Weekly Dispatch: March 21, 2024

March 21, 2024


Consumer Price Index: Car insurance up by almost 21%

In a new report from the Consumer Price Index, motor vehicle insurance has seen a 20.6% increase in a 12-month period from February 2023 to February 2024. This marks a 1.5% increase from January 2024 to February 2024. Reporting from CNN indicates that increased car repair costs (up by 6.7% per the CPI) and more dangerous car accidents have contributed to increased car insurance costs. On top of this, the all-items index has seen a 3.2% increase from the same 12-month period.

How Sniffspot safeguards hosts and enriches doggy playtime

Sniffspot is an innovative platform designed to provide private and secure spaces for dogs to play and explore. It’s an app-based service that connects dog owners with local hosts who offer their private lands, yards or specialized areas for dog playdates, training sessions or just some off-leash exploration: Think of it as AirBnB for dogs. Sniffspot fills a significant gap in urban and suburban areas where open, secure spaces are scarce, but how does Sniffspot address potential mishaps or damage during visits through host liability insurance, damage protection guarantees, and guest waivers and releases?

Conn: State grants released for finance, empowerment programs

Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Banking Commissioner Jorge Perez announced on March 18, 2024, the release of three state grants totaling more than $400,000 that will be used to support programs focused on improving the financial wellness of Connecticut residents with a priority focus on women and girls. The grants are being awarded through a competitive RFP process issued by the Connecticut Department of Banking that solicited proposals centered on the grant’s objectives.

NHID hosts property/casualty market symposium

The New Hampshire Insurance Department announced the completion of its Property & Casualty Markets Symposium, which was held on March 11. The event, which featured industry experts and valuable discussions, provided attendees with insights into the latest trends and developments in the property/casualty insurance markets. In addition to the live event, the NHID has made the keynote presentation and panel discussion available for viewing on its YouTube channel. A copy of the slide deck also is available.

N.J.: Independent review of state COVID-19 pandemic response released

The COVID-19 pandemic cost New Jersey dearly, much like the rest of the United States. The pandemic took the lives of 33,000 New Jersey residents, and over one million people nationwide. On March 7, the Governer’s Office released the independent review of the state’s response to the pandemic. The 910-page report was authored by the law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, under the leadership of former federal and state prosecutor Paul Zoubek, with assistance from the Boston Consulting Group.

N.Y.: Government loans available for storm-impacted residents

On March 13, 2024, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the U.S. Small Business Administration will offer federal assistance to New Yorkers on Long Island who were impacted by severe storms containing heavy rain and high winds from Jan. 9-10, 2024. Between Jan. 9-10, 2024, a statewide multihazard weather event crossed much of the state, resulting in significant damage to businesses and homes. Residents and businesses in Suffolk and Nassau counties now are eligible to apply for low-interest loans to aid in their recovery from the devastating rain event.

N.Y.: Office of Cannabis Management to undergo assessment

Gov. Hochul initiated an assessment of the Office of Cannabis Management to identify opportunities for improvement and begin implementation of a strategic plan for the long-term success of the legal cannabis rollout. Commissioner for the Office of General Services Jeanette Moy will serve as lead and executive sponsor of the effort, supported by experienced state government leaders. Commissioner Moy will have access to resources from OGS, the Office of Information Technology Services, and other state agencies to support the development of systems and dashboards.


New Jersey flood risk laws now in effect

According to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the Garden State is experiencing increased flood risk because of climate change. Areas that are considered safe from flooding may no longer be so: by 2050, sea-level rise will meet or exceed 2.1 feet above 2000 levels, putting 40,000 properties in the state at risk of permanent coastal flooding. Furthermore, increasing perception opens inland regions to flash flooding; these risks are expected to go up in the life of a typical mortgage originated in or after 2020. In response, the New Jersey flood risk notification law (P.L. 2023, c.94) was enacted on July 3, 2023, and went into effect on March 20, 2024. This law requires landlords and sellers of real property to make certain disclosures concerning known and potential flood risks.

N.Y.: Cyber series: compliance for limited exempt entities

Prior articles in the cyber series have concentrated on what it means to be a covered entity. To understand what covered entities must do to comply with New York’s cyber security regulation (23 NYCRR 500), read our latest installment in the cyber series. Remember: You need to prove you were in compliance with New York state’s cyber security regulations for 2023 by Monday, April 15, 2024. If you are licensed in New York state, this compliance needs to be completed each year. Do you need help? PIA Northeast members can contact the PIA Industry Resource Center, which can offer step-by-step directions to make this process easier. Call (800) 424-4244 or email resourcecenter@pia.org.


PIA opposes two new US DOL rules

PIA signed letters opposing two rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The first rule would change overtime regulations set out by the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the second rule would set the enforcement standard the DOL uses to determine if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor. PIA sees these rules as harmful for workers, as the first rule would forcibly reclassify millions of employees, and the second would insert uncertainty and subjectivity into worker classification as it expands what factors to consider when determining an employee’s status.

N.Y.: PIA priority windstorm definition bill passes Assembly

The New York state Legislature may be right in the middle of budget negotiations, but the Assembly took a break from the budget to pass one of PIANY’s top legislative priorities for the 2024 legislative session. The Assembly passed A.2866—which would require the New York State Department of Financial Services to create a standard definition of windstorm for homeowners insurance policies—on March 18, 2024. The definition of windstorm may seem harmless, but it has real consequences on consumers. Currently, there is no standard definition of windstorm. In fact, the DFS has approved over 100 definitions of windstorm.

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: The relationship between cybersecurity and the insurance industry

Cybersecurity and the insurance industry go hand in hand: how can you provide clients the best service possible if there are gaps in your firewall? The webinar, Cybersecurity: How it Affects the Insurance Industry, will explore this relationship, and will be taught by Walter Contreras, cyber security expert and CEO of Motiva Networks.This webinar will be held on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. This course has been approved for continuing-education credits in the following states: Connecticut (3 PC) and New York (3 BR, C3, PA, PC). It has been submitted for CE credits in New Jersey.


Still time to register for the Connecticut Convention—enjoy the sold-out trade show

There is still time to pre-register for the Connecticut Convention on March 27-28, 2024, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Between learning about emerging industry issues and networking with industry professionals, attendees can attend the sold-out trade show to get ahead in the insurance market. Featuring over 50 vendors, you will be able to find someone that will meet your industry needs, whether you are trying to break into a new market or solidifying your position in a market you are in currently. Register today to avoid higher prices at the door. Online registration closes on Monday, March 25, 2024, at noon.


CFPB prohibits excessive credit card late fees and lowers current late fees

On March 5, 2024, in a significant move to protect consumers from excessive financial burdens, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a new finalized rule aimed at limiting late payment fees on credit cards issued by the largest credit card issuers. The CFPB’s rule is set to lower the typical late fee from $32 to $8, eliminate automatic annual inflation adjustments, and requires larger credit card issuers to justify imposing late fees exceeding $8. It’s important to note that the finalized rule does not change the credit card issuer’s ability to raise interest rates, reduce credit lines, and take other actions to deter consumers from making late payments. The final rule is scheduled to take effect on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, which is 60 days after its publication to the Federal Register.

Register now

Tuesday, March 26, 2024: CTYIP Welcome Reception

March 27-28, 2024: Connecticut Convention

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

Thursday, May 23, 2024: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance–Pickleball Tournament and Networking

June 2-4, 2024: PIA New Jersey | PIA New York Annual ConferenceWant to sponsor, exhibit or advertise?

Tuesday, June 4, 2024: NJYIP Fun Run to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey

Thursday, June 13, 2024: PIWA Spring Reception

Save the date

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

Sunday, June 2, 2024: NJYIP Nitecap

Saturday, June 13, 2024: PIWA Spring Reception—Want to sponsor?

Tuesday, June 18, 2024: CTYIP Golf Open

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

Monday, Aug. 5, 2024: NY-YIP Capital Region Fall Reception

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