Weekly Dispatch: Nov. 30, 2023

November 30, 2023


New Jersey adopts zero-emission vehicle standards

Gov. Phil Murphy and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette announced on Nov. 21 the filing of the Advanced Clean Cars II rule for adoption on Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. This sets the state on the road toward better air quality and cleaner choices for new car buyers while combatting the worsening climate crisis. This adoption could impact buying habits for drivers if they have more choices when it comes to zero emission vehicles.

N.Y.: New legislation protects consumers from power outages during storms

Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation A.237/S.7230 on Nov. 21, which should to protect consumers during storms and other emergencies by requiring utility companies to develop plans to prioritize responding to reports of downed wires. If members of the public identify downed wires that present a hazard, they now can report that wire to their utility, which must respond to no later than 72 hours after the response to an emergency ends.


PIA pushes back on DOL overtime rule proposal

The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the overtime regulations set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act. The notice would change the exemption status of some employees based on the minimum salary and overtime pay requirements in the FLSA. Specifically, the notice would increase the minimum salary level required for workers to be exempt from overtime pay. PIA responded to the notice to alert the DOL to the risks posed by the proposal.

PIANY testifies on extreme weather events

PIANY Director of Government & Industry Affairs Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., testified before the state Assembly Standing Committees on Insurance and Environmental Conservation yesterday. He examined the impact of extreme weather events on the resiliency of the property/casualty insurance market in New York state. He discussed the ways consumers can reverse the trend of increasing premiums, which can be done by reducing the risk of a loss. “Taking steps to mitigate the likelihood and severity of a loss is the best method for simultaneously protecting New Yorkers from extreme weather, ensuring a robust and attractive insurance market, and increasing community resilience. Achieving resiliency requires cooperation and partnership between consumers, government from the federal level to the municipal level, and insurance companies,” said Lachut in his testimony.

N.Y.: Top-priority photo inspection bill signed into law

PIANY applauds Gov. Kathy Hochul for signing legislation to update the state’s antiquated photo inspection system. The law, which was a top priority for PIANY during the 2023 legislative session, will allow insurance carriers to submit a waiver to the New York State Department of Financial Services to make photo inspections optional for certain auto insurance customers. The law (A.3172-A/S.5889)—which will give customers relief from needing to locate and commute to an available photo inspection site to obtain a photo inspection—takes effect 180 days from Nov. 17, 2023. The legislation’s swift passage through the state Assembly and the state Senate, combined with the governor’s signature signaled the level of support and commitment this measure had from state leaders. In fact, Hochul included this legislation in her budget bill. PIANY thanks its members for advocating for the passage of this law during each stage of the legislative process. 


N.J.: Injured employee gets coverage under the WC ‘authorized vehicle rule’

The Supreme Court of New Jersey decided Keim v. Above All Termite & Pest Control where it determined that an employee’s car accident occurred while “in the course of employment.” In N.J.S.A. 34:15-36, the Legislature expressly defined when employment commences and terminates in different settings or scenarios. It created what are generally known as the “premises rule”; the “special mission rule”; the “paid travel time rule”; and the “authorized vehicle rule.” According to the lawsuit, Keim was furnished with a vehicle for work and was not merely commuting to work; rather, he was obtaining needed supplies at a non-worksite location as he was authorized to do by his employer. Consequently, this accident falls clearly under the “authorized vehicle rule.”

N.J.: 2024 WC overall rate level decreases 3.9%

The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau received approval from the Department of Banking and Insurance for a rate revision of -3.9% to become effective Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, applicable to new and renewal policies. The NJCRIB distributed Circular Letter No. 2058 detailing this rate revision, along with other changes presented in Manual Amendment Bulletin No. 512.

Educating insurance agents

Flood insurance licensing and sale through NFIP

Join Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC, for her webinar, Flood Insurance Licensing and Sale through NFIP, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. This course will enable agents to gain a basic understanding of the NFIP, so that they can share this information with their customers. This training course meets the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s minimum training and education requirements as required by Section 207 of the Flood Insurance Reform Act. It has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (1 PC) and New Jersey (1 GEN). It has been submitted for CE approval in New York.

Learn all about industry ethics and professionalism

Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC, will lead the webinar Ethics and Professionalism on Tuesday Dec. 5, 2023. This course will cover ethics and professionalism in the industry sphere, and it also will provide lessons that can be used in day-to-day life. Living an ethical life personally and professionally could use a simplified discussion so that the essential elements of ethical decision-making are transparent and productive. This course has been approved for CE credits in Connecticut (1 LRE) and New Jersey (1 ETH). It has been submitted for CE approval in New York.

Register now

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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