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  March 07, 2013

Assembly Insurance Committee invites PIANY to post-Sandy roundtables

The Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance invited PIANY to participate in roundtable meetings to further examine issues related to insurance coverage during a disaster. The previous Feb. 26 hearing, at which PIANY testified, brought to light many issues faced by homeowners and businesses following a catastrophe, including delays in the settlement of insurance claims, the adequacy of settlement offers, gaps in insurance coverage and the complexities of insurance policies.  

Sandy round-up

Post-Sandy mortgage practices. The Department of Financial Services is initiating a review of practices by banks and mortgage servicers to determine whether homeowners hit hard by Sandy and allowed to forgo mortgage payments are now being unfairly burdened by being required to make up all past payments in immediate lump sum repayments. More… One-on-one help for homeowners. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that five of New York’s largest banks and mortgage servicers will have representatives available to offer one-on-one help to homeowners seeking the release of Sandy insurance settlement funds at the DFS Disaster Assistance Centers through Saturday, March 9. More… Beach restoration. Gov. Cuomo also announced an expedited effort to restore beaches damaged by Sandy and protect properties from future storms will begin with issuing bids in March for restoration work that is expected to commence in April on Staten Island. The restoration work will extend to other coastal areas in metro New York City and Long Island.  More…

PIANY legislative hot lists

Want to see the status of an important bill? Think PIA first. Select PIANY Priority Bills for bill status. Select Recent Actions for any movement in the past week affecting any bill PIANY is tracking. More information, including summaries and bill texts, can be viewed by clicking on the bill number in the chart.  

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Court rejects self-insured trusts' challenge to assessments

The New York Appellate Court, Third Division rejected challenges by a collection of group self-insured trusts to the assessments levied upon them by the state Workers' Compensation Board. More… and More…  

Crop insurance deadline approaching

The New York State Department of Agriculture reminded farmers to review their crop insurance options, which can protect them from crop vulnerabilities such as unpredictable weather and pest outbreaks. The crop insurance deadline is Friday, March 15, and applies to most spring-planted field crops.   More…

FEMA delays implementation of Biggert-Waters requirement

In National Flood Insurance Program Bulletin W-12109 dated Dec. 4, 2012, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said that it planned to complete implementation of Section 100205 of the Biggert-Waters Reform Act of 2012 (BW 12) by Aug. 1, 2013. This section of the act eliminates the subsidized rate, moving to full-risk rates after a property is sold, after the owner has allowed a policy to lapse, and when a policy is issued for a building not covered as of July 6, 2012, the date the BW-12 legislation was enacted. As a result of the extensive reassignment of resources required to respond to Storm Sandy, FEMA has announced that it will be necessary to change the planned implementation date to Oct. 1, 2013.  

Study: Small businesses have big data breach exposure

The Ponemon Institute survey of small businesses throughout the U.S. found that 55 percent of those responding have had a data breach, almost all involving electronic records, and 53 percent had multiple breaches. Only 33 percent notified the people affected, even though 46 states require that individuals be contacted when their private information is exposed. More… To protect against the ever-increasing threat confronting agencies as they handle their clients' information, PIA offers coverage of cyber liability for insurance agencies. For more information, click here.  

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NEO Series: Personal Lines Coverage Basics

Personal Lines Coverage Basics is one in a series of programs designed for unlicensed employees with less than 12 months' experience in the agency. Employees log on to the course via the computer each week to get the training they need. There's no travel, no interruption to daily agency activity and, best of all, no time out of the office. Join PIA on Monday, March 11, for this seven-week online course. For more information, click here or call (800) 424-4244.  

CIC Personal Lines Institute

Join PIA on March 13-16, 2013, at Sheraton Syracuse University Inn for the CIC Personal Lines Institute. This class (approved for 15 BR, C3, PA, PC credits) identifies homeowner and personal auto liability and property exposures faced by these individuals. Contractual definitions, such as "insured locations" and who is an "insured" are discussed, as well as insuring agreements, exclusions and limitations and applicable endorsements used to provide or modify coverage. A discussion of coverage for rental properties, business exposures, and use of borrowed or rented cars is included. For more information, click here, or call PIA at (800) 424-4244.  

Don’t miss these upcoming NY-YIP events

Tonight, March 7, 2013, the New York Young Insurance Professionals’ 2013 Winter Reception is taking place in Utica. Network with some of the best and brightest young professionals and take a tour of the nation’s oldest brewery. Registration available at the door. On Monday, April 15, 2013, come network with NY-YIP in the heart of New York’s capital city. The 2013 Spring Reception takes place from 5:30-8 p.m., at Blue 82 in Albany. For more information, or to register for this event, click here.  

E&O issues after the storm

Regrettably, because of Superstorm Sandy, there is likely to be a significant increase in claims against agents and brokers over the next several months, whether meritorious or not. PIA’s E&O Counsel, Robert Sullivan, Esq., offers a few thoughts on some various scenarios that lead up to litigation and some strategies for dealing with them so as to best be in a position to defend any claims that may arise against an agency. To access a copy of this resource kit, log on to the PIANY website and type QS90717 in the Google-facilitated search box or a fax a request to PIA’s Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935. Sullivan has expertise in the defense of insurance agents and brokers in professional liability and complex insurance litigation, help you. To pose a question, email or fax your inquiry to the PIA Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935.   

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