Weekly Dispatch: Sept. 16, 2021

September 16, 2021


Due next week: PIA Company Representation Survey

The information obtained from this year’s PIA Company Representation Survey is important to your state association—and your response is needed by Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. The PIA Company Representation Survey allows PIA to keep members informed on company activities that have a direct impact on their agencies—such as an insurer insolvency, merger or acquisition—and the PIA Company Rating Tracking Service. If you haven’t done so already, please take a few minutes to complete the survey—which you received via mail recently—and send it back to PIA. To get it back to PIA by next week’s deadline, fax it to (888) 225-6935, or scan and email it to the PIA Industry Resource Center. If you don’t have a copy of the survey, you can print it and then circle which holding companies your agency represents. Don’t forget to put your name and your agency’s name at the top of the survey.

Update: New Jersey and New York continue to recover from Hurricane Ida

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it has made low-interest disaster loans available to New Jersey businesses and residents as a result of the substantial flooding and damage from Hurricane Ida. Businesses and nonprofits in New Jersey now may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace property that was damaged or destroyed during the storm. Property that is eligible for these loans include real estate, machinery, equipment, inventory and other business assets. And, loan amounts may be increased up to 20% of their physical damage for mitigation improved to protect property against future damage. Additionally, homeowners are eligible for up to $200,000 disaster loans to repair or replace damaged real estate, and $40,000 to repair or replace damaged personal property. Applications for loans for physical property damage must be filed by Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, and applications for economic injury must be filed by June 6, 2022. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application via the SBA’s secure website, and should apply under SBA declaration number 17143. Additionally, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Saturday that residents in Morris County also can apply for possible Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, and the Department of Banking and Insurance issued a bulletin to urge regulated entities to assist residents and businesses that were affected by disruptions as a result of Hurricane Ida. In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul and FEMA announced the openings of several disaster recovery centers, which will provide information, assistance and help for New Yorkers who were impacted by the storms and flooding from Hurricane Ida. And, Hochul announced on Sunday that Suffolk and Sullivan counties have been approved to be added to the major disaster declaration. 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.

N.Y.: Outreach centers and loans available for communities affected by July flooding

Gov. Hochul announced on Tuesday that the approval of a Physical Disaster Declaration of Rensselaer, Otsego and Niagara counties, following a request to the SBA on Sept. 1, 2021. The declaration is related to three separate severe weather events in late July, which caused damage to homes and businesses primarily in those counties. This allows eligible New Yorkers in these counties and their adjacent counties to apply for low-interest loans to help rebuild and recover.

N.Y.: Gov. Hochul announces progress in pandemic relief for New Yorkers

Gov. Hochul announced on Tuesday that significant progress has been made in providing pandemic relief to New Yorkers through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program and the Excluded Workers Program. The amount of pandemic-related emergency rental assistance paid out has nearly doubled in the past three weeks—growing to $399 million—which has enabled tenants at risk for eviction to stay in their homes and helping struggling landlords to recover unpaid rent. Beginning yesterday, middle-income renters previously ineligible for assistance can begin applying for $125 million in state funding through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Additionally, while some is undergoing final verification, Hochul announced that over $1.05 billion in Excluded Workers Program funds have been approved for distribution to date.

N.Y.: PIANY names officers, directors for 2021-22

PIANY elected officers and one new director for 2021-22 during the association’s annual business meeting, which took place via video conferencing yesterday. Tim Dean, CIC, CRM, of Poughkeepsie, was elected president. David Sidle II, CIC, CPIA, of Trumansburg, was elected president-elect. Gino Orrino, CPIA, of Babylon, was elected vice president. Gary Slavin, CLTC, CIC, of Massapequa, was elected vice president. Jason Bartow, CPIA, AAI, of Dix Hills, was elected treasurer. Michael Loguercio of Ridge, was elected secretary. John R. Tomassi, CPCU, of Clifton Park, will serve as immediate past president. Additionally, Peter Buccinna, of Chatham, was elected for a three-year term on the PIANY board of directors.

Vt.: Gov. Scott requests federal disaster funds for Bennington and Windham

Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday that he has made a formal request for federal disaster funds to assist communities in Bennington and Windham counties in paying for repairs to public infrastructure damaged in floods that took place July 29-30, 2021. Local and state officials estimate communities in those counties suffered more than $4 million in damages to public infrastructure.


PIA calls for delay of NFIP’s RR2.0

Yesterday, PIA became the first national insurance association to ask FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell to delay the implementation of the National Flood Insurance Program’s Risk Rating 2.0. Various Write-Your-Own carriers, vendors and agents have found gaps in FEMA’s rollout process—which means that RR2.0 is not ready for its scheduled implementation, currently set for Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. For updates on the rollout of RR2.0, watch the RR2.0 page on the PIA Advocacy Blog and watch your PIA Northeast publications.

PIA opposes tax hikes

Recently, PIA announced that it joined two coalitions—the Main St. Employers and the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition—which advocate against a spending package that would lead to tax increases for small business owners. The U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee began considering the proposals last week, and PIA is working hard to push back against these increases. For updates, watch the PIA Advocacy Blog and your PIA Northeast publications.

N.J.: Are you voting by mail for the upcoming election? Make sure your vote is counted

Are you or someone you know voting by mail for New Jersey’s upcoming election on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021? In order for your vote to be counted, it’s crucial that you hand in your ballot on time, especially if you’re dropping off your ballot in a ballot drop box. Ballot drop boxes are safe, secure and locked structures that are operated by election officials. You can deliver your ballot to a drop box until Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, at 8 p.m. If you hand it in after that, it won’t be counted. To learn more about dropping your ballot off at a ballot drop box and to find out more about the election, visit the New Jersey PIAPAC website.

Educating insurance agents

Issuing certificates of insurance: Navigating the maze

Occasionally, your commercial clients will request a certificate of insurance from you. And, even though the process can seem challenging, it’s important that you know how to issue these certificates and fill them out appropriately. COIs are important because they provide your commercial clients with verifiable and presentable proof that they have insurance for their business. When issuing COIs, there are a few important things to consider, including the best practices for issuing them, and what to enter into various fields and what kind of language should be used. For more information on certificates of insurance, see the November issue if PIA Magazine.

N.J.: Register for PIANJ’s Deep Dive Forum on emerging lines of insurance

Join PIANJ and your insurance colleagues next Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, at 11 a.m., for an interactive Deep Dive discussion that will give independent agents in New Jersey a chance to learn more and ask questions about specific, emerging lines of insurance—and how to sell them. These lines of insurance include cyber liability policies, directors and officers policies, employment practices liability insurance and miscellaneous professional policies. And, when you register, you can submit a question that will be discussed at the forum. For more information about why you should attend the PIANJ Deep Dive Forum next week, view PIANJ Director Aaron Levine’s video on PIA Northeast’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages.

Register now

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

Oct. 14: CTYIP Fall Brewery event

Oct. 26: PIANJ Golf Classic

Oct. 28: NJYIP Halloween Spooktacular

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