Weekly Dispatch: June 13, 2024

June 13, 2024


FEMA may run out of money before hurricane season ends

Hurricane season has just gotten underway, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an “above normal” hurricane season, and climate experts are predicting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency is expected to run out of money before the hurricane season is over. FEMA told CNN it is working with Congress “to ensure sufficient funding is available.” To keep up with the season, check out PIA’s Hurricane Info Central, which has resources to help your clients and your agency during the hurricane season, which runs June 1-Nov. 30. If you would like to send customized materials to your clients, email PIA’s Design & Print.

Report: Nuclear verdicts are on the rise

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform issued a new report about the trend of nuclear verdicts, and its ongoing impact on the insurance industry. In summary, the ILR found that nuclear verdicts dropped off significantly during the period of court closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they quickly rebounded to near-record highs by the third quarter of 2021, indicating that nuclear verdicts are on an upward trajectory. If left to develop along their current trajectory, nuclear verdicts promise to become further entrenched and to continue threatening livelihoods and raising costs across the economy. Want to learn more about nuclear verdicts, see the related article on PIA Northeast News & Media.

Now is the perfect time to remind clients about safe driving

People like to go cruising down the highways as the weather gets warmer, but that doesn’t mean they need to abandon safe driving. Now is a great time to remind your clients about driving responsibly. Speeding tickets and accidents can have far-reaching consequences—the least of which can be increased insurance premiums. Some states, such as New Hampshire, have dedicated campaigns to raising awareness about this issue. PIA Northeast also offers members numerous resources that they can use to educate their clients about driver safety, including the dangers of drunk driving; what to do if you are involved in an accident; safety tips for young drivers; work zone safety tips; and keeping your eyes and your mind on the road.

Conn.: Funds released for economic development in underserved communities

Gov. Ned Lamont, state Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-11, and state Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-1, announced on June 7, 2024, that the State Bond Commission approved the release of approximately $74 million in state funding to support the fourth round of grants under the Community Investment Fund 2030. This state grant fund was created in 2022 to support economic development in historically underserved communities across Connecticut. The program is anticipated to release up to $875 million in grants over a five-year period.


PIANY top-priority windstorm bill passes state Legislature, heads to Gov. Hochul

In a significant legislative achievement, the New York state Senate has passed S.4199, which would establish a standardized definition of windstorm for homeowners insurance policies. This bill was the top legislative priority for PIANY for the 2024 session. The same-as bill previously passed the state Assembly in March. The association’s leadership and staff met with over 20 state senators, highlighting the inconsistencies and financial risks posed by the current patchwork of over 100 different windstorm definitions approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The dedicated efforts of the association led to a remarkable 1,000% increase in the number of co-sponsors for the bill—including all the senators from Long Island. The bill now will be sent to the governor for her consideration. If you’d like to contact her to show your support for the bill, click here.

N.Y.: Read about the major insurance bills that passed this legislative session

The 2023-24 legislative session has officially closed in New York state. True to form, the Legislature worked tirelessly, passing hundreds of bills on the last day of the session. During the session, PIANY was committed to supporting measures that would assist agents in navigating the challenging hard market. This goal was met by backing a variety of bills aimed at simplifying insurance for consumers and introducing innovative products to the market. Read about these new bills—including parametric insurance, business interruption, anti-concurrent causation clauses and supplemental spousal liability—on PIA Northeast News & Media.

House subcommittee funding bill defunds FIO subpoena power, supported by PIA

On June 5, the House Appropriations Financial Services Subcommittee passed its Financial Services and General Government spending bill for the 2025 fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1, 2024, by voice vote. Included in the spending bill is a policy provision that PIA strongly supports and has been actively advocating in favor of from Rep. Scott Fitzgerald’s, R-Wis., Insurance Data Protection Act (H.R.5535). This provision would prevent funds for FY’25 from being used to implement, administer or enforce the Federal Insurance Office’s subpoena authority.

PIA comments on NAIC Working Group on consumer privacy

Last month, the Privacy Protections Working Group of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners issued a request for information concerning the Working Group’s path forward regarding its ongoing work to modernize the state regulation of consumer insurance data. In its most recent comments, PIA strongly discouraged the Working Group from continuing its work on its draft Privacy Model #674. PIA has had substantial concerns about the effect that #674 would have on the constantly evolving ways independent agents use data to strengthen the independent agency model and facilitate the growth of their small- and mid-sized businesses all around the country.


Keeping an eye out for coverage traps

Independent insurance agents may receive calls from customers about reviewing their policies for any hidden exclusions and coverage restrictions—coverage traps. One red flag is policy forms with the disclaimer: “Includes copyrighted material of Insurance Services Office, with its permission.” This means that the policy is unique to that carrier, and it may use different wording for coverage and exclusions. To better understand which traps to watch out for, PIA Northeast members can read It’s a coverage trap! in the QuickSource library.

Adirondack Insurance Exchange faces financial stability issues: What policyholders need to know

In recent years, Adirondack Insurance Exchange has grappled with challenging market conditions and increasing claims payment costs—leading to a decline in its financial strength.  This situation now has culminated in Demotech’s—a financial analysis and rating company that evaluates the stability and financial strength of insurance companies—decision to withdraw its financial stability rating for Adirondack. If you have clients who are affected by this change, their mortgage lender likely will notify them directly. PIA Northeast also encourages agents and brokers to reach out to their affected clients. PIA Northeast has created a sample letter PIA member agents can send to their clients. For more information about this issue, see the related article on PIA Northeast News & Media.


PIANJ honors four with Awards of Distinction

PIANJ honored four insurance professionals at its Annual Conference, held June 2-4, at The Hard Rock in Atlantic City, N.J. Professional Agent of the Year was awarded to Carrie-Ann Crockett CPIA, CISR. Company Person of the Year was awarded to David Gant from Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp. Distinguished Insurance Service was presented to Aaron Levine, CIC, member agent for LG Insurance Agency in West Long Beach, N.J. Director of the Year was presented to Michael Beckerman, CPCU, partner in Acrisure of New Jersey located in Colonia, N.J.

Educating insurance agents

Conn./N.J./N.Y.: One day, two courses, topics that qualify for N.Y.’s updated CE regulations

One of an insurance agent’s many responsibilities include maintaining his or her mandatory continuing-education credits. Agents in the tri-state area will have the opportunity to do so, and New York independent agents can obtain two credits in one day, which qualify for New York state’s updated CE regulations for resolving ethical dilemmas and diversity, inclusion and elimination of bias. On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Mishell K. Magnusson, CIC, CISR, CPIA, AAI, FIPC, will teach the webinars Ethical Dilemmas and Diversity, Inclusion and the Elimination of Bias. The former course will be held from 9:30-10:30 a.m., and it has been approved for CE credits in Connecticut (1 PC), New Jersey (1 NFIP Flood) and New York (1 BR, C3, PA, PC). CE. The latter course will be held from 11 a.m.-noon, and it has been approved for credits in New York (1 BR, C1, C3, LA, LB, LSB, PA, PC).

Register now

Tuesday, June 18, 2024: CTYIP Golf Open—Limited spots available!

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

Save the date

Thursday, July 25, 2024: NJYIP Networking Reception

Thursday, Aug. 29, 2024: New Hampshire Symposium

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2024: NY-YIP Capital Region Fall Reception

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2024: CTYIP Golden Gala Awards

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2024: Hudson Valley RAP

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2024: NJYIP Holiday Social

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