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  Nov. 29, 2012

PIANY, NY-YIP presidents meet with agents in hard-hit areas

PIANY President Michael Skeele, CIC, CPIA, of DeRuyter, and NY-YIP President Gino Orrino, from Corona, visited with a number of agents in hardest-hit areas of Long Island this week to discuss their needs and offer PIANY’s continued support and resources. "Our members in these areas are amazing; they have had to deal with their personal losses while still making sure that they are there to help their clients—sometimes in temporary office space as their own agencies are still not operational," said Skeele. "I am humbled by the severity of what they have had to face, and I commend them for their incredible professionalism and their resilience."   

NCIDA: Nassau County businesses may be eligible for assistance

PIA representatives and others attending a meeting called by Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano were informed of The Nassau County Industrial Development Agency’s available financial assistance for small businesses in the form of SBA loans, as well as sales-tax exemptions of up to $99,000 for businesses with fewer than 100 employees to be used for furniture, fixtures, equipment and materials used in reconstruction within the county. For information on how to access this assistance, agencies and their commercial clients are encouraged to contact the NCIDA at (516) 571-1745, on its new designated website, or by email at  More…

NYSIF policyholders affected by Sandy have payment extension

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the New York State Insurance Fund extended payment deadlines for all policyholders directly affected by Sandy. For affected workers' compensation and disability benefits policyholders in 10 New York counties—Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester—with a premium payment due date between Oct. 26-Dec. 26, 2012, the payment deadline is extended to Jan. 26, 2013. In effect, all policyholders will receive a minimum 30-day grace period, and some policyholders may receive a grace period up to 90 days. In addition, there will be no penalties or cancellations during this time for affected policyholders.  More…

DFS extends moratorium on terminations/cancellations 21 days

The DFS has notified PIA that it will extend a moratorium it enacted following the landfall of Sandy, which was effective Oct. 26, 2012, and originally was set for 30 days. The moratorium, which has now been extended for an additional 21 days, prohibits the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of any "covered policy," as that term is defined by Insurance Law. PIANY has confirmed with the DFS that the moratorium also extends to premium-finance company cancellations. Carriers can send billing notices during the moratorium. However, a carrier may not cancel for nonpayment during the moratorium and a carrier may not pursue payment until after the moratorium is lifted. For more information, click here. The New York Insurance Association has issued two documents regarding frequently asked questions about moratoriums, here and here. These are posted on PIA’s Storm Info Central, which PIANY encourages you to check regularly as it is updated continuously.   

Ask PIA: Moratorium on cancellations and nonrenewals

Q. We had an insurance company issue a homeowners nonrenewal notice on Oct. 29, 2012. On Nov. 5, 2012, the DFS ordered a moratorium prohibiting the nonrenewal of any "covered policy" until further notice. Does the moratorium apply to the nonrenewal issued before the New York State Department of Financial Services order? A. The moratorium would apply to this nonrenewal scenario. While the DFS order was made on Nov. 5, 2012, the effective date of the moratorium is actually Oct. 26, 2012. Since the nonrenewal was issued on Oct. 29, it would fall within the time period covered by the moratorium. For a comprehensive answer to this question, click here. To access our entire Ask PIA library of frequently asked questions and expert answers by PIANY’s technical staff, click here.   

Storm-related Ask PIAs

PIANY continuously compiles and updates a number of Ask PIAs relating specifically to storms. Do you have a storm-related question you need answered? Use the Ask PIA button on the PIANY website or call the PIANY Industry Resource Center at (800) 424-4244 or email To access our entire Ask PIA library of frequently asked questions and expert answers by PIANY’s technical staff, click here.  

FEMA to host Sandy webinar on flood insurance

FEMA will conduct a webinar for insurance agents and other stakeholders regarding a number of issues arising from Sandy and the National Flood Insurance Program. The webinars are open to the first 100 participants per session. They will cover the following topics: the purpose and status of the NFIP; the claims process and adjustment issues; increased cost of compliance; individual assistance; the role of the SBA; and floodplain management. The webinars are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 30, 2012, at 10:30 a.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 2 p.m.; and Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at 10:30 a.m. If there is continued interest, other webinars may be scheduled.   

Utilities subpoenaed over Sandy response

New York's powerful Moreland Commission has issued subpoenas to utilities in its investigation of their response and recovery operations during Sandy. The commission created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued the subpoenas Wednesday. On Nov. 20, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued subpoenas to ConEd and LIPA. Cuomo also said he wants the commission to evaluate other utilities serving the New York City and suburban areas, including New York State Electric and Gas Corp. and National Grid, which operates under LIPA. More ... A recent Ask PIA offers important information regarding insurance coverage for business interruption as a result of power outage. To view it, click here.  

Insurance premium hikes hitting builders

A report by Crain's New York Business states, "New York's builders are reeling from a huge upward spike in the cost of insuring against claims by injured workers, one that is likely to push up the cost of development and at the same time eat into profits for an industry still struggling to bounce back from the recession."  More…

DFS approves ISO 2011 Homeowners Program

The Insurance Services Office Inc. 2011 Homeowners Policy Program and Mobilehome Supplement was approved by the DFS, effective Dec. 1, 2012. Included in these forms and rules filings are sweeping revisions to the ISO Homeowners Program. As a result, most of the forms will have a May 2011 edition date. If you didn’t have an opportunity to participate in PIANY’s Nov. 14 Webinar on this topic, you can order an On-Demand version, where PIA’s Director of Research Dan Corbin, CPCU, CIC, LUTC, walks you through these new filing changes and how they will impact your homeowners insureds’ coverage options. PIA’s QuickSource library offers additional HO 2011 filing resources, including: QS90661Guide to the ISO 2011 Program; and QS90671ISO 2011 HO endorsements.   More…

FEMA releases private-sector E-News Update on Sandy

The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued its Private Sector Division E-News Update for New York. It includes information on federal and state resources available to help New York businesses and employees recover from Sandy. Comments, questions, stories and suggested topics may be submitted to   

FEMA revises elevation certificate

In Memorandum No. W-12023, FEMA instructed users of the NFIP Elevation Certificate and the Floodproofing Certificate for Non-Residential Structures to continue their use of these forms, despite the March 31, 2012, expiration date shown on these forms. In Memorandum No. W-12102, a new edition of these forms having a July 31, 2015, expiration date has been announced. There will be a one-year phase-in when both new and prior editions will be accepted.   

Sandy becomes a whirlwind of insurance litigation

Sandy’s impact on the East Coast in October did more than destroy property and disrupt businesses. It also affected the lives of millions of citizens by creating a complicated mess of legal issues for home and business owners. From uncertainty about federal aid to dealing with coverage and business interruption insurance issues, the effects of the storm will wash through the legal system for months, and perhaps years, to come.  More…

Report: Sandy damaged about 230,000 vehicles

The National Insurance Crime Bureau announced revised estimates for the number of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy as provided by the Insurance Services Office Inc. The current estimate of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy hit the 230,000 mark as claims processed by insurance companies have been reviewed and analyzed. Not surprisingly, New York had the most vehicles affected by the storm with 130,000 while New Jersey generated 60,000 claims. The remaining 40,000 were reported from Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.   More…

PIA supports raising the borrowing authority of the NFIP

The PIA National Government Affairs Committee unanimously supports an expected request from FEMA, which runs the NFIP, for increased borrowing authority to accommodate losses from Sandy. PIA will lobby Congress for such legislation. Officials estimate the NFIP could receive 143,000 claims from Sandy, totaling as much as $12 billion, and that all available funds could be depleted by the end of November. The NFIP already carries a $17 billion debt from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina which was not addressed in reform legislation passed by Congress this year. The program has $2.9 billion of borrowing authority left, with less than $1 million in cash on hand.  More…

New NFIP manual edition

FEMA released the NFIP 2013 Manual Changes, which are effective Jan. 1. There are manual revisions that impact effective dates, rebating, nonprincipal/nonprimary residences, base flood elevation sources, elevation and floodproofing certificates, preferred risk policy eligibility and rates, the change in national standard reference datum for elevations and policy cancellation.   

Supreme Court orders new look at Christian college’s health-care challenge

The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., to consider the claim by the Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., that Obama’s health-care law violates the school’s religious freedoms. The court’s action at this point means only that the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals must now pass judgment on issues it previously declined to rule on.  More…

Frontier Insurance Co. in liquidation

An Order of Liquidation for Frontier Insurance Co. was entered on Nov. 16, 2012, by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Albany. All parties/persons who have actions or claims against Frontier Insurance Co. are restrained from proceeding for a period of 90 days from the date of entry of the liquidation order. Frontier Insurance Co. is licensed in 27 states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire.  

A.M. Best ratings

A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of "B++" (Good) and the issuer credit rating of "bbb" of Fairmont Specialty Insurance Co., Fairmont Premier Insurance Co. and Fairmont Insurance Co. (together the Fairmont Specialty Group) (San Diego, Calif.) and General Fidelity Insurance Co. (Charleston, S.C.). The Fairmont Specialty Group is no longer associated with the Fairmont Specialty brand, which is used by Crum & Forster, an affiliated group of companies. In addition, A.M. Best affirmed the FSR of "B+" (Good) and the issuer credit rating of "bbb-" of TIG Insurance Co. (San Diego, Calif.) and Clearwater Insurance Co. (Stamford, Conn.). The outlook for all ratings is stable. These companies are insurance subsidiaries of their ultimate parent company, Fairfax, and make up a portion of the RiverStone Group, Fairfax’s U.S.-based insurance, reinsurance and service subsidiaries, specializing in the management of legacy and run-off insurance businesses and portfolios. Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ratings of these run-off companies, as Fairfax has requested that the companies no longer participate in A.M. Best’s interactive rating process.  More…

Webinar: E&O Hotspots 2012 and Beyond^FF^UM

There are many areas that pose a significant risk to agencies as they transact business that, if not handled correctly, can cause an E&O claim. The E&O Hotspots 2012 and Beyond^FF ^UM Webinar will discuss hotspots that agencies need to be on the lookout for. No tests need to be taken for webinar classes. Earn NYCE Credit 3 BR, C3, LB, C1, LSB, LA, PC, PA (NYCR-235711). Join PIA Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, or to register, click here or call PIA for more information at (800) 424-4244. (^FF^UM—Denotes 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.  

Webinar: Real-Life Claims Examples

Instructor Steven D. Lyon, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AAI, ARM, AIS, CRIS, RM, will lead the Real-Life Claims Examples Webinar where he will use real-life claims examples to offer agents strategies when it comes to their own experiences. Topics will include; a client signing a blank application; Jeep removable hardtop roof claim; NFIP limits of coverage; and more. No tests need to be taken for webinar classes. Participants will earn NYCE credit: 3 BR, C3, PC, PA, (NYCR-237209). Join PIA Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. For more information, or to register, click here or call PIA for more information at (800) 424-4244.  

NY-YIP Monday Night Football event offers networking, charity

Join the New York Young Insurance Professionals Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, for the Monday Night Football Pregame Reception. Network with friends and colleagues at Kodiak’s Restaurant in Farmingdale before the New York Giants battle the Washington Redskins in an NFC East division game. This holiday season, NY-YIP will be teaming up with Jocelyn’s Operation Holiday Spirit to raise money to buy gifts for families in need for the holidays. Monetary donations will be accepted. Please make checks payable to NY-YIP and a donation will be made in your name. For more information, or to register, click here.  

Homeowners premises liability coverage

There is the potential for many kinds of injury or property damage arising on the premises of a homeowner. You certainly don't have to leave home to get into legal trouble. In addition to pets biting, someone could fall down the stairs or slip on the porch, fire could spread to an adjoining residence and leaking underground pipes could damage the neighbor's landscaping. PIA QuickSource document No. QS90160 addresses these and other exposures a homeowner might face. To access a copy, log on to the PIANY website and type QS90160 in the Google-facilitated search box or fax a request to PIA’s Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935.  

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