View in your web browser:

  Jan. 31, 2013

PIANY’s MetroRAP honoring insurance professionals today

Insurance professionals from throughout the New York City metro area are gathered in Brooklyn today for PIANY’s MetroRAP. This year’s Executive of the Year award will be given to Jim Romanelli, zone officer senior vice president northeastern zone, CNA Insurance Co.; Steve Sternberg, senior vice president of business development, BankDirect Capital Finance, will be given the Industry Professional of the Year award; and Harvey A. Leff, former president, Brooks of New York, will be honored with a Presidential Citation. The Bernard I. Kozel and Arthur I. Moll Memorial scholarships also will be awarded. The daylong event also includes CE-approved education sessions, networking opportunities and an expansive trade show. Look for a full wrap-up of this year’s event in future PIANY publications.   

DFS extends moratorium for sixth time

The New York State Department of Financial Services has notified PIANY it will again extend the moratorium it enacted after Sandy, originally effective on Oct. 26, 2012. This is the sixth extension of the moratorium. It prohibits the termination, cancellation or nonrenewal of any "covered policy," as that term is defined by Insurance Law. The sixth extension extends the provisions of the moratorium for specific ZIP codes within the counties of New York, Bronx, Kings, Richmond, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. The particular ZIP codes are contained on page 3 of the moratorium announcement.   

DFS updates list of approved WC loss cost multipliers

The Department of Financial Services updated its list of lost cost multipliers and expense constants approved for use by workers’ compensation insurers. These multipliers and expense constants, which are effective Dec. 31, 2012, may be obtained in PIA QuickSource document No. 31151.   

DFS updates list of approved hurricane deductibles

The Department of Financial Services released an updated list of approved homeowners policy hurricane deductibles. PIANY supports legislation introduced at our request to help promote better understanding of the applicability and amount of hurricane windstorm deductibles in homeowners and dwelling fire policies by establishing reasonable standards for the operation of hurricane windstorm deductibles. The bill would require the superintendent to establish reasonable standards for uniformity in the triggering and operation of hurricane windstorm deductibles to promote clear understanding and a reasonable and actuarially appropriate apportionment of hurricane risk between insurers and policyholders.   

Senate passes Sandy-aid bill; president expected to sign

Monday night, the U.S. Senate passed a $50.5 billion aid package to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama, who has said that he would sign the bill.  More…

PIANY continues ongoing conversation with NYPIUA about underwriting guidelines

In anticipation of widespread cancellation and nonrenewal of policies, your PIANY Company & Industry Relations Committee has been focused on the effects of Sandy on the market and the need for alternatives to the admitted marketplace once DFS moratoriums have been lifted. New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association’s recent announcement provides hope for thousands of homeowners previously without a viable market to place their insurance. Immediately following an in-depth discussion of the PIANY Company & Industry Relations Committee about the need to modify the NYPIUA underwriting guidelines to provide an alternative for placement of damaged homes after Sandy, PIANY received official notice from NYPIUA of temporary easing of their underwriting guidelines as a result of Storm Sandy. Your association is pleased to be in a position to represent its members and their clients in ongoing discussions with NYPIUA regarding the opportunities afforded by the easing of underwriting guidelines and continues its regular contact with the authority. PIANY directors continue their ongoing discussions with NYPIUA and is developing an informational piece in FAQ format for agents unfamiliar with how to place a NYIUA policy.   

State offers free program to aid Sandy victims

State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-8, and the DFS are sponsoring a free program aimed at assisting residents and business owners with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by Sandy. The program with the DFS Mobile Assistance Unit is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Wantagh Fire Department Station 3 House located on 2529 Neptune Ave., in Seaford from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.  More…

Bill would increase penalties for leaving scene of accident

The Senate Transportation Committee considered legislation this week (S.2503) that would increase the penalties for motorists who leave the scene of an accident where injury occurs and where it is the culprit's first offense of this kind. The current penalty for the first offense of leaving the scene of an incident without reporting where personal injury occurs, under the Vehicle Traffic Law, is an "A" misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year of imprisonment. A driver faces charges of an "E" felony for any subsequent offense, or if a victim suffers "serious physical injury" as defined by Section 10.00 of the Penal Law. This proposal would increase the penalty for a first offense to an "E" felony. The penalty for repeat offenders is increased from an "E" felony to a "D" felony.   

Executive Budget includes $1.75 billion raid on NYSIF reserves

Hidden on page 241 of the 286-page 2013-14 New York State Executive Budget Public Protection and General Government Article VII bill is a proposal that would transfer $1.75 billion out of the New York State Insurance Fund's reserves into state coffers and require NYSIF policyholders to start paying assessments to the State Workers' Compensation Board.  More…

Employer reminders: Provide notices of Wage Theft Prevention Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act to staff

Employers who have employees in New York are required to issue annual notices under the Wage Theft Prevention Act to all New York employees between Jan. 1-Feb. 1, 2013. Also, the new Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements took effect on January 1, 2013. Employers who engage third parties to perform background checks on employees or job applicants must provide the employees/applicants with an updated "Summary of Rights." The form is available here, at "Appendix K to Part 1022—Summary of Consumer Rights."   More…

PIANY 2013 DOVs taking place now across the state

PIANY member Edaurdo Giraldo, president of Abetex International Brokers in Jackson Heights, joined your association’s District Office Visit program, meeting with his local state senator, Jose Peralta (D-13), in his Queens office on Jan. 18. They discussed PIANY’s priority issues in the 2013 legislative session, including certificates of insurance; measures to reduce auto fraud, including reform to New York’s no-fault system and repeal of the mandatory photo inspections; health insurance; and standardizing coastal homeowners insurance hurricane triggers, as well as issues important in Queens, such as unlicensed drivers and licenses for undocumented immigrants.    

PIA WNY district office visits continue

PIANY past President Henry Kaye (center) met state Sen. Catherine Young (R-57) and Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R-148) in Olean on Jan. 11, as part of his visits with Western New York legislators to forward PIANY legislative agenda. Kaye continues 2013 DOVs joined by PIA members and officers, including First Vice President Tony Kubera, past President Lynne D. Frank, director Eric Clauss and Advisory Council member Fred Holender, as they meet with their representatives in their local offices.  

PIANY district office visits in Rockland County

PIANY past Presidents Richard Savino, Donna Chiapperino and Scott Liebert conducted visits in Rockland County yesterday, meeting with Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-97) and Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski (D-94) (Zebrowski is flanked by PIA past Presidents in adjacent photo). If you would like to participate in PIANY’s District Office Visit Program, email or call the Government & Industry Affairs Department at (800) 424-4244, ext. 319, to get more information or join the effort.   

PIANY legislative hot lists

Want to see the status of an important bill? Think PIA first. Select PIANY Priority Bills for bill status. Select Recent Actions for any movement in the past week affecting any bill PIANY is tracking. More information, including summaries and bill texts, can be viewed by typing the bill number in the Assembly or Senate bill search sites.   

PIANY to participate in Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy recovery

PIANY Director Jeff Greenfield will participate in today’s Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy Recovery hosted by Senator Andrew J. Lanza and Senator Malcolm A. Smith. The roundtable meeting will explore ways to help communities recover from Hurricane Sandy and review recommendations for a legislative agenda to help improve New York’s ability to prepare for and respond to future storms. Mr. Greenfield will discuss post-Sandy insurance issues, many of which have been outlined in the NYS 2100 Commission report and supported by PIANY, such as investment in risk mitigation; improved consumer awareness and education of flood and homeowners’ insurance policies; the need to prevent underinsurance for flood risks; expanded coverage for business interruption; the need for agents and brokers to have access to disaster areas to provide catastrophe response services; and the establishment of a Comprehensive Insurance Emergency Measures Act (CIEMA). The task force will take place at 2:30 pm at 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, N.Y.   

NYT: FEMA flood maps double the structures in NYC flood zones

The New York Times reported that FEMA’s newly released flood maps for Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn include 35,000 more homes and businesses in flood zones.    More…

Kudos to our industry’s post-Sandy efforts

Agents and carriers alike have been working around the clock since Storm Sandy hit, assisting policyholders and settling claims. Given the magnitude and volume of the losses our industry is dealing with, our members face the frustrations of their clients, who want their claims settled yesterday—and for the largest possible amount. Do you have customers who can report how they benefited from working with a professional, independent agency? Have you worked with any carriers that have shown exemplary customer service? Please share your photos and stories with your PIA Communication Department by emailing them to Watch for your March edition of PIA magazine, which will feature agency stories.   

Employers get more time on health exchange notices

The March 1 deadline for employers to notify workers about health insurance exchanges available under the Affordable Care Act is being pushed back, the government said this week. Under a provision of the ACA, businesses need to provide to each employee a written notice informing them about the existence of exchanges and the employer's cost-sharing plans. The original deadline for providing the notice was March 1, 2013. However, the Labor Department delayed the deadline, saying it was "committed to a smooth implementation process including providing employers with sufficient time to comply."  More…

Fourth-quarter reports

ACE Limited reported net income of $765 million for the fourth quarter of 2012, or $2.22 per share, compared with $735 million, or $2.15 per share, for the same quarter of 2011.More ... W.R. Berkley Corp. reported net income for the fourth quarter of 2012 of $165 million, or $1.17 per share, compared with $117 million, or $0.82 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011.   More…

Ask PIA: Concurrent causation claims from a storm

Q. I don’t understand the impact of the anti-concurrent causation exclusion in the ISO homeowners policy. Does this mean wind damage is not covered if there is flood damage concurrently?A. There are some complex legal and coverage issues that surround the concept of concurrent causation. The language in the ISO homeowners policy makes it clear that if a windstorm or hurricane contributes to flooding, there still is no coverage for flood damage. However, this language does not preclude coverage for damage caused by wind at the same time a flood occurs. 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.   

Need a market? Think PIA first

PIA’s MarketBase 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 MarketBase service, click here, or email the PIANY Industry Resource Center with a market request.   

Upcoming Webinars to focus on storm preparedness

Lessons Learned from a Superstorm, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (CTCE: 3 PC). This course will explore some of the myths that led to the conditions that left many unprepared for a storm of Sandy’s magnitude; review some of the statistics that paint a picture of the death and destruction caused by this superstorm; detail coverage, limitations and exclusions contained in property and flood insurance policies; itemize insurance realities that will continue to challenge the population and the industry as a result of the storm’s damaging results; and suggest community discussion topics with regard to rebuilding standards and flood plain management regulations. Avoiding E&O in Writing Flood Insurance^FF^UM, Tuesday, March 5, 2013, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (CTCE: TBA). This course will review the NFIP rules and procedures of concern to agents and policyholders; explore common causes of E&O claims against agents for failure to advise the insured of unique definitions, limited scope of coverage as well as alternative coverages; and enumerate practices to prevent E&O situations at the agency level. Real-life claim scenarios will be reviewed. ^FF^UM—This course has been approved for E&O loss-prevention credit for Fireman’s Fund and Utica Mutual. Disaster Planning: Preparation for the Next Disaster,Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (CTCE: TBA). This course will focus on ways you and your agency can be better prepared for any future disasters—natural or man-made. This program will help you to develop a plan to mitigate damage to your home, your agency and your community; and ensure that your agency is able to operate effectively without power, phone service, Internet connection or even access to your agency building. PIA’s Disaster Planning Manual and other resources will be reviewed. For more information, or to register, click here.   

New & improved: CISR 5-of-9 program

The CISR designation program now includes nine course offerings. To earn the CISR designation, participants will need to pass exams for five of the nine courses. However, anyone is welcome to attend the classes without taking the exams. There is no special order in which courses must be taken. If you are more familiar with a given topic, you may want to begin with that course. The CISR program is a CE credit-approved, nationally recognized designation program that takes a practical, hands-on approach to learning. This designation is recognized nationwide as an important credential—one that benefits individuals, their agencies and their customers. Through this program, developed by the National Alliance for Insurance Education, students who are committed to CE and career growth can obtain the highest level of professional insurance education. This uniquely powerful training is designed to help you conquer the challenges of today by making customer service representatives more professional, more productive and more profitable. The CISR program is for all insurance personnel who make customer service their priority. CISR courses include: 1IC: Commercial Casualty I—CGL; AI, 2IC: Commercial Casualty II—BAP, WC, Excess; IP: Insuring Commercial Property; PR: Insuring Personal Residential Property; PA: Insuring Personal Auto Exposures; PM: Personal Lines—Miscellaneous; LHE: Life & Health Essentials; ELR: Elements of Risk Management; and AO: Agency Operations. For more information, click here or call (800) 424-4244.   

Exchange of information after an accident

The Department of Motor Vehicles stresses the importance of police officers’ responsibility to encourage motorists to exchange insurance information at the scene of a motor vehicle accident whenever possible. To receive a copy of "P" 11 (2007), log on to the PIANY website and type QS31358 in the Google-facilitated search box or fax a request to PIA’s Industry Resource Center at (888) 225-6935.   


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.