Weekly Dispatch: April 4, 2024

April 4, 2024


New heavy-duty vehicle tailpipe emission limits finalized

The U.S. government announced that it was finalizing tailpipe emission standards for heavy-duty vehicles. In the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement, it stated that these standards would impact heavy-duty vehicles with the model years 2027 through 2032. The EPA claims that these new standards will reduce carbon emissions from these vehicles significantly “through the increased use of zero-emission vehicle technology.” In reporting from Reuters on March 29, it noted that while the final rule is less strict than initially proposed, automotive industry groups believe the rule is too strict, while other groups believe the EPA can go further.

Baltimore bridge collapse to cost insurers billions, impact national economy

On the early morning of March 26, 2024, the container ship MV Dali hit the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, Md. Not only did the collapse of the bridge leave six workers presumed dead, but it will have economic impacts across the nation. The port processes billions in goods, generates billions in revenue, and provides jobs for thousands. The insurance implications for the catastrophe are just as costly, with this disaster likely costing the Dali’s insurers billions, putting pressure on the maritime insurance market and their reinsurers.

N.J./N.Y.: Govs. Hochul and Murphy address Francis Scott Key bridge collapse

The recent collapse of the Francis Scott Key bridge, that left six presumed dead, has effectively cut off the Port of Baltimore’s maritime route. The collapse is set to have major impacts on U.S. economy, as the port is one of the busiest in country, generates billions in revenue, and provided thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Govs. Kathy Hochul and Phil Murphy have released joint statements offering their support and announcing that they can take additional cargo through their ports to minimize supply-chain disruptions.

PIACT elects officers for 2024-25, names Ruickoldt president

PIACT elected Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, CISR, CPIA, as president during the association’s annual convention held March 27-28, 2024, at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket. Ruickoldt is a broker for The Russell Insurance Agency LLC, in Southport. As an active member of PIACT since 2009, Ruickoldt served as president-elect in 2023-24; vice president of the Legislative/Business Issues Committee and a member of the Executive/Budget & Finance Committee. The association also elected: President-elect: Kevin McKiernan, CIC, CPIA, of Wilton. McKiernan is president of Abercrombie, Burns, McKiernan Co., in Darien. Vice president: Nathan Shippee of Bolton, Conn. Shippee is vice president of sales & marketing for Workers’ Compensation Trust in Wallingford, Conn. Treasurer: Katie Bailey, ACSR, CLCS, CPIA, of Monroe, Conn. Bailey is an agent with The Russell Agency in Southport, Conn. Secretary: Kimberly Tompkins, CIC, AIS, AINS, CRIS, ACSR, CPIA, PHM, of Prospect, Conn. Tompkins is an underwriter for Convelo Insurance Group in Middletown Township, N.J. Immediate Past President: J. Kyle Dougherty, CIC, of Orange, Conn. Dougherty is president of Dougherty Insurance Agency Inc., in Stratford, Conn.

Conn.: NTIA accepts state digital equity plan

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the National Telecommunication and Information Administration informed him that it has accepted the State of Connecticut’s digital equity plan, “Connecticut: Everyone Connected” on March 28, 2024. Federal acceptance of this plan makes the state eligible for $18 million in Digital Equity Act Capacity Grant funds, which would support implementation of the plan. The plan will help ensure that all Connecticut residents can benefit from life in the digital world for learning, career advancement, telehealth, and leveraging state services, meeting the needs of multiple marginalized groups.

Vt.: Gov. Scott addresses affordability issues

On March 27, Gov. Phil Scott addressed affordability issues facing the state. These includes rising costs, higher taxes, fee and penalties, leading residents and small businesses to struggle to get by. He was joined by Amanda Shangraw, the owner of a small business in Williamstown, who recently wrote to lawmakers about the difficulty of doing business in the state, and how the decisions made in the capitol have a tangible impact on residents. The full transcript of this press conference can be found here. Rising costs are making some insureds rethink their insurance policies. To educate your clients about the hard market and their insurance options, PIA Northeast has numerous articles on PIA Northeast News & Media, click on the “hard market” tab.


N.Y.: Producer public entity insurance compensation reports due April 15

New York State Insurance Regulation 87 requires insurance producers to disclose annually commissions or fees they receive in connection with coverage placement, or insurance services rendered, on behalf of a governmental unit in New York state. Producers, who were paid a share of such commissions or fees received by another producer, also must make the appropriate disclosure. A government unit whose business would be subject to the reporting requirement, would include “the state, an agency or department of the state, public authority, public benefit corporation, county, city, town, village, or any subdivision thereof.” The Governmental Insurance Disclosure Statement must be filed with the New York State Department of Financial Services by Monday, April 15, 2024. For an explanation of the requirements, pertinent FAQs, and a link to the form, see Producers’ annual report—April 15: shared public-entity compensation.


April 2024 NFIP manual now online

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has announced that the National Flood Insurance Program’s Flood Insurance Manual, effective April 1, 2024, now is available online at Flood Insurance Manuals and Handbooks.

How to place your business with wholesalers

It may be difficult for retail agents to find insurers that are willing to write certain risks—especially as the insurance markets harden. That is where a wholesale broker comes in—to connect agents and their clients with companies that have the means to cover such risks. To read more about how to place business with wholesalers, PIA members can access Placing business with wholesalers in the PIA QuickSource library. Do you need help finding hard-to-place markets? PIA Northeast members can access PIA MarketBase.

N.Y.: Cyber series: Non-New York businesses advice

Even if you’re an agent who lacks a physical or financial presence in the state, you still may be affected by New York’s cyber security regulation (23 NYCRR 500). 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.

N.Y.: NYCIRB moves its office

The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board has relocated its offices to 875 Third Ave., 8th Floor, New York, New York, 10022. Please know that the Rating Board’s telephone numbers and extensions have not changed and that the Rating Board’s web-based services will continue uninterrupted.


Call for nominations: National Alliance’s CSR of the Year

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is calling for nominations for its Outstanding CSR of the Year. You can nominate yourself or a worthy colleague to honor customer service representatives and account managers who have made significant contributions to the insurance and risk management industry. To be eligible for the award, nominees need to write a 500-1,000 word essay of the topic of resilience and adaptability and have letters of recommendation. All entries must be received by Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Download a nomination form or an entry form today.

PIACT honors four with Awards of Distinction

PIACT honored four insurance professionals at its annual convention, held March 27-28, at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. The Professional Agent of the Year was awarded to Marissa Barbera, president of Charter Oak Insurance Agency in Westport; the Company Person of the Year award was presented to two insurance professionals from Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp., Heather Griffith and Michael DePalma; and the Community Service Award was bestowed upon Melissa Yuchniuk, operations assistant and brigade chair for Bouvier Insurance in W. Hartford. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Resolving insurance ethical dilemmas

Whether you’re an independent agent operating in New York state adjusting to the latest continuing-education regulations, or you’re in need of a refresher when it comes to handling ethical issues, be sure to attend the Resolving Ethical Dilemmas course. This course will be taught by Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This course has been approved for CE credits in the following states: Connecticut (1 LRE), New Jersey (1 ETH) and New York (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC). This course has been approved for the New York state regulation for ethics and professionalism.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: New York insurance laws and regulations

It’s important to provide clarity for some of New York’s broker and licensing issues, as well as its laws and regulations. You may be an agent who lives outside of New York state, but who still does business with entities there. Plus, many of these issues and rules facing agents in New York also affect agents elsewhere. To learn more, attend the Insurance Laws and Regulations class, taught by Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC, which will be held on Tuesday, April 9, 2024, from 11 a.m.-noon. This course has been approved for CE credits in the following states: Connecticut (1 LRE), New Jersey (1 GEN) and New York (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC). This course has also been approved for the New York state regulation for insurance law.

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Learning about the opportunities of AI

It’s likely that you know about AI, but you probably have more than a few questions about it. When it comes to the insurance industry, will it prove to be a useful tool or just a hinderance? Does the truth lie in the middle? To learn more, attend the class Artificial Intelligence and Agents – Panic or Promise? taught by Thomas H. Wetzel. This class will be held on Friday, April 12, 2024, from 10 a.m.—11 a.m. This course has been approved for CE credits in New Jersey (1 GEN) and New York (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC, TIA). The Connecticut course has been submitted for CE approval.


N.J.: Pay-to-play annual disclosure was due April 1

There were sweeping changes for New Jersey’s campaign-finance and pay-to-play laws in 2023. Gov. Murphy signed the New Jersey Elections Transparency Act, P.L. 2023, c. 30, into law on April 3, 2023, and later he signed Executive Order 333 into effect on June 15, 2023. Although the ETA has simplified and streamlined New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws, government contractors still need to pay careful attention to the law and its requirements. PIANJ held a webinar on these new rules in March that was led by Rebecca Moll Freed, a partner with K&L Gates LLP, in Newark, N.J. If you were not able to participate, there is a program recording for your convenience. New Jersey’s pay-to-play law (P.L. 2005, c. 271 Section 3), requires insurance agencies to file electronic annual disclosure statements by Monday, April 1, 2024.

N.Y.: PIA-priority anti-arson bill passes the state Assembly

In a victory for PIA, the PIA-supported legislation (A.8831) that would repeal the outdated anti-arson application in New York City was passed by the New York state Assembly (by a vote of 147-0) on March 25, 2024. The current anti-arson application rules were created in the 1970s in response fire-related insurance fraud. Should this legislation be enacted, the obligation to submit an annual anti-arson application would be eliminated throughout New York state, including New York City. This change would alleviate the significant administrative burden faced by homeowners and insurance agents of renewing the anti-arson application each year.

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Thursday, April 18, 2024: PIANY at Buffalo I-Day—Don’t forget to stop by PIA’s booth!

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

Save the date

Sunday, June 2, 2024: NJYIP Nitecap

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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