Declarations

August 19, 2019

Ticking Time Bomb

“Without strengthening safety regulations, America’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure remains a ticking time bomb.”

— Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey, commenting on a bill unveiled in April by members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation aimed at strengthening pipeline safety in the U.S. The bill is in response to the September 2018 natural gas explosions and fires in the Merrimack Valley.

Assistance Needed

“More than 20,000 Floridians with open claims need assistance. Insurers should redouble efforts to resolve all open claims, using whatever resources are necessary, to provide policyholders with the tools to rebuild their lives and property.”

— Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, writing in a memo to the insurance industry regarding claims from Hurricane Michael. As of July 26, the number of claims related to the Category 5 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle last October had reached 148,347, with the number of open claims at 20,484.

Could Have Been Worse

“It could have been worse than it was because we really got ahead of it,”

— Annette Eyman, a spokeswoman for Papillion-La Vista Community Schools, comments on a May cyberattack that has forced the suburban Omaha, Neb., school district to rebuild its servers. The district has cyber insurance, but will likely have to pay some recovery costs, as well. The ransom attack was introduced via email; it crashed the district’s system and then demanded money to restore it.

Disaster Potential

“It’s disappointing to me for a company to have these kinds of problems with the potential for some kind of disaster.”

— Rock Owens, managing attorney for the environmental practice in Harris County, Texas, Attorney’s Office, after filing suit against Exxon Mobil Corp. over pollution from a July 31 fire at the company’s Baytown, Texas, Olefins Plant. The suit seeks court orders to prevent future fires at Exxon’s giant Baytown refining and petrochemical complex. It is the second lawsuit filed by the county against Exxon involving fires at the plant this year.

Climate Bomb

“The only thing that’s keeping it from going off like a nuclear bomb is the weather.”

— Chris Dicus, a California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo professor and head of the Association for Fire Ecology, a national group that studies wildfire, says previously too-wet-to-burn parts of the Pacific Northwest face an increasing risk of significant wildfires due to climate change.

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Insurance Journal West August 19, 2019
August 19, 2019
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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