Premiums on the rise: What to do about it
After decades of low inflation, the dams burst last year—and the United States experienced the highest inflation since the Carter Administration. To combat this historic inflation, the U.S. Federal Reserve increased interest rates from near zero in early 2022 to over 4% by year end. The combination of inflation and increasing interest rates have caused a shift in the insurance marketplace. The soft market that had existed for a decade appears to be over—at least temporarily. In its place are the telltale signs of a hard market: reduction in capacity and increasing premiums. Right now, it’s vital to get ahead of your clients’ questions.
Driving without insurance
As the insurance market continues to harden, you might get some interesting hypothetical phone calls from your clients who may be looking for ways cut their insurance expenses. You should remind them that most states require drivers to have insurance and the price for being without it can be costly. In Connecticut, the fine for a first-time offense of driving without insurance is $100 with an additional penalty of possibly having the driver’s license and registration suspended for six months; and possible jail time of up to five years. While in New Hampshire motorists are not required to have insurance, however, they are required to show that they are able to provide sufficient funds in the case of an at-fault accident, and they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. In New Jersey, there’s a $300 fine; and a driver’s license may be suspended for up to one year. In New York, there’s a $150 fine; a driver’s license and registration may be suspended until proof of insurance is provided; and the driver could face possible jail time of up to 15 days. And in Vermont, there’s a $250 fine; and a driver’s license may be suspended until proof of insurance is provided.
NTIA seeks public input to boost AI accountability
The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration launched a request for comment to advance its efforts to ensure artificial intelligence systems work as claimed—and without causing harm. The insights gathered through this RFC will inform the Biden Administration’s ongoing work to ensure a cohesive and comprehensive federal government approach to AI-related risks and opportunities. While people already are realizing the benefits of AI, there are a growing number of incidents in which AI and algorithmic systems have led to harmful outcomes. There also is growing concern about potential risks to individuals and society that may not yet have manifested, but which could result from increasingly powerful systems. Companies have a responsibility to make sure their AI products are safe before making them available. Businesses and consumers using AI technologies and individuals whose lives and livelihoods are affected by these systems have a right to know that they have been adequately vetted and risks have been appropriately mitigated.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distractive driving comes in all forms: using a cell phone to call or text, fiddling with your music, setting the navigation system, drinking or eating—the list goes on and on. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Educate your clients on the importance of limiting their distractions while driving by sending them the following state-specific information on distracted driving and cell-phone use: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York. If you are interested in personalizing the information—or if you have another education campaign you’d like to create to inform your clients—you can contact PIA Design and Print at (800) 424-4244, ext. 231 or email@example.com.
N.J.: Fitch Ratings, Moody’s upgrade state’s fiscal rating
For the second time in less than a week, Gov. Phil Murphy announced that a major credit ratings agency has recognized New Jersey’s strengthened fiscal position. Fitch Ratings raised the state’s issuer rating to “A+” from “A.” The announcement from Fitch comes just days after Moody’s upgraded the state’s rating to “A1” from “A2.” This is the second upgrade from Fitch in just the past seven months and the state’s fifth upgrade from all agencies in just over a year.
N.Y.: Many excess-line transactions were needlessly suspended in 2022
The Excess Line Association of New York was forced to suspend 5,045 transactions out of 282,229 policies submitted in 2022—Bulletin No. 2023-12 explains why. Sixty percent of the total suspensions (3,191) were due to binder or policy declarations page defects. Twenty percent of the total suspensions (1,013) were caused by missing documents, such as a necessary Part C affidavit or a signed Part C, missing notice of excess-line placement, invalid license numbers and information missing from affidavits. Additionally, 447 transactions submitted as renewals were suspended because there was no record of the prior year’s policy having been filed. Lastly, 193 suspensions were caused by impermissible groups or master policies, ineligible carriers, illegal coverage or coverage not permitted in the excess-line market. Most of the errors result from a lack of training, or failure in attention to detail. Brokers pay the price since additional costs are imposed and errors result in avoidable delays. For more on what’s happening in the E&S marketplace, see the upcoming May issue of PIA Magazine. For additional resources, PIA members can access ELANY Affidavit Part C–affidavit by producing broker and The wholesale option in the PIA QuickSource library.
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.
N.Y.: Long Island RAP offers the chance to earn CE
Want to expand your professional knowledge and gain valuable insights into the insurance industry? Be a part of PIANY’s Long Island RAP, Thursday, April 27, 2023,at the Crest Hollow Country Club, in Woodbury, N.Y. The daylong event will offer access to two education sessions taught by thought leader John Fear, CPIA, CISR. Fear will teach Technology–Impacting You and Your Clients, which will help you learn how technology is changing the way insurance professionals do business. He also will instruct Errors & Omissions–Avoiding Coverage Gaps, which will help you learn how to avoid common mistakes that can result in coverage gaps. This session is a must-attend for anyone who wants to ensure that their clients are protected fully. Don’t miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge and gain valuable insights into the insurance industry. Register for Long Island RAP today—and save 15%. Sponsorship, exhibitor and advertising opportunities are available.
PIANY supports Buffalo I-Day
Meet PIANY next week at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for Buffalo I-Day 2023, Thursday, April 20, 2023. PIA is proud to be a Gold Host and the association will be exhibiting at the event. Stop by Booth 104/112 to say hello. And, if you’re in town the night before, join the NY-YIP/PIA Pre Buffalo I-Day Event, Wednesday, April 19, 2023, at Patrick’s Rooftop.
N.Y.: Tell us your thoughts on the insurance industry
The Regional Advisory Councils are virtual meetings of industry professionals—during which you can voice concerns, ask questions, and share ideas and feelings and have them heard not only by your attending colleagues but by PIANY’s committees, leadership and staff members. The next series of meetings will be held across the state April 18, April 21 and April 25. Open to all New York agents and brokers at no cost, PIANY’s Regional Advisory Councils offer participants a one-hour forum to discuss what’s on your mind. Register today.
New York state’s cyber security certification of compliance filings due next week
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 offers education: PIA Northeast will host a webinar New York Cybersecurity Compliance and Best Practices, on Tuesday, April 25, 2023. It has been approved for continuing-education credits in New York (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC).
April 18, 21, 25, 2023: New York Regional Advisory Councils
Wednesday, April 19, 2023: NY-YIP/PIA Pre Buffalo I-Day Event
Wednesday, April 26, 2023: NY-YIP Pre-LI RAP Happy Hour
Thursday, April 27, 2023: Long Island RAP—Register now and save 15% Want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?
Monday, May 1, 2023: NJYIP Golf Open
Thursday, May 18, 2023: PIWA Spring Reception
June 4-6, 2023: Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY—Register now and save 20%. Want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?
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