Weekly Dispatch: Dec. 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

News

Happy holidays from PIA Northeast

PIA wishes you and yours a warm and prosperous holiday season. We look forward to continuing to bring you the information your business needs, the way you want it. The PIA Northeast Weekly Dispatch will be suspended next week, but will resume on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. In the meantime, you still can access industry-specific updates on PIA Northeast News & Media, and on PIA Northeast’s Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter social-media channels.

AM Best predicts insurers can manage tornado losses; New York offers support

Following the devastating 200-mile path left behind by tornadoes in the U.S. Midwest and South, insurance-industry experts predict losses could cost insurers up to $5 billion. However, analysts at AM Best indicate that, even though insurers’ underwriting may diminish, insurers will be able to absorb these losses. In response to the devastation, the commonwealth of Kentucky has requested additional support from nearby states. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced last week that New York is deploying a state incident management team to support the ongoing recovery operations in Kentucky. The team is a resource designed to assist emergency managers in ensuring prompt, efficient and organized response to complex, multioperational disasters.

Conn.: Gov. Lamont announces commission to approve support for small-business growth

Gov. Ned Lamont announced yesterday that he has placed more than $124 million in new investments in small-business growth, workforce training and community revitalization on the agenda for proposal at the next meeting of the State Bond Commission. The investments are expected to create thousands of jobs in the coming years.

Conn.: Gov. Lamont announces digital storage for COVID-19 vaccination records

Gov. Lamont announced Monday that Connecticut now is providing residents with the option to store their personal COVID-19 vaccination records on their smartphone devices. The digital vaccination cards mirror the paper cards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that patients receive upon being vaccinated, and provide them with a convenient and secure means to show proof of their vaccinations.

Conn.: Commissioner Mais elected as NAIC vice president

PIACT congratulates Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais who was elected as vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for its 2022 administrative year last week. He will assume this position on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

N.Y.: Gov. Hochul announces $100 million in rent supplements

Gov. Hochul announced last week that $100 million through the Rental Supplement Program is available for counties to help homeless individuals and families leave the shelter system for a permanent home by providing rental assistance. Additionally, the funds may help low-income New Yorkers pay their rent and increase their housing security. The funds will be administered by the state Office of Temporary or Disability Association, and will provide such funding to localities in all 57 counties in the state, including those that are located in New York City.

N.Y.: Minority- and women-owned business enterprise rate leads U.S.

Gov. Hochul announced last week that the state has surpassed its official utilization-rate goal for New York State’s Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises on state contracts with 30.51%—the highest in the country—for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Additionally, more than $3 billion in state contracts were awarded to MWBE firms during the same period, with more than $21 billion in state contracts awarded since 2011.

N.Y.: DFS announces proposed debt-collection amendment

Acting Superintendent of Financial Services Adrienne A. Harris announced last week that the New York State Department of Financial Services proposed a new amendment to 23 NYCRR 1, which governs debt collectors and debt buyers. The amendment would protect consumers from predatory debt-collection practices and scams by ensuring that consumers pay only the debts they owe and pay them only once; by requiring debt collectors to provide key data about the alleged debt and to maintain records related to the alleged debt; by reducing opportunities for debt collectors to mislead consumers about their debt and about their obligations to pay through disclosure requirements; and by limiting harassing phone calls and other excessive communication from debt collectors. The proposed amendment is a result of DFS’ investigation of abusive and deceptive debt collection, as well as data on consumer complaints to regulators.

Vt.: DFR completes legislative report on worker relocation incentive programs

The Department of Financial Regulation announced last week that it submitted a report that examines Vermont’s various worker-relocation incentive programs to the state Legislature in accordance with Act 51 of 2021. Act 51 of 2021 is a combination of the 2018 Remote Worker Relocation Program, which reimbursed certain moving expenses up to $10,000 for individuals who moved and worked remotely in Vermont, and a 2019 program that focused on attracting new workers for existing job openings in Vermont. According to the report, tax dollars spent on the 2018 and 2019 programs resulted in $93.88 and $66.26 in economic activity, respectively. Additionally, it provides several recommendations to improve the programs and highlights the state’s need to tackle affordable housing, child care availability and access to high-speed internet to attract new workers to Vermont.

Advocacy

Updated: PIA’s RR2.0 frequently asked questions

The National Flood Insurance Program’s new rating methodology program, Risk Rating 2.0, went into effect in October for existing flood policies with renewal dates between Oct. 1, 2021, and Thursday, March 31, 2022. PIA has updated its ongoing series of frequently asked questions and answers that will help inform agents and guide their decision-making, as they familiarize themselves with RR2.0. Updates to the document include how agents can access the new RR2.0 Flood Insurance Manual; information about scheduled maintenance for the rating engine, about provisional rates, about increasing rates, about new forms and about the new NFIP Claims Manual; and how agents can be trained by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on RR2.0.

N.Y.: Rely on Agents Advocacy Coalition for political updates

Agents Advocacy Coalition—formerly PIANYPAC—will keep you updated about the 2022 election in New York. Throughout the next year, you can read about how the election is shaping up across the state; you can learn how to register to vote, when and where to vote; and you can get involved with Agents Advocacy Coalition, to help the PAC support candidates who work with PIANY and independent agents to find solutions to insurance-industry problems. For updates from Agents Advocacy Coalition about the election, watch your PIA Northeast publications and follow PIA Northeast on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Technical

Conn.: NCCI 2022 WC 14.1% loss cost decrease approved

The Connecticut Insurance Department approved the proposed workers’ compensation loss cost filing made by the National Council on Compensation Insurance, which consists of an overall 14.1% decrease. Additionally, the CID approved an overall assigned risk rate decrease of 8.2%. These rates will take effect Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022. Key components of these changes include terrorism/cat loss, distribution, maximum/minimum pay roll, split point, residual market and loss cost multipliers.

Events

March 24-25: Save the date: Connecticut Convention at the Hartford Marriott Downtown

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