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  Dec. 03, 2013

PIANJ two-minute survey on cyber liability

Q. What percentage of your clients currently have cyber coverage? 0-5 percent | 6-15 percent | 16-25 percent | 26-50 percent | 51 percent or more.   

DOBI: Health insurers have option to continue canceled plans

Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski announced that health insurers may choose to renew existing health plans as announced by President Obama Nov. 14, 2013. "Despite the President’s recent announcement of a fix claiming that individuals will be able to keep their existing coverage, the fact is that many plans cannot be renewed in their current form and face selective enforcement by the federal government," Commissioner Kobylowski said. "However, while restrictive federal parameters exist, we will cooperate with health insurers that choose to renew these plans." More…  

Faulty workmanship bill introduced in state Assembly

Last week, a bill (A-4510) was introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly that would require the definition of occurrence in commercial liability insurance policies to include coverage for faulty workmanship. This bill, sponsored by Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-36, chairman of the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, is in response to the inconsistent opinions of courts as to whether damage from faulty workmanship is accidental in nature and therefore within the definition of occurrence, for which coverage is provided. The bill also provides that it is not intended to restrict or limit the nature or types of exclusions from coverage that an insurer includes in a commercial liability insurance policy.  

Commissioner’s Insurance Symposium canceled

The 2013 Commissioner’s Insurance Symposium originally planned for Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at the East Brunswick Hilton, East Brunswick has been canceled. The event has not been rescheduled.   

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FEMA public assistance funds for Sandy eclipse $1 billion

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has dispersed more than $1 billion in public assistance funds to communities affected by Sandy. This is part of a total of $5.7 billion in disaster assistance, which also includes more than $3.5 billion in flood insurance claim payments, $897 million in individual assistance and $834 million in U.S. Small Business Administration disaster loans. More…  

Update on flood rate hike delay

According to industry lobbyists intimately involved in the effort to delay most of the National Flood Insurance Program rate increases, Senate staffers will be spending the current Thanksgiving recess "whittling down" proposed amendments to the National Defense Reauthorization Act, S.1867. The bill is currently on the Senate floor. More… NCOIL releases statement. The National Conference of Insurance Legislators released a statement supporting and urging Congress to pass the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act to delay the implementation of the NFIP changes until two years after FEMA completes the affordability study on the impact of the rate increases.  

2014 WC rates increase 3.6 percent

The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau received approval from the DOBI for a rate revision to become effective Jan. 1, 2014, applicable to new and renewal policies. The NJCRIB distributed Circular Letter No. 1865 detailing this rate revision, along with other changes presented in Manual Amendment Bulletins No. 462  and No. 461. The cumulative effect of all filed rating element changes results in a final collectible premium level up 3.6 percent (the premium change for the year 2013 was an increase of 8.3 percent). Remember, this increase is an average and the change applicable to each individual classification may vary significantly.   

NCCI releases Financial Update newsletter

The National Council on Compensation Insurance released its latest Financial Update newsletter, which offers the latest financial results for the workers’ compensation industry. Among the findings: Actual data reported by the industry indicates a Calendar Year 2012 combined ratio of 108.1. Final 2012 results revealed a +6.2 percent operating gain ratio. NCCI analysis suggests a modest increase in premium volume and a continued decline in the combined ratio. Loss drivers such as frequency, severity and wages show little cause to expect bigger year-end improvements in Calendar Year 2013 results.   

November ACORD forms update

In the latest ACORD forms update, countrywide form 139 (2014/09) 2004/03 Statement of Values and form 159 (2014/09) 2004/03 Schedule of Property Limits are revised with an effective date of Sept. 1, 2014. These and other ACORD forms are now directly available under the ACORD Advantage Program. If you already are registered for the ACORD website, enter your username and password here.   

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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, click here.  

Need a market?

PIA’s MarketBaseTM Program, with more than 2,100 risk categories offered by more than 120 different firms, offers association members the information needed to place those unusual or hard-to-place risks. From our online database to our phone-in and email options, PIA MarketBase is your source for market leads. To access PIA’s online MarketBaseservice, click here, or email the PIANJ Industry Resource Center with a market request.   

Ask PIA: Obtaining elevation certificates

Q. My mortgage company requires that I have flood insurance and I’m being told I now need an elevation certificate. How do I go about getting one and why do I now need this? A. In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12), which calls on FEMA, and other agencies, to make a number of changes to the way the NFIP is run. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some—but not all—policyholders over time. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agent to determine if their policy will be affected by BW-12. 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 Orientation 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.  

HIPAA update

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that "implements a number of provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, enacted as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to strengthen the privacy and security protections for health information established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996." For more information on HIPAA and the rule, access PIANJ QuickSource document QS90756.  

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