Weekly Dispatch: June 1, 2023

June 1, 2023


Hurricane season starts today: ‘Near-normal’ hurricane season predicted—is your agency ready?

Forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, predicts near-normal hurricane activity this year—after seven consecutive above-average hurricane seasons. NOAA’s outlook for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season, which extends from June 1 to Nov. 30, predicts a 40% chance of a near-normal season, a 30% chance of an above-normal season and a 30% chance of a below-normal season. For the 2023 hurricane season, NOAA is forecasting a range of 12 to 17 total named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher). Of those, five to nine could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including one to four major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). NOAA has a 70% confidence in these ranges. To keep up with the season, check out PIA’s Hurricane Info Central, which has resources to help your clients and your agency during the hurricane season. If you’d like to send customized materials to your clients, email PIA’s Design & Print.

IIHS auto ratings offer agents a chance to talk to clients

The latest small car, crash-test ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offer insurance agents a good opportunity to talk to their insureds about their insurance limits in their auto insurance coverage. The IIHS’s recent testing found that most small cars don’t provide good protection for rear-seat passengers. None of the five small cars IIHS tested earned a good rating. The Honda Civic sedan and Toyota Corolla sedan are rated acceptable. The Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra and Subaru Crosstrek are rated poor.

This weekend: Annual Conference in Atlantic City

The Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY starts on Sunday. You still can register at the door. Don’t miss out on this multiday event—June 4-6, 2023—which will be packed with energizing experiences, industry guidance and educational sessions. At the Annual Conference, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with industry professionals, expand your knowledge, and gain a competitive edge in the industry. Don’t miss out. For more information, see the website. We hope to see you in Atlantic City!

Connecticut’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase today

Connecticut’s minimum wage increases from the current rate of $14 per hour to $15 per hour beginning today, June 1, 2023. Signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont in May of 2019, Public Act 19-4 requires the minimum wage to increase five times over a five-year period, from the then-rate of $10.10 per hour to: $11 on Oct. 1, 2019; $12 on Sept. 1, 2020; $13 on Aug. 1, 2021; $14 on July 1, 2022; and $15 on June 1, 2023. Ultimately, beginning on Jan. 1, 2024, that same law requires the minimum wage to become indexed to the employment cost index, which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut the rate will grow according to economic indicators.

Conn./N.Y.: Aid for crop damage caused by chilly temperatures

Connecticut Gov. Lamont last week announced that he has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to seek a federal agriculture disaster declaration for all eight counties in Connecticut due to the significant damage to crops in farms across the state caused by sub-freezing temperatures and frost that occurred on May 18, 2023. Additionally, last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Farm Service Agency, has disaster assistance programs available to help agricultural producers recover after damaging weather, including freeze events in New York state.


Pining for positive online reviews? Remember the rules

Customers use reviews to determine which potential purchases are worth it. According to Statista data released in 2021, the majority of online shoppers (some 70%) read between one and six customer reviews before making a purchasing decision. So, it’s safe to say that businessowners are reliant on reviews to fuel their success. To gather reviews consistently you must make it easy for clients to leave them. Whenever you provide service to a client, send the person an email with a customer satisfaction survey and offer an incentive for completing it. Just make sure you don’t run afoul of your state’s rebating/incentive laws—PIA Northeast members can access related resources in the PIA QuickSource library: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. Additionally, if you decide to use client testimonials for your agency’s advertising materials, remember there are rules for that too.


PIA Northeast members went to D.C.

Hundreds of PIA members from across the country descended on the nation’s capital to participate in the 2023 PIA National Advocacy May 9-10. PIA members from Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York visited the offices of their congressional representatives to inform them of the firsthand effects that proposed legislation would have on their businesses and clients. PIA Northeast members discussed issues ranging from flood insurance to Cannabis Safe Harbor for independent agents to state regulation of insurance. They also opposed the FTC’s notice of proposed rulemaking and a congressional proposal prohibiting the use of noncompete provisions and noncompetition agreements between employers and employees. See photos from the event.


Producer licensing requirements—PIA has resources to help

Do you have an employee looking to become licensed? Are you thinking about getting a nonresident license yourself? Do you have questions about continuing education, renewals or requirements? PIA Northeast members in Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York can access PIA’s Licensing Compliance Central for the latest information on licensing. They can find not only every detailed step of how to acquire a license, but also how to renew their license, what continuing education you need and dozens of other state-specific resources, including licensing rules and regulations. In addition to the information found in the links above, PIA members can access documents in the PIA QuickSource library: Multistate and Vermont. Do you have someone in your agency who is in the process of earning his or her insurance license? Remember: PIA Northeast has partnered with A.D. Banker & Co., to offer members prelicensing courses at a 5% discount.

N.J.: CCPAP wage credit revised

The commissioner of Department of Banking and Insurance has approved an amendment to the New Jersey Workers Compensation and Employers Liability Insurance Manual to increase the minimum eligible hourly wage from $32 to $34 to receive a Construction Classification Premium Adjustment Program premium credit. All other hourly wage intervals will be revised accordingly. The changes are effective Jan. 1, 2024, for new and renewal policies.

N.J.: Motor vehicle owners can designate a TOD beneficiary

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission announced that registered owners of a motor vehicle now may designate a transfer on death beneficiary to receive ownership of the vehicle upon the death of the last surviving owner.

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.: Renew your corporate license, deadline approaches

If you have a corporate license in New York state, don’t forget to renew it by the end of June. Are you a few continuing-education credits short? Don’t worry, PIA Northeast has webinar classes that fulfill the requirements. On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, you can attend Implicit and Explicit Bias; Equal Access to Justice, from 9:30-10:30 a.m.—which is approved for the state regulation for diversity, inclusion and the elimination of bias (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC, TIA), CE credits also are available in Connecticut (1 PC) and New Jersey (1 GEN); and New York Insurance Law and Regulations, from 11 a.m.-noon—which is approved for the state regulation for insurance law (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC, TIA), CE credit also is available in New Jersey (1 GEN). On Thursday, June 29, 2023, you can attend Ethics and Professionalism, from 9:30-10:30 a.m.—which is approved for the state regulation for ethics and professionalism (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC, TIA), CE credits also are available in Connecticut (1 LRE) and New Jersey (1 ETH); and Flood Insurance Licensing and Sale through NFIP, from 11 a.m.-noon—which is approved for the state regulation for flood insurance (1 BR, C3, PA, PC), CE credits also are available in Connecticut (1 PC) and New Jersey (1 GEN).


Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Free webinar on cannabis for YIP members

Join Connecticut, New Jersey and New York Young Insurance Professionals and PIA Northeast Government & Industry Affairs Director Bradford Lachut, Esq., for From Bud to Table: The Insurance of Cannabis, on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at 9 a.m. This one-hour course will offer a high-level overview of the insurance-issues related to national changes in cannabis possession and usage laws. There will be a conversation on the trends of legalized cannabis across the country, and what it means for insurance producers that cannabis remains illegal on the federal level. The course also will focus on the impact that legalization has on common commercial- and personal-lines policies, as well as the questions it raises. Could the legalization of cannabis lead to an increase in employment practices liability insurance claims? Is coverage the same for medical and recreational cannabis? Is there a difference in coverage home grown and store bought? Register today: This class has been approved for CE credits in Connecticut (1 PC) and submitted for CE credits in New Jersey and New York. If you are a member of PIA Northeast, you can attend this webinar for $25; nonmembers for $50.

Register now

June 4-6, 2023: Annual Conference hosted by PIANJ and PIANY

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

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

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