The Weekly Dispatch is going on vacation. There will not be a Weekly Dispatch distributed on Aug. 24, 2023. The publication will resume Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. Keep up with what is happening with PIA Northeast on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook and X (Twitter).
Recent data breach alerts: Progressive and in Vermont
Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. filed a notice of data breach on Aug. 1, 2023, with the attorney general of Maine after the company discovered that employees of a third-party vendor improperly shared their Progressive access credentials with unauthorized individuals. In this notice, Progressive explains that the incident resulted in an unauthorized party being able to access consumers’ information, which includes their names, addresses, driver’s license numbers, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and other confidential information. Additionally, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation was notified that a large-scale data security breach has compromised the personally identifiable information of roughly 42,000 Vermonters and over 38 million consumers nationwide. As of last week, 43 companies, regulated by the DFR or associated with a regulated entities’ data, have reported data breaches related to the MOVEit file transfer software. The breach occurred when the CLOP Ransomware Gang, a known threat actor, infiltrated the MOVEit file transfer software used by many organizations both public and private. The department first issued a consumer alert about this breach on July 19, 2023.
Deloitte: 66% of workers would leave their job if required to work in the office full time
The recent report by Deloitte, “Cultivating employee engagement in financial services,” explores the powerful link between flexible and remote-work arrangements and engagement, retention and other key outcomes. It also considers how U.S. financial services institutions can develop more thoughtful return-to-office policies that support long-term employee engagement. The survey revealed that for both men and women, workplace arrangements are top of mind. Flexibility and the ability to work remotely continue to be highly valued, so much so that most leaders say they’d rather leave their job than go into the office full time. This suggests that financial services institutions with strict return-to-office mandates could face the possibility of losing their pipeline of leaders.
The New York City crane collapse of 2023
On July 26, 2023, a crane—situated atop a 45-story building in Midtown Manhattan—abruptly caught fire and partially collapsed, sending the crane’s arm and its 16-ton concrete load into an adjacent building, before barreling to the street below. The catastrophe injured nine civilians and three firefighters. While thankfully there were no fatalities or serious injuries, the aftermath encompassed extensive property damage and injuries to individuals, foreshadowing an increase in insurance claims stemming from this accident. Insurance claims across several insurance lines, including general liability, workers’ compensation, and commercial and personal auto insurance are inevitable. For a look at which insurance policy may respond to which claim, see the related article on PIA Northeast News & Media.
NFIP at risk of lapse, Sept. 30—contact your legislators today
As the Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, expiration date for the National Flood Insurance Program quickly approaches, members of Congress need to hear from agents urging them to act to prevent a lapse of the NFIP. Send a message to your members of Congress urging them to extend the NFIP prior to its Sept. 30 expiration. Encourage your representatives to support an extension of the NFIP today.
NAIC Consumer Privacy Protection Model development faces new obstacles, PIA offers comments
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners is working to modernize its consumer privacy protection regulatory framework, which forms the foundation of all states’ insurance consumer protection regimes. The NAIC’s Privacy Protections Working Group is in the process of drafting a single new model, the Insurance Consumer Privacy Protection Model Law (MDL-674), to replace two of its existing models, both of which address consumer data privacy protection but are significantly outdated. PIA and several other trade associations spoke in opposition to the model’s current draft (Version 1.2). PIA provided context around the way Version 1.2, if adopted as written, could impede the ability of independent agents to sell policies that provide adequate coverage in some lines of business, including flood insurance. PIA also noted that, despite its opposition to Version 1.2, NAIC continues to be the appropriate venue for consideration of these issues. PIA emphasized its interest in aiding the PPWG in the drafting of a workable model that effectively reflects current and emerging insurance industry business practices and trends.
N.J.: ‘Dwelling units’ would be required to have renters insurance if new bill becomes law
New Jersey Assemblymember William B. Sampson IV, D-31, introduced A-5696 on May 18, 2023. This bill would require renters insurance for individuals entering or renewing a lease for a dwelling unit. The legislation defines dwelling unit as any room, or group of rooms, or any part thereof located within a building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used, or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking, and eating. That definition means that the legislation would apply to multi-unit dwellings not single-family homes. Currently, in New Jersey renters insurance is optional. However, many landlords require their tenants to obtain it prior to moving into the building. If A-5696 were to become law, New Jersey could become the first state in the nation to codify renters insurance as a prerequisite for renting a dwelling unit.
FEMA offers guidance on the Elevation Certificate & Floodproofing Certificate
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced it has approved the Elevation Certificate and Dry Floodproofing Certificate. The new expiration date of these forms is June 30, 2026. Insurance producers should use the revised forms going forward. You may access the forms on the FEMA website at NFIP Underwriting Forms.
Report: Surplus-lines premium increases 16% through June
Surplus-lines premium reached nearly $36 billion, and premium bearing transactions neared 2.9 million through the first six months of 2023, according to the 2023 Midyear Report of the U.S. Surplus Lines Service and Stamping Offices. Premium increased 15.9% and transactions 2.6% over results reported through the same period in 2022. These results follow last year’s record-breaking premium of $31 billion and growth of 32.4%.
NHID: Producer terminations require notice
In Bulletin INS 23-024-AB, the New Hampshire Insurance Department reminds insurers that notice is required when terminating insurance producers for cause.
N.J./N.Y.: Kingstone announces new commission rates
Kingstone Insurance issued a notice to its agents informing them that, effective Aug. 1, 2023, its commission rates for new and renewal business will be 7% in New York state, and for new and renewal business will be 2.5% in New Jersey. Are you wondering if there’s anything you can do about commission cuts, PIA members can access Hard markets and commission cuts: What can producers do? in the PIA QuickSource library.
N.J.: Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights provisions now in effect
Gov. Phil Murphy signed P.L. 2023, chapter 10, which expands the rights and protections afforded to many temporary laborers, allowing for greater oversight of temporary help service firms and third-party clients by New Jersey Department of Labor and the Division of Consumer Affairs (within the Department of Law and Public Safety) into law in February. The balance of provisions outlined in the Temporary Workers’ Bill of Rights went into effect on Aug. 5, 2023. The New Jersey DOL and Workforce Development has detailed the additional provisions on its website. It adds to portions of the law that went into effective in May.
NYSIF returns $585 million to New York businesses that prioritized worker safety
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the New York State Insurance Fund, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, allocated $585 million to New York employers last year through its dividends and return-of-premium programs. Every year, NYSIF returns funds to New York state businesses that prioritize worker safety protocols and exhibit strong safety records.
PIANJ succeeds in getting carryover of N.J. CE credits
PIANJ has worked hard over the past three years with the Department of Banking and Insurance to add amendments to the state’s insurance continuing-education regulation. The goal was to allow insurance producers to carry over CE credits into a new licensing term, and other changes that would allow insurance producers to be rewarded for their dedication to their education. The association’s hard work has paid off—these finalized amendments were published in the New Jersey Register on June 19, 2023. The regulation was effective immediately. This means insurance producers can start carrying forward CE credits right now. Under the finalized amendments to N.J.A.C. 11:17-3.6, the regulation: allows producers to carry over up to 12 CE credits into a new licensing term; allows producers to use one insurance-fraud credit hour toward professional ethics requirements; and gives CE instructors twice the approved credit hours for the courses they teach.
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