Weekly Dispatch: July 1, 2021

July 1, 2021

News

FEMA offers more agent-training sessions for Risk Rating 2.0

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has scheduled agent-specific training sessions for July and August that will help agents prepare for the launch of Risk Rating 2.0, which goes into effect Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, for new policies, and April 1, 2022, for renewal policies. For information on how to register for these training sessions, email PIA National Government & Industry Affairs Counsel & Director Lauren Pachman at lpachman@pianational.org.

N.J.: Gov. Murphy signs FY 2022 Appropriations Act

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday that he signed the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Act into law, which will work in partnership with the state Legislature to develop a responsible and bold budget that makes New Jersey more affordable for working- and middle-class families, invests in education, supports an inclusive pandemic recovery and invests in small businesses and long-term economic growth. According to Murphy’s office, the budget will include financial relief for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep you updated on the latest COVID-19-related news, see the PIANJ COVID-19 resource page and be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications.

Vt.: DFR releases report on impacts of climate change on Vermont’s insurance industry

The Department of Financial Regulation released a report on Monday that examines the ongoing impact that climate change is having on Vermonters and insurance companies that provide them coverage. The report—created by Northview Weather LLC, a weather modeling and forecasting firm in the state—found that climate trends are making Vermont’s climate warmer and wetter. These changes are causing an increase in severe weather that is more likely to cause property damage. And, they are expected to continue over at least the next three decades.

Advocacy

PIA objects to Congress’ attempts to reduce or repeal passthrough tax deduction

PIA announced last week that it joined a coalition of business groups to express its continued support for the 20% tax deduction for passthrough corporations, also known as S corporations. Currently, Congress is reallocating certain funds, and policymakers may seek to roll back or repeal these passthrough deductions to use the funds for other policy priorities. The 20% tax deductions for S corporations (which include independent insurance agencies) reduce the tax burden on these small businesses, and have been instrumental in helping these small businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

N.Y.: Legislation to standardize hurricane deductible triggers is PIANY’s top priority

Legislation (A.950/S.6407)—introduced by Assemblywomen Stacey Pheffer Amato, D-23, and Sen. James Sanders Jr., D-10, respectively—would require the New York State Department of Financial Services to create a universal definition of windstorm in policies that have a windstorm deductible in New York. This is important because how a windstorm is defined can make a substantial difference to a homeowner’s deductible if a major storm damages his or her house. PIANY’s priority for the second half of 2021 is to advocate for this bill—and encourage the state Senate to introduce its own windstorm deductible bill—and push for this legislation to pass the state Legislature during New York’s 2022 legislative session. If you are interested in joining PIANY in its meetings with your local elected leaders, email the PIA Industry Resource Center today. For more information on PIANY’s advocacy efforts for this legislation, watch your PIA Northeast publications.

N.Y.: Legislation introduced that could raise insurance for all dog breeds

Legislation (A.4075/S.4254) was introduced in the New York state Legislature this legislative session that would restrict insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew policies solely based on the breed of a dog. Additionally, the legislation would prohibit insurers from imposing a higher premium based solely on the dog breed. The insurer would have to decide to either cover the dog, or exclude coverage for dogs altogether. Currently, insurers are allowed to evaluate the risks posed by individual dogs, just like they do with most coverage. PIANY is planning to launch a campaign against this legislation, urging Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to veto it. For more information, watch your PIA Northeast publications.

Technical

N.Y.: NYCIRB makes manual changes

The New York State Department of Financial Services approved a new edition of the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board’s New York Experience Rating Plan Manual. The manual will affect experience mods with a rating effective date on or after Oct. 1, 2022. The new plan incorporates several new methods, and discontinues others that are in use currently. For example, the new plan includes variable split points, a simplified rating formula and a new claim-capping method. Additionally, NYCIRB’s merit rating plan will be discontinued and all risks in New York state with exposure during the experience period will be experience rated. Upon the implementation of the new plan, the state will withdraw from the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s interstate rating plan. All New York risks will be rated based on their New York experience only, and receive a New York mod that will apply only to their New York exposure. And, NYCIRB announced that, as of Sunday, July 25, 2021, classification code 8873–Telecommuter Reassigned Employees has been discontinued.

Educating insurance agents

Insurance 101—What your new, unlicensed hires ought to know

It’s important for your new hires to understand the industry for which they are working. In the insurance industry, there are plenty of misconceptions—and your new employees could have some of them. But, it doesn’t have to be intimidating for them to learn about the insurance industry. It even can be interesting! New Employee Orientation (2 Part Webinar), taught by Scott Treen, CIC, CPIA, takes place July 7-8, 2021, from 10 a.m.-noon each day. Sign your new hires up today—let’s show them the ropes.

Register now

July 16: NJYIP Summer Twilight Reception

Aug. 2: NY-YIP Golf Open

Sept. 14: CTYIP Golf Open (The date has changed.)

Celebrating 40 Years with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
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