Weekly Dispatch: Jan. 18, 2024

January 18, 2024


Arctic blast hits Northeast, bringing freezing temperatures and snow

Once again, the Northeastern United States has been affected by a substantial winter storm, already coming off of the heels of last week’s storm. Affected states like New York and New Jersey have been providing updates on the storm to keep residents informed and safe; in New York alone, across the western and northern regions of the state, there was a snowfall rate of 2-4 inches per hour on Wednesday. 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.

Auto insurance rates climb up to 20%

You and your clients may have felt the recent increases in auto insurance. In the latest Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, auto insurance rates have risen by 20.3% from December 2022 to December 2023. In reporting from Reuters, the reason behind this increase can be attributed to increasing labor and parts costs, increased vehicle prices and declining demand from reinsurers.

How to protect you and your clients from nuclear verdicts

Nuclear verdicts are devastating legal verdicts against companies that result in payouts in the millions. They have the potential to hollow out businesses and significantly impact insurance providers that cover them. In these cases, juries are persuaded by the plaintiff’s attorneys that the payouts should be punitive and massive, to discourage other companies from making the same mistake. What are some strategies that companies and insurance providers should take to protect themselves from these kinds of verdicts?

Conn.: Emergency declaration authorized for Jan. flooding

Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Jan. 14 that President Joe Biden has authorized an emergency declaration for New London County, which includes the Mohegan Tribal Nation and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. This declaration will allow for personnel and equipment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist state and local emergency response teams due the storm on Jan. 10—with the possibility of additional flooding and a potential breach of the Fitchville Pond Dam in Bozrah.

N.Y.: DFS proposes AI anti-discrimination guidance

On Jan. 17, the New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris proposed anti-discrimination guidance for artificial intelligence used by state insurers in a circular letter. The DFS laid out its expectations for how insurers will develop and manage the integration of external consumer data and information sources, artificial intelligence systems, and other predictive models to mitigate potential harm to consumers. The DFS is soliciting comments from the industry and the public on the proposed circular letter until Sunday, March 17, 2024.

Vermont declares data privacy day

As the digital age ticks along, data privacy is getting more and more important. From social-media platforms selling people’s data to companies for targeted advertising, to malicious actors trying to access confidential information through various means, being a citizen on the internet is harder than ever. In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott declared that the 28th of January will be “Data Privacy Day.” The day is set to encourage residents of the state to be aware of their right to privacy as they go about their lives online. Remind your clients that everyday should be “Data Privacy Day” to keep what they value most on the web safe.


PIA regulation on insurance’s exemption from CFPB

PIA and other insurance industry stakeholders sent a letter to congressional leaders on Jan. 9, to urge them to amend the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010. Specifically, PIA and the other stakeholders requested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau clarify their regulatory authority within the insurance industry. Title X of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act exempted the insurance industry from the CFPB’s authority, and further legislation is required to prevent future attempts by the CFPB to control the state-based regulations of insurance, which PIA is committed to preserving.


Conn.: WC benefit adjustments

According to the Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Commission, the compensation rate for deaths covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act is $13,885.25—based on the overall 2023 CPI-W increase for the northeast of 3.2%—effective Jan. 1, 2024. In addition, the mileage reimbursement rate for all travel expenses incurred on or after Jan. 1, 2024, has risen to $0.67 per mile.

N.Y.: What to know about ‘covered entities’

A key part of New York’s cyber security regulation rests on the term “covered entity.” But just what exactly is a “covered entity,” and what does it mean for you if you operate your insurance agency in New York state? In the plain text of 23 NYCRR 500, a covered entity is a person who is required to operate under a license and similar authorization under the Banking, Insurance, and Financial Services Laws in the state. However, like any law or regulation, there’s important information between the lines that you should be aware of.

N.Y.: 2023 Premium tax statement filing reminder

According to a bulletin issued by the Excess Lines Association of New York, all licensed excess-line brokers must file a tax return (Premium Tax Statement) electronically on or before Friday, March 15, 2024, even if the broker did not place any business under that license. New York and several other states assess up to a $500 penalty if a broker fails to file the return. Note that brokers having no business to report may access the DFS’s electronic filing system to file a “zero” tax return (See Bulletin 2023-07).

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Learning more about personal lines

If you wanted to gain a better understanding of the property/casualty industry as it relates to personal lines, this is the course for you. The 2024 CIC PL | Personal Lines Institute Webinar will be taught by Jerry Kennedy, CIC; Steven D. Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, CRIS, AAI, ARM, AIS, MLIS, AFIS; and Mark A. Palinkas, CIC, over the course of two days, from Feb. 7-8, 2024. This course has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (16 PC), New Jersey (16 GEN) and New York (15 BR, C3, PA, PC).


N.Y.: Two weeks until MetroRAP, be at the NY-YIP event, too

Don’t forget to register for PIANY’s MetroRAP, which will be held Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. Register today. In addition to the informative education sessions and the fantastic trade show, MetroRAP will feature a supporting event: the Welcome Reception, hosted by NY-YIP on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, at Connolly’s Time Square, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Separate registration is required for the NY-YIP event.

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

Tuesday, March 5, 2024: NJYIP Swing & Connect

Wednesday, April 17, 2024: NY-YIP Pre-Buffalo I-Day Event

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

Sunday, June 2, 2024: NJYIP Nitecap

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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