To view in your web browser or for a printable version:

  Nov. 26, 2013

Click for more information.

PIANJ thanks its members at start of holiday season

At this time of year we take stock of all for which we are grateful. PIANJ thanks our members and supporters and we wish you and yours a warm and prosperous holiday season.  

PIANJ leads discussion on health insurance fees

Last week, PIANJ hosted a conference call with the leadership of IIABNJ and NJAHU to address the issue of changing current New Jersey regulatory law to allow for the charging of a fee on the sale and service of health insurance policies. Currently, New Jersey is one of only four of states that prohibit the charging of fees on health insurance policies. Led by PIANJ President Stephen P. Tague, CPIA, the call created an opportunity for the leaders of PIANJ, IIABNJ and NJAHU to discuss the effect this regulation has on agents and consumers as well as the steps necessary to enact a change. Participants in the call expressed concern that the current regulation eventually would force producers from the health marketplace creating a void for consumers who have traditionally relied on the knowledge and experience of the producer in making health insurance decisions. Communication between the associations will be on going as follow-up actions are discussed.   

Bills on texting introduced in Assembly

Last week, two bills (A-4410 and A-4431) were introduced in New Jersey State Assembly that would provide immunity from civil liability for persons who send text messages to a person operating a motor vehicle. These bills are in response to a recent decision by the New Jersey Appellate Division that found that a person who knowingly sends a text message to a motor vehicle operator can be liable under the common law if an accident occurs because the motor vehicle operator was distracted by the texts.  

N.J. undecided on extension for canceled health insurance policies

New Jersey residents who have received insurance cancellation notices still don’t know if they can renew their old policies, despite the president’s recent call for a "fix" to make good on his promise that "if you like your plan, you can keep it." Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Kenneth E. Kobylowski hasn’t decided yet whether to allow insurers to renew the old coverage. Without his go-ahead, the state’s insurance companies can’t say whether they will do so or not. With a Dec. 15 deadline looming to enroll in coverage that begins on Jan. 1, Kobylowski’s decision has become more urgent. More…  

Update on the possible NFIP changes

Efforts to delay implementation of changes in the federal flood insurance program have run into roadblocks on both sides of Capitol Hill. More…  

NCCI/NU offer webinar on insurance cycles

The National Council on Compensation Insurance partnered with National Underwriter to prepare a free Trends and Cycles in Property and Casualty Insurance webinar explaining how the property/casualty industry is impacted materially by changes in economic conditions at both the micro and macro level.  

FEMA clarifies the interaction of deadlines

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided Bulletin W-13069 as an explanation to insurers of how the extended Proof of Loss deadline interacts with the one-year statute of limitations established by statute.   

Tower Group reports second-quarter 2013 results

As previously disclosed, Tower has completed, with the assistance of its independent actuarial consultants, a comprehensive review of the company’s loss reserves as of June 30, 2013. As a result of this review, the company strengthened loss reserves in the second quarter of 2013 by $326.7 million. In addition, as previously disclosed, the company had restatement adjustments of $37.4 million to loss reserves as of Dec. 31, 2012, bringing the total prior year reserve strengthening to $364.1 million. More…  

Click for more information.

PIA members report profitability tied to underwriting

In response to PIA’s two-minute survey on underwriting, more than 300 members responded to a series of questions aimed at underwriting and profitability. Almost three-quarters of respondents believe their front-line underwriting is tied directly to their agencies’ profitability. This could be why more than half of the respondents report that they are underwriting more this year than last. In other findings, almost two-thirds of the respondents turn down less than 10 percent of their new business due to their front-line underwriting practices. This could be as a direct result of the fact that more than 80 percent of the respondents feel they have a clear understanding of their carriers’ underwriting guidelines. By knowing what carriers will accept what risks, it appears that the agencies position themselves for the greatest chance of success.   

PIANJ to hold Diversity Advisory Councils

PIANJ continues to seek conversation on diversity and inclusion of entrepreneurs in the insurance industry. Toward this end, your association’s Diversity Subcommitee will hold its first Diversity Advisory Council meeting Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at 8 a.m., at the Embassy Suites Hotel Secaucus-Meadowlands, in Secaucus. PIANJ invites professional, independent insurance agents to share their expectations; and help your association identify how business people of diverse backgrounds succeed as independent agents with support from PIANJ. If you, or an agent you know, should be a participant, contact PIANJ at (800) 424-4244 so we can include you at these important meetings.  

PIANJ’s HR Info Central

PIANJ has reorganized its HR Info Central Tool Kit to allow members to have a greater ease of use. Some of the information that used to be on the site has been moved to the Health Insurance Tool Kit. HR Info Central provides a one-stop shop for your agency’s human resources needs and features a HR audit to help you evaluate your agency.  

Ask PIA: Snowplowing—personal auto liability

Q. My insured has a pickup truck as his personal vehicle. In the winter, he mounts a snowplow on it—for his personal use, he says. I am concerned in case he may be plowing others’ property for money. Would there be any exclusion of coverage if this were the case? A. There is no liability (Part A), medical payments (Part B), uninsured motorists (Part C) or physical damage (Part D) coverage exclusion for an owned pickup used in a business pursuit. 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.  

New Employee Orientations series

Personal Lines Coverage Basics and New Employee Orientation for Agency Personnel are two of the programs designed for unlicensed employees. 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. Personal Lines Coverage Basics is designed for new employees with six to nine months’ experience. New Employee Orientation for Agency Personnel is designed for new employees with less than a year of experience in the agency. NJCE credit: N/A. These online computer courses are designed for unlicensed/new employees. These courses will begin Monday, Jan. 13, 2014. For more information, or to register, click here.  

New Jersey policyholder protections

New Jersey insurance producers should make a point of understanding the many statutes and regulations as they relate to cancellation and nonrenewal. PIA’s QuickSource library offers information relating to personal automobile, homeowners and commercial-lines policies, as well as other provisions that may affect your insureds. For more information, access the following QuickSource documents: QS29188New Jersey personal automobile policyholder protections; QS29132Commercial lines and homeowners policyholder protections; and QS29193Other miscellaneous provisions relating to New Jersey cancellation and nonrenewal.  

Click for more information.

This email message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message. If you prefer not to receive ANY e-mail communication from PIA click here.