April 17, 2023

“Insurers, as society’s risk managers, have a special responsibility to act and the power to drive change: without insurance most new fossil fuel projects cannot go ahead and existing ones cannot continue to operate.”

— Reads part of a letter sent by 23 climate action groups to insurance companies, calling for the insurers to “immediately” stop underwriting new fossil fuel projects in the wake of a stark climate warning from U.N. scientists, according to a Reuters report. Insure our Future, a global consortium of activists, said it sent the letter dated March 21 to 30 companies including Munich Re, Zurich Insurance and AXA.

“It has been almost 60 years since the passage of Title VII, yet many staffing agencies continue to believe that they can indulge discriminatory customer preferences and engage in stereotype-based selection practices with impunity — and they’re wrong.”

— Said Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Attorney Debra Lawrence about a default judgment obtained in U.S. District Court in a sex discrimination lawsuit against Green JobWorks. The suit alleged the Hanover, Maryland-based staffing agency subjected female workers to a pattern of sex discrimination in job assignments and assignment of work duties. The judgement awarded 48 female workers a total of $2,692,265 in monetary relief — $665,566 in lost wages with interest and $2,026,698 in punitive damages.

“Big corporations like Kia and Hyundai must be held accountable for endangering our residents and putting profit over people.”

— St. Louis, Missouri, Mayor Tishaura Jones said after St. Louis joined other major U.S. cities in a lawsuit against Korean automakers Hyundai Motor 005380.KS and Kia Corp 000270.KS for failing to install anti-theft technology in millions of their vehicles. Kia and Hyundai vehicles represent a large share of stolen cars in multiple U.S. cities, according to data from police and state officials. Many Hyundai and Kia vehicles have no electronic immobilizers, which prevent break-ins and bypassing the ignition.

“Oceana never repaired, rebuilt or replaced any property that was allegedly lost or damaged. … While we are sympathetic to the immense economic challenges faced in responding to the pandemic, we cannot alter the terms of an insurance contract under the guise of contractual interpretation when the policy uses unambiguous terms.”

— The Louisiana Court said in an opinion that reversed the Louisiana Court of Appeals and reinstated a trial court decision that found COVID-19 did not cause a direct physical loss to the Oceana Grille, a seafood restaurant in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Its owner, Cajun Conti, had filed a lawsuit seeking insurance coverage for a COVID-19 shutdown.

“Our office is gone. Totally demolished. … But we’re going to be all right. We’re going to rebuild. The building was there for 49 years, so we’re going to rebuild it to last for at least another 50 years in the future.”

— Said Leslie Stephenson, manager of a 49-year-old Farm Bureau Insurance agency on Blues Highway in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, after the agency’s building was ripped to shreds by an estimated EF-4 tornado that hit Rolling Fork, a town of about 2,000 people, in March. Stephenson said despite losses to the office and their own property, agency employees handled more than 360 claims from other residents in the area and wrote insurance checks on the spot.

“If your insurance company is going to increase your premium, you have a right to know why. … This is pretty basic information you should expect from your insurance company, but we hear from hundreds of consumers every year who cannot get a straight answer on why they’re being charged more.”

— Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler refers to a proposed rule that requires insurers to explain premium increases to their policyholders in language consumers can understand. Kreidler said the top complaint his office gets from consumers is that their auto or homeowners insurance premium is increasing but their insurance company has not explained why. Insurers say the proposal has the potential to delay rate filings and would make them more complicated to review.