Weekly Dispatch: May 13, 2021

May 13, 2021

News

It’s Hurricane Preparedness Week—What is your agency doing to prepare for the upcoming season?

A typical hurricane season has 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The Colorado State University hurricane researchers predict that there will be 17 named storms in 2021. They predict that eight of them will become hurricanes, four of which will be major, defined by wind speeds reaching Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. As you know, it takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect. If you haven’t already, 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.

Conn.: State House approves bill to restore Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

The Connecticut state House of Representatives passed H.B.6633 yesterday—a bill that would restore that Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund while also reducing taxes on the majority of Connecticut businesses. According to Gov. Ned Lamont’s office, “This measure provides long-term solvency for the fund, which ensures our residents who need this assistance have it in the future, and our employers have predictability when it comes to their contributions.”

N.H.: Gov. Sununu extends the state of emergency again

Gov. Chris Sununu announced last Friday that he has issued Executive Order 2021-08, which extends the state of emergency another 21 days, until Friday, May 28, 2021. This is the 20th extension of the state of emergency, which was declared originally in Executive Order 2020-04 on March 13, 2020. To keep you updated on the latest COVID-19-related news, see the PIANH COVID-19 resource page and be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications.

N.J.: Gov. Murphy signs law that mandates business-interruption disclosure to clients

Gov. Phil Murphy announced that he signed A-4805 into law yesterday. The new law requires insurers to disclose critical information related to business-interruption coverage in commercial insurance policies to consumers. Insurers now are required to provide a one-page summary—created by the Department of Banking and Insurance—of common insurance clauses related to business-interruption coverage. Additionally, a statement that informs policyholders about the definition of business-interruption coverage and that the coverage may not be triggered by a government-ordered shutdown also is required. PIANJ was a strong advocate for this new law—these requirements will provide critical errors-and-omissions protection and producers will have a way to verify that their clients were sent information regarding the limitations of business-interruption coverage.

N.J.: Gov. Murphy announces $235 million in relief to go to small businesses

Gov. Murphy announced last Friday that an additional $235 million will be allocated into various small-business relief programs that are administered by the New Jersey Economic Development Authority. The funding will fulfill existing Phase IV small-business grant requests made to the NJEDA. To date, the NJEDA has distributed more than $250 million in aid to approximately 55,000 businesses across the state.

N.J.: Register to meet author Heather Hansen by next Monday

PIANJ’s Women’s Leadership Alliance is hosting Heather Hansen, the author of The Elegant Warrior: How to Win Life’s Trials Without Losing Yourself, next Tuesday, May 18, 2021, from 1-2 p.m., via Zoom. At this free, virtual event, you can ask Hansen questions, and learn about her more than 20-year career in law. By referencing her career in the fast-paced courtroom and her personal life, Hansen will teach you how to triumph over your own adversities. From overcoming what she calls the Curse of Knowledge, to discovering the Power of How, you will learn how to access your strengths to face any challenge that comes your way. Registration closes Monday, May 17, 2021. Register now.

N.Y.: Gov. Cuomo signs NY HERO Act

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced last Thursday that he signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act—also known as the NY HERO Act—which directs the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Health to create an enforceable health and safety model plan to prevent airborne, infectious diseases in the workplace. Based on these safety plans, private employers in the state will need to implement certain workplace safety protocols. Currently, the DOL and DOH must issue these safety standards by Friday, June 4, 2021. However, a chapter amendment (A.7477) was introduced in the state Assembly that would grant the DOL and DOH more time to develop these standards, and ease some of the compliance burdens on employers. You can track this and other bills with the PIAdvocacy bill tracker.

N.Y.: Gov. Cuomo announces new decade of the economic development initiative

Gov. Cuomo announced Tuesday that he is launching Round IX of the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The 2021 funding round includes more than $750 million in state economic development resources. As part of the initiative, the Consolidated Funding Application—which is open now—enables businesses, municipalities, nonprofits and the public to begin applying for assistance from dozens of state programs for job-creation and community-development projects. The deadline to apply for this assistance is Friday, July 30, 2021. To keep you updated on the latest COVID-19-related news, see the PIANY COVID-19 resource page and be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications.

Vt.: Gov. Scott introduces Inclusion Week

Gov. Phil Scott announced on Monday that he has proclaimed May 9-15, 2021, Inclusion Week, and he reiterated Vermont’s commitment to welcoming all people. Additionally, Scott established the Proclamation of Inclusion, which condemns all forms of discrimination against anyone who wants to live in, work in or visit the state.

Advocacy

Conn.: What bills will be sent to Gov. Lamont this session?

The Connecticut General Assembly’s 2021 legislative session is ending soon. The state House of Representatives and state Senate are holding their session days, during which each chamber debates and passes legislation. Several important pieces of legislation—including a public option for health insurance, the legalization of recreational cannabis, sports betting and iGaming, and a resolution to support a constitutional amendment to allow for no-excuse absentee voting—have yet to be addressed in either the state House or the state Senate. Additionally, a new biennial budget needs to be passed. Each chamber continues to work remotely until further notice.

N.Y.: As New York loses population—which state and federal legislative seats could be lost?

New York’s 2020 census found that the state’s population decreased by more than 20 million people since 2010. As a result, New York will lose a congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives—dropping from 27 to 26 representatives. Additionally, this decrease in population could lead to seat changes in the state Assembly and state Senate, but this is unlikely. As we move into the 2022 election season, be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications and social media for more political updates and analysis. And, learn more about Agents Advocacy Coalition—your state PAC that gives independent agents a voice in the state Capitol.

Educating insurance agents

Learn about business income insurance and the pandemic

It’s been more than a year since COVID-19 became a daily part of our lives. And, many insureds have been looking to their agents for help as a result of the hardship from the pandemic. The pandemic has raised so many questions about the insurance industry—do you have questions, too? Cathy Trischan, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AU, AAI, CRIS, ARM, MLIS, TRIP, is teaching Business Income and the Pandemic on Monday, June 7, 2021. The class is part of PIA Northeast’s Virtual Conference 2021 and has been approved for three continuing-education credits. Sign up for Virtual Conference 2021 to attend this class. Trust us, you don’t want to miss it.

Register now

Earn 13 CE at Virtual Conference 2021

June 8-9: Join us for Virtual Conference 2021. You can earn 13 CE credits at several fascinating education sessions including: Protecting Your Clients’ Life While Complying with Reg. 187 with Gary Slavin, CLTC, CIC; Insurance Trivia: Testing Your Personal Lines & Commercial Lines Knowledge with Steve Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AAI, ARM, AIS, CRIS; and Promises, Promises: Avoiding Verbal & Written E&O Issues (^UN^FF) with John Fear, CPIA, CISR. ^UN^FF–This course has been approved for E&O loss-prevention credit by Utica National and Fireman’s Fund. Call the PIA E&O Department for details.

Get your entire agency in on the action! When you sign up, use the PIAMEMBER 21 discount code and share it with colleagues so they can register for $50 off. That’s the full conference for just $149 per attendee when they register now!

More upcoming events:

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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