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|June 20, 2013|
PIANY applauds Assembly passage of certificates of insurance bill
PIANY applauds the New York State Assembly for passing PIANY’s highest priority bill (A.3107D—Morelle/S.5804—Seward). The changes incorporated into this proposal have been long-advocated by PIANY. The bill would make clear that no person will be allowed to request or require that a certificate of insurance form contains additional terms, conditions or language not found in the insurance policy or policy endorsement. The state Senate could approve this latest version of the bill at any time today or tomorrow, and PIANY will keep its members updated on the latest action. More…
Scaffold Law reform stymied in Assembly
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver rejected changing the state’s 128-year-old Scaffold Law. The 1885 law, the last of its kind in the nation, makes property owners and contractors liable for all "gravity-related" injuries on construction sites—even when the worker bears some responsibility for the accident. Builders and developers claim the law adds hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to construction projects. "Changes to the Scaffold Law are not being considered. We don’t think it’s the right policy to further burden injured workers," Silver spokesman Michael Whyland said. More…
Bill to prevent insurance scams against homeowners passed by Legislature
Both houses of the state Legislature approved a bill (S.3771A—Klein/A.6786A—Weprin) that would place an "affirmative duty to act on behalf of and in the best interests of the insured" on public adjusters when settling or negotiating an insurance claims. The bill also would prohibit a public adjuster from receiving compensation or anything of value for a referral or recommendation, unless such an arrangement is clearly disclosed to and acknowledged by the insured in writing. An adjuster also would be prohibited from receiving any additional fees or compensation other than what was stated in the compensation agreement. The bill also provides that public adjusters must abide by these provisions to retain their license. If a public adjuster violates these conditions, fails to act in the best interests of the insured, or fails to disclose a conflict of interest, the bill would authorize the Department of Financial Services superintendent to suspend or revoke the public adjuster's license. The bill now awaits the governor’s consideration.
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.
Cuomo announces additional $39 million in funding for Sandy crisis counseling
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an additional $39 million awarded to New York by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to continue Project Hope, a crisis counseling program for survivors of Superstorm Sandy. In total, Project Hope has received more than $58 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has served more than 170,000 New Yorkers in need. More…
FEMA closes Plainview flood response office
Bulletin W-13034 announced that FEMA has authorized the closure of the flood response offices in Plainview, Marlton, N.J.; and Meriden, Conn., on June 29, 2013. Any request for reinspections or other assistance regarding claims should be directed to Gerry Waytowich, NFIP Bureau and Statistical Agent, flood disaster response claims lead, at 301-386-6347.
Suggestions for the export list
The Excess Line Association of New York issued Bulletin No. 2013-26 announcing that the Department of Financial Services is soliciting suggestions for types or kinds of insurance coverage that are currently unavailable in the licensed market and should be considered for inclusion on the "export list." ELANY and other interested parties will be required to present testimony and evidence of general lack of availability in the admitted market of specific types of coverage at a public hearing. Therefore, please keep the obligation to present valid, credible evidence of unavailability in mind in responding to this bulletin.
Lande named NY-YIP honorary lifetime member
David Lande, account executive for Century Coverage Corp. in Valley Stream, N.Y., was recognized with an honorary lifetime membership with the New York Young Insurance Professionals. The award was presented at the Joint Annual Conference, held at the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City. This is only the fifth time in the association’s history that an individual has received this honor. More…
FEMA bulletin addresses premium rate subsidies
FEMA issued Bulletin W-13033 to provide supplemental guidance on implementation of BW-12 Section 205, 42 U.S.C. Section 4014(g), which states that the National Flood Insurance Program no longer can provide premium rate subsidies on new, lapsed or assigned Standard Flood Insurance Policies insuring Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map properties effective Oct. 1, 2013. These policies will be subject to full-risk rating using the current FIRM, requiring an Elevation Certificate and photographs. Policies rated in D zones or unnumbered V zones will not require an EC, but must provide at least two photographs before the policy can be renewed. Additional guidance is provided in this bulletin for processing the transition to full-risk rating.
NFIP coverage for cooperatives clarified
Based on documentation provided during the claims-adjusting process for cooperative-owned property in New York following Superstorm Sandy, FEMA learned that there may be unusual forms of cooperative ownership. In some cooperatives, a large number of the structures are owned by the individual shareholders through an arrangement whereby the shareholders lease the buildings to the cooperative and the cooperative leases the buildings back to the shareholders, and the land on which the buildings are located is owned by the cooperative corporation. At the termination of a lease, the owner of the building may remove the structure from the land owned by the cooperative. Under this arrangement, the shareholders have an ownership interest in the buildings. Based on this information, such owners-shareholders are eligible to purchase building coverage under the appropriate standard flood insurance policy. For more information, see Bulletin W-13032.
CRS issues terrorism report to Congress
The Congressional Research Service has prepared for members and committees of Congress a report, titled the Terrorism Risk Insurance: Issue Analysis and Overview of Current Program. In the 113th Congress, three bills, H.R.508, H.R.1945, and H.R.2146, have been introduced to extend the TRIA program. H.R.508 would extend the program’s expiration date five years, until 2019. H.R.1945 would extend the program 10 years, until 2024, and add the Secretary of Homeland Security as the lead authority for certifying an act of terrorism. H.R.2146 would extend the program’s expiration date 10 years, until 2024.
Take advantage of PIANY’s NumberONE Comp program
When summer heats up, businesses start moving. Access PIA's exclusive workers’ compensation markets in five easy steps—low minimum premiums, competitive commissions and hundreds of classes (including landscapers, restaurants, retail and more). To join PIA's NumberONE Comp program, or to inquire about placing a risk, click here, or call (800) 424-4244, ext. 850. A simple, five-step submission process will get your agency started.
Ask PIA: Commercial-lines insurance cancellation notice
Q. During the first 60 days a commercial-lines insurance policy is in effect, how many days written notice must be given for the policy cancellation and to whom? A. Pursuant to New York State Insurance Law Section 3426(b) during the first 60 days a commercial risk insurance policy, professional liability policy or public-entity insurance policy is in effect, no cancellation shall become effective until 20 days after written notice is mailed or delivered to the first-named insured at the mailing address shown on the policy and to the insured’s authorized agent or broker. For a comprehensive answer to this question, click here. To access our entire Ask PIA library of frequently asked questions and expert answers by PIA’s technical staff, click here.
Minimize Your Exposure to E&O Litigation
PIANY offers the Webinar: Minimize Your Exposure to E&O Litigation, Thursday, June 20, 2013, from 10-11 a.m. Sponsored by Utica Mutual, this Webinar asks: Are you ready if a weather-related catastrophe (e.g., Storm Sandy) hits your community tomorrow? Since no one knows when and where the next weather catastrophe will occur, agents need to take the necessary steps to protect their agency and their customers from financial disaster. This Webinar will review the E&O issues and claims that have surfaced as a result of Sandy and other weather-related catastrophes. For more information about either of these Webinars, or to register, click here.
New Employee Orientation for Agency Personnel
Give your rookies the training they need to succeed—without interrupting your daily sales and service activities. This program is designed for unlicensed employees with less than 12 months experience in the agency. Your 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, most importantly, no time out of the office. The next eight-week course begins Monday, July 8, 2013. For more information, or to register, click here, or call (800) 424-4244.
Free trade zone
The New York State Insurance Law permits insurance companies to obtain special licenses that allow them to sell insurance for special risks without first filing the applicable rate schedule or obtaining approval of the policy form from the DFS. Through the free trade zone, special risks including commercial policies that generate an annual premium of at least $100,000 for one kind of insurance or $200,000 in the aggregate for more than one kind of insurance are eligible. Unusual types of commercial insurance that are difficult to place also may be sold in this manner. For the approved coverages, FTZ commonly asked questions and company representatives, log on to the PIANY website and type QS31055 in the Google-facilitated search box, or fax a request to PIANY’s Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935.
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