Weekly Dispatch: April 18, 2024

April 18, 2024


Triple-I: Dog-related injury payouts reach $1.12 billion in 2023

While most pet owners consider their dog a member of their family, they may not see the risk associated with their furry friend. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the number of dog bite and related injury claims was 19,062: this is an increase of more than 8% from 2022 and a 110% increase over the past decade. For 2023, these claim payouts amounted to $1.12 billion. However, the average cost per claim decreased from $64,555 in 2022 to $58,545 in 2023. You may want to start a conversation with your clients about coverage in case their dog causes an injury.

NICB: Vehicle thefts continue to surge in 2023

Vehicle thefts continue to surge nationwide, challenging vehicle owners and law enforcement agencies hoping to curb this growing crime trend. A new report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows another record-breaking year for vehicle thefts in 2023. Last year, more than one million vehicles were reported stolen and overall vehicle thefts increased about 1% nationwide from 1 million in 2022 to 1.02 million in 2023. New York, one of the five states in PIA’s footprint, ranked No. 7 for car thefts by volume and No. 7 for states with the highest theft percentage increase.

Is AI the answer to talent shortages in claims?

Talent shortages continue to rank in the top 10 concerns of insurance industry stakeholders. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12,000 people per day will turn 65 in 2024, calling this milestone “Peak 65.” Peak 65 is expected to lead to talent shortages in the insurance industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that the industry could lose around 400,000 workers through attrition by 2026. While technology and artificial intelligence can have great impact on the operational and underwriting activity of insurance companies, claims maybe the holdout area where people will continue to be inherently necessary, especially when it comes to workers’ compensation claims. AI is only part of the answer.

CTYIP names board of directors for 2024-25

CTYIP elected its officers and board of directors for the 2024-25 year. President: Justin Sloan of the Nesso Group in Milldale. President-elect: Robin Ricciardone of RPS/Cowles & Connell in Meriden. Vice president: Jacklyn Meeker of The Russell Agency LLC in Southport. Treasurer: Ryan Keating of Keating Insurance in Hartford. Secretary: Kieran Buttrick of Hagerty Insurance in Stratford. Immediate past president: Ryan Kelly of USI in Meriden. Elected to serve on the CTYIP board of directors are: Jeremy Card, ARM-P, CSRM, CISR, of Memic in Sandy Hook; Christine DeFelice of CorRisk Solutions in Melville, N.Y.; Anthony DeSalva of Georgetown Financial in Reading; Cathy Finlayson of Atlantic Restoration in New Britain; Malorie Leone of Atlantic Casualty in New Britain; and Ryan Vivenzio of CNA–Connecticut Branch, Glastonbury. Claudia Krzos of Atlantic Casualty Insurance in New Britain, will serve as ex-officio director on the board.

N.J.: Digital equity plan accepted by NTIA

The New Jersey Board of Public utilities has received approval for its Digital Equity Plan from the National Telecommunication and Information Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Under the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, NTIA awarded New Jersey $1.17 million in October 2022 to develop a Digital Equity plan aimed at breaking down barriers to digital connectivity. The NTIA also announced that New Jersey is eligible to apply for just over $18 million from its recently unveiled Digital Equity Capacity Grant for states, designed to help states begin implementation of its Digital Equity Plan.

N.Y.: Over 400 adult-use cannabis licenses issued in 2024

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on April 12, 2024, that the New York State Cannabis Control Board has issued 403 adult-use cannabis licenses in 2024 to bolster the legal market in New York. Recently, the CCB voted to approve a resolution authorizing the issuance of a diverse range of 101 adult-use cannabis licenses across the supply chain, including microbusinesses, cultivators, processors, distributors and retail dispensary locations. This resolution opens pathways for entrepreneurs and businesses to participate in the adult-use cannabis market. PIA Northeast offers various resources to help members stay updated on this budding issue.


PIANY priority excess-line reform bill heads to Senate floor

Over the last several legislative sessions, PIANY has been pushing for reforms to the way business is placed in the excess & surplus marketplace to ensure that agents and consumers have access to the insurance producers they need. This legislation session, PIANY is supporting S.5896/A.5253. S.5896, sponsored by Sen. Neil Breslin, D-46, which was successfully moved out of the Senate Insurance Committee on April 15, 2024. The legislation would exclude both retail producing insurance brokers and wholesale excess-line insurance brokers from making the diligent effort requirement when placing commercial-lines insurance through an unaffiliated wholesale excess.

N.Y.: Two PIA-supported bills introduced to state Legislature

The New York state Legislature might be in the process of negotiating the budget, but it took the time to introduce two PIA-supported bills that could have a significant impact on the homeowners and auto marketplace, respectively. These bills include an expansion of the state’s Coastal Market Assistance Program, while the other makes a change to supplemental spousal liability coverage in auto policies by letting policyholders choose to opt-in.


Meet PIA’s new E&O consultant

One of the benefits of being a PIA Northeast member is that they have access to a direct hotline to two legal experts who will assist agents when they face E&O issues. Christopher Weldon, Esq., has joined PIA’s long-time E&O counsel, Robert M. Sullivan, Esq., as one of PIA’s E&O Assistance Hotline counsels. Weldon is a partner at Winget, Spadafora & Schwartzberg LLP, and he has nearly 35 years of law experience—with more than 25 years handling insurance-related law. Members have access to these attorneys and their extensive expertise in E&O litigation, prevention and analysis—for up to 30 minutes at no additional cost. To connect with either lawyer, contact the PIA Industry Resource Center at (800) 424-4244 or through email.

The lowest price versus the best deal: what’s the difference?

At first glance, the terms “lowest price” and “best deal” seem interchangeable. However, when your clients take another look at these terms, there’s a big gap between the two: an item or service that is “the lowest price” may not give them the most mileage. The same is true for the insurance industry: risk management isn’t just a commodity. Independent insurance agents should convey that to their clients and apply that mindset when they are selecting carriers. To learn more, PIA Northeast members can access The lowest price isn’t always the best deal in the QuickSource library.


PIANJ seeks industry stars—nominate someone today

PIANJ is searching for insurance professionals for its 2024 Awards of Distinction: nominations are due on Friday, May 10, 2024. These awards will honor 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, Company Person of the Year, and Distinguished Insurance Service Award. Full descriptions for each award and the nomination form can be found here.

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: Learn about the hottest issues facing E&O

Independent agents and brokers must carefully avoid errors-and-omissions claims, but the E&O landscape becomes more complex each day. New exposures, like from ride-share services or consumer grade drones, may leave independent agents feeling stretched a little thin. Luckily, the E&O Hot Issues^FF will be able to clarify any questions you may have. This class will be taught by Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC, on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. This class has been submitted for CE approval in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. ^FF–This course has been approved for E&O loss-prevention credit by Fireman’s Fund. Call the PIA E&O Department for details.


Connecticut Convention a smashing success

PIACT’s annual Connecticut Convention returned to Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket this year. The event, which was held at the end of March, featured hundreds of agents, company representatives, exhibitors and more industry professionals from across the state. Those who attended the two-day event visited the sold-out trade show, informational education classes that were approved for continuing-education credits, and various networking events. During the networking luncheon buffet, PIACT welcomed PIA National President Richard A. Savino, CIC, CPIA, who began his address by discussing the news of PIA National’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Becker’s departure from the association and the insurance industry.

N.Y.: Pretzels, pints and fun at the PIWA Spring Reception

You might want to brush up on your German before heading out to the PIWA Spring Reception. This year it will be held at The Standard Biergarten, NYC on Thursday, June 13, 2024, from 5:30-7.30 p.m. Enjoy the open-air, street-level beer garden, which will serve a variety of sausages, pretzels and drinks for you and your fellow insurance professionals to enjoy. Take advantage of the early-bird pricing and register now. There also are sponsorship opportunities available.

Register now

Wednesday, May 8, 2024: NJYIP Golf Open

Thursday, May 23, 2024: PIANJ Women’s Leadership Alliance–Pickleball Tournament and Networking—There is a waiting list for the tournament, but you still can network

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

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

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