Insurance industry experts are concerned about sustainability as liability claim payouts rise to new levels.
“The old ceiling is the new floor,” said Kevin Maloney, Allied World senior vice president and real estate/financial institutions practice leader, during Advisen’s Big Nasty Claims Conference.
“More than the one-off really large claim, what scares me is people, jurists have lost their sense on the value of a dollar,” Maloney said during the conference.
Maloney discussed how the impact of years of reality-television showing outlandish luxury and upscale lifestyles, the so-called “Kardashian effect,” has set unrealistic expectations for lost wages and damages.
Even “innocuous” cases can see high awards at trial, Maloney said, citing a $13 million jury award to a woman who fell down a set of steps.
It is no longer uncommon to see eight-figure awards and punitive damages are also rising.
“The frequency by which we see punitive awards assessed is astounding,” said Jonathon Drummond, head of casualty brokerage, North America, Willis Towers Watson.
Reuters data found a 20 percent uptick in the frequency of punitive damages for bodily injury or property damage claims.
Read more about large verdicts at Advisen.com.
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