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  June 05, 2014

PIANY/PIANJ Joint Annual Conference starts this weekend

The PIANY/PIANJ Joint Annual Conference and 75th anniversary celebration begins Sunday (June 8) and runs through Tuesday (June 10) in Atlantic City. With record numbers going in, registration still is available at the door. What to expect: education sessions; networking opportunities; Diamond Anniversary Gala Banquet; awards presentation; walk the red carpet; see people you may not have seen in a while; take a spin on the dance floor; visit the photo booth; and more. Don’t forget about the 30th Annual NJYIP Fun Run to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey. Be sure to add to your mobile device’s bookmarks. Social media. Follow PIA on Twitter at @PIAEducConf. PIA will live-blog the conference as it unfolds, giving you reminders of where to be and when. Join the conversation by including the hashtag #pianjnyconf to all your tweets, Facebook statuses and Instagrams. If you use the #pianjnyconf in a tweet, you’ll be entered into a contest to win $100. Also, if you post a selfie and use the hashtag, you will be entered into a contest to win $100.   

Seward seeks interest for late commission payments

Sen. James L. Seward, R-51, introduced legislation into the New York State Assembly that would require health insurers to add interest fees when they are late paying agent and broker commissions. S.7300 would set a standard for prompt, fair and equitable payments of insurance commissions by requiring carriers to send payments within 45 days of receiving premium payments. The interest rate would be set by the state’s tax commissioner. More …  

Now is the time to tell your carriers how they are doing

PIANY’s Company Performance Survey has reached its halfway point. It’s time to take the survey before it closes June 30, 2014. You can anonymously rate the companies with which you do business on 20 performance items, including claims handling, products and pricing, underwriting, technology and marketing support to measure your relationship with the carriers. To take PIANY’s Company Performance Survey, click here.  

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PIA, offer sales tool that helps protect against E&O

PIANY and offer PIA-member agencies a unique sales tool to facilitate the sale of flood coverage and provide critical documentation of the agency’s efforts to do so. This exclusive agreement provides PIA-member agencies with a customized link installed on their own agency’s website to encourage current and prospective clients to consider and purchase flood coverage. The web portal leads consumers to flood insurance information, and with a simple application it will generate a quote for the customer, as well as a qualified lead for the agency to engage. More …  

FEMA releases October 2014 rates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released in Bulletin W-14026 the National Flood Insurance Program rates to be used for all new and renewal policies effective on or after Oct. 1, 2014. These rates comply with the Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014, which prohibits FEMA from increasing premiums more than 15 percent a year within a single risk class and not more than 18 percent for an individual policy. In every case, the attached rates are the same or lower than the Oct. 1, 2013, rates.  

FEMA clarifies manual changes

FEMA released RC Bulletin W-14028 to provide clarifications to questions raised by changes to the June 1, 2014 NFIP Flood Insurance Manual. Topics include primary residences; tenant improvements and betterments; photograph requirement on insurer transfer; and minimum deductibles. These clarifications are unrelated to the implementation of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.  

May ACORD forms update

In the latest ACORD forms update, the following countrywide forms have been released with a new edition date effective Dec. 1, 2014: 803 Liquor Liability Section; 807 Directors & Officers Liability Section; 810 Business Income/Extra Expense/Rental Value—Supplement to Property Section; 811 Value Reporting Information Supplement to Property Section; 827 Employment Practices Liability Insurance Section; 828 Fiduciary Liability Coverage Section; 832 Miscellaneous E&O Section; 833 Lawyers Professional Liability Section; and 834 Cyber and Privacy Coverage Section. 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.  

TRIA renewal bill passed Senate committee

Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs passed a bill (S.2244) that would reauthorize the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. More … It will now goes to the full Senate for a vote. Continuing the call to renew TRIA, Bloomberg reports that many professional sports teams (e.g., football, baseball, basketball and hockey), are part of a coalition, which includes insurers, developers, banks and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, that are working toward a TRIA renewal. According to the report, the odds are improving for passage of an extension before the December deadline. More …  

PIA National District Lobbying Day, Aug. 19

PIA National will hold its annual District Lobbying Day, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. PIA members are encouraged to schedule meetings with their elected officials to discuss issues that are important to the insurance community. For more information, click here.  

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Ask PIA: Encryption of insurance information

Q. Do I need to encrypt emails when I transmit claim and loss information to my carrier that contains the names of the individual(s) involved in the claim along with a claim number? A. There is no law that requires you to encrypt email. However, the laws strongly encourage it when transmitting Personal Health Information and Personal Nonpublic Financial Information by requiring businesses to notify affected parties, and the relevant state agencies and law enforcement in the event of a breach—an expensive and time-consuming requirement. 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. And remember to Think PIA first … More information about safeguarding your clients' privacy is available for association members through PIA’s Privacy Compliance Central. Also, Creative Services offers personal- and commercial-lines newsletters that can be mailed to your clients. This is a perfect way to get your privacy notice to your insureds. Contact Susan Newkirk at or call (800) 424-4244 for more information.  

PIA’s Technical Hotline

PIA’s highly qualified technical specialists with more than 250 years of combined industry experience will answer your legal, industry, coverage, legislative and regulatory questions; and Ask PIA offers a library of previously asked questions and in-depth answers by our technical staff. Through PIA’s Technical Hotline, we answer an average of 82 member inquiries a week. Email your questions to, call us at (800) 424-4244 or fax your queries to (888) 225-6935. Consider us an extension of your own personal agency staff, saving you time and money in your daily business activities.  

Next NEO series to start July 14

Unlicensed insurance agency employees with less than a year of experience should consider taking PIA’s New Employee Orientation series. The next sessions New Employee Orientation for Agency Personnel and Personal Lines Coverage Basics will start Monday, July 14, 2014. These are online computer courses for new or unlicensed employees and are not applicable for continuing-education credits. For more information, or to register, click here.  

Upcoming Webinars offered by PIANY

Upcoming Webinars include the following: E&O Hotspots … 2014 and Beyond^FF^UM (Tuesday, June 17, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., NYCE: 3 BR, C3, LB, C1, LSB, LA, PC, PA); Two-Part Webinar: NYAIP Producer Procedures Course (Thursday and Friday, June 26-27, from 10 a.m.-noon, NYCE: 2 BR, C3, PC, PA for each part); Updating the National Flood Insurance Program (Tuesday, July 29, 10-11:45 a.m., NYCE: TBA) E&O Hotspots … 2014 and Beyond^FF^UM (Thursday, Sept. 4, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., NYCE: 3 BR, C3, LB, C1, LSB, LA, PC, PA); and Agency Underwriting Profitability and Contingency Bonus Maximization (Thursday, Sept. 18, from 10-11:45 a.m., NYCE: 2 BR, C3, LB, C1, LSB, LA, PC, PA). ^FF^UM—This course has been approved for E&O loss-prevention credit by Fireman’s Fund and Utica Mutual. Call the PIA E&O Department for details at (800) 424-4244. For more information or to register, click here.  

Homeowners options for the elderly

What happens to an elderly person’s homeowners policy when he or she needs to be moved into a nursing home or, worse yet, passes away? Most of the time, the family does not know what to do, so they do nothing and continue to pay the premiums. Once the named insured is no longer a resident of the premises, the homeowners policy coverage ends. There are options for handling this type of situation, and PIA has put together an informational document describing the different options to handle these cases. To request a copy of this document, access QS90613 in the PIA QuickSource library.  

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