Weekly Dispatch: April 28, 2022

April 28, 2022

News

Cyber security tip: Recent ransomware attacks

Cyberattacks can happen anywhere at any time. As a reminder: The FBI has issued an alert about ransomware attacks against agricultural cooperatives during planting and harvest seasons—something that happened six times last planting season, and twice this year. For a second reminder: This past March, the Texas Department of Insurance reported a cyber security incident in which the records of 1.8 million Texans was exposed. Apparently, this incident was not a breach by a third-party, but it did expose names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of births, and partial or full Social Security numbers, as well as information about injuries and worker’s compensation claims. To protect their sensitive data—and their insureds’ sensitive data—insurance agents should have cyber liability coverage. To get more alerts like this or to determine their unique cyberrisks, PIA member-agents can use PIA’s Cyber Risk Assessment.

Trending: Dog-related injury claims nearly $900M in 2021

Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2021—costing $881 million—according to a report co-authored by the Insurance Information Institute. An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the Triple-I found the number of dog-bite claims nationwide increased 2.2% (17,989 in 2021, compared to 17,567 in 2020). Conversely, the average cost paid out for dog-bite claims decreased 1.1% ($49,025 in 2021, compared with $50,245 in 2020). However, while the average cost per claim decreased 2020 to 2021, the overall 10-year trend has been a 39% increase.

Conn.: CID to insurers: Watch for ‘big data’ discrimination

Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew N. Mais issued a formal notice to insurers licensed by the department that their use of technology and big data must be in full compliance with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. In addition, insurers now are required to submit an annual data certification. In fulfilling the role of protecting consumers and regulating the Connecticut insurance industry, the department has exercised its authority to require that insurance carriers and third-party data vendors, model developers, and bureaus provide the CID with access to the data used to build models or algorithms included in all rate, form, and underwriting filings since 2021. The new notice requires them to certify their compliance with applicable anti-discrimination laws.

N.J.: Deadline extended: Distinction of Professionalism Awards

PIA takes pride in its professionalism. To that end, it’s paramount for the association to recognize the professionalism of insurance professionals in the industry. So, if you know an insurance professional from PIANJ who embodies the qualities and actions that serve as an example of industry excellence, nominate the person for any of these professionalism awards: Professional Agent of the Year. This award is given to a professional, independent agent who has demonstrated excellence and achievement in insurance marketing and service; has shown a personal commitment to professionalism; and has contributed to PIA and the community. Customer Service Representative of the Year. The award winner must possess exemplary talents, abilities and aptitudes; exhibit dedication to a PIA member agency; provide clients with a high level of customer service; demonstrate a commitment to betterment through education and must be a contributing member to his or her community. Community Service Award. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates a significant commitment to the improvement of his or her community. Company Person of the Year. This award recognizes the professionalism and unique contributions of an outstanding company representative. Company of the Year. This award recognizes a company from the insurance industry that shows a commitment to the American Agency System; has relationships with carrier partners and furthers the interests of professional, independent insurance agents by creating a better business environment. MGA of the Year. This award recognizes a managing general agency that works to further the interests of agents; has a commitment to the agency system; and is successful in its efforts to create a better business environment for independent insurance agents. Nominate someone today.

Vt.: Governor signs law for toxic exposure medical monitoring

Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill into law last week that will allow people exposed to toxic substances to sue the culpable facility for medical testing or procedures to monitor for diseases from the exposure. The governor’s bill signing came three days after U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford gave final approval to a $34 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit against a plastics company over toxic chemical contamination of soil and groundwater in the Bennington area.

Advocacy

N.Y.: Are you ready for the state primaries on June 28?

The state primaries for executive and legislative office are only two months away, and Agents Advocacy Coalition—formerly PIANYPAC—wants to make sure you are ready. If Tuesday, June 28 is a busy day for you, you can choose to vote early (June 18-26) or if you will be out of your county or borough on Election Day you can vote by absentee ballot. If you are enrolled in a party and you have moved, make sure you get your change of address to your County Board of Elections before Wednesday, June 8, so you can vote in the primary in your new district. To learn more about the elections, visit the Agents Advocacy Coalition website or read Absentee voting, a how to.

Educating insurance agents

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

N.Y.: It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, get weather-related CE at Annual Conference in June

Gov. Kathy Hochul declared April 25-29 as Severe Weather Awareness Week to highlight the seasonal dangers of flooding, tornadoes and thunderstorms during the spring and summer months in New York state. The time to talk to your clients about the effects of severe weather and their insurance coverages is before a disaster happens. Looking for CE? PIA favorite instructor John Fear, CPIA, CISR, will teach: Wild Weather, Wind, Water and Warming = Disasters at the PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY June 12-14, in Atlantic City. Register today. And, to find out how PIA can help you connect with your insureds about flood or other disaster-related insurance options, email PIA’s Design & Print Account Manager Calley Rupp.

Events

CTYIP Open House, bring a friend for free

Join CTYIP for a membership Open House, Thursday, May 19, 2022, at Nesso Group. CTYIP members who register are encouraged to bring one free attendee. Mingle with others in your industry, grab a bite to eat, a beverage from Kinsmen Brewing and help share the value of being a member of CTYIP. Register today.

PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY

June 12-14: Register today and save 20% with early-bird pass: Thousands of insurance professionals will be looking to be in-tune with the insurance industry at the PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY in Atlantic City. It’s an opportunity to reignite with new tools, services, and strategies. Will you be there? Want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

Register now

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

Wednesday, May 18, 2022: WLA Meet the Author: Advocate to Win

Thursday, May 19, 2022: CTYIP Open House—CTYIP members bring one guest free

June 12-14, 2022: PIA Annual Conference—Save 20% with early-bird pass

Tuesday, June 14, 2022: NJYIP Fun Run

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: CTYIP Golf Open

Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance Companies protecting your business and employees with their Workers' Compensation.
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