Weekly Dispatch: Nov. 16, 2023

November 16, 2023


Congress passes CR to fund federal government, NFIP

This week, the U.S. House and U.S. Senate both passed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. The federal government and several key programs were set to expire Saturday, Nov.18, at 12:01 a.m., if Congress did not act. This CR is unique in that it splits the federal government funding into two separate expiration dates. It would fund Agriculture, Energy-Water, Military Construction-VA and Transportation-HUD through Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, while the other eight funding bills—including Financial Services—will run through Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law before the deadline. Notable for PIA is the extension of two key programs in the CR: the National Flood Insurance Program and programs in the Farm Bill, including crop insurance.

PIA Market Trends Survey: Hard market likely causing a shift to E&S placement

The findings of this year’s PIA Market Trends Survey have indicated that the insurance industry is in a hard market cycle. Independent insurance agents across PIA Northeast’s footprint participated in the survey, which is a clear indication that the industry is in the midst of a hard market that is forcing insurance producers to think differently about how they protect their clients and place insurance lines.

Report: 2023 factors for underwriting loss for p/c industry

The Insurance Information Institute and Milliman presented its 2023 report for the property/casualty industry on Nov. 2, in a members-only virtual webinar. The 2023 net combined ratio for the p/c industry is forecast to be 103.8, in part due to severe convective storm losses being the highest in decades. Hard markets continue with 2023 net written premium growth forecast at 8.3%, according to the latest underwriting projections by actuaries.

Kia, Hyundai, reach multi-million settlement with drivers

Since early 2021, viral videos on TikTok and YouTube have provided step-by-step instructions on stealing specific Kia and Hyundai models lacking push-button ignitions or immobilizer devices. The surge in thefts from these videos prompted the commencement of three federal lawsuits against Kia and Hyundai—a consumer class action, a governmental public nuisance lawsuit, and an insurance companies’ class action seeking reimbursement for repair and replacement costs. The revised settlement agreement offers an estimated $9 million affected Kia and Hyundai owners’ total relief of $145 million or more in compensatory relief to class members.

Conn.: Employers spared from federal tax increases

Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut Labor Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo announced on Nov. 8, 2023, that the State of Connecticut has repaid the $1.2 billion Trust Fund loan that was used to cover nearly $11 billion in pandemic unemployment payments. The pandemic debt retirement ensures that Connecticut employers will avoid an increase in the federal unemployment taxes they pay beginning Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. Over the past two years, Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly directed $195 million from the American Rescue Plan Act into the Unemployment Trust Fund and special assessments to mitigate the ongoing financial damage employers faced as a result of the pandemic.


Do you know the special rules of marketing?

Agents do their best to impress their clients. However, there are rules to follow. Most states prohibit insurance agencies from providing anything of value to clients or potential clients to induce them to purchase a policy. Often, these are referred to as rebating laws, and almost all states have some sort of rebating threshold. If a particular benefit or inducement does not exceed a certain dollar figure it is not considered to be something of value or an inducement. This leaves some ground in which agents can offer nominal inducements to potential clients. However, the question is: What is the rebating threshold?


U.S. Senate calls for crop insurance inflation adjustment

Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill—in a vote of 82-15, as part of a package with two other funding measures. In the Agriculture funding bill, report language reiterates Congress’s stance, first included in its 2022 year-end omnibus appropriations bill, that the Risk Management Agency has the power to reinstate the inflation adjustment for crop agents without reopening the Standard Reinsurance Agreement—which PIA supports.

N.Y.: Grateful this holiday season? Make a gift …

The end of November marks Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. If you’re feeling grateful, why not support an organization that you are close to? From Little League teams to local libraries, there are plenty of great organizations in your community to support. Be sure to add PIANY Agents Advocacy Coalition to your list this year. While the PIANY staff and volunteers work directly on legislative and other issues, the Agent’s Advocacy Coalition bolsters the legislative work of our association by helping to increase PIANY’s visibility, strengthen relationships, and support legislators who champion our issues.


Meet the language requirements of all insureds

Professional insurance agents cater to insureds from all backgrounds, some of whom may not be fluent in English. It is important that agents keep any potential language barriers in mind when assisting insureds. This is not only to close off any potential errors-and-omissions claims, but also to make sure insureds are getting the best service possible. To learn more about navigating language barriers, PIA members can access to The language barrier: meeting the requirements of insureds who are not proficient in the English language in the QuickSource library.

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.

Understanding the new NFIP rules

Last year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency finished making the biggest change to the National Flood Insurance Program in the last 40 years, with an all-new way of rating. There is only one federal flood plan so knowing the new rules is a must. Join Steven D. Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CRIS, AAI, ARM, AIS, MLIS, AFIS, for Understanding the New NFIP onTuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. In this webinar, participants will learn how to identify flood areas properly and how to use the most recent online resources available to agents and more. This class has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (3 PC), New Hampshire (3 FEMA Flood PROD), New Jersey (3 NFIP Flood), New York (3 BR, C3, PA, PC) and Vermont (3 Flood).


Break out the ugly sweater for the NJYIP Holiday Social

Enter the holiday season the right way at the NJYIP Holiday Social, on Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023. This social will be hosted at The Horseshoe Tavern in Morristown, N.J. Leave your good fashion sense at the door, break out your ugliest sweater and join NJYIP for a night full of tacky sweaters and merriment. There will be music, an open bar, assorted appetizers and a light dinner along with ugly sweater contests and prizes. Register now.


N.Y.: DFS releases final cyber regulations, PIA offers guidance

The New York State Department of Financial Services released its official second amendment to the cyber security regulation (23 NYCRR 500) on Nov. 1, 2023. The amendment makes multi-factor authentication mandatory for all covered entities, increases the thresholds for entities to qualify for the limited exemption, and creates a category for larger corporations, Class A entities. This regulation applies to both resident and non-resident licensees. To help you understand all the changes and how they impact your agency, PIA has prepared a step-by-step guide to the amended regulation. The guide contains an analysis of every section of the regulation, what changes were made, and who the changes apply to. PIA is here to help. If you have additional questions relating to these new amendments, contact PIA’s Industry Resource Center at resourcecenter@pia.org. PIA also has partnered with TAG Solutions to help agencies with their agency-specific cyber security plans.

Register now

Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023: NJYIP Holiday Social

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024: PIANY MetroRAP

Save the date

Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024: NY-YIP Welcome Reception

March 27-28, 2024: Connecticut Convention

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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