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  Nov. 20, 2012

NFIP extends grace period for payment of renewal premiums

The National Flood Insurance Program issued a bulletin extending the grace period for renewals as a result of the storm Sandy. The concern about the possible lapses in coverage and the subsequent denials of claims occurring during a gap in coverage compelled them to extend the 30-day grace period for receipt by the NFIP of flood insurance renewal premiums.   

NFIP reeling from impact of Sandy

A report in the New York Times says the federal government’s flood insurance program, which fell $18 billion into debt after Hurricane Katrina, is once again at risk of running out of money as the daunting reconstruction from Sandy gets under way. Early estimates suggest that Sandy will rank as the nation’s second-worst storm for claims paid out by the NFIP. With 115,000 new claims submitted and thousands more being filed each day, the cost could reach $7 billion at a time when the program is allowed, by law, to add only an additional $3 billion to its onerous debt. According to an article published by the National Underwriter, President Barack Obama will ask Congress to raise the NFIP’s borrowing authority to $25 billion.   More…

FEMA housing portal provides resource to help survivors find rentals

Families and individuals in New Jersey who are registered for federal disaster assistance and need a place to live can search through hundreds of rental listings on the FEMA Housing Portal.   

FEMA: Damage to secondary homes not covered by FEMA grants

According to a question and answer posted on FEMA’s website, damages to a secondary or vacation home are not eligible under FEMA’s disaster assistance program. However, if the secondary home is rented out or occupied by a family member, a homeowner may be eligible for assistance from the Small Business Administration.   More…

NAIC sets up consumer call center in aftermath of Sandy

State insurance regulators, working cooperatively through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, are coordinating efforts to assist New Jersey and other Eastern Seaboard residents in the aftermath of Sandy. To help field calls and respond to residents’ needs, the NAIC has set up a consumer assistance call center in the NAIC’s Central Office in Kansas City. The call center initially will help support the Department of Banking and Insurance, as it responds to a high volume of telephone calls regarding losses associated with the disaster.   More…

PIA hails NCOIL approval of model law on certificates of insurance

PIA National hails the passage of a model law governing certificates of insurance by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators. On Nov. 18, NCOIL unanimously approved the model that states can use to help eliminate demands for improper certificates of insurance. PIA advocated for passage of the model and played an integral role in guiding it to approval by the state legislators. "This is a great achievement for PIA and NCOIL," said PIA National President Andrew C. Harris, CIC, CPCU, ARM, CRM, AIS. "We are very pleased with this outcome and we appreciate all the hard work the legislators and interested parties put into these models. We believe this certificates model, combined with a binder model, will alleviate some of the confusion we have been seeing in the marketplace concerning certificates for decades." Harris testified, urging legislators to act because agents are increasingly being asked to add information to certificates of insurance that may not match the underlying policy terms.   More…

Another deadline extension for states on health exchanges

In a letter to Gov. Bob McDonnell (Virginia) and Gov. Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, extended the deadline for states to submit both letters of intent and applications to create their own health insurance exchanges by Dec. 14, 2012. In a previous letter from Sebelius, letters of intent had to be submitted by Nov. 16, 2012.  

November ACORD forms update

In recent months several states have enacted new fraud warning and privacy requirements or have changed their regulatory status regarding appropriate fraud and privacy notice language requirements. As a result, ACORD has reviewed the privacy and fraud warning statements on its forms and believes that these statements should be updated to better comply with state laws and regulations. Beginning with the November release and continuing for the next 12 to 18 months, ACORD will be making these changes, filing forms as required and releasing revised forms for use in the marketplace. See the November Update for the 23 revised countrywide forms.   

ISO adds eco-friendly commercial property classifications

In a recent press release, ISO announced the introduction of new classifications to its commercial property program to account for the emergence of alternative energy sources. In response to the growing demand for alternative energy, ISO is adding classifications and associated rating information for risks in three main areas: electric vehicle charging stations, solar panel arrays and wind turbines.   More…

Ask PIA: Removing a vehicle

Q. What exactly do we need to do to remove a vehicle from an automobile policy in New Jersey? Do we need anything from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission? A. The removal of a vehicle from an automobile policy (as opposed to terminating the policy) is not addressed in the policy language or New Jersey statutes or regulations. However, insurers will have underwriting rules that specify what procedure is acceptable to them. For a comprehensive answer to this question, click here. To access our entire Ask PIA library of frequently asked questions and expert answers by PIANJ’s technical staff, click here.   

Current and future storms' effects on the market

While insurance companies help their policyholders in mid-Atlantic and Northeast states handle Sandy’s aftermath and a subsequent snowstorm, the memory of 2011’s Hurricane Irene still is fresh in the minds of insurance executives who will have to consider these catastrophes when plotting future premium rates, according to an article published in the Nov. 12 issue of BestWeek U.S./Canada. For this and other market-related news stories and resources, be sure to check PIA’s Market Transition Tool Kit.   

Take a step toward the CPIA designation with PIANJ

On Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012, PIANJ offers CPIA 2: Implement for Success, which will provide attendees with specific tools for analyzing consumer needs. The class will teach risk identification techniques to gather pertinent prospect information; along with skills necessary to assimilate information into a customized protection program. Lastly, attendees will participate in exercises designed to promote effective delivery of proven solutions. This class previously was rescheduled due to the storm. For more information, or to register, click here, or call PIANJ at (800) 424-4244.   

Facebook advertising

The Facebook trend creates an interesting and exciting advertising opportunity for agents who are willing to spend a little to experiment. In fact, a few agents are effectively using Facebook advertising to generate additional traffic to their websites, greater visibility within their communities and increase sales. To learn more on how you can use Facebook advertising to increase revenue for your agency, log on to the PIANJ website and type QS90612 in the Google-facilitated search box, or fax a request to PIA’s Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935.   

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