Weekly Dispatch: Feb. 24, 2022

February 24, 2022

News

N.Y.: Back and better than ever: Register for LI RAP

PIANY’s Long Island Regional Awareness Program is making a comeback on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. When you attend, you’ll get exclusive entry to a trade show where you can reconnect with colleagues, companies and vendors; a special keynote address from former N.Y. Giants Running Back Ottis “OJ” Anderson; continuing-education sessions with John Fear, CPIA, CISR; and several valuable opportunities to network. Register today. Sponsorship, exhibition and advertising opportunities are available, too!

Litigation is driving U.S. commercial auto-insurance costs up

Earlier this month, Triple I announced that it conducted a study called Social Inflation and Loss Development, which confirms that litigation on insurers’ costs has caused insurance-claim payouts for commercial auto-insurance liability to increase. Commercial transportation is among the sectors most severely affected by more frequent lawsuits, which have generated higher insurance-claim payouts— according to the study, payouts for commercial auto-insurance liability increased by over $20 billion from 2010-19, and a 2020 study from the American Transportation Research Institute found that the size of jury verdict awards grew 33% each year from 2010-18.

Flooding possible in Northeast

The potential for flooding in the Northeast has increased as temperatures begin to warm, and rain and melting snow are expected to cause lakes, streams, rivers and low-lying, flood-prone areas to flood. Last week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul urged New Yorkers to prepare for potential flooding, specifically from ice jams, which happen when pieces of floating ice obstruct a river or stream’s flow, and cause flooding either downstream or upstream—and flooding, from ice jams or otherwise, can cause severe property damage. This issue is not unique to New York. As you know, it takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect, so the time to start talking to your clients about flood insurance is now. To help you start the conversation, PIA offers resources through its Storm Info Central and PIA Design & Print. For more information on Storm Info Central, email PIA’s Industry Resource Center. For more information on how PIA’s Design & Print can help you connect with your insureds this winter, email Design & Print Account Manager Calley Rupp.

N.H.: Sununu’s 2022 State of the State

Gov. Chris Sununu delivered his 2022 State of the State address on Feb. 17, 2022. Priorities that Sununu covered in his address include tax cuts for families and small businesses, continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and maintaining low health care costs.

N.J.: Roadmap, recommendations released for workplace technological challenges and opportunities

Gov. Phil Murphy announced last week that the New Jersey State Future of Work Task Force released its Roadmap and Recommendations, which underscore the state’s need to invest in policies, platforms and programs that respond to challenges and opportunities that technology imposes on workplaces. The goal of the task force and its recommendations is to foster worker rights, worker safety and lifelong learning.

N.Y.: Hochul addresses cyber security preparedness

Gov. Hochul released a statement on Sunday addressing the importance of cyber security preparedness in light of the recent geopolitical uncertainty surrounding cybersecurity and risk management. Cybersecurity is essential to individuals and to businesses because cyberattacks can happen on personal devices (e.g., smartphones, laptops) and to businesses’ data systems and servers. To mitigate cyberattacks in New York state, Hochul included a $62 million investment for cyber security protections in her 2022 budget proposal and she convened cabinet members from relevant areas to review New York’s ongoing preparedness efforts. Additionally, Hochul announced the formation of the Joint Security Operations Center on Tuesday, which will serve as a data center to oversee cybersecurity across the state and the New York State Department of Financial Services released guidance about the importance of using multi-factor authentication to protect individuals and businesses from cyberattacks. Agents who do business in New York can access PIA’s Privacy Compliance Central to learn more about cybersecurity—including New York’s Cybersecurity Regulation (23 NYCRR 500), compliance certifications for which are due Friday, April 15, 2022, for all insurance entities that hold a New York state insurance license. Do you have someone in your agency who is in the process of earning his or her insurance license? Remember: PIA Northeast has partnered with A.D. Banker & Co., to offer members prelicensing courses at a 5% discount.

Advocacy

NFIP extended through March 11

The Biden Administration announced last week that the president signed H.R.6617, which extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s federal funding and authority through Friday, March 11, 2022. As part of its 2022 Issues of Focus, PIA National is advocating for the long-term reauthorization of the NFIP, which would prevent the NFIP from needing frequent renewals to keep its federal funding and authority. This year, PIA is holding a series of state-specific Advocacy Days, during which PIA National members—including PIA Northeast members—can support PIA’s advocacy for the NFIP’s long-term reauthorization, in addition to state-specific issues. For more information on the reauthorization of the NFIP, watch your PIA Northeast publications. For more information on and to participate in PIA’s Advocacy Days, see PIA’s Advocacy Day webpage.

N.Y.: PIANY requests DFS to extend CE regulation deadline

The DFS announced last October that it changed the continuing-education requirements for insurance producers who do business in New York. Currently, agents and brokers whose New York insurance licenses renew on or after Friday April 1, 2022, must comply with the new CE regulation. However, PIANY sent a letter to the DFS on Tuesday, requesting it to extend the deadline to Jan. 1, 2023, which would afford CE providers more time to establish quality CE courses that agents and brokers can take to satisfy the new requirements.

N.Y.: PIANY’s RAC meetings to begin next week

PIANY’s Regional Advisory Council is holding its first meetings of 2022 in the next two weeks, during which association members can share their opinions about insurance-industry issues, access up-to-date industry information, provide feedback about PIANY’s programs and services, and network with other insurance professionals. The meetings are scheduled by region. The Finger Lakes RAC meeting is on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, at 9 a.m., with Chairperson David L. Sidle, CIC, CPIA; the Hudson Valley meeting is on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at 2 p.m., with Chairperson Frances A. Scott; the Long Island and New York City meetings are on Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 2 p.m., and 9 a.m., respectively, with Chairpersons Justin Fries, CIC, CPCU, CPIA, and Leslie Rogoff, respectively; the Southern Tier meeting is on Friday, March 4, 2022, at 9 a.m., with Chairperson Jamie Ferris, CIC, AAI, CPIA; the Western New York meeting is on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 9 a.m., with Chairperson Fred Holender, CLU, CPCU, ChFC, MSFS; and the Capital Region, Central Region and North Country meetings also are on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at 2 p.m., with Chairpersons Bruce D. Rowledge, John C. Parsons II, CIC, CPIA, AAI, and Richard Andrews, LUTCF, respectively. For more information about the RAC meetings next month and to participate, see the PIANY Advisory Councils webpage.

N.Y.: Agents Advocacy Coalition has the latest on New York’s primary elections

Since 2022 is an election year, now is the time we start to hear about state legislators retiring, seeking higher office, or that they will be challenged in the primary elections by candidates from their own parties. Many more centrist Democrats are seeing challenges from the left again. A notable primary is for Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill, D-103, chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, and a longtime ally of independent insurance agents. Cahill sponsors A.1809—one of PIANY’s legislative priorities—which would protect consumers from carriers’ bait-and-switch practices. He is being challenged in the primary elections by Sarahana Shrestha, a community activist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Additionally, Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried, D-75, chair of the Assembly Health Committee is retiring. He is the longtime sponsor of the New York State Health Act, which would establish single-payer health care in New York. For more information and updates about the upcoming elections in New York, visit Agents Advocacy Coalition’s election webpage, and watch your PIA Northeast publications.

Technical

Insurers incur $5.6 billion underwriting loss

Verisk and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association released a report last week, which indicates that there was a $5.6 billion net underwriting loss in the first nine months of 2021, as noncatastrophe losses returned to pre-pandemic levels. While noncatastrophic losses were on the rise, insured catastrophe-related losses remained high. Both in 2020 and 2021, estimated nine-months net loss and loss-adjustment expenses from catastrophes exceeded $48 billion. However, despite the underwriting loss, net income increased after taxes to $42.1 billion in the first nine months of 2021, from $35.2 billion a year earlier. This increase was fueled in-part by premium growth and investment gains. Insurers’ overall profitability—as measured by their annualized rate of return on average policyholders’ surplus—rose to 6.0% in the first nine months of 2021, from 5.5% a year earlier.

N.Y.: NYSIF announces new remittance addresses for WC, disability benefits

Recently, the New York State Insurance Fund announced that beginning Wednesday, March 2, 2022, it will have new remittance addresses for premium bill payments. Starting on that date, workers’ compensation policyholders should send their bill payments to NYSIF, PO BOX 5519, Binghamton, N.Y., 13902-5519, and disability benefits policyholders should send their bill payments to NYSIF, PO BOX 5520, Binghamton, N.Y., 13902-5520. If payments have been mailed directly to a NYSIF district office previously, those payments must be rerouted to these new addresses. Or, NYSIF policyholders can pay their premium bills online.

Educating insurance agents

Agents can earn or update their CPIA designations this March

To help members earn or update their Certified Professional Insurance Agent designation, PIA is offering the CPIA Insurance Success Seminars on Tuesday, March 8, 2022; Tuesday, March 15, 2022; and Tuesday, March 29, 2022, respectively. The CPIA designation helps agents elevate their sales expertise on the national level by affording them the sales skills and tools they need to construct, operate and maintain a successful agency with powerful insurance programs. For more information, to stay up-to-date on the seminars’ CE approval in your state or to register for any or all of the CPIA Insurance Success Seminars, see PIA’s CPIA national designation program webpage.

Metropolitan insurance agents to learn about condo associations, New York City-specific laws

Homeowners policies and forms, and the Condo Association’s master policy can differ, so insureds who live in New York City condos could be exposed to property damage and liability unknowingly. Additionally, there are labor laws—like the Scaffold Law—that are specific to New York City. Does your agency do business in New York City? Learn more about these topics in PIA’s Metro CE Sessions, which take place Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. For more information, to see state-specific continuing-education approvals and to register, see the PIA Northeast education schedule.

ICYMI

N.H.: NHID issues FAQ about rate increases for long-term care

The New Hampshire Insurance Department released a frequently-asked-questions document last week that provides consumers with more information about recent rate increases to long-term care insurance policies. LTC insurance is one of the ways individuals can pay for nursing-home care, home-health care, and personal or adult day care services.

Register now

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

Monday, May 2, 2022: NJYIP Golf Open

Celebrating 40 Years with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
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