Weekly Dispatch: Dec. 21, 2023

December 21, 2023


Happy holidays from PIA Northeast

PIA wishes you and yours a warm and prosperous holiday season. We look forward to continuing to bring you the information your business needs, the way you want it. The PIA Northeast Weekly Dispatch will be on vacation for the rest of the year, but it will resume on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. In the meantime, you still can access industry-specific updates on PIA Northeast News & Media, and on PIA Northeast’s Facebook, LinkedIn and X social-media channels.

Fatal storms and floods batter the Northeast

The Northeastern U.S. was besieged by heavy storms on Dec. 18, 2023, killing at least four. The governors of Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Vermont have issued guidance, warnings and updates about the storms. For more information on the recent flooding, PIA Northeast members can access the PIA Flood Insurance Tool Kit.

Consumer alert: Be aware of fake insurance cards

Advise your clients to be aware of recent scams involving counterfeit insurance identification cards. There has been a rise in the sale and usage of these counterfeit cards recently. These fake cards are distinguishable to authorities due to inconsistencies with the information registered in the Department of Motor Vehicle system.

Do your insureds drive a KIA, Hyundai? Remind them to watch out for theft

Agents should remind their insureds of the vulnerabilities of Hyundai and KIA models and encourage them to follow through with anti-theft measures. Helpful tips: Owners can make use of a wheel lock or install a theft immobilizer in their car. They also should consult their Hyundai and KIA dealership for security software updates.

U.S. SEC denies Coinbase rules petition

Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission denied Coinbase Global’s petition to seek new rules from the agency for its digital asset sector on Dec. 15. The five-member commission voted 3-2 not to propose new rules because it disagreed that current regulations are “unworkable” for the crypto sphere, as Coinbase has argued. Coinbase later said it had filed a petition for review of the SEC’s decision.

In a competitive industry, stand out from the crowd

The insurance industry is highly competitive, with dozens of providers offering services that seem identical to yours. It’s a crowded field, so what is the best way to stand out? John Fear, CPIA, CISR, tackles this question with a myriad of different solutions, like making the most of the technology you have, encouraging a personable company culture and identifying the unique strengths of you and your colleagues. While efficiency and volume are key, it isn’t everything a client is looking for: personal touches can help create a lasting impression.

Sensory branding can help you retain customers

Agents and their marketing teams should attempt to get the most out of their brands, and that should include strategies like sensory branding to retain customers. Appealing to the senses of customers will not only attract more people, but it also will help existing customers to feel a deeper connection to a brand. From color psychology to packaging, these sensory branding strategies can make any customer a long-term client. If you are looking to update your marketing materials or if you are thinking of refreshing your brand, PIA Design & Print can help you. For more information, email or call (800) 424-4244.


FEMA: Agent and agency NPNs on NFIP policies starting Jan. 1

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that every new and renewing National Flood Insurance Program policy has to include both an agent and an agency National Producer Number with a policy effective date on or after Monday, Jan. 1, 2024. During PIA’s most recent meeting with FEMA in October, FEMA representatives explained that, at least for 2024, NFIP policies would not be invalidated or nonrenewed because an NPN was missing. PIA members are encouraged to contact their Write-Your-Own partners to ensure their systems will accommodate these changes by Jan. 1.


Residential fire legislation passes N.J. senate

The 2015 Avalon Apartment fire in Edgewater left a major mark on the borough and the state. While there were no fatalities or injuries, the blaze lingered in the minds of the state’s legislators. In late November, Sens. Linda R. Greenstein, D-14, and Shirley K. Turner, D-15, jointly introduced legislation that would codify into law fire safety experts’ recommendation that all newly built townhouses be installed with automatic fire sprinkler systems. The bill passed the state Senate in a vote of 31-1 on Dec. 11, 2023, and now rests in the New Jersey General Assembly. It must introduce and pass a companion bill before the conclusion of the lame-duck session.


FSOC: AI identified as emerging risk

The Financial Stability Oversight Council released its 2023 annual report, and for the first time, it has identified the use of artificial intelligence in financial services as an emerging vulnerability in the financial system. AI has the potential to revolutionize the financial system, but many AI approaches to learning present challenges that make their models potentially unreliable. AI’s access to large datasets also presents significant cyber security risks.

Educating insurance agents

Keep up with commercial property trends

Learn about the latest trends in commercial property in 2024 CIC CP | Commercial Property Institute, which will be held from Jan. 17-18, 2024. Upon completion of this webinar, agents will have a detailed understanding of coverages and endorsements under this umbrella, as well as learning how to maximize coverage and protect property accounts. This class has been submitted for CE approval in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.


Welcome back to NYC, welcome back to MetroRAP

MetroRAP is back—and better than ever. Join PIANY on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. MetroRAP will feature two education sessions covering hot topics: errors-and-omissions claims and the hard market. Both classes will be taught by PIANY’s Director of Government & Industry Affairs Bradford J. Lachut, Esq. There also will be a trade show with a myriad of exhibitors, and a “Best in (Trade) Show” contest for the best overall booth experience as decided by attendees. Finally, there will be a supporting event for MetroRAP: the New York Young Insurance Professionals Welcome Reception. This event will require separate registration. Register today for MetroRAP—and save 15%.

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

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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