Weekly Dispatch: March 3, 2022

March 3, 2022

News

Escalations in Ukraine pose cyberrisks to U.S. financial sector

The events in Ukraine have significant implications for the U.S. financial sector and cybersecurity, so all individuals and businesses should protect themselves from cyberattacks and ensure that they comply with state and federal cyber-, sanctions- and virtual currency-related laws and regulations. For more information on how insurance agents can protect their agencies from cyberattacks, on state and federal laws and regulations—and what agents need to do to comply—see Northeast states issue guidance to reduce cyberattacks amid escalations in Ukraine. For updates on how rising tensions between Ukraine and Russia affect the U.S., and state-specific financial sectors, watch your PIA Northeast publications.

N.Y.: Hochul announces upcoming special election

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced last week that a special election will take place Thursday, April 7, 2022. The election will fill the vacancy in the state Assembly for the 20th district seat, which represents parts of Nassau County. The Assembly seat has become vacant because former Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, R-20, was appointed to the Hempstead Town Board on Feb. 15, 2022, for which she serves as councilwoman for Hempstead’s 3rd district.

Conn.: Connecticut endures frigid temperatures

Gov. Ned Lamont announced last week that, in response to severe, cold conditions that would impact Connecticut this week, he activated the state’s severe cold-weather protocol from Feb 25-March 1, 2022. Even when snow isn’t falling, insureds can be impacted by cold temperatures because it can cause pipes to freeze and burst—which can cause costly water damage. For more information about how PIA can help you discuss the effects of cold weather with your insureds, email PIA’s Industry Resource Center and Design & Print Account Manager Calley Rupp.

Advocacy

N.Y.: PIA advocacy successful, Hochul signs CIDA chapter-amendments legislation

Gov. Hochul signed S.7882-A last week, which adds chapter amendments to the Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act and removes insurance applications from the list of insurance documents that are required to be turned over during civil proceedings. Originally, insurance applications were included in the required documents per the CIDA, but PIA argued that including the applications would expose private client information without providing any additional, relevant insurance information. Hochul agreed with PIA, and the association thanks her, and its members who participated in PIA’s campaign to amend the CIDA.

N.Y.: Advocate on PIA’s behalf, help make auto photo-inspections optional

PIA needs your help to make auto photo-inspections optional in New York. Currently, legislation that would make this happen is making its way through the state Legislature. S.6028 is in the Senate Insurance Committee and A.6877—the same-as bill—is on third reading in the state Assembly. Supporting this legislation is simple—and PIA members can do it in less than one minute by sending a prewritten message to their state legislators to encourage them to co-sponsor the legislation. The more co-sponsors the legislation has, the greater its chances are for making it through the Legislature. Another quick way for members to help support this legislation is by sharing PIA’s most recent Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube posts about this advocacy campaign on their social-media channels.

N.J.: Women legislators in New Jersey

March is Women’s History Month, and New Jersey PIAPAC is recognizing women leadership in the New Jersey state Legislature and in Washington, D.C. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, 41 out of 120 New Jersey state legislative seats—34.2% of the Legislature—belong to women, with 31 women in the state House of Representatives and 10 in the state Senate. Additionally, Lt. Gov. Sheila Y. Oliver holds one of two statewide executive seats (the other of which belongs to Gov. Phil Murphy), and U.S. House of Representatives Reps. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, and Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, are the only women who hold two of 12 seats that represent New Jersey in the U.S. House. Even though NJPIAPAC supports candidates and legislators only in the state Legislature, the PAC thanks all of the women who represent New Jersey politics.

Technical

N.J.: NJMVC expands online services

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced last week that it is adding 17 more vehicle types to its online registration renewal and replacement services. This will allow more customers to conduct their NJMVC business online without the need for a visit to an agency by providing them with an efficient and secure way to upload required documents.

Educating insurance agents

Conn.: Choosing words carefully helps to protect agents from E&O claims

When insurance agents choose their written and spoken words carefully, they can avoid costly errors-and-omissions claims from their insureds. To do this, agents can make sure that they ask their prospective clients more specific questions about their current coverage, they can streamline their communications processes with agency management systems, and they can ensure that every verbal and written interaction with their current and prospective clients is documented. These best practices can help agents avoid an E&O claim—and they can help agents defend themselves more easily if an E&O claim does happen.

Events

Be on the lookout: PIA National Advocacy Days dates for Northeast on the way

Recently, PIA National announced that it will hold its PIA Advocacy Day over the course of the entire year, which will provide PIA National members—including PIA Northeast members—more opportunities to bolster PIA’s advocacy and to discuss state-specific, insurance-industry issues with federal legislators. The dates for PIA Northeast’s Advocacy Days will be released soon. For more information and updates, see PIA’s Advocacy Days website and watch your PIA publications.

ICYMI

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

The New York State Department of Financial Services 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, PIA sent a letter to the DFS last week, 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.

Register now

March 24-25, 2022: Connecticut Convention

Wednesday, April 27, 2022: Long Island RAP

Tuesday, March 23: CTYIP Happy Hour

Monday, May 2, 2022: NJYIP Golf Open

Celebrating 40 Years with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
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