AM Best: Outlook on U.S. personal-lines still ‘negative’
Rating service AM Best has maintained a negative outlook on personal lines since September 2022, and this opinion remains unchanged going into 2024, according to its new Best’s Market Segment Report, “Market Segment Outlook: U.S. Personal Lines.” The report also notes the challenges that personal lines writers have in maintaining rate adequacy and cites elevated reinsurance costs amid heightened catastrophe loss volatility and increased secondary peril activity.
E-bikes are an eco-friendly alternative—but carry risks
Electric bicycles—or e-bikes—have become popular as an eco-friendly, efficient, and cost-effective mode of transportation. While these bicycles offer myriad benefits, they carry certain risks—which riders can mitigate. Electric bikes are powered by batteries, typically made of lithium-ion. If these batteries experience conditions like overcharging, high-heat exposure, or improper storage, they risk catching on fire or exploding. Riders need to ensure that they follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging and maintaining the e-bike’s battery.
Triple-I: ‘Above-average’ 2023 Atlantic hurricane season matched forecasts from Colorado State University
The 2023 hurricane season officially concluded at the end of November, and Colorado State University’s July and August 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecasts—calling for “above-average” activity—proved to be accurate, according to the Insurance Information Institute. 20 named storms formed in 2023, with seven of these storms becoming hurricanes and three reaching major hurricane strength. The average Atlantic hurricane season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. As we move into the winter, remember that PIA Northeast will keep its members updated on any winter storms that may affect the Northeast through its PIA Storm Info Central. The tool kit has numerous resources that you and your clients can use to prepare for this winter.
Watch out for winter scams
Winter is here. Stay alert this season for disaster-related fraud and scams. The Federal Emergency Management Agency released notices on how your insureds can protect themselves from these types of cons. Fraudsters have been known to exploit this opportunity by impersonating contractors or government representatives, preying on vulnerable homeowners and business owners for financial gain.
Conn. and Vt. commissioners elected by NAIC
Congratulations to Connecticut’s Insurance Commissioner Andrew N. Mais and Vermont’s Insurance Commissioner Kevin Gaffney who were elected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as president and Northeast Zone vice chair, respectively for 2023-24. PIA Northeast wishes them well in their new roles.
Mainsail Insurance approved to write in Florida
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has approved Mainsail Insurance Co., a property/casualty insurer headquartered in Texas, to function as a domestic insurer within Florida. The insurer has been approved to offer 17 varying lines of insurance, including auto, property and commercial coverage. Mainsail Insurance is the second company to be allowed in Florida as an authorized insurer following the passage of H.B.837 earlier this year, which aims to stabilize the state’s insurance marketplace through comprehensive tort-system reform, including a shift from pure comparative negligence to a modified comparative negligence system.
NHID responds to climate data call
The New Hampshire Insurance Department officially responded to the Federal Insurance Office’s request for comments on its initiative for a countrywide data call on writers of personal-lines homeowners coverage on Nov. 28, 2023. In the letter addressed to the FIO, Commissioner D.J. Bettencourt expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to comment while he raised significant concerns about the proposed plan. The department’s letter highlights concerns about potential duplicative efforts, as the FIO’s proposed data call overlaps with ongoing initiatives by the NAIC and state regulators.
N.Y.: Governor requests major disaster declaration
Gov. Kathy Hochul requested a major disaster declaration from President Biden on Nov. 29, 2023, to support downstate communities impacted by flooding in late September. More than seven inches of rain fell in Brooklyn, and six inches of rain fell in Manhattan and parts of Nassau and Westchester counties during a 24-hour period on Sept. 29, 2023. A major disaster declaration secures financial assistance from the federal government, primarily through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, to provide funding to local governments, tribes and eligible non-profits for debris removal, protective measures and repairs to public buildings and infrastructure.
Vt.: Climate Action Office asks for public input on funding
Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources’ Climate Action Office will host virtual public forums to discuss a one-time opportunity for Vermont to access federal funding through the Climate Pollution Reduction Grant program, a component of the Inflation Reduction Act. These forums will be held on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, and Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. Attendees will be invited to share their comments on how this funding can best help Vermonters, businesses, and communities reduce emissions and meet our shared climate goals.
Design workspaces with employee health and safety in mind
Employee safety should be at the forefront of the minds of business owners and managers. Safety strategies and best health practices are one thing, but what about the design of the workplace itself? Workplace design can play a big role in enhancing employee safety and well-being. The right design plan can not only implement a safer work environment, but it can have a positive impact on employee morale, productivity and the overall success of the agency. Even the smallest and simplest of changes can have a big impact on workers.
Insurance Data Protection Act introduced in Senate
Sen. Katie Britt, R-Ala., introduced S.3349, the Insurance Data Protection Act with PIA’s strong support on Nov. 28, 2023. This legislation would reform the Federal Insurance Office—an unnecessary federal bureaucracy created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. PIA worked with Sen. Britt on the introduction of the bill and the association’s support for the bill was noted in the senator’s press release. Sen. Britt’s bill is a companion to legislation introduced in the U.S. House by Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Wis., in September with PIA’s full support.
NYCIRB has two new resources for agents
The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board has released two informative resources for insurance professionals: 2023 Claim Frequency and the Economy Report and educational material on the Payroll Limitation Program.
Educating insurance agents
Keep E&O losses under control
Join John Fear, CPIA, CISR, for the class CPIA Advanced: An E&O Loss Control Program for All Agencies ^FF ^UN on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2023. After completing this class, managers and supervisors will have the tools to initiate their own errors-and-omissions loss control program, while nonmanagement employees will feel empowered to create a plan with management. This is not one of the three classes designed for insurance professionals to earn their Certified Professional Insurance Agent designation. Rather it is an advanced course for CPIA designees. This course has been approved for E&O loss prevention credits by Fireman’s Fund and Utica National. This class has been approved for CE credits in Connecticut (7 PC). This class has been submitted for approval in New Jersey and New York.
Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024: CTYIP Holiday Social
Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024: NY-YIP Welcome Reception
Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024: PIANY MetroRAP
Save the date
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