first hurricane of the year diminished in power and was downgraded to a tropical storm, it continued to…

California Earthquakes Prompt Homeowners, Businesses to Examine Exposures

On July 5, approximately 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles in Ridgecrest, California residents experienced a 7.1-magnitude earthquake, only 34 hours after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake shook the same location. Fortunately, there were no deaths. As homeowners and businesses evaluate damage, early estimates predict at least $100 million in losses. California is the site of more…

2019’s Record-Breaking Tornado Season Continues, Causing Billions in Damages

Shortly before 9 p.m. on June 23, a tornado with wind speeds up to 125 miles per hour cut a two-mile path of destruction through South Bend, Indiana. A potentially treacherous stovepipe tornado was reported in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County a few minutes later, at 9:15 p.m. A day earlier, tornadoes touched down in…

Escalating Terrorist Attacks in Places of Worship Underscore Necessity for Protection

On May 26, four Catholic churchgoers in Burkina Faso perished in the latest terrorist attack in a series that began on April 29, when a Protestant pastor and five parishioners were killed following Sunday services. Three other attacks were carried out last month against Christian worshipers in the country—two during mass and one during a…

Fire Destroys 100-Year-Old Mansion, Highlighting Home Renovation Risks

A fire that destroyed a 100-year-old mansion in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan on May 16 was so intense that several local fire companies were required to help douse the flames. Thankfully no fatalities or serious injuries were reported, though two responding public safety officers sustained minor injuries. Two months ago and less than a mile…

Study Reveals Two Out of Three Hotels Inadvertently Leak Guests’ Data

On April 10, Symantec released a study showing two-thirds of hotel websites leak guests’ booking details to third-party sites. Marriott International, which experienced a massive data breach in November 2018, was not included in that study. On February 14, the City of Chicago filed a lawsuit against Marriott International for that breach that exposed the…

Autonomous Ships Shaping New Coverage Considerations

As the global economy expands and oceans become more crowded, the shipping industry is looking to autonomous ships to reduce accidents, increase efficiencies and cut costs. Last month a Dutch consortium engaged a vessel equipped with collision avoidance technology in 11 test scenarios in the North Sea, and earlier this month the Maritime and Port…

Boeing’s 737 Max Production Slowdowns, Legal Battles Highlight Supply-Chain Vulnerabilities

After two devastating crashes that resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives, Boeing has grounded its 737 Max planes. Multiple sources have linked the crashes—Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019—to the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), the plane’s automatic safety system, though the U.S. Federal…

Electric Scooter Sharing Programs: Balancing Convenience with Coverage

Electric scooter (e-scooter) sharing programs continue to flourish in cities worldwide, including hundreds in the U.S., Europe, and new expansions into Canada. E-scooter companies, such as Bird and Lime, put “dockless” electric scooters on city sidewalks for riders to pick up, use and set down at their destination. Scooters represent a burgeoning trend known as “micromobility,”…

Risk for Flooding on the Rise

A combination of rapid snowmelt, ice jams and torrential rains over several days in mid March left swaths of the Midwest and Great Plains states submerged and more than 10 million people under flood warnings by March 17. Powered in part by a “bomb cyclone”—when a rapid drop in barometric pressure leads to hurricane-force winds—flooding…