Weekly Dispatch: March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023


Connecticut Convention is happening now

PIA’s Connecticut Convention is happening right now in Hartford. There’s still time to attend this year’s best opportunity to network; to meet PIACTs new leadership for the 2023-24 administrative year; to earn continuing-education credits; to see the latest insurance products at the sold-out trade show; and to win prizes. Register at the door. And don’t forget to see a full write-up of the event on PIA Northeast News & Media and in PIA Magazine—coming soon.

Survey: Professional insurance agents overcome challenges

According to the 2023 NU/PIA Independent Insurance Agents Survey, autonomous insurance agents/agencies are managing to overcome various uncertainties coming their way. Many independent insurance agents are reporting that their business and income has increased despite many challenges. Approximately seven out of 10 survey respondents reported that their earnings had grown in the last year. In fact, 25% of respondents said that clients were increasing their insurance coverage to complement the current marketplace. Factors such as carrier system integration have been a challenge for many agencies. To best serve their clients, agents have had to equip themselves with the ability to deliver products digitally. Like with most things in life, attitude and optimism aid agents in attracting more clients. Having an accurate perspective on what’s needed and how you have managed to get here thus far helps clients feel like they’re in trustworthy hands. To successfully move ahead, agents must have an intelligible understanding of what has come before. For further findings from the survey, see upcoming issues of the Weekly Dispatch.

NOAA says La Niña is finally gone

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the three-year La Niña weather phenomenon has ended. According to Michelle L’Heureux, head of NOAA’s El Niño/La Niña forecast office, the globe is in a “neutral” status, though probably moving toward El Niño in the late summer or fall. La Niña often leads to stronger drought conditions and wildfires in the West and more frequent Atlantic storms. An El Niño phenomenon would bring more rain to the Midwest, which could benefit crops, said Michael Ferrari of Climate Alpha.

Lawmakers discuss FDIC bank deposit insurance standards

Various lawmakers have suggested increasing the federal insurance limit on bank deposits, which would directly assist with aiding a financial crisis caused by sizable and uninsured deposits now gone from smaller/regional banks. Senate Banking Committee member Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said, “This is a question we’ve got to work through. Is it $2 million, is it $5 million? Is it $10 million? Small businesses need to be able to count on getting their money to make payroll, to pay the utility bills.”

New Hampshire disaster declaration granted for winter storm

Gov. Chris Sununu announced last week that President Joe Biden granted his request for a major disaster declaration in response to the storm that severely damaged communities across New Hampshire from Dec. 22-25, 2022. The counties included in the declaration are Belknap, Carroll, Coos and Grafton. PIA Northeast offers resources to help members prepare their clients for winter storms in its Storm Info Central.

N.J.: EPA announces $3M for plan to innovative climate projects across the state

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it will award $3 million for New Jersey to plan innovative strategies to cut climate pollution and build clean energy economies across the state. Earlier this month, the EPA announced the availability of the funds, which represent the first funding going to states, local governments, Tribes, and territories from the Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program created by President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act. New Jersey is among the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that are eligible to receive $3 million each in EPA Climate Pollution Reduction planning grant funds. New Jersey met its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goal years ahead of schedule and has multiple efforts underway to mitigate the impacts of climate change. New Jersey will use these funds to support its ongoing effort to achieve a low-carbon economy and reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

N.Y.: President Biden approves major disaster declaration

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to New York state to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by a severe winter storm and snowstorm Dec. 23-28, 2022. The president’s action makes federal funding in the form of funeral assistance available to affected individuals in Western New York, Finger Lakes, North Country and Long Island; including snow assistance for Erie and Niagara counties. Local and state officials will work together with FEMA to identify those who have incurred funeral related expenses because of this weather event.

N.Y.: Adult-use cannabis dispensary opens in Ithaca

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the first conditional adult-use retail dispensary license in Upstate New York state owned by an entrepreneur previously criminalized by cannabis prohibition opened for sales to the public on March 16, 2023. PIA Northeast offers various resources to help members stay updated on this budding issue.

State unveils report on New York’s gender wage gap

Gov. Hochul last week announced efforts to help working families access child care throughout the state, including launching a new online screening tool for them to check eligibility and re-establishing a statewide task force to develop an implementation plan for universal child care.


Agency termination(s), PIA has resources to help

PIA Northeast has seen an uptick in member calls about agency termination. It’s important for agents to know the rights they wield fully. These rights may vary from state to state, so be sure to double check what applies, depending on the agency’s home state. It’s always smart to have a comprehensive understanding of contracts and laws that may apply. More information can be obtained in the PIA QuickSource library. Additionally, it’s advisable for agents to have an idea of how to face possible terminations and because of the variance between states, the PIA QuickSource library is a good place for members to start. Find out about your state today: Connecticut agency termination–what are your rights?; New Hampshire agency termination–what are your rights?; New Jersey agency termination; and New York agency termination–know your rights. Vermont member agents can access Termination run-off periods in the Ask PIA library.


PIACT members educate legislators on issues important to agents, their clients

PIACT held its Legislative Reception earlier this month at the Connecticut Legislative Office Building. PIACT President Bud O’Neil, CPIA, welcomed the co-chairpersons of the Connecticut Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Kerry Wood, D-29, and Sen. George Cabrera, D-17, as well as several committee members, legislators and staff members. O’Neil was joined by other members of PIACT’s leadership including: President-elect Kyle Dougherty, CIC, and past President Gerard Prast, CPIA. Also in attendance were Connecticut Insurance and Real Estate Committee Vice Chairperson Jill Barry, D-31, and member Tom Delnicki, R-14, plus Jim Carson, communications director for the Connecticut Insurance Department. During the event, PIACT members discussed the association’s legislative priorities for 2023.

N.Y.: Bait and switch, photo inspection bills move to full Assembly vote

Two of PIANY’s top legislative priorities were on the agenda of the New York state Assembly Insurance Committee and both were reported out of committee on Wednesday. The first is a bill (A.3172A) that would make important reforms to the state’s outdated photo inspection law. This bill would allow insurance companies to file a waiver with the New York State Department of Financial Services to allow them to waive photo inspections for all or some of the personal automobiles they insure. The second bill (A.4668) would address the harmful practice of bait-and-switch that may happen when a person buys an auto insurance policy. Both bills now will go on Assembly Calendar, and they will be considered by the entire state Assembly.


Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Call for nominations: National Alliance’s CSR of the Year

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is calling for nominations for its Outstanding CSR of the Year. You can nominate yourself or a worthy colleague to honor customer service representatives and account managers who have made significant contributions to the insurance and risk management industry. To be eligible for the award, nominees need to write a 500-1,000 word essay of the topic of empathy, and have letters of recommendation. All entries must be received by Monday, May 1, 2023. Download a nomination form or an entry form today.

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.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Ruble seminar, webinar or in-person options

Update your dues-paid CIC or CISR designations during PIA’s latest 2023 Ruble Graduate Seminar, which will be held on March 29-30, 2023. Douglas J. Fleming, LUTCF; Bettye Hutchison, CRM, CIC, CPCU, ARM, CPIA, AAI, TRIP; and Mary LaPorte, CIC, CPCU, CPIA, LIC, CPIW, will lead various classes through the two-day event. The classes have been submitted for continuing-education credits. Register today: Connecticut and New York. In New Jersey, this class will be held at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City or online.

Register now

March 23-24, 2023: Connecticut Convention—Register at the door

Monday, April 17, 2023: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance: Luncheon with Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver

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

Thursday, April 27, 2023: Long Island RAPwant to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

Monday, May 1, 2023: NJYIP Golf Open

Thursday, May 18, 2023: Save the date: PIWA Spring Reception

June 4-6, 2023: Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANYwant to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023: NJYIP Fun Run

Tuesday, June 20, 2023: Save the date: CTYIP Springfest Golf Outing

Monday, Aug. 7, 2023: Save the date: NY-YIP Annual Golf Open

Monday, Oct. 2, 2023: Save the date: PIANJ Golf Classic—40th Anniversary

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: Save the date: Capital RAP

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