Weekly Dispatch: June 2, 2022

June 2, 2022


PIANY photo inspection bill heads to governor’s desk

The New York state Senate passed S.6028—by a vote of 56-7—yesterday and is now on its way to the governor’s desk. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Neil D. Breslin, D-44, would make photo inspections of private passenger automobiles optional. Currently, many consumers are required to get a photo inspection of their vehicle within 14 days of purchase. This bill would allow insurance companies to choose if or when to have the photo inspection performed. The Assembly same-as bill—A.6877 sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski Jr., D-96—passed the chamber in April. For more information about what PIANY did on this bill earlier this session and in 2021, read Updates on PIANY’s advocacy to make photo inspections optional.

PIANJ-priority compulsory business insurance bill passes state Senate, sent to Assembly committee

A bill (S-1368)—which would require business owners to purchase liability insurance in an amount not less than $500,000 for combined property damage and bodily injury to or death of one or more persons in any one accident or occurrence—passed the state Senate (25-11) on May 26. Owners of multifamily homes with four or fewer units are required to maintain liability insurance in an amount not less than $300,000. The legislation, which is sponsored by Senate President Scutari, D-22, was amended in March to require both business owners and rental unit owners to register a certificate of insurance, demonstrating compliance with this insurance requirement, with the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs. The legislation has been sent to the state Assembly and it has been referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee for further consideration. A same-as bill (A-2687) was introduced and referred to the same committee in February.

J.D. Power: Auto insurance rate hikes erode price satisfaction, drive surge in value shopping

Auto insurers are caught between a rock and a hard place. On one side: runaway demand in used vehicles that drove prices up an average of 41% in 2021—pushing vehicle replacement and repair costs into uncharted territory. On the other: frustrated customers, disillusioned by the rate increases insurers have introduced to confront these rising costs, who are now shopping for better policies that are more personalized to their own risk. According to the recently released J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, auto insurance customer satisfaction with price has plummeted, driving a surge in new-policy shopping activity while also dragging on the purchase experience index.

Verizon releases results of its yearly data breach report

The Verizon Business 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report examines an unprecedented year in cyber security history, and sheds light on some of the leading issues affecting the international cyber security landscape. Of particular concern is the alarming rise in ransomware breaches, which increased by 13% in a single year—representing a jump greater than the past five years combined. As criminals look to leverage increasingly sophisticated forms of malware, it is ransomware that continues to prove particularly successful in exploiting and monetizing illegal access to private information. Organized crime also continues to be a pervasive force in the world of cybersecurity. Roughly 4-in-5 breaches can be attributed to organized crime—with external actors approximately four times more likely to cause breaches in an organization than internal actors. PIA members and every one of their small-business clients must understand and then tackle their cybersecurity weaknesses before they are crippled by them. 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.

NHID’s auto insurance FAQ compliments PIANH resources

The New Hampshire Insurance Department released an updated Frequently Asked Questions document with information for consumers regarding auto insurance in the Granite State. It is intended to give New Hampshire consumers basic information on automobile insurance, and it suggests ways to lower the cost of your auto insurance, shop for auto insurance and file an auto insurance claim. The document also discusses the basics of the repair process and provides consumers with important information on total loss of a vehicle. PIANH also offers members resources that they can share and use to educate their clients about their auto insurance. State specific resources include: Summary of New Hampshire regulations on insurance scores; NHID personal auto premium comparison. Resources with information applicable to clients in any state in the PIA Northeast footprint, include: Do I have any control over my auto insurance premiums?; What you should consider before changing auto insurers; and How to save money on auto insurance.


P/C insurers experience underwriting loss, but gain surplus

Despite experiencing an underwriting loss, the property/casualty insurance industry ended 2021 strong and able to support policyholders, according to a report from Verisk and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. In 2021, the insurance industry experienced a $3.8 billion net underwriting loss, after a $5.2 billion underwriting gain in 2020, as incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses grew 11.1% while earned premiums only grew 7.4%. The combined ratio deteriorated as well, to 99.6% after 98.6% in 2020. A combination of factors, including significant unrealized capital gains, propelled policyholders’ surplus to a new record of $1,032.5 billion.

NJCRIB introduces virtual audits

The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau has amended the process and premium threshold for auditing of policies. Historically, employers had been required to make payroll and tax records available through an in-person visit by an insurance company auditor after the first year a policy is written, annually for policies above $5,000 in premium, or if a claim occurred. For policies under $5,000 with no claims, a physical audit was required every third subsequent year. Now that payroll and tax records are readily available in an electronic format, NJCRIB introduced by Manual Amendment Bulletin #507 the option for virtual audits by an insurance company. In addition, the premium threshold for an annual physical or virtual audit is increased from $5,000 to $10,000 to reflect the increase in wages over time.

Educating insurance agents

N.Y.: New classes that meet the New York State Department of Financial Services’ new CE requirements are available online and in private on-site sessions.

Insuring commercial tenants

Cathy Trischan, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AU, AAI, CRIS, ARM, MLIS, TRIP, will teach a webinar: Things to Consider When Insuring the Commercial Tenant, on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, which will familiarize participants with some of the property and liability coverage issues faced by commercial insureds who rent space. She will discuss the lease, the coverage issues and possible solutions. This course has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. Register for this, and other courses, online today.

Build your credibility and enhance your clients’ trust; classes start in August

When it comes to protecting their insureds, insurance agents should increase their credibility, trust and perception. Agents can strengthen these traits through the Trusted Risk Advisor Certification Program, which provides agents with opportunities to advance their ability to deliver an enterprise risk-management method through logical, disciplined and results-oriented frameworks; to sharpen their growth mindsets; and to consider additional tools and tactics that can improve performance. The TRA certification program—which is provided by PIA and Beyond Insurance—is comprised of four online courses that agents can take starting in August. PIA Northeast members can take these classes at a discounted rate. For more information, download the TRA brochure or watch a short video.


The countdown is on to PIA Annual Conference

There are just 10 more days until the PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY, which will be held June 12-14, in Atlantic City, N.J. It will be two-and-a-half days of in-person networking, continuing-education sessions, and InsurTech demonstrations. You can learn the latest about the issues that are affecting the insurance industry (e.g., cannabis, warming weather, certificate of insurance), examine all the new products and services that are available to assist you and your agency, meet up with colleagues and old friends, and dance the night away at the Nighttime Beach Party with the musical stylings of The GoodMan Fiske Band. Don’t forget to participate and/or support the NJYIP Fun Run, which will benefit Special Olympics New Jersey. So much to do, the time to register is now—at the door prices will be higher.

Register now

June 12-14, 2022: PIA Annual Conference

Tuesday, June 14, 2022: NJYIP Fun Run

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: CTYIP Golf Open

Thursday, July 14, 2022: Save the date: PIWA Summer Reception

Thursday, July 28, 2022: Save the date: NJYIP Summer Reception

Monday, Aug. 1, 2022: NY-YIP Golf Open

Monday, Sept. 12, 2022: Save the date: PIANJ Golf Classic

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