Survey: Insurance agents face and overcome challenges
More than half of respondents to the NU/PIA 2023 Independent Insurance Agent Survey said their ability to deliver insurance products digitally is extremely or very important to their success. This is up from 48.5% in the 2022 Agent Survey. Among the many insights that this research revealed: Technology challenges persist, and many of them will not be surprising to industry insiders. More than 46% of respondents said that keeping adequate records across multiple communication channels, and 45.2% cited lack of integration between website and agency management systems as challenges. Meanwhile, digital security is top of mind for today’s insurance businesses. More than 62% of respondents reported that data security and compliance are chief concerns for their clients. Generally, professional independent insurance agents said they did very well in 2022 and are optimistic about their prospects for 2023, according to survey. At the same time, agents are aware of their ongoing challenges, as well as their strengths. Among the biggest coverage concerns: Flood risk. Seven-out-of-10 respondents said this is the biggest gap in their clients’ insurance programs.
U.S. property/casualty insurers hit hard in 2022
Key financial results for private U.S. p/c insurers significantly worsened in 2022 from a year earlier, according to preliminary results from Verisk, a leading global data analytics provider, and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association. The industry experienced a $26.9 billion net underwriting loss in 2022, more than six times the $3.8 billion underwriting loss in 2021. The underwriting loss was the largest the industry has seen since 2011.
Triple-I: Insurers remain resilient despite economic challenges
According to the Insurance Information Institute’s recent economic outlook report, slow underlying growth and inflation are among the biggest challenges facing U.S. auto, home, and business insurers. Key takeaways from the report are: property/casualty insurance, a category which includes U.S. carriers that underwrite auto, home, and business coverage, saw its cyclical underlying growth rebound fail to materialize in 2022’s second half as interest rate tightening depressed housing starts, corporate spending, and vehicle expenditures; p/c replacement costs (e.g., vehicle parts, housing construction materials) increases have slowed down over 2022’s last two quarters, however they are up 40% since 2019; and the U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth is likely to remain depressed for at least the next two quarters after the U.S. Federal Reserve shifted away from its hawkish stand on interest rates; the Fed’s three-year Consumer Price Index expectations remain overly optimistic.
N.J.: Governor signs Elections Transparency Act
Earlier this week, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law S-2866/A-4372, which establishes the Elections Transparency Act. This new law requires independent expenditure committees to report campaign contributions of more than $7,500 and all expenditures; requires candidates and various committees to report campaign contributions of more than $200; increases campaign contribution limits; and makes various changes to campaign contribution reports, and other requirements.
N.Y.: City of Buffalo sues Kia and Hyundai
The City of Buffalo announced last week that it has filed a lawsuit against the car manufacturers, Kia America Inc., and Hyundai Motor America, over defects in both manufactures’ vehicles that led to an increase in auto thefts. The Buffalo Police Department reported a 2,000% increase in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles in January of 2023 compared to January of 2022. This dramatic increase in thefts is due, in part, to two separate but related issues: 1. lack of a key safety feature called an engine immobilizer made by the two manufacturers with the same parent company; and 2. A TikTok challenge.
N.Y.: Adult-use cannabis dispensary opens in Queens
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the state’s first woman-owned Conditional Adult-Use Retail Dispensary license owned by an entrepreneur previously criminalized by cannabis prohibition opened last week in Queens. PIA Northeast offers various resources to help members stay updated on this budding issue.
Vt.: Legislators consider a mandatory paid family leave bill
The Vermont House of Representatives is considering a mandatory paid family leave bill. Gov. Phil Scott recently issued a statement to indicate that while he “supports universal access to paid family and medical leave,” he opposes any measure that would make the program mandatory. Instead he supports the Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan, which he announced late last year.
Reminder: New York state’s cyber security certification of compliance filings due by April 15
Those individuals who hold a New York state insurance license (covered entities), including nonresident licensees, have until Saturday, April 15, 2023, to certify their compliance with the requirements of New York state’s cyber security regulation (23 NYCRR 500) for calendar-year 2022. The filing is required for all those not covered by another covered entity’s information system. This certification, which is required annually, must be filed via the New York State Department of Financial Services’ web portal between Jan. 1, 2023, and April 15, 2023. Join PIA Northeast Government & Industry Affairs Director Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., as he discusses New York’s Cyber Certification of Compliance 2023 in the latest “The Break” video from PIA Northeast.
PIA to FTC: Independent agencies need noncompetes
Earlier this year, the Federal Trade Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that would ban the use of noncompete provisions and noncompete agreements between employers and workers. PIA National provided comments during the 60-day comment period. According to PIA, independent agency owners are among millions of insurance-related businesses that rely on noncompete provisions and agreements to protect their livelihoods. For that reason, and featuring extensive, direct feedback from PIA members, the association submitted comments to the FTC to request that it withdraw its proposal in favor of a more appropriately tailored proposal that would address any alleged corporate overuse of such documents.
N.J.: Electronic proof of vehicle registration implemented
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced that it is implementing P.L.2021, c.258—signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in November 2021—to offer an electronic proof of vehicle registration that can be used or displayed by New Jersey motorists. A separate provision of the law also enables the direct renewal of leased vehicle registrations in New Jersey.
Educating insurance agents
Need to comply with New York state’s sexual harassment prevention training?
For those who need to comply with New York state’s sexual harassment prevention training, PIA Northeast offers a seminar that fulfills with the state’s mandatory training. The next webinar session, taught by PIA Northeast’s Director of Government & Industry Affairs Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., will be held Friday, April 21, 2023, from 10-11 a.m. Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the webinar. Register today. The training must be completed once a year.
PIANJ’s Women’s Leadership Alliance presents an afternoon with Lt. Gov. Oliver
Join the Women’s Leadership Alliance for a networking luncheon to meet with New Jersey’s Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver on Monday, April 27, 2023, at The Madison Hotel, Morristown, N.J. The registration and networking luncheon start at 1 p.m. Inspired as a young girl to be a fighter for the voiceless, Oliver has pioneered a successful career in public service advocating for social justice, women’s equality, and education. Serving her second term as the lieutenant governor, she also serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs and has helped with many initiatives, many that focus on women’s empowerment. Register today.
N.Y.: Hear from two-time Super Bowl champ Carl Banks at Long Island RAP
Two-time Super Bowl champ Carl Banks, linebacker for the New York Giants, will speak at PIANY’s Long Island RAP, Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Crest Hollow Country Club, in Woodbury, N.Y. Banks will discuss his experiences during and after football and the lessons they taught him. At Long Island RAP, you’ll also have access to industry experts and a recognized speaker who will share their knowledge and insights. Register for Long Island RAP today—time is running out to save 15%. Sponsorship, exhibitor and advertising opportunities are available.
Monday, April 17, 2023: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance: Luncheon with Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver
Wednesday, April 19, 2023: NY-YIP/PIA Pre Buffalo I-Day Event
Wednesday, April 26, 2023: NY-YIP Pre-LI RAP Happy Hour
Monday, May 1, 2023: NJYIP Golf Open
Thursday, May 18, 2023: Save the date: PIWA Spring Reception
Tuesday, June 6, 2023: NJYIP Fun Run
Tuesday, June 20, 2023: CTYIP 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