Weekly Dispatch: Jan. 11, 2024

January 11, 2024


National Flood Insurance Program could expire on Feb. 2

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Flood Insurance Program is set to lapse on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, if no action is taken by Congress. The NFIP lapsing means that the program will not be able to sell or renew policies. However, the NFIP will be able to continue to pay claims on existing policies if it has the funds. Even before the program lapses, this period of uncertainty effects the buying and selling of homes in special flood hazard areas.

FEMA announces reinsurance program for 2024 flood risk

On Jan. 4, FEMA announced that it has moved $619.5 million of the NFIP’s financial risk to the private reinsurance market. Reinsurance, essentially insurance for insurance companies, covers insurance companies in the case of large financial losses. This is a traditional move by FEMA, as it serves to manage risks against catastrophic flood losses. The placement covers portions of NFIP losses above $7 billion, and FEMA will pay a total premium of $121.1 million for the coverage. Further, the agreement covers 8.9125% of losses between $7 to $9 billion and 22.0625% of losses between $9 to $11 billion.

Ask your clients: Is your wedding ring insured?

With the holiday season comes plenty of happy couples that have just become engaged. However, no matter the season, engagement rings are at risk of things like theft, damages and getting lost. If you have a client or clients on track to get married, wedding ring insurance may be a good option for them. There are plenty of options for them based on their needs.

Understanding premium trust accounts and commissions

Getting into the insurance industry has several barriers to entry for insurance producers, but they can be overcome with hard work, dedication, and the capacity to learn. One area that may trip up insurance producers is keeping track of the many new responsibilities that they will have to undertake. This includes acting as a fiduciary for clients as they handle premiums and follow protocol for commissions. This helpful guide, written by PIA Northeast’s Danielle Caswell, Esq., will provide agents an overview of what rules they will have to comply with—by law.

N.J.: Funding set aside for homes affected by December floods

Due to flooding in the state last December, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Jan. 5 that $10 million will be set aside for impacted homeowners. This aid comes from FEMA’s “Swift Current” resilience fund, which is used to make buildings covered by the NFIP less susceptible to flood damage. In this case, the funds will be used to either elevate or buy out insured properties in the impacted areas, which includes the counties of Essex, Passaic and Morris. There also is the possibility that these heavily impacted areas will be eligible for a Presidentially Declared Disaster, which will allow for further FEMA funding.

N.Y.: State impacted by back-to-back inclement winter weather

On Jan. 7, a winter storm swept through New York, which brought up to a foot of snow in the northern parts of the state. Further, more snow and rain sweep through the state on Jan. 9, with the addition of hazardous winds that brought power outages. State and local agencies and officials have issued warnings for residents and travelers. Every 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 this winter.

N.Y.: Consortium called for AI development

Gov. Kathy Hochul has called for a consortium on artificial intelligence, as proposed on Jan. 8. In reporting from State of Politics, this proposal will launch a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence computing center in upstate New York, with the University of Buffalo in consideration. Known as Empire AI, this consortium features seven founding institutions, including Columbia, Cornell, and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, among others. This project has a budget of $400 million, with $275 million coming from the public, and $125 million coming from the private, founding institutions.

Vt.: Legislature grapples with major issues for 2024 session

Vermont’s legislative session began Jan. 3, and the state Legislature has multiple, pressing fronts to cover, according to the Associated Press. One of the top concerns is flooding and climate resiliency after the state’s devastating flood over the summer, which dumped roughly two months of rain in just two days. Other issues include managing opioid addiction among residents, affordable housing and public safety.


N.J.: Changes made to home improvement laws

Recently, New Jersey updated its home improvement rules and regulations regarding home improvement and home elevation. These changes include requiring contractors to maintain commercial general liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $500,000 per occurrence. Now would be a good time to start a discussion with your contractor clients about reviewing their insurance limits.

N.Y.: Navigating new DFS cyber security regulation

A few years ago, the New State Department of Financial Services adopted regulatory guidelines known as 23 NYCRR 500. In the fall of 2023, the DFS made amendments to these guidelines, introducing a host of new regulations, and updating others. Some of these changes include introducing Class A companies, redefining cyber security events and incidents, and enhancing definitions and responsibilities. PIA will continue to provide information on these of cyber security updates. Watch PIA Northeast News & Media for additional information.

N.Y.: Gov Hochul unveils consumer protection plan

To help protect consumers, Gov. Hochul has announced her 2024 agenda for strengthening consumer safety in her 2024 State of the State address. As it stands, these laws and regulations have not been updated in 40 years, which makes New York one of the eight states in the United States with laws that may fail to protect against unfair business practices. Among these protections include expanded medical and disability leave benefits, licensing for “Buy Now Pay Later” providers and limiting who hospitals can sue.


Conn.: PIA Advocacy spotlights Commissioner Andrew Mais

As part of its commissioner spotlight series, PIA has featured Commissioner Andrew Mais of the Connecticut Insurance Department. Commissioner Mais has led the CID since 2019 when he was appointed to the position by Gov. Ned Lamont. This will be his second term as commissioner. Mais is also the 2024 president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the co-chair of the NAIC’s Special Committee on Race and Insurance and serves on over two dozen different committees and task forces combined. PIA recognizes the ongoing and dedicated work of Mais and wishes him continued success and accolades. Join Commissioner Mais and PIACT for a virtual conference lunch on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, at 12 p.m. Register now.


Conn.: PIACT seeks industry stars—nominate someone today

PIACT is calling for nominations for its 2024 Distinction of Professionalism awards, and nominations are due Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. The association will honor insurance professionals who exemplify the qualities and actions that serve as a model of excellence in the insurance industry and for the independent agency system. Nominations are being sought for these awards: Professional Agent of the Year, Community Service Award, and Company Person of the Year. For a full description of each award, or for a nomination form, click here.

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: How to best identify auto insurance exposures

Join Steven D. Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CRIS, AAI, ARM, AIS, MLIS, AFIS, for his class 2024 CISR PA: Insuring Personal Auto on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. This class will help participants assist their clients in identifying their auto exposures and more effectively advise them in the processes of analyzing, obtaining, and modifying their personal automobile policies. This will be an in-person class at the Killingly Public Library in Danielson, Conn., and it has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (7 PC), New Jersey (7 GEN, DOBI will award 12 CE credits for each full year of licenses in good standing) and New York (7 BR, C3, PA, PC, 1 additional NYCE credit with passing exam grade). Register here.


N.Y.: Expand your business at MetroRAP’s trade show—save 15% now

Are you ready for MetroRAP? Come and join PIANY at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. MetroRAP will feature a trade show that will be packed wall-to-wall with fantastic vendors showing their products and services for everyone to see; a buffet lunch also will be served. This year, the trade show features and added twist; a “Best in (Trade) Show” contest. Attendees will be able to crown the most outstanding booth as their favorite based on overall experience, creativity, and innovation. There also will be cash door prize drawings and exhibitor and grand door prize drawings. This is your last chance to save 15% when you register. Prices will increase Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024.

Register now

Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024: CTYIP Holiday Social

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

Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024: PIANY MetroRAPSponsor, exhibit or advertise

March 27-28, 2024: Connecticut Convention

Save the date

Wednesday, April 17: NY-YIP Pre-Buffalo I-Day Event

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

Monday, Aug. 5, 2024: NY-YIP Golf Open

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