Report Shows California Wildfires, Climate Change Altering Insurance Landscape

Insurers may be non-renewing more in wildfire-prone areas of California, sending an increasing number of people to the residual market or to surplus lines insurers.

A report released on Monday shows that market shares of the FAIR Plan, the state’s residual insurance market, and the surplus lines market, are on the rise, as people look for coverage, and look for more affordable coverage.

Dual Climate and Mitigation Plans Get Santa Cruz, Calif., into Action

Santa Cruz, Calif.’s Climate Adaptation Plan looks at storm surge long-term and offers estimates of what the coastline could look like in 2030, 2060 and again in 2100. But combined with the accompanying Hazard Mitigation Plan, it plants the seeds for preparing for the possibilities of a turbulent California.

The city updated its Climate Adaptation Plan from the original version developed in 2011 and this time included a sea-level rise vulnerability assessment that incorporated a social vulnerability aspect, looking at who was vulnerable at different time horizons, mapping those areas. It gives city officials a good idea of who will be vulnerable and when.

California High Court: Workers’ Comp Law Provides Exclusive Remedy in Utilization Review Case

The California Supreme Court issued an opinion today that utilization review physicians cannot be sued for malpractice, upholding established law that the workers’ comp system provides injured employees an exclusive remedy against an employer for compensable work-related injuries.

The court considered the application of workers’ comp exclusivity to claims arising from the utilization review process. Utilization reviewers act on behalf of employers and determine whether the treatment plan recommended for an employee’s injury is medically necessary after consulting a schedule of uniform treatment guidelines.

Federal Government Will Shrink California Beach City’s Flood Zone

A report says a Southern California beach city has persuaded federal officials to exclude about 2,700 coastal properties from updated flood maps, saving homeowners thousands in insurance costs.

The Los Angeles Times reported that as a result, homeowners in parts of Newport Beach would save up to $3,700 each, or $10 million combined, each year in premiums.

Study Looks at Polypharmacy Claims in California Workers’ Comp

A study from the California Workers’ Compensation Institute shows the likelihood that indemnity was paid on a workers’ comp claim increased with the number of concurrent prescriptions the injured worker was on.

Concurrent use of multiple medications to treat one or multiple medical conditions has become prevalent, with up to 10 percent of the U.S. population and up to 30 percent of older adults taking five or more drugs simultaneously, according to the CWCI study.

Body Scanners Coming to Los Angeles Metro to Improve Security

Los Angeles County's rail system will be the first in the United States to deploy body scanners that can detect suicide vests and other improvised explosives, transportation officials said Tuesday.

Later this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will deploy several portable scanners that can be moved to any of the system's 93 subway and light-rail stations. The devices will be used in response to terrorism threats, or to scan large crowds at a station near a protest or a sporting event, officials said.

Cameras Can Catch Cars That Run Red Lights, But That Doesn't Make Streets Safer

The automobile is a killer. In the U.S., 36,675 people died in traffic accidents in 2014. The year before, 2.3 million people were injured in traffic accidents.

During the past decade, over 438 U.S. municipalities, including 36 of the 50 most populous cities, have employed electronic monitoring programs in order to reduce the number of accidents. Red light camera programs specifically target drivers that run red lights.

‘Patchwork’ System Leaves Some Californians Out of Emergency Alerts

(TNS) — Before the flames appeared, Sandie Freeman thought the sky above her Redding home looked especially beautiful.

The evening was golden hued and still; pretty enough that she took a picture. Minutes later, a light wind picked up and leaves from her oak tree began falling like rain, she said.

It was the only warning she received that something was amiss.

Wildfires are inevitable – increasing home losses, fatalities and costs are not

Wildfire has been an integral part of California ecosystems for centuries. Now, however, nearly a third of homes in California are in wildland urban interface areas where houses intermingling with wildlands and fire is a natural phenomenon. Just as Californians must live with earthquake risk, they must live with wildfires.

Shaped by ignitions, climate and fuels, wildfires are likely to become more frequent and severe with climate change. The 2017 experience of the largest and most damaging wildfires in California history, and ongoing destructive fires in 2018, provide a window of opportunity for learning to better coexist with wildfire.

More Bridges Will Collapse

There’s an old chestnut about infrastructure that goes, Infrastructure is everything you don’t notice—until it fails. It’s a definition that works for any kind of infrastructure, too: big or small, visible or invisible, bridges and garage doors, electric grids and Wi-Fi routers. Infrastructure is everything you take for granted. And you only notice that you take it for granted when it breaks.

Lately, a lot of things have broken. In two incidents over the past two days, hundreds of people were injured or killed: An elevated-highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, and a pier gave out in Vigo, Spain, during a music festival. The consequences are harrowing. In Genoa, cars dropped 150 feet to the earth as a span of the bridge fell underneath them. In Vigo, concertgoers were plunged into the sea, piled atop one another, when the boardwalk gave out.

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