Weekly Dispatch: July 13, 2023

July 13, 2023

The Weekly Dispatch is going on vacation. There will not be a Weekly Dispatch distributed on July 20, 2023. The publication will resume Thursday, July 27, 2023. Keep up with what is happening with PIA Northeast on social media: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.


CSU now predicts ‘above-average’ 2023 hurricane season

Colorado State University hurricane researchers have increased their forecast and are predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2023—due to record warm sea surface temperatures in most of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic. The CSU team now predicts 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes—those with a Saffir/Simpson category of 3-5 and sustained winds of 111 miles per hour or greater. The updated forecast is an increase from the 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes they predicted on June 1. The forecast includes an unnamed subtropical storm in January and Tropical Storms Arlene, Bret and Cindy in June. Long-term seasonal averages are 14 named storms, 7 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes. 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.

FIO climate report: NAIC, state insurance departments must address climate risk

A report issued by the Federal Insurance Office has concluded that state insurance regulators should more aggressively address climate-related risks. The report finds that climate-related risks pose new and increasingly important challenges to the insurance industry and suggests that state insurance regulators intensify their oversight efforts regarding climate-related risks. The report also recommends that financial regulators, policymakers, and carriers increase their monitoring of climate-related risks. The FIO report commends “initial efforts” by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and state insurance regulators to incorporate climate-related risks into state insurance regulation, but it describes said efforts as “fragmented” and “limited.”

PIACT legislative success: Nonadmitted market process signed into law, changes effective in October

The top legislative priority for PIACT—during the 2023 legislative session—was the passage of legislation that would make small, but critical changes to the process for placing insurance policies in the nonadmitted marketplace. That legislation was signed into law by Gov. Ned Lamont at the end of June. PIACT has advocated for surplus-lines reforms in the state for years. Your association has been working on this issue for several sessions, and the legislation has evolved over time. Under current law, insurance producers are required to make a “diligent effort” before placing business in the nonadmitted marketplace. This diligent effort includes submitting signed statements to demonstrate the producer’s attempts to find coverage in the admitted marketplace without success. These statements must be filed with the CID. Now that the governor has signed the law, the process will change. Under the new law, insurance producers still would be required to make a diligent effort to place business in the admitted market, but the requirement to prepare a signed statement and submit it to the CID has been removed. Instead, insurance producers would be required to keep on file documentation concerning the diligent effort made to procure the insurance and information concerning each policy placed in the surplus-lines market. The new law will go into effect on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.

Conn.: State receives federal agriculture disaster declaration due to sub-freezing weather

Recently, Gov. Lamont announced that he has received notification from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to inform him that his request has been approved for Connecticut to receive a federal agricultural disaster declaration due to the impact of the abnormal, sub-freezing weather event that occurred in the early morning hours of May 18, 2023. This declaration means that farmers in all eight of Connecticut’s counties can apply for disaster assistance from the Farm Service Agency, such as emergency loans, to cover production losses they experienced because of the unusually cold temperatures that spring morning, provided that certain eligibility requirements are met.

N.J.: New law requires provision of critical flood risk information for homeowners, renters

Earlier this month, Gov. Phil Murphy signed bill S-3110/A-4783, which requires sellers of property and landlords to make certain notifications regarding flooding. Under the law sponsored by Sen. Bob Smith, D-17, and Assemblyman John McKeon, D-27, sellers of real property and landlords must disclose knowledge of a property’s history of flooding, flood risk, and location in a flood zone or area. Additionally, the law requires landlords to notify tenants of the availability of insurance for renters through the National Flood Insurance Program.

N.J.: Caride departs DOBI, Zimmerman acting commissioner

Gov. Murphy announced that Marlene Caride, commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance, will depart the Murphy Administration to join the Judiciary as a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court. Caride was nominated by the governor on June 1, 2023, to serve in Hudson County (Vicinage 6) and confirmed on June 26, 2023. Department Chief of Staff Justin Zimmerman became acting commissioner on June 27, 2023. Commissioner Caride joined Gov. Murphy’s Cabinet on his first day in office on Jan. 16, 2018, following six years of service in the New Jersey General Assembly representing Bergen and Passaic counties.

Emergency declaration issued for Vermont

President Joe Biden declared that an emergency exists in Vermont, and he ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the areas affected by flooding beginning on July 9, 2023, and continuing. The president’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts, which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures. PIA’s Flood Insurance Tool Kit offers many resources to help agents assist their clients who have been affected by the flooding.

In memoriam: Longtime PIANY Director Robert Shapiro

PIANY is sad to report the passing of longtime PIANY Director Robert Shapiro of Port Washington, N.Y. Shapiro was president of Global Facilities Inc. in Lynbrook, N.Y. Active in PIANY, Shapiro was a member several committees including the Member, Benefits & Services Committee, the Education & Conference Committee, and the Long Island Regional Awareness Program Committee. Shapiro was an ex-officio member of the Long Island Advisory Council. Active in the insurance industry, he was also a member and past president of the Professional Insurance Wholesalers Association of New York State Inc.


PIANY leadership meets with industry, legislative leaders

Representatives from PIANY, including President-elect Gary Slavin, recently attended the Excess Lines Association of New York’s annual meeting. Sen. Neil Breslin, D-46, and Assemblyman David Weprin, D-24, chairs of the insurance committees in the Senate and Assembly, respectively were special guests. The legislators spent time with attendees discussing the past legislative session, and what is to be expected in 2024. Breslin and Weprin were great supporters of PIANY during the 2023 legislative session. Half of PIA’s identified priority issues passed by both chambers of the New York state Legislature. Those issues, photo inspection waiver and the bait-and-switch bills were sponsored by Sen. Breslin and Assemblyman Weprin in their respective chambers.


Providence Mutual updates its rating process

Providence Mutual has decided to withdraw from the AM Best rating process and the company has advised the regulators in its state of domicile of its decision and rationale. Providence Mutual obtains annual ratings from three SEC approved nationally recognized statistical rating organizations—AM Best, KBRA and Demotech. However, the credit model methodology changes that AM Best finalized in 2017, and started applying in the years thereafter, has prompted the company to withdraw from the AM Best rating process. Providence Mutual sought additional industry recognized NRSRO ratings. Since 2018, the company has been rated by Demotech, which focuses primarily on financial stability, with a Financial Stability Rating® of A’ (A Prime), Unsurpassed. What this means for PIA member agents: If you use the PIA Company Rating Tracking Service to keep updated on the financial strength rating of the companies with which you do business, you will no longer receive updates about Providence Mutual. If you have any questions, PIA Northeast members can contact the PIA Industry Resource Center at (800) 424-4244 or resourcecenter@pia.org.

FEMA releases updated Elevation Certificate form

FEMA released Bulletin W-23006 on July 7, 2023, announcing the revisions of Elevation Certificate [FEMA Form FF-206-FY-22- 152 (formerly 086-0-33)] and Dry Floodproofing Certificate [FEMA Form FF-206-FY-22-153 (formerly 086-0-34)]. The new expiration date of these forms is June 30, 2026. The revised forms, which can be accessed at National Flood Insurance Program Underwriting Forms, should be used going forward.

FEMA requires NPNs for new and renewal NFIP policies

FEMA released Bulletin W-19004 dated April 1, 2019, which required the reporting of Agent and Agency National Producer Numbers for new NFIP policies. Now, Bulletin W-23005 advises that FEMA is requiring NPNs for renewal policies effective on or after Jan. 1, 2024.

Options for covering watercraft

Before your insureds ask your advice on watercraft insurance, you might want to refamiliarize yourself on some of the peculiarities of marine-type policies. You may be called upon to furnish coverage for a wide range of vessels (e.g., rafts, rowboats, canoes, jet skis, outboards, inboards, sailboats, hydroplanes, and houseboats). Coverage is not restricted to one type of policy. It may be obtained from homeowners, inland marine, ocean marine, and special watercraft policies. PIA offers state-specific resources to help members answer their clients’ questions, specifically whether insureds need a separate insurance policy for their boats: Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.

N.Y.: DFS publishes updated cyber security regulation for comment, PIA offers section-by-section analysis

The New York State Department of Financial Services published a revised proposed second amendment to 23 NYCRR 500—colloquially referred to as New York’s cyber security regulation. The publication of the revised second amendment comes over six months after the department published the original second amendment to the regulation back in November of 2022. Following the November publication, the DFS received comments from banking, insurance, and other industry groups on the amendment. The revised regulation published late last month makes some subtle, but important, changes to the original proposal based on the public comments received. While the department made several changes to the revised regulation, the impact of the changes should be minimal—especially for those that qualify for the limited exception. For a complete breakdown of the changes, PIA members can access a section-by-section analysis. Due to the changes in the regulation, a new public comment is required. That began on the date of publication, June 28, 2023, and will last 45-days, until Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. After that date, the DFS will review comments before publishing what will presumably be the final version of the second amendment.

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.

Are you looking for cyber CE?

Robin Federici, CPCU, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW, will lead a three-hour course Cyber Coverage–Why the Need? on Wednesday, July 26, 2023, starting at 10 a.m. This webinar will provide an overview of cyberexposures and insurance solutions in today’s market. It will cover first- and third-party risks associated with e-business, the internet, networks and informational assets. The course will include foundation knowledge on: why cybercoverage is necessary, the laws related to cyberliability, the recent cyberclaims, insurance policies and endorsements available, and data breach scenarios. It also will review ISO coverage forms and will provide a general discussion on data privacy, risk management services, and determining limits for coverage. This class has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (3 PC), New Hampshire (3 Producer PROD), New Jersey (3 GEN) and New York (3 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC).

You’ve been hacked, now what?

Experts say the question is not if you’ll experience and cyberattack it’s when. If you’ve ever wondered what to do after a cyberattack, this is the CE class for you. Join Instructors Dave Vener and Jay Yager as they lead the webinar You’ve Been Hacked: Cyber Security and the Human Element on Thursday, July 27, 2023, starting at 11 a.m. In 2022, 63% of all businesses experienced some kind of breach. When you have an event or when your customers do, do you have a plan? Will you know who to call, and what to do? What will you tell your employees or what will you tell your clients? Attend this informative session and learn what it feels like to be under an attack. This class has been approved for CE credits in Connecticut (1 PC) and New York (1 BR, C3, PA, PC). While not applicable for CE credits, the information in the class still is applicable to insurance producers in New Jersey.


NJYIP Summer Reception will involve throwing axes

Join NJYIP for its Summer Reception, Thursday, July 27, 2023, at Stumpy’s Hatchet House in Greenbrook. This summer throw some axes and network with us! With drinks and food included, you can network with your industry colleagues and enjoy a quick event after work. Register today, sponsorship opportunities are available.

Join us at Cocktails & Connections: Summer Edition

PIANY will host its Cocktails & Connections event on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Event Center Atrium, Verona, N.Y., from 5:15-7 p.m. During this exclusive event, you and a guest will have the chance to unwind, network, and connect with representatives from PIA and Utica National Insurance Co. Engage in conversations with fellow agency owners, gain insights from industry experts, and forge valuable relationships that can help your agency thrive. We will provide complimentary drinks and appetizers to enhance your networking experience, and you’ll have a chance to win an exclusive Yeti cooler swag bag! Register today. And, if you are looking for some CE credits, consider attending 2023 Ruble Graduate Seminar, Aug. 9-10, 2023, also at Turning Stone.

Register now

Thursday, July 27, 2023: NJYIP Summer Reception

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

Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023: Cocktails & Connections: Summer Edition

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

Monday, Oct. 2, 2023: PIANJ WLA, TPC Jasna Polana Neo-Classical Villa Tour

Save the date

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023: CTYIP Awards Gala

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: Capital RAP

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023: NJYIP Holiday Reception

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

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