Weekly Dispatch: April 11, 2024

April 11, 2024


4.8 magnitude earthquake hits Northeast

Last Friday, many Northeasterners felt the effects of a 4.8 magnitude earthquake, which rocked our world with shaking buildings from Philadelphia to New Jersey to New York City to Connecticut to Westchester, N.Y. The earthquake was centered near Whitehouse Station, N.J., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Now that your clients—both personal and commercial insureds—just experienced the earth moving under their feet, you will be sure to receive many earthquake-related coverage and claims questions. PIA Northeast has resources that members can use to address these questions.

2024 hurricane season forecast to be ‘very active’: PIA can help your agency prepare

The Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science forecast that the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season will be “very active.” The CSU Tropical Meteorology Project forecasts 23 named storms, 11 hurricanes and five major hurricanes during the 2024 season, which starts on June 1 and continues through Nov. 30. A typical Atlantic season has 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. To keep up with the season, PIA Northeast members can access PIA’s Hurricane Info Central, which has resources to help your clients and your agency during the hurricane season. If you’d like to send customized materials to your clients, email PIA’s Design & Print.

Conn.: CID participates in climate strategy for insurance

The Connecticut Insurance Department announced its participation in the adoption of the first-ever National Climate Resilience Strategy for Insurance by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on April 5, 2024. This strategy aims to mitigate losses and expedite recovery from natural disasters, safeguarding the nation’s property insurance market. Developed under the guidance of the NAIC’s Climate and Resiliency Task Force, this strategy outlines state regulators’ plans to collect data, blueprint flood insurance, leverage catastrophe modeling, develop new resilience tools, advocate for mitigation funding and enhance solvency oversight.

New York announces bonds to subsidize affordable homes

On April 8, 2024, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $412 million in bonds and subsidies to expand and protect the housing supply, creating and preserving nearly 1,100 affordable homes in New York City, the Finger Lakes and the Hudson Valley. The awards are part of the $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan that will create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York state. The financing is allocated through New York State Homes and Community Renewal’s March 2024 bond issuance which provided $283 million in tax-exempt housing bonds and $129 million in subsidy.

New York offers funds to develop grid modernization projects

In an effort to support electric grid modernization, New York state announced that $3.5 million in technical assistance funding now is available through the state’s Grid Modernization Program on April 5, 2024. This funding will support interested municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives in developing proposals that advance the reliability of grid infrastructure and access to affordable clean energy. The announcement supports the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals to transition to 100% zero-emission electricity by 2040.


Best practices to help clients during the claims process

Rarely is the role of the insurance agent or broker ever more important to a client than when that client has experienced a claim. Guiding clients through the claims process is a critical component of the agent’s or broker’s job. It involves not just a deep understanding of the policies, but also a compassionate approach to client management. However, navigating the claims process can be tricky. Between communicating with your client, carriers and third parties to managing client expectations, the claims process quickly can become a quagmire for agents. What are some of the best practices for assisting clients during this process?


Strategies for selling business interruption insurance

In the ever-evolving landscape of the business world, the significance of safeguarding operations against unforeseen disruptions cannot be overstated to your clients. Business interruption insurance emerges as a pivotal safeguard designed to protect your clients’ businesses from the financial turmoil that can arise from unexpected events that halt or severely impair operations. Selling business interruption insurance requires you to convey your own expertise about unforeseen events impacting a business’s operations. To do so successfully requires a multi-pronged approach encompassing your reputation, knowledge and marketing abilities.

Knowing how to cover your client’s watercraft

There are plenty of types of watercrafts that insureds can own. This includes canoes, jet skis, sailboats and more. It’s entirely possible that professional insurance agents can get calls from their insureds about the possibility of covering their brand-new (or new-to-them) watercraft: why not shore up your knowledge about watercraft? If you would like a better understanding of the technicities of covering watercraft, then PIA members can access Options for covering watercraft, in the PIA QuickSource library.

AM Best: State Farm downgraded

AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating of State Farm General Insurance Co., to “B” (Fair) from “A” (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating to “bb+” (Fair) from “a” (Excellent). The outlook of the FSR has been revised to stable from negative, while the outlook of the long-term ICR is negative. The credit ratings reflect State Farm’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as weak, as well as its marginal operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also reflect lift, as defined within Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, from its parent, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. PIA member benefit. If you want an easy way to monitor your carriers’ ratings, sign up for PIA’s Company Rating Tracking Service, which is available exclusively to PIA members. Once you sign up for this service, you will receive an email from PIA when one of your represented carrier’s AM Best rating changes. To participate, contact PIA’s Industry Resource Center by phone at (800) 424-4244 or by email at resourcecenter@pia.org with a listing of the carriers your agency represents. Please note: This alert is a product of PIA and is not affiliated with any service provided by AM Best.


PIACT holds successful Legislative Reception

PIACT held its annual Legislative Reception on March 19, 2024, in the lobby of the Connecticut Legislative Office Building. The event presented a unique opportunity for insurance agents to share their experiences, insights and visions for the future of Connecticut’s insurance industry with members of the state legislature and the Connecticut Insurance Department. Attendees discussed association priority issues including surplus-lines reform and a ban on bait-and-switch practices, as well as pending legislation like measures to require or increase insurance requirements for home improvement contractors.


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.

Register now

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

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

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—sponsorships are available

Tuesday, June 18, 2024: CTYIP Golf Open

Save the date

Sunday, June 2, 2024: NJYIP Nitecap

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

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2024: NY-YIP Albany Fall Soiree

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