Weekly Dispatch: July 27, 2023

July 27, 2023


PIA’s Market Trends Survey is back

PIA Northeast needs your input to gauge how current market conditions are affecting professional insurance agents. Take a moment to participate in PIA’s 2023 Market Trends Survey, which asks you six questions about how current market trends—in personal auto, personal homeowners, commercial property, and commercial liability—are affecting you and your clients. PIA Northeast last conducted this survey in 2018. Your input will allow us to track the trends of the marketplace. Share this link with everyone in your agency and encourage them to take the survey, And, don’t forget to share your comments with us.

Usage-based insurance market still struggling

Despite initial expectations that usage-based insurance policies would explode in popularity and become a key area of the market, consumers continue to show reticence toward individual risk assessment based on real time behavior tracking technology. Despite the potential cost savings on premiums consumers still appear reluctant to pull the trigger on usage-based policies as early pilot programs showed customers found the idea of being assessed based on data that lacked context less appealing than traditional risk assessment models. Helping to demystify usage-based risk assessment methods for clients could be the key to unlocking the full potential behind this industry innovation.

The psychology behind new high-tech auto safety innovations

Advanced safety technology is increasingly becoming standard equipment in all new car models but the effectiveness of features like heads-up displays, collision warning systems, and lane and blind-spot sensors in keeping drivers and passengers safe is still not yet entirely clear. As safety technology grows more advanced motorists’ driving habits are growing worse. Is the human brain capable of integrating this new safety input in real time in a way that truly makes roads safer for all drivers or is the technology advancing faster than we can adapt?

More Americans looking to disaster-prone areas for housing affordability opportunities

The housing affordability crisis has triggered a boom in home buying in areas of the country that are most vulnerable to natural disasters like hurricanes, wildfires and extreme heat. In 2021 and 2022 nearly 400,000 people bought homes in the most flood-prone counties in the nation. The record low mortgage rates during the pandemic and the nationwide shift toward remote work motivated homeowners to migrate away from expensive cities in search of more affordable housing. It is a great time for you to talk to your clients about finding the right coverage to protect homeowners at risk of damaging severe weather events.

Conn.: Governor requests disaster declaration from U.S. Department of Agriculture

Gov. Ned Lamont has submitted a request to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to have a federal Agricultural Disaster Declaration issued for each of the state’s eight counties. Crops and farms across the state, particularly those near rivers and waterways have been severely damaged due to heavy rainfall and flooding. The flood damage has devastated nearly 1,500 acres statewide on the heels of frost events in February and May, which had previously affected 1,077 acres causing $8.4 million in losses. So far this July, Connecticut has seen 10.74 inches of rainfall costing farms nearly $21 million in lost revenue.

N.Y.: Biden approves Hochul’s request for major disaster declaration following flooding

Gov. Kathy Hochul has announced federal approval of a major disaster declaration for communities across Upstate New York, which have been devastated by severe flooding caused by frequent heavy rainstorms. The declaration gives several upstate counties access to federal funds for repairs to damaged infrastructure, debris removal and emergency protective measures to aid recovery in areas that saw historic rainfall. Currently, the federal government is considering extending assistance to additional counties statewide and state officials are in talks with the U.S. Small Business Administration to explore the possibility of providing low-interest loans to help impacted businesses recover from flood related losses. Keep up with the latest updates on the recent floods. PIA members can access PIA’s Flood Insurance Tool Kit.

Vt.: USDA declares Vermont a ‘natural disaster area’ after recent frost

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved Gov. Phil Scott’s request that the state receive a disaster designation after freezing temperatures in May resulted in huge losses for farms statewide. The disaster designation allows farms that meet eligibility requirements to be considered for emergency loans from the Farm Service Agency. Currently, an application for an additional USDA disaster declaration after the state was impacted by recent severe flooding is under consideration.

Vermont issues emergency declaration, N.Y. pledges flood aid

Gov. Scott has issued a third addendum to his emergency declaration as he attempts to clear a regulatory path for the state’s recovery response in the aftermath of severe flooding in the state. So far, the governor has provided $20 million in emergency funding for impacted businesses statewide, bolstered community health care and security resources, temporarily relaxed limits on emergency road repair, and eased requirements for issuing temporary certifications to plumbers, electricians, and technicians regulated by the state’s Division of Fire Safety. The governor also has formally requested assistance from New York state under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. In response New York Gov. Hochul has deployed engineers from the New York Power Authority and the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation to assist in evaluating the safety of Vermont’s 400 dams.


Registering a ‘registered/statutory agent’ in another state

A business entity that operates as an insurance producer has several issues to consider. In addition to keeping track of the requirements that relate to maintaining licensure, business-entity producers must be aware of the laws that govern their corporate status. These laws affect issues such as: the organization’s corporate structure; its governance and ownership; and its compliance with a state’s requirements regarding the submission to administrative regulation and the submission to service of process. This requirement—that a business entity make itself available for service of process—varies from state-to-state and invites analysis of the nuances of how different states approach the requirement, and how to best satisfy the requirement. PIA Northeast members can explore these nuances by accessing Registering a “registered/statutory agent” in another state in the PIA QuickSource library.

Conn./N.H./Vt.: Updated WC plan instruction pages

The National Council on Compensation Insurance’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan state instruction pages contain state-specific instruction information for the Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont plans that were updated effective: July 18, 2023.

N.J.: Evidence of worker exploitation leads to work stoppages at 110 job sites

In the four years since Gov. Phil Murphy expanded the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s powers (in 2019) to halt work on job sites when there is strong evidence of worker exploitation, over 110 stop-work orders have been issued and more than $2.7 million in back wages owed to affected workers, liquidated damages, and penalties have been assessed. In 2021, Gov. Murphy further boosted these powers, permitting stop-work orders to be applied to all work sites of an employer found to be in violation of the law. Details on the stop-work orders issued to employers found to be in violation of the law can be found here. Do you have clients on this list?

N.Y.: Revised WC loss costs take effect Oct. 1, 2023

In May, the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board submitted an application to the New York Department of Financial Services for an overall loss cost decrease of 2.6%. The DFS approved the application as filed with an effective date of Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023. The NYCIRB has released Bulletin 2584 containing the new loss costs by classification and a comparison by classification between the new loss costs and the 2022 loss costs. In addition, rating values for use with the New York Experience Rating Plan are revised, as provided in Bulletin 2585.

Vt.: 2022 ISO HO Program approved Nov. 1, 2023

Another decade has passed since the Insurance Services Office Inc. 2011 HO Program debuted. Prior to that, it was the 2000 HO Program. Now comes the 2022 HO Program, which is approved in Vermont effective Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, for those insurers that adopt it. There are many interesting enhancements and limitations, and many coverage holes that have been plugged. There are 13 new forms, 130 revised forms and 11 withdrawn forms in this filing. Details are provided in PIA QuickSource No. 91026.


PIA Northeast congratulates Utica National on recent honor

The Ward Group has recognized Utica National Insurance Group as a 50 top-performing property/casualty insurance companies in the United States. This is the second consecutive year Utica National has made the list. To identify the top performers, The Ward Group analyzes the financial performance of nearly 2,900 p/c insurance companies in the U.S., and it recognizes those companies that have outstanding financial results in the areas of safety, consistency, and performance over a five-year period (2018-22). And, PIA Northeast also recognizes Utica National’s outstanding financial performance. For nearly six decades, PIA Northeast has partnered with Utica National to offer its members access to errors-and-omissions coverage for their agencies. Are you interested in speaking with someone about your E&O options? Call (800) 424-4244, or for a free, no-obligation quote, log on here.

PIA National calls for award nominations

PIA National has announced a call for nominations for four insurance awards in its 2023 Fall Awards program. Nominations now are being accepted for the association’s 2023 Company Award of Excellence, Company Representative of the Year, Managing General Agency of the Year and Excellence in Technology and Social Media awards. The deadline for nominations is Friday, Aug. 18, 2023. Nomination forms, and an explanation of each award are available here.

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.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Two-day graduate seminar at Turning Stone, networking opportunity

Consider attending 2023 Ruble Graduate Seminar in person, Aug. 9-10, 2023. Join instructors Steven D. Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CRIS, AAI, ARM, AIS, MLIS, AFIS; Mark A. Palinkas, CIC; Richard Pitts, JD; and Victor Anthony Puleo Jr., PhD, CIC, CFP, at the Turning Stone Casino Resort, in Verona, N.Y. for this two-day seminar. In six sessions, the instructors will take you through a range of topics including: Endorsements: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly; Cutting Edge Insurance Issues, HAS and LTC Plans. Register for this in-person seminar today. This class also is available as a webinar in Connecticut and New Jersey. Will you be attending this seminar in person? Don’t forget: connect with representatives from PIA and Utica National Insurance Co., at the Cocktails & Connections event on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, at Turning Stone Resort Casino’s Event Center Atrium from 5:15-7 p.m. During this exclusive event, you and a guest will have the chance to unwind, network, gain insights from industry experts, and forge valuable relationships that can help your agency thrive. We will provide complimentary drinks and appetizers while you engage in conversations with fellow agency owners. You’ll also have a chance to win an exclusive Yeti cooler swag bag! Register today.

Register now

Thursday, July 27, 2023: NJYIP Summer Reception—Register at the door

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

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023: CTYIP Awards Gala—Register before Friday, Sept 1, 2023, and save

Save the date

Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023: 2023 PIANH Symposium

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023: Capital RAP

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023: NJYIP Holiday Reception

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

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