The Weekly Thought

August Arrives…

Ah, the first weekend of August 2020 brought storms to the Eastern Seaboard, heat and wildfires in the West, but temperate and comfortable weather in the Mid-west up to my neck of the woods near Buffalo, NY following record heat in July.

The first splashdown of a US manned spaceship since the Apollo era, the SpaceX Dragon, occurred. I watched it live on TV, just like I did as a child with Gemini and Apollo. This heralded America’s return to space after the Shuttle program was shuttered and heralded a spectacular start to a public/private partnership. Now, on to the moon and Mars!

Several years ago while on a business trip I saw quite a commotion in the front of a Southwest Airlines jet. It turned out that Buzz Aldrin was boarding and the pilots welcomed him at the cockpit just prior to departure. Buzz was wearing a tee shirt promoting going to Mars. Maybe we will actually make it there!

New York State now boasts the lowest Covid-19 statistics in the country after its residents first suffered through the worst at the outset of the pandemic and the strict suppression efforts that led to the today’s results. Much of the rest of the country outside of the Northeast is hopefully stabilizing after a terrible July. Progress is being made on vaccine research and treatments. Schools are planning return of students in person, remote learning or hybrids. No one can agree on what will work safely.

Risk management and loss control must be a priority in the considerations regarding reopenings. General Liability and Workers’ Compensation coverages will take on added importance, as will School Leaders and Officials Errors & Omissions coverage. Faculty and staff furloughs and layoffs are occurring at many private schools and colleges and universities due to declining enrollments. One imagines that Employment Practices Liability Coverage will be hot topics as these events continue to unfold.

Congress is deadlocked on more Covid-19 stimulus as this is written. Most of the government stimulus provided thus far expired on July 31. Economic uncertainty is in the headlines, yet the stock markets are up, go figure! Surely the bet on Wall Street is, that considering that this is an election year, something will pass.

Insurance companies and brokers are reporting financial losses resulting from the economic slowdown as well as pandemic related claims. In Europe and elsewhere insurers are paying Covid-19 claims. Will there be similar breaks for policyholders in the USA? Some of the major players running US insurers seem to be hedging a little after taking strong positions regarding denials of coverage. Time will tell.

Take some time to enjoy your staycations!

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