Weekly Dispatch: May 6, 2021

May 6, 2021

News

U.S. flood risks are on the rise—and they can be reduced

The Insurance Information Institute conducted a study last month called Flood: Beyond Risk Transfer, which found that major flood events could grow over the next 30 years, as U.S. insurers and public policymakers improve their ability to reduce flood risks. According to Triple-I, the increasing frequency and severity of U.S. flood events have serious implications for property values, insurance rates and mortgage-backed securities—and the existing approach to flood risk is insufficient. The report details flood-loss trends, and includes information about how improved data and analytical tools are helping communities and policymakers. Additionally, it examines how insurers and reinsurers are expanding flood insurance coverage. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. As you know, it takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect, so the time to start talking to your clients about this vital insurance coverage is now. To help you start the conversation, PIA offers resources through its Hurricane Info Central and PIA Design & Print. Hurricane Info Central is a one-stop shop for all your hurricane-related tools, including state-specific insurance department information, and pertinent QuickSource and Ask PIA resources on topics such as hurricane deductibles, flood policies and more. PIA’s Design & Print can help agents order materials to help their clients prepare for hurricane season, too. For more information, email Calley Rupp.

What is the outlook for auto insurance premiums after the legalization of cannabis?

Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute shows that auto collisions are on the rise in states where cannabis has become legal. This rise in collisions is affecting the auto insurance industry. First, a rise in collisions in a community will cause auto premiums to increase in those communities. And, there is a stark lack of standardized, roadside methods to determine whether a driver is under the influence of cannabis. Cannabis is legal—either recreationally or medicinally—in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. The insurance industry may need to adjust its practices as more states legalize the use of cannabis. Cannabis is a hot topic across the insurance industry. Do you want to learn more about how your agency can benefit from providing insurance services to this growing industry? Attend Cannabis: Debunking Myths and How to Target This Growing Industry when you register for PIA Northeast’s Virtual Conference 2021. And, you may want to hurry—early-bird registration closes tomorrow.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Northeast governors ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Monday that they are easing some of the COVID-19 restrictions for businesses. In Connecticut, all remaining COVID-19 restrictions on businesses—including capacity limits at large event venues in the state—will expire on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. In New Jersey and New York, capacity limits set during the pandemic for businesses also will expire on that date. Since social-distancing measures in these states still are required, businesses in New Jersey and New York will be limited only by the space available to allow people inside to remain six feet apart. To keep you updated on the latest COVID-19-related news, see the PIACT, PIANJ and PIANY COVID-19 resource pages and be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications.

N.Y.: ‘Best-interest’ amendments declared unconstitutional—What comes next?

The Appellate Division Third Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court ruled last week that amendments to Regulation 187—which created a suitability and best-interest standard for the sale of life insurance—were unconstitutionally vague. Based on this ruling, the Department of Financial Services has the option to appeal this decision and petition for a stay of the Appellate Division’s decision. This would mean that the amendments would remain enforced until the Court of Appeals reaches a decision. Or, the DFS could revise the amendments to address the Appellate Division’s concerns. But, a more detailed regulation could lead to an increased cost of implementation and compliance for the insurance industry.

Advocacy

N.Y.: PIANY-priority windstorm deductible legislation introduced in state Senate

Sen. James Sanders Jr., D-10, introduced S.6407 in the state Senate this week. The bill—one of PIANY’s 2021 legislative priorities—would require the superintendent of financial services to establish uniformity in the triggering and operation of windstorm deductibles.

N.J.: Do you know NJPIAPAC’s role in an election year?

This year is an election year in New Jersey. That means legislators who represent the insurance industry and work with PIANJ will be up for reelection, and new candidates who could make a difference in our industry could get a seat in the state Legislature. You can help New Jersey PIAPAC participate in this political process and support these candidates by contributing. Your contributions help NJPIAPAC keep these legislators in office, and help independent agents maintain effective representation in Trenton. Politics is a year-round business, and NJPIAPAC needs your support to continue making independent agents’ presence known in the state capitol. Donate today.

Register now

Sign up early for Virtual Conference 2021

June 8-9: Join us for Virtual Conference 2021. The early-bird rate of $149 expires tomorrow, so register now! You’ll get access to 13 continuing-education credits, live and on-demand sessions, dynamic speakers and a full year of access. 

Get your entire agency in on the action! When you sign up, we’ll send you a discount code for you to share with colleagues so they can register for $50 off. That’s the full conference for just $99 per attendee if they register before the early-bird cutoff. Register now!

More upcoming events:

May 18: Meet the author of The Elegant Warrior with PIANJ’s Women’s Leadership Alliance.

May 18-28: PIANY’s Regional Advisory Councils’ Spring Into Advocacy.

June 15: The CTYIP Golf Open.

Celebrating 40 Years with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
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