Hyundai and Kia settle class-action lawsuits
Hyundai and Kia settled class-action lawsuits that will provide customers—who bought a Hyundai or a Kia that does not have a push-button ignition or immobilizing anti-theft device—with compensation for theft-related losses not covered by insurance. The settlement also will provide reimbursements for insurance deductibles and increases in insurance premiums. The recent increase in thefts of these particular cars have raised many insurance-related questions, such as: Can carriers blacklist vehicles because of TikTok?
IIHS, Consumer Reports: Teen vehicle recommendations
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports have issued their annual report on safe, practical cars for teenage drivers. Included on this year’s list is 46 used vehicles and 16 new ones. Topping off the best pick for used/small cars is the Mazda 3 (sedan or hatchback), used/mid-sized cars is the Subaru Legacy, and used/large cars is the Toyota Avalon. Topping off the best pick for new/small cars is the Mazda 3 (sedan or hatchback), and new/mid-sized cars Subaru Legacy.
NHID commissioner to step down
Gov. Chris Sununu announced that New Hampshire Insurance Department Commissioner Christopher Nicolopoulos will not seek reappointment upon the conclusion of his term. In a statement, the governor said: “I thank Commissioner Nicolopoulos for his service to the State of New Hampshire and the Department of Insurance. Commissioner Nicolopoulos played a critical role in standing up New Hampshire’s first-of-its-kind voluntary Paid Family and Medical Leave Program, and has worked diligently to ensure the best premiums possible for policyholders.” Nicolopoulos’ resignation will take effect Tuesday, July 4, 2023. A search for a new insurance commissioner is ongoing.
N.J.: Court puts a hold on insurance mandate to carry firearms
The United States District Court for The District of New Jersey issued a decision on May 16, 2023, that will—at least temporarily—suspend enforcement of an insurance requirement for those applying for a firearm-carry permit for in the state. What this means for agents: Those who are applying for a carry permit or wish to carry a handgun in public will no longer be required to purchase or show proof of liability insurance. For insurance producers getting questions on this requirement, they can tell their clients that while insurance is always a sound idea it is no longer mandatory. While the state could—and likely will file to appeal this decision—it is unlikely that the insurance mandate will be resurrected prior to July 1, 2023. More than likely this decision will force the New Jersey Legislature to revisit the issue and create a new regulatory framework for the open carry of firearms.
DOBI commissioner nominated to be Superior Court judge
While it has not been announced officially by Gov. Phil Murphy, current Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride has been nominated to serve as a Superior Court judge. Her nomination was listed on the New Jersey Legislature’s website.
N.Y.: Unemployment rate down in April 2023
According to preliminary seasonally adjusted figures released last week by the New York State Department of Labor, the number of private sector jobs in New York state decreased over the month by 25,700 (or 0.3%), to 8,225,700 in April 2023. The number of private sector jobs in the U.S. increased by 0.2% in April 2023. New York state’s private sector jobs (not seasonally adjusted) increased by 190,000 (or 2.4%), over the year in April 2023, which was lower than the 2.6% increase in the number of private sector jobs in the U.S.
PIA-supported FIO repeal bill introduced in U.S. Senate
On May 18, a bill to abolish the Federal Insurance Office of the Department of the Treasury (S.1694) was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. The bill would protect the successful state insurance regulatory system by repealing the FIO—an unnecessary federal bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. State insurance departments and Legislatures are the proper place for the regulation of insurance, and the state insurance regulatory system has served both consumers and the insurance industry well for over 100 years. PIA supports our thriving, state-based insurance regulatory system and opposes federal statutory and regulatory action that encroach on and thus threaten it. The existence of the FIO is an unnecessary threat to the state insurance regulatory system, and the survival of that system depends on the repeal of the FIO.
Main Street Tax Certainty Act reintroduced in U.S. Senate
On May 18, the “Main Street Tax Certainty Act of 2023,” was reintroduced in the U.S. Senate. If passed, the bill would make permanent the current 20% tax deduction available to some passthrough entities. PIA strongly supports this legislation and joined a coalition of business groups in a letter of support for the bill. PIA advocated for the 2017 tax law (Public Law No. 115-97) to apply to insurance agents because of its more favorable tax treatment of subchapter S corporations, also known as “passthrough” corporations. The law added Section 199A to the tax code, which established a tax deduction for some owners of small businesses, reducing the potential tax burden on insurance agencies that organize as passthroughs. Many PIA member agencies are independent insurance businesses organized as S corporations and benefit from the Section 199A deduction.
N.Y.: PIA-priority ‘bait and switch’ bill reported out of state Senate Insurance Committee
The colloquial term “bait and switch” describes when an insurance company verifies an insurance applicant’s driving history after the applicant has paid the premium on a personal auto policy. Legislation that would ban this harmful practice passed the state Senate Insurance Committee this week. The bill, S.5764A, would require that insurance companies verify drivers’ history before binding a personal automobile insurance policy. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin, D-44, who serves as chair of the state Senate Insurance Committee.
N.J./N.Y.: Party (network) like a rock star at Annual Conference
Don’t miss out on all the chances to network and get to know your fellow insurance professionals at PIA Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY, June 4-6, 2023, in Atlantic City! There will be a Network Cocktail Reception, YIP Nitecap, sold-out trade show, Wine and Cheese Receptions, Rockin’ the Laughs Networking Lunch featuring America’s funniest motivator, Ross Shafer, Nighttime Beach Party featuring The Goodman Fiske Band; and the 39th Annual NJYIP Fun Run to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey. It’s all happening in less than two weeks, register today!
Tuesday, June 6, 2023: NJYIP Fun Run
Tuesday, June 20, 2023: CTYIP Golf Outing
Thursday, June 29, 2023: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance Pickleball Tournament
Monday, Oct. 2, 2023: PIANJ Golf Classic—40th Anniversary
Save the date
Monday, Aug. 7, 2023: NY-YIP Annual Golf Open
Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023: CTYIP Awards Gala
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: Capital RAP