Weekly Dispatch: Oct. 19, 2023

October 19, 2023


Announced funding to increase climate resilience nationwide

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell and White House Infrastructure Coordinator and Senior Advisor to the President Mitch Landrieu announced on Oct. 12, 2023, that as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, FEMA is making $1.8 billion available for two grant programs designed to help communities increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change, including increasingly frequent and extreme weather events.

Rising pedestrian fatalities and auto insurance

Traffic and pedestrian fatalities have been on the rise in recent years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Early Estimate of Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2022 traffic fatalities in the United States have increased from 32,479 in 2011, to 42,795 in 2022. Last year was the deadliest for pedestrians since 1981, with 7,508 pedestrian fatalities reported. With these trends it is important to keep reminding your clients about why it’s important to keep their auto insurance up to date—whether they are a driver or even a pedestrian. For more information, see the related article on PIA Northeast News & Media.

Cybersecurity in the insurance industry

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month, making it more important than ever to stay on top of the latest issues facing the insurance industry. Insurance agencies and companies hold vast amounts of sensitive information, from policyholder data to financial information, making them attractive targets for cybercriminals. Beyond the immediate financial implications of a cyberattack, there’s the enduring damage to an agency’s or the insurer’s reputation. In New York state, Gov. Kathy Hochul has released resources to help small businesses stay safe.

N.J.: Property valuations, an agent’s perspective

PIANJ Vice President Roger C. Butler, CIC, has written an article about how property valuations have been on the rise in the Garden State. He examines the factors that may affect these valuations including the carriers’ policies and location. Be sure to keep your clients informed about how valuations can vastly differ throughout the state.

N.Y.: What to know about New York’s windstorm policies

For homeowners insurance in New York, there is a single definition for instances of fire and vandalism. However, in the state alone, there are over 100 different definitions in the industry approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services for when a windstorm deductible applies. These multiple definitions create confusion and cost consumers thousands in damages, but there is some movement in the state Legislature for a universal definition—and PIANY asks you to help educate your clients about this issue and ask them to contact their elected officials to get this legislation signed into law.

New York completes flood resiliency projects in St. Lawrence County

Gov. Hochul announced on Oct. 13, 2023, the completion of a series of flood resiliency projects in Ogdensburg in St. Lawrence County. The four projects were awarded more than $8.3 million in grant funding through New York state’s Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. These REDI-funded projects will help mitigate the impact of future high-water events and improve the resiliency of the shoreline.


N.Y.: Updates to Workers’ Compensation Law

There have been recent changes to New York state’s workers’ compensation law that is important for employers to note—starting in 2024. In September 2023, Gov. Hochul signed S.1161-A/A.2034-A into law, which will increase the minimum benefits for workers’ compensation (permanent or temporary partial disability) in 2024 and beyond. The aim of the new legislation is to create better protections for low-wage workers who are injured and cannot work.


Conn.: PIACT representatives meet with CID

Representatives of PIACT were invited by the Connecticut Insurance Department to participate in a virtual roundtable to discuss the health of Connecticut’s property/casualty marketplace, and to advocate for independent insurance producers across the Nutmeg State on Oct. 11, 2023. The conversation focused on a variety of topics including: the reinsurance market, improper carrier nonrenewal and cancellations, emerging underwriting practices and more.

N.J.: PIANJ representatives meet with DOBI

Representatives of PIANJ traveled to the halls of the Department of Banking and Insurance in Trenton to discuss PIANJ’s legislative and regulatory priorities, as well as advocate for independent insurance producers across the Garden State on Oct. 4, 2023. Discussions concentrated on PIANJ’s legislative and regulatory priorities, which include: step-down provision legislation, producer comparative negligence, consumer notification related to rate increases and more.


Educate your clients about auto policies in a gig economy

The rise of companies that broadly rely on independent contractors and freelancers has been dubbed the “gig economy.” The Gig Economy Data Hub presents studies that show between 25% to 40% of American workers are part of the gig economy in some capacity. As an independent agent, it’s probable that a client of yours is a gig worker, who may participate in ride-hailing and delivery services, with workers providing their own transportation. The next time you talk to your client about auto insurance, consider if they participate in those services. PIA Northeast members have access to the PIA QuickSource library, which features documents like Food delivery services and ISO introduces three new TNC endorsements, both of which talk about auto policies in the context of gig work.

N.J.: NJCRIB to decrease overall premium and rate levels

In Circular Letter #2055, the New Jersey Compensation Rating And Inspection Bureau announced that it submitted a filing to the DOBI to seek a 3.9% decrease in the overall premium and rate level effective Jan. 1, 2024. The proposed revision is based upon the most recent experience and a review of classification relativity. Additionally, the filing proposed several Manual amendments and changes to experience and retrospective rating values. If approved, this would be the ninth year in a row without an increase.

Educating insurance agents

N.Y.: Classes that meet the New York State Department of Financial Services’ most recent CE requirements are available online and in private on-site sessions.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: How to navigate the world of homeowners insurance

Join Robin Federici, CPCU, AAI, ARM, AINS, AIS, CPIW, for her webinar 2022 CISR PR: Insuring Personal Residential Property on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. This course will give you the expertise you need to guide your customers through the often complex and confusing process of purchasing homeowners insurance. This class has been approved for credits in Connecticut (7 PC), New Jersey (7 GEN, designees in good standing will receive 12 CE credits) and New York (7 BR, C3, PA, PC, earn 1 additional CE credit with exam).


N.Y.: Tell us your thoughts on the insurance industry

The Regional Advisory Councils are virtual meetings of industry professionals—during which you can voice concerns, ask questions, and share ideas and feelings and have them heard not only by your attending colleagues but by PIANY’s committees, leadership and staff members. The next series of meetings will be held across the state Oct. 24, Oct. 25, Oct. 26 and Oct. 27. Open to all New York agents and brokers at no cost, PIANY’s Regional Advisory Councils offer participants a one-hour forum to discuss what’s on your mind. Register today.

Register now

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Hudson Valley

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Finger Lakes

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Long Island

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Southern Tier

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Capital Region

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Central Region

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, New York City. To RSVP, email resourcecenter@pia.org

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, North Country

Friday, Oct. 27, 2023: PIANY Regional Advisory Council meeting, Western

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023: NJYIP Holiday Reception

Save the date

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023: YIP Winter Webinar: Reinsurance

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024: PIANY MetroRAP

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

June 2-4, 2024: PIA New Jersey | PIA New York Annual Conference

Tuesday, June 4, 2024: NJYIP Fun Run to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey

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