Weekly Dispatch: Feb. 15, 2024

February 15, 2024


Take NUPC’s survey on today’s insurance challenges

For the eighth year in a row, the NU Property & Casualty Magazine has partnered with PIA National to survey PIA members to get a better understanding about the challenges that face today’s insurance agents. The survey, which can be filled out anonymously, is available until Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. Take the survey today—it will take about 15 minutes to complete.

Conn.: PIACT hosts Q&A session with CID Commissioner Andrews Mais

PIACT hosted an interactive question-and-answer session last week with Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Andrew Mais. The event, moderated by PIACT’s Director of Government & Industry Affairs, Bradford J. Lachut, Esq., delved into a range of critical issues shaping the insurance landscape in Connecticut and beyond. Mais highlighted the resilience and adaptability of the market, noting how insurers have navigated the challenges posed by recent global events. He emphasized the importance of a robust regulatory framework to ensure stability and protect consumers, underscoring the CID’s commitment to fostering a healthy insurance ecosystem.

Conn.: Court finds no duty to defend automobile crash injuries under home and umbrellas policies

The Court of Appeals of Connecticut affirmed a decision by a lower court, which granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of several insurance carriers. It confirmed that these carriers did not have a duty to defend and indemnify two policyholders under certain insurance policies in an action that sought to recover damages for injuries sustained in an automobile accident caused by the policyholders’ minor son while he was under the influence of alcohol. What this ruling means for agents: You should encourage clients to review their insurance portfolios regularly to ensure that underlying policy requirements are met, umbrella policies are aligned with foundational coverage to not experience gaps in coverage, as well as note any continuous coverage requirements and any specific situations or exclusions that could impact these additional layers of protection.

N.Y.: Consumer protection law goes into effect

A new law amending credit card surcharges went into effect on Feb. 11, 2024—it was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in December. This law requires that credit card surcharges be limited to the amount charged to the business by the credit card company, and that businesses post before checkout either the total price of the product inclusive of the surcharge or a two tiered pricing option for credit and cash. The goal of this law is to provide transparency for consumers in New York by eliminating hidden credit card costs.

N.Y.: Gov. Hochul proposes increase to 1989 short-term disability benefits

Since 1989, New Yorkers in need of temporary disability leave, including individuals with pregnancy and childbirth-related conditions, have been limited to a maximum benefit amount of $170 per week. Adjusted for inflation, the $170 weekly cap set in 1989 in today’s terms would be equivalent to just about $69. Addressing this disparity, Gov. Hochul proposed a gradual increase in the maximum short-term disability benefit over the next five years. The plan suggests adjusting the current flat rate of $170 to two-thirds of an employee’s average weekly wage, capped at two-thirds of the state average weekly wage by 2029.

N.Y.: Special election announced for 26th congressional district in April 2024

Gov. Hochul announced that a special election to fill the vacancy in the 26th Congressional District created by the resignation of Brian Higgins will be held on Tuesday, April 30, 2024. Gov. Hochul issued the proclamation on Feb. 12, pursuant to the Public Officers Law. The 26th District covers parts of Erie and Niagara counties, and it includes the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Higgins announced his resignation on Nov. 12, 2023, and left office Feb. 2, 2024. He served his district for nearly 20 years.


N.H.: Mandatory flood insurance education is enforced

The New Hampshire Insurance Department has released a bulletin to remind resident producers of the need to comply with mandatory flood insurance education requirements. Recently, the NHID has learned that many resident producers holding property/casualty line of authority licenses, including personal lines, have not fulfilled the requirement to complete a flood insurance course as mandated by N.H. Admin. R., Ins 1304. According to the regulation, resident producers are required to complete a basic flood course approved by the NHID within one year of receiving their license. This educational mandate applies to all licensed resident individual producers with p/c line of authority, regardless of whether they are involved in placing flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Vt.: FEMA’s NPN mandate poses new challenges

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recently implemented a plan to require every National Flood Insurance Program policy—both new and renewing—to include both an agent and an agency National Producer Number. As this new requirement was being implemented, PIA became aware of five states that do not require insurance agencies to obtain business entity licenses: Vermont is one of these states. It offers optional business entity licenses, but the state insurance department does not require such licenses. Agencies that do not have NPNs are strongly encouraged to begin the process of requesting them from their insurance departments.


N.Y.: Chapter amendments made to PIA-priority ‘bait-and-switch’ law

In 2023, PIANY fiercely advocated for passage of legislation that would increase consumer protections during the automobile insurance underwriting process. PIA was successful in its efforts when Gov. Hochul signed into law S.5764-B, which takes aim at the harmful bait-and-switch tactics in the insurance community. The bill was signed with the understanding that when the Legislature reconvened in November, changes known as chapter amendments would have to be made and pass the state Senate and Assembly, which has happened. The bill will be sent to the governor for her consideration.


Conn.: Enhanced FAIR Plan website launched

The Connecticut Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan has launched a new website—see the upgraded content here.

N.J.: February ACORD forms update

In the latest ACORD forms update, New Jersey forms ACORD 132 NJ (2015/09) New Jersey Workers Compensation Insurance Plan Notes and Instructions and ACORD 133 NJ (2015/09) New Jersey Workers Compensation Insurance Plan Coverage Request Form are revised with an effective date of Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024. In addition, the following new form is introduced: ACORD 752 NY (2024/04) New York State Standard Form to Designate a Representative to Assist with Health Insurance Authorizations, Complaints, Grievances, and Appeals.

New York businessowners executive officer payroll amount is revised

The Insurance Services Office Inc. recently updated its New York businessowners rules effective Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The annual individual payroll for executive officers and the annual individual payroll for individual insureds or copartners is revised from $34,300 to $42,800 for premium computation purposes.


PIACT seeks industry stars—nominate someone today

PIACT is calling for nominations for its 2024 Awards of Distinction, 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

How to get compete without breaking the bank

All industries have a competitive streak to them, and insurance is no exception to the rule. For independent agents, it’s an uphill battle to get recognized between countless competitors (some of which have deep pockets). However, it’s not a hopeless fight: there are plenty of tools and strategies independent agents can use to even the odds. PIA Northeast member can access Get competitive—marketing strategies that really work and don’t cost a bundle in the PIA QuickSource library. This article can help you expand your skillset and maintain your foothold in the insurance industry.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Improve your skills as a professional agent

Professional insurance agents need to keep their skills sharp, and there are plenty of way to do so. The webinar 2024 CPIA 1: Position for Success lead by John Fear, CPIA, CISR, will help you enhance your professionalism and sales ability. It will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, from 8 a.m-4 p.m. This course has been approved for continuing-education credits in Connecticut (2 LRE, 5 PC), New Jersey (7 GEN) and New York (7 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC).


Connecticut Convention is back at Foxwoods

PIA annual Connecticut Convention will be held at Foxwoods Resort Casino, from March 27-28, 2024. During this a two-day event expect an incredible experience that highlights the best of the insurance industry. You will have the opportunity to network with professionals of all stripes—whether they’re industry veterans or just starting a fruitful career—learn about some of the most pressing issues in the insurance world from Brad Lachut, Esq., and Steve Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AAI, ARM, AIS, CRIS, MLIS, AFIS, TRIP; improve your standing in the market with our trade show, which can cater to your every industry need. Register today at a 15% discount. Sponsorship, exhibitor, and advertising opportunities also are available.

Register now

Tuesday, March 5, 2024: NJYIP Swing & Connect

Tuesday, March 26, 2024: CTYIP Welcome Reception

March 27-28, 2024: Connecticut Convention

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

Save the date

Thursday, March 7, 2024: PIANJ Deep Dive

Thursday, April 18, 2024: PIANY at Buffalo I-Day

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

Tuesday, June 18, 2024: CTYIP Golf Open

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

Share This