Weekly Dispatch: Dec. 14, 2023

December 14, 2023


AM Best: U.S. p/c industry posts $32 billion loss

In a new report from AM Best, the U.S. property/casualty industry had an $32.2 billion net underwriting loss in the first nine months of 2023—this is $7.6 billion worse compared to the underwriting loss posted in the same prior-year period. According to the report, losses in the personal-lines segment was main driver of the p/c industry’s combined ratio of 103.4 for the nine-month period, a 0.7-percentage-point deterioration from the same period in 2022. Catastrophe losses accounted for an estimated 9.8 percentage points on the nine-month 2023 combined ratio, up from an estimated 7.3 points in the first nine months of 2022.

The insurance industry and making a greener world

While global warming and climate change have yet to be acknowledged by the wider insurance industry, the industry still is making moves to create a greener future. These efforts include parametric insurance policies, helping businesses achieve net-zero goals, releasing climate-risk disclosures, and involvement in government and state responses to extreme weather and a warming climate. There still is more work to be done, but the insurance industry finally may be making great strides to mitigate the impact that climate change is having on the industry.

Your insured just hit a guardrail: how will the policy respond

Have your clients ever asked you what happens if they get into a car accident with property damage—specifically public property? An incident like that occurred a few months ago outside PIA Northeast, where a car hit the guardrail along the median, cut across the opposite lane, and landed on the shoulder. It’s a great article to share with your insureds the next time they ask the question.

Triple-I: U.S. wildfires have decreased, but are still a threat

This year, the United States is set to have the fewest number of wildfires since 2014, but they remain a threat to Americans. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the potential for insured losses are growing for 99 million Americans who reside in the wildland urban interface. The WUI is the zone of transition between unoccupied and developed land, where structures and human activity intermingle with wildland and vegetative fuels. More than 46 million homes with an estimated cumulative value of $1.3 trillion are situated within the WUI, the U.S. Fire Administration reported in 2022.

How to make the most of your customer relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the insurance industry’s approach to work, as the economy took a downturn, and it became difficult to maintain customer relationships. As the pandemic wanes, its echoes still linger. How do agents maximize the relationships they have with their customers in a radically altered environment? To help answer this question, PIA Northeast members can access Maximize customer relationships in an unpredictable economy in the QuickSource library.

N.J.: Legislation introduced for e-bike, e-scooter insurance

On Nov. 30, 2023, N.J. Senate President Nicholas Scutari, D-22, collaborated with Sen. Vin Gopal, D-11, to introduce e-bicycle and e-scooter insurance-related legislation, which would require low-speed electric bicycles and low-speed electric scooters to be registered with the MVC. They also must be insured with liability coverage, pedestrian personal injury protection and uninsured motorist coverage. Currently, New Jersey riders of Class 1 and Class 2 electric bikes and scooters do not require a driver’s license, registration or insurance.

NHID addresses p/c insurance for some nonprofits

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has launched a focused data call targeting p/c insurance companies to assess the current landscape of coverage available to select state nonprofits dedicated to providing critical behavioral health and residential treatment services for juveniles. In response to escalating concerns about numerous behavioral health and residential services, entities receiving nonrenewal notices despite long-standing relationships with insurers, the NHID is taking proactive steps to understand the challenges faced by these companies.

New York minimum wage set to increase on Jan. 1

New York state’s minimum wage will increase to $16-per-hour in New York City, Westchester and Long Island, and $15-per-hour for the rest of the state on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, to keep pace with inflation. As part of the fiscal year 2024 budget, New York’s minimum wage will increase through 2026. Starting in 2027, the minimum wage will increase annually at a rate determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers for the Northeast Region.

N.Y. counties receive disaster designation for summer storms

The United States Department of Agriculture has designated four counties in New York as a primary natural disaster area due to damage caused by a tornado and excessive rain in July. This designation means that impacted farmers in Clinton, Franklin, Lewis, and Onondaga counties may be eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the USDA Farm Service Agency. Ten additional counties were designated as contiguous disaster counties; farmers in those counties also may be eligible for assistance.

N.Y.: Adult-use cannabis dispensaries opened in Capital Region

Gov. Hochul announced the opening of two adult-use cannabis dispensaries in the Capital Region on Dec. 8, 2023. These dispensaries were the first in the region to be supported by the New York Cannabis Social Equity and Investment fund. The fund was created to provide opportunities for those impacted by the inequitable enforcement of cannabis laws. PIA Northeast offers various resources to help members stay updated on this budding issue.


PIA further objects to FIO climate data call

Last month, the Federal Insurance Office of the Treasury Department issued a Notice of Information Collection and Request for Comment on its planned data collection of climate-related financial risk information associated with U.S. homeowners insurance underwriting. PIA continues to raise concerns about the efficacy and appropriateness of the call. These concerns include the burden it will impose on small and regional insurers, its methodology, and its noncompliance with existing federal law, among others. PIA will continue to monitor the FIO’s activity on climate risk and the Office of Management and Budget’s response to its request for approval, and the association will continue to urge the FIO to withdraw its proposed data call.

PIA Northeast featured on FOX Weather

On Tuesday morning, PIA Northeast Director of Government & Industry Affairs Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., was featured on FOX Weather—the interview aired again on FOX Business. Lachut discussed how extreme weather is affecting the insurance industry. The interview ties into testimony Lachut gave before the state Assembly Standing Committees on Insurance and Environmental Conservation late last month.


Conn./N.H./Vt.: NCCI WC Plan instruction information

The National Council on Compensation Insurance’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Plan State Instruction Pages contain state-specific instruction information for the Plan. This information can be helpful when placing a risk in the Plan. See the following for updated instruction information in your state: Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont.

Educating insurance agents

E&O losses: what you can learn to control them

Errors-and-omissions losses can be a concern for agents, but learning how to tackle them as team is the best way to diminish that concern. John Fear, CPIA, CISR, will lead the seminar CPIA Advanced: An E&O Loss Control Program for All Agencies^FF^UN on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023. Employees, whether they are management or not, will feel comfortable in creating a comprehensive plan together to deal with E&O losses. 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. ^FF^UN–This course has been approved for E&O loss prevention credits by Fireman’s Fund and Utica National. This class has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (7 PC), New Jersey (7 GEN), and New York (7 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC).

PIA announces new program to develop business strategies

The carrier council of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, the PIA Partnership, has launched a new program called Thinking Bigger. This program was created to spark new thinking and ways of doing business among the more than 40,000 U.S.-based independent insurance agencies. The Thinking Bigger website is a hub for the program, which is open to agents. The program kicked off with four video discussions with PIA National CEO Mike Becker, and independent agents and industry thought leaders, In the future, Thinking Bigger also will include live sessions and written material to help agents put the ideas into practice. Agents are encouraged to submit ideas for topics and potential speakers, which can be sent on the website.

Register now

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—want to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

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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