Weekly Dispatch: May 11, 2023

May 11, 2023


Time to re-examine rental reimbursement coverage limits

For years, professional insurance agents have been writing personal auto policies that afford 30 days of rental reimbursement coverage at various daily limits. And for years, this was enough coverage. Then, the COVID pandemic affected supply chains, and getting parts began to take four to six weeks. And, while some supply-chains have recovered, this continues to be an issue for others. Additionally, so many small businesses are understaffed, so that even if they have the parts, it can be difficult to get the work done with any expediency. The result is, the rental reimbursement coverage that we are selling is not sufficient to get our customers through the entire repair process—meaning that for many, they must pay out-of-pocket for some of their rental expense. Until the supply chain and employment issues disappear, agents need to recognize that there is a need for better coverage.

Report: New employees more prone to workplace accidents

The Travelers Companies Inc.’s 2023 Injury Impact Report examined more than 1.2 million workers’ compensation claims from 2016 to 2020. The findings show that an employee’s time spent in a particular role and their age were driving factors in injury frequency and cost of claims, respectively. Employees in their first year on a job, regardless of their age or industry experience, represented more than one-third (34%) of all claims and accounted for nearly 7 million missed workdays due to injury. Though they were injured less often than most other age groups, employees ages 60 and older had higher average costs per claim, totaling nearly 15% more than employees between the ages of 35 and 49 and approximately 140% more than those ages 18 to 24.

N.Y. announces new hurricane evacuation study to improve efforts during tropical storms

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a new Hurricane Evacuation Study that will improve public safety planning efforts for the New York City, Long Island, and lower-Mid-Hudson regions prone to impacts from catastrophic tropical storms. The study will be conducted by the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Hurricane Center, and local emergency management agencies, in New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties on Long Island, and Westchester County. The state’s updated HES will be used to improve planning for the response to a catastrophic tropical storm, including potential hazards associated with tropical storms such as flooding, tornadoes, etc., sheltering resources and transportation issues, as well as other demographic and socioeconomic factors. This is the first statewide Hurricane Evacuation Study to be conducted since 2009.


Multi-state licensing exposures

Recently, PIA Northeast has fielded several members calls about whether a producer needs to be licensed in every state where one of his or her commercial clients has a location. For example: A New Jersey producer writes a policy for a New Jersey-based manufacturer, which has a fleet car located in Idaho. In this scenario, the New Jersey producer does not have an Idaho nonresident license—and due to the minimal and incidental contact with the state—does not wish to obtain such a license. Luckily for producers, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners addressed this problem within the Producer Licensing Model Act by drafting language that, if adopted by the individual states, allows a producer duly licensed in the risk’s principal place of business to cover the incidental risk without having to obtain a nonresident license in the foreign state. This language, or a version of it, was adopted by most states—except for California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Washington. For more information, PIA members can access Multistate licensing exposures in the PIA QuickSource library.

New York announces minimum wage to increase

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that the FY 2024 Budget agreement includes a plan to increase the state’s minimum wage for three years and then tying future increases to inflation. On Jan. 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $16 in New York City and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester, and to $15 in all other parts of the state. In 2025 and 2026, the minimum wage will increase by an additional $0.50 in each year, after which the state’s minimum wage would increase at a rate determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the Northeast Region—the best regional measure of inflation.


N.Y.: AG proposes regulations on cryptocurrency industry

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced proposed legislation to tighten regulations on the cryptocurrency industry to protect investors, consumers, and the broader economy. The multi-billion-dollar industry lacks robust regulations, making it prone to dramatic market fluctuations, and has been used to hide and facilitate criminal conduct and fraud. Attorney General James’ program bill, which proposes the strongest and most comprehensive set of regulations on cryptocurrency in the nation, would increase transparency, eliminate conflicts of interest, and impose commonsense measures to protect investors, consistent with regulations imposed on other financial services.


AM Best downgrades Kingstone’s FSR to ‘B-’

AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating of Kingstone Insurance Co. (Kingston, N.Y.) to “B-” (Fair) from “B” (Fair) and the long-term issuer credit rating to “bb-” (Fair) from “bb” (Fair). The outlook of these credit ratings is negative. PIA members can access a sample letter to notify their clients on the downgrading of an insurance carrier in the PIA QuickSource library.

April ACORD forms update

In the latest ACORD forms update, changes were made to four forms due to the passage of 2023 New York S.833, which concerns supplemental spousal liability insurance. New York state law requires an insurer issuing or delivering a policy that satisfies the requirements of New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Article 6 to provide supplemental spousal liability insurance in such a policy—unless the named insured elects, in writing, to decline and refuse such insurance in the insured’s policy. The declination form, previously released, is ACORD 65 NY (2023/08). The newly revised forms effective Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, are: ACORD 65 NY (2023/08) New York Auto Supplement–Spousal Liability Coverage; ACORD 90 NY (2023/08) New York Personal Auto Application; ACORD 137 NY (2023/08) New York Commercial Auto Coverages/Limits Section; and ACORD 290 NY (2023/08) New York Personal Auto Application Section.

Conn.: WC Second Injury Fund assessment remains stable

In the May 2023 Treasurer’s Letter, State Treasurer Erick Russell announced that the Second Injury Fund assessment rate will remain at 2.25% for Fiscal Year 2024, which begins on Saturday, July 1, 2023. The assessment rate for self-insured employers remains at 2.75%.

NYCIRB proposes a 2.6% WC loss cost reduction

The Board of Governors of the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board voted to file for a decrease of 2.6% in the overall loss cost level in New York state, effective Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. The NYCIRB will make this filing with the New York State Department of Financial Services on Monday, May 15, 2023, which must be approved by the DFS. On that date, the filing will be posted on the NYCIRB’s website.

N.Y. DOL announces enhanced WARN Portal

The New York State Department of Labor announced that its new Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Portal is available for employers to use to file layoff notices. When layoffs cannot be prevented, this online tool uses the latest technology to provide a more streamlined user experience. It also gives NYSDOL the ability to assist laid off employees faster, connecting them to support services and resources, including new employment and training opportunities.


Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Help a local charity receive $2,500

Want to make a difference to a local charity in your community? PIA is working with the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation to let agencies know that the IICF is offering 10 grants—worth $2,500 each—to worthy charities in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. In order for the charity to receive one of the grants, it must be sponsored by an insurance entity—at no cost to you. Ask the charity you are sponsoring to complete an application. Applications are due Thursday, May 18, 2023.

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.

PIA members: Simplify your financial infrastructure

A PIA-member benefit PIA Ascend program offers insurance agents a way to simplify and modernize their financial infrastructure. It provides an all-in-one online solution to financing, collections, and payables. To learn more about this program, register for an informational webinar on Thursday, May 18, 2023, starting at 2 p.m.


Connecticut Convention: Mock cyberattacks, networking, CE

PIACT held its annual Connecticut Convention at the end of March—returning to the Hartford Marriott Downtown. The event featured hundreds of agents, company representatives, exhibitors, and more industry professionals from Connecticut. Excitingly, the Connecticut Convention attracted industry professionals from out of state—insurance professionals and company representatives based out of Georgia and Illinois were in attendance. Those who attended the two-day event visited the sold-out trade show, informational seminars, and various networking events. More information and photos of the event can be found here.

Super Bowl Champ Carl Banks speaks at PIANY’s Long Island RAP, plus networking and CE

The nearly 300 insurance professionals who attended PIANY’s Long Island RAP on April 27, 2023, at the Crest Hollow Country Club, in Woodbury, N.Y., were able to network, learn and discuss the issues affecting the insurance industry, and earn continuing-education credits on technology, and errors and omissions. During the event—which corresponded with NFL Draft Day—keynote speaker two-time Super Bowl champ Carl Banks, former linebacker for the New York Giants, discussed the value of ongoing efforts to motivate and strengthen employees.

N.J./N.Y.: Counting down to Annual Conference: Motivator Ross Shafer to speak Monday afternoon

The Annual Conference hosted by PIA of New Jersey and New York from June 4-6, 2023, in Atlantic City, N.J., will feature America’s funniest motivator, Ross Shafer, at the Networking Lunch on Monday afternoon. During the event, Shafer will deliver power chords that ignite and inspire front-line staff members, as well as senior executives, as he discusses leading through change, reinvention, and resilience. Annual Conference also includes the trade show, Networking Cocktail Reception, YIP Nitecap, and the Ultimate Experience Nighttime Beach Party, featuring the Goodman Fiske Band. You’ll have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals, expand your knowledge, and gain a competitive edge in the industry. Register before Friday, May 12, 2023, and save 20%.

Register now

Thursday, May 18, 2023: PIWA Spring Reception

June 4-6, 2023: Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY—Register by May 12 and save 20%. Want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

Tuesday, June 6, 2023: NJYIP Fun Run

Tuesday, June 13, 2013: YIP Webinar: From Bud to Table: The Insurance of Cannabis Conn. | N.J. | N.Y.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023: CTYIP Golf Outing

Save the date

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

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

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: Capital RAP

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