Weekly Dispatch: April 7, 2022

April 7, 2022

News

N.Y.: PIA puts the ‘trade’ in trade show—LI RAP is this month

PIA is holding its Long Island Regional Awareness Program on Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at Crest Hollow in Woodbury. Attendees will get exclusive access to PIA’s trade show, where independent agents can meet with professionals from insurance companies, colleagues and other insurance experts from all over New York to talk about the latest insurance products and services. The networking opportunities will be next-level—see which vendors and companies will be there. And, you can join them too! Register for LI RAP now. Are you interested in sponsoring, exhibiting or advertising? Get your name on our trade show list.

NOAA predicts mild, warm Northeast spring

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, most of the Northeast should see its usual amount of precipitation in April, May and June. However, the region has a 30-50% chance of experiencing higher temperatures than normal, which may lead to flooding if snow melts faster than usual and runs off into nearby lakes and streams. To protect their homes, businesses and property from flood damage, insureds need flood insurance—and as you know, it takes 30 days for a flood policy to go into effect. The time to start talking to your insureds about flood insurance is now. For more information, access PIA’s Flood Insurance Tool Kit and email PIA’s Industry Resource Center. To find out how PIA can help you connect with your insureds about flood insurance, email PIA’s Design & Print Account Manager Calley Rupp.

April is National Volunteer Month: PIA thanks its volunteers

PIA is the premier trade association for independent insurance agents in the Northeast—all thanks to the time, unbeatable knowledge and never-ending service of its members and volunteer boards. On behalf of the entire staff at PIA, we thank every PIA volunteer for their generous contributions to the insurance industry. Additionally, PIA couldn’t be an industry leader without its dedicated PACs: New Jersey PIAPAC and Agents Advocacy Coalition, the official PAC of PIANY. NJPIAPAC and Agents Advocacy Coalition committee members are volunteers who help to ensure that the insurance industry has adequate representation in the New Jersey and New York state legislatures, respectively. According to PAC Coordinator Kat Slye-Hernandez, “The PACs would be nothing without their volunteers. Our committee members all volunteer their time and money to make sure the PACs are successful and they work to ensure we are supporting candidates who represent the voice of independent agents.”

N.Y.: Possible changes coming to dog-breed insurance law

The New York state Assembly passed A.9284-A last week, with a 114-32 vote. The legislation—sponsored by Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, D-66—would amend last year’s dog-breed law to prohibit insurers from excluding, limiting, restricting or reducing coverage on homeowners insurance policies based solely on the breeds of dogs that insureds own. Currently, the dog-breed law—which went into effect at the end of January—prohibits carriers from using breeds of dogs when underwriting insureds’ homeowners insurance policies. However, this has created a loophole to allow insurance companies to exclude or reduce coverage for certain dogs, since the law does not prohibit this. For updates on this legislation, watch your PIA publications.

Compliance

N.Y.: Cyber security certification of compliance due April 15

All insurance entities that hold a New York state insurance license (i.e., covered entities)—including nonresident licensees—must certify their compliance with New York’s Cyber Security Regulation (23 NYCRR 500) for the 2021 calendar year by Friday, April 15, 2022. The filing is required for all licensees that aren’t covered by another covered entity’s information system. Licensees must file their compliance certifications through the New York State Department of Financial Service’s web portal. To help insurance agents who do business in New York state stay up-to-date on 23 NYCRR 500, PIA offers cyber resources through its Privacy Compliance Central. For more information on how to comply with the cyber regulation, access Certification of compliance: A guide in the PIA QuickSource library and the DFS’ Cybersecurity FAQs for producers and individual licensees.

Employers must comply with federal, state privacy laws

Employers may monitor employee communications and activities for a variety of reasons, including cyber security protection, quality assurance and employee-performance review. However, employers must remember that there are certain employee rights that are protected by federal law (like the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act) and/or state law (e.g., common-law right to privacy). State laws may provide more protection to employees than federal law alone—so employers need to comply with both. For example, effective Saturday, May 7, 2022, New York employers are required to provide newly hired employees written notice of any electronic monitoring, and they must obtain written or electronic acknowledgment of receipt of the notice.

Advocacy

N.J.: Two PIANJ-priority liability bills pass state Senate

Recently, the New Jersey state Senate passed two sets of liability legislation, both with 37-0 votes. S-775—sponsored by Sens. Nellie Pou, D-35, and Joseph P. Cryan, D-20—would require businesses with liquor licenses to carry liquor liability insurance of at least $500,000. Additionally, the Senate passed S-1368, which is sponsored by Senate President Nicholas P. Scutari, D-22, and would require business owners to purchase at least $500,000 in liability insurance and rental-unit owners with four or fewer units to purchase at least $300,000 in liability insurance.

N.Y.: PIANY-priority bill to remove diligent-effort requirement passes state Senate

PIANY-priority legislation that would exempt agents from the diligent-effort requirement in certain circumstances passed the state Senate on Monday, with a 62-0 vote. The legislation (S.8128)—sponsored by Sen. Neil D. Breslin, D-44—would eliminate the excess-lines insurance diligent-effort requirement for commercial-risk placements made by retail producers through unaffiliated wholesale brokers. The exemption would apply to retail agents and wholesale brokers. The bill was sent to the state Assembly and referred to the Assembly Insurance Committee.

Technical

N.Y.: NYSIF launches new Risk Control Resource Center

Recently, the New York State Insurance Fund announced that it launched a new Risk Control Resource Center to help businesses keep their employees safe. Through this resource, NYSIF online account holders can access information and tools, including industry-specific safety manuals, safety classes, training videos and communication resources. Additionally, businesses can request site inspections and other risk-control services through the Risk Control Resource Center. Insurance brokers are encouraged to use this site for the benefit of their clients, as well. To access the new resource center, business owners can log in to their online accounts.

Educating insurance agents

N.Y.: New classes that meet the DFS’ new CE requirements are available online and in private on-site sessions.

Do you know the ins and outs of personal- and commercial-lines policies?

There are nuances to personal- and commercial-lines insurance policies. Independent insurance agents need to know how each policy will respond to a claim. When you know the differences, you can better prepare your clients ahead of time, before they need to file a claim. For example, do you know if both types of policies provide flood coverage? Or, if a homeowners policy will cover stolen cannabis in a state where cannabis is legal? These types of questions are critical for agents to know—and you should make sure that your knowledge about these policies is up to date.

Events

June 12-14: Save the date: PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY in Atlantic City, N.J. Want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

ICYMI

N.Y.: Help PIA make auto photo-inspections optional

PIANY-priority legislation (A.6877) passed the state Assembly last week and the association needs help getting the same-as bill (S.6028) passed in the state Senate. The legislation would allow insurance carriers to waive the requirement for photo inspections when clients purchase physical-damage coverage for their vehicles. PIA members can support this legislation in less than one minute by sending a prewritten message to their state senators to encourage them to support this legislation.

Register now

Wednesday, April 13, 2022: PIANJ Deep Dive Forum

Monday, May 2, 2022: NJYIP Golf Open
*All golf spots filled; dinner tickets still available.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022: NJYIP Fun Run

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: CTYIP Golf Open

Celebrating 40 Years with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies.
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