Weekly Dispatch: Sept. 9, 2021

September 9, 2021


New Jersey and New York on the road to recovery after Tropical Storm Ida

Tropical Storm Ida, which hit New Jersey and lower parts of New York last week, caused record-breaking flooding in both states. In New Jersey, President Joseph R. Biden Jr., approved a disaster declaration following the storm. And, the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved of major disaster declarations for six New Jersey counties, which include Bergen, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic and Somerset. Additionally, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced last Friday that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority will provide $10 million in financial relief for small businesses that were impacted by Tropical Storm Ida. And, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance issued guidance on filing homeowners and auto insurance claims to residents impacted by the storm. In New York, an emergency disaster declaration also was approved by Biden. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday that Biden later approved an expedited major disaster declaration for five counties, which include Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond and Westchester. And, the New York State Department of Financial Services issued a circular letter that directs New York-regulated insurers to expedite Ida-related insurance claims. For state-specific updates following the recent tropical storms and recent flooding, PIA members can access PIA Northeast’s Hurricane Info Central. Do you have a question about the recent storms? PIA members can email the Industry Resource Center, or call (800) 424-4244.

Conn.: Six candidates step forward to run for secretary of the state position

Early this summer, Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced that she would not seek reelection in 2022. Since then, four candidates for the Democratic Party and two candidates for the Republican Party have taken steps toward running for the position. For updates on the next year’s election in Connecticut, watch your PIA Northeast publications.

N.H.: NHID delivers consumer services results for FY 2021

The New Hampshire Insurance Department last month released statistics for its Consumer Services Unit for Fiscal Year 2021. During FY 2021, the NHID processed 796 consumer complaint investigations, 151 insurance provider investigations, 3,423 assistance requests and 75 applications for external health review. The Consumer Services Unit recovered approximately $1 million for New Hampshire consumers throughout the year.

N.Y.: Hochul signs legislation to boost workplace safety

Gov. Hochul announced on Monday that she signed four pieces of legislation to help boost workplace safety and put more money in the pockets of working New Yorkers. The bills establish a demonstration program to implement speed-violation monitoring systems in work zones to keep workers safe and make construction contractors liable for the wages owed to their subcontractors. Additionally, the bills require the payment of prevailing wage to building service employees at high-end co-ops and condos, and extend Shared Work Benefits.

N.Y.: Hochul signs new eviction moratorium into law

Gov. Hochul announced last week that she signed into law a new moratorium on COVID-19-related residential and commercial evictions for New York state. The moratorium is in effect until Jan. 15, 2022. Under the new law, all protections of the Tenant Safe Harbor Act for residential tenants who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the pandemic will remain in place, along with new protections on commercial evictions.

N.Y.: Wright and Alexander to lead state cannabis regulation and taxation

Gov. Hochul announced last week that the state Senate confirmed Tremaine Wright as the chair of New York’s Cannabis Control Board and Christopher Alexander as the executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management. The CCB and the OCM will create and implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for New York’s cannabis industry, including the production, licensing, packaging, marketing and sale of cannabis products.


N.Y.: Employers required to implement airborne infectious disease prevention plan

Gov. Hochul announced on Monday that the commissioner of health has designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health under the New York Health and Essential Rights Act—also known as the NY HERO Act. The NY HERO Act requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans in the event that the New York state commissioner of health designates an airborne infectious disease as a highly contagious, communicable disease the presents a serious risk to the public. Additionally, employers in New York were required to provide these safety plans to their employees by Sept. 4, 2021. To learn more about the NY HERO Act—and what the new law requires employers to do—watch NY HERO Act Part I, NY HERO Act Part II and NY HERO Act–Workplace Safety Committee on the PIA Northeast News & Media, media gallery.


FIO requests public comment on new climate-related insurance authority

The Federal Insurance Office is requesting comments from the public about its evaluation of climate-related risks posed by insurers. PIA reported earlier this year that the Biden administration is assigning new tasks to the FIO—and the assessment of climate-related insurance authority is one of them. However, independent agents can use this as an opportunity to express respectfully to the FIO that this inquiry into the potential effects of climate change on the stability of the insurance industry ought to be undertaken at the state level by state insurance regulators. PIA has been an advocate for the repeal of the FIO since its establishment in 2010. Earlier this year, legislation (H.R.4866/S.524) was introduced that would repeal the FIO. PIA supports the repeal of the FIO because it threatens to create federal regulations that would remove states’ authority in the insurance industry. For more information about PIA’s efforts to repeal the FIO and for updates on this legislation, visit the FIO page on the PIA Advocacy Blog, and watch your PIA Northeast publications.

The RR2.0 manual has arrived

The National Flood Insurance Program’s Risk Rating 2.0 Flood Insurance Manual was released last week, along with an update to the existing FIM and a final version of the Industry Transition Memo. The two FIMs—one for each rating methodology—will be in effect at the same time for the six-month period beginning Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. On April 1, 2022, only the RR2.0 FIM will remain in effect. Additionally, the ITM, explains how the transition from the first FIM to the new FIM will work for NFIP policies with effect dates between Friday, Oct. 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022. PIA National has created a webpage for agents to keep track of important dates related to RR2.0 and training provided by FEMA. For more information on RR2.0 and for updates, visit the RR2.0 page on the PIA Advocacy Blog. And, read How the NFIP’s Risk Rating 2.0 affects agents, clients and WHAT?!?!–FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 on PIA Northeast News & Media.

N.Y.: Agents Advocacy Coalition represents authority and unity

What happened in the U.S. in 1981? Fiona Brothers set the women’s propeller speed record at 116.3 miles per hour; the Seattle Mariners beat the Boston Red Sox in the longest Major League Baseball game to take place at Fenway Park, which ended after 20 innings; the Smurfs broadcasted for the first time in North America. But, 1981 was a remarkable year for independent agents in New York because it’s when Agents Advocacy Coalition was founded. And, did you know that Agents Advocacy Coalition has more than just its debut year in common with the Smurfs? The Smurfs have their iconic blue color. The rich, dark blue that represents Agents Advocacy Coalition is iconic, too—because it resembles everything the PAC stands for: authority in the insurance industry, and unity between independent agents striving toward a common good.

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Sept. 14: CTYIP Golf Open

Sept. 27: PIANJ Golf Classic

Oct. 6: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance Advocate to Win

Oct. 14: CTYIP Fall Brewery event

Oct. 14: NY-YIP Fall Reception

Oct. 28: NJYIP Halloween Spooktacular

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