Weekly Dispatch: Dec. 8, 2022

December 8, 2022

News

‘Tis the season … for insureds to think about insurance policies

The end of the year can be full of hustle and bustle, that it can be easy for your insureds to forget about the insurance implications that come around this time of year. PIA Northeast has written an article that discusses insurance coverages for gifts, the importance of fire safety and safe driving tips that you can share with your clients. It prompts the readers to contact their professional insurance agents about their insurance coverage needs.

Be a member of the 40+ Club

Two of the most formidable and historical challenges that property/casualty producers face are the attainment of prospects, as well as the retention of clients. Despite the sophistication of agency management technology and the purchase of commercial lead lists that help producers have a pool of prospects to explore, the success of agency growth always boils down to the producer as the hub of the agency wheel. The moniker that is given to producers who sustain long-term success in growing their book of business; being memorable; and offering value to their clients is called the 40+ Club members. Contrarywise, those producers who live a mediocre or failed sales career, are called drive-by producers.

Federal support for Hurricane Ian tops $3.3B

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reported that more than $3.31 billion in federal grants, disaster loans and flood insurance payments has been provided to the state of Florida and to households after Hurricane Ian to help survivors jumpstart their recovery. FEMA has provided $792 million to households and nearly $400 million to the state for emergency response, while the U.S. Small Business Administration has provided $1.2 billion in disaster loans and the National Flood Insurance Program has paid $919 million in claims. 

Survey: Organic growth decelerates for agents, brokers

According to Reagan Consulting’s quarterly Growth & Profitability Survey: In the third quarter of 2022, agents and brokers posted their first decline in organic growth in nearly two years. The Q3 2022 organic growth rate was 9.5%, dropping from its double-digit high-water mark of 10.2% the previous quarter. Despite the decline, the survey states that the industry’s organic growth still is setting a “blistering pace.” In Q3 2022, nearly half (more than 45%) of respondents posted double-digit organic growth. Furthermore, only 1.6% of respondents published negative organic growth results, which is the lowest percent of respondents of any quarter in GPS history.

N.Y.: DFS’s new proposed virtual currency regulation

The New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris announced last week that the DFS has published, for public comment, a proposed regulation to establish how licensed virtual currency businesses would be assessed for costs of their supervision and examination. The proposed regulation effectuates a provision in the New York State FY23 Budget giving DFS new authority to collect supervisory costs from licensed virtual currency businesses, like other licensed financial institutions in the state.

Vermont’s voluntary paid family and medical leave program

Gov. Phil Scott this week announced that Vermont has hired The Hartford to create the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan, a voluntary paid family and medical leave program that will give all working Vermonters access to affordable paid family and medical leave insurance by 2025.

Vt.: COVID-19 grant application portal opens

The Department of Financial Regulation is administering the COVID-19-Related Paid Leave Grant Program, which was established by Act 183 of 2022. The program provides grants to employers to reimburse eligible costs of providing COVID-19-related paid leave to employees. After a few delays, the online application portal opened on Dec. 1, 2022. The application deadline is Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.

Advocacy

Bill introduced to remove agents, brokers from Medicare rule

A bill (S.5149)—introduced by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., on Nov. 30—would amend a definition that would currently result in burdensome requirements for insurance agents and brokers who assist consumers enrolling into Medicare. Sen. Rounds’ bill is supported by a broad coalition including the PIA National.

PIANJ testifies; ‘step-down’ bill passes Assembly Committee

Representatives of PIANJ gave testimony before the New Jersey state Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on Monday in support of legislation (A-1761) that would prohibit the use of most “step-down” provisions in personal automobile insurance policies. Testifying on behalf of PIANJ were Director Casey Yager, CIC, CRM, vice-chair of the PIANJ Legislative & Regulatory Committee, Bradford J. Lachut, Esq, director of Government & Industry Affairs, and Carol Katz of Katz Government Affairs; PIANJ’s legislative liaison. The group explained step downs and how they worked as well as answered questions from the committee members. Following PIANJ’s testimony, A-1761 was unanimously passed by the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

Technical

HUD increases flood insurance options for homeowners with FHA mortgages living in special flood areas

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, through the Federal Housing Administration, announced that effective Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2022, it will allow homeowners with FHA-insured mortgage financing to obtain flood insurance policies that conform to FHA requirements from private insurance providers. The change was announced through a final rule published in the Federal Register last week and in a companion Mortgagee Letter that provides implementation guidance for FHA-approved lenders.

N.J.: November ACORD forms update

In the latest ACORD forms update, New Jersey forms 61 NJ New Jersey Auto Supplement: New Jersey Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide and 66 NJ New Jersey Auto Supplement: New Jersey Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide Commercial PPA Edition are revised with an effective date of Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. These revisions reflect the P.L.2022, c.87 Act that was signed into law. The act amended the existing law to increase the minimum limits of liability, uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist insurance coverage.

NYCIRB eliminates class codes with low credibility

The New York State Department of Financial Services has approved amendments to the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board’s New York Workers’ Compensation and Employers’ Liability Manual and New York Retrospective Rating Plan effective on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. The following eight classification codes are eliminated and combined with the corresponding related codes: 2670 to 2688; 2689 to 2688; 2913 to 2883; 3381 to 3383; 3384 to 3383; 3385 to 3383; 4298 to 4251; and 4597 to 4557.

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.

Need ethics CE?

Stephen P. Tague, CPIA, has developed a hands-on approach to actual ethics concepts that an agency producer—salesperson, customer service representative, accounting person, or agency owner—can use to develop and maintain a superior level of ethics and best business practices in their respective and combined professions. During the webinar On the Right Path to Producer Ethics Development, which will be held Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, he will provide more than a laundry list of generic ethics concepts, exhaustive reviews of policy forms, and examples of mistakes. This class has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (3 LRE), New Hampshire (3 Ethics PROD), New Jersey (3 ETH), and New York (3 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC). It is not applicable for CE credit in Vermont.

Tri-state YIP offers members access to free webinars

Join CTYIP, NJYIP, NY-YIP and PIA Northeast Government Affairs Counsel Clare Irvine, Esq., for two webinars: E&S for Retail Brokers Refresh, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 9-10 a.m.; and Commercial Lines Cancellations Refresh, on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 9-10 a.m. In E&S for Retail Brokers Refresh, this one-hour course will provide a refresh on laws and other requirements retail brokers should know when placing a policy in the excess-and-surplus-lines market. It has been approved for continuing-education credit: NYCE: 1 BR, C3, PA, PC; NJCE: 1 GEN; CTCE: 1 PC. In Commercial Lines Cancellations Refresh, this one-hour course will review policyholder protections for commercial-lines policies, including general business operations policies, commercial automobile policies, and workers’ compensation policies. This course also has been approved for CE credit: NYCE: 1 BR, C3, PA, PC; NJCE: 1 GEN; CTCE: 1 PC. These courses are free to YIP members, $25 for PIA Northeast members, and $50 for nonmembers. Register today: Connecticut, New Jersey or New York.

Register now

Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023: CTYIP Holiday Social

March 23-24, 2023: Save the date: Connecticut Convention

Wednesday, April 19, 2023: Save the date: NY-YIP/PIA Pre Buffalo I-Day Event

April 27, 2023: Save the date: Long Island RAP

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