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  April 22, 2014

FEMA implements Section 3 of HFIAA

In Bulletin W-14014, the Federal Emergency Management Agency provides guidance on implementing Section 3 of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Properties that are primary residences and businesses no longer will be charged full-risk rates when subject to a Pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map. HFIAA requires FEMA and Write-Your-Own companies to restore Pre-FIRM subsidized rates for the following properties: (a) Pre-FIRM properties that were not insured when Biggert-Waters was enacted; (b) Pre-FIRM properties that were sold after Biggert-Waters was enacted; and (c) policies for Pre-FIRM properties that were rated full-risk under Biggert-Waters due to a lapse in coverage. Effective May 1, 2014, FEMA is requiring the use of appropriate Oct. 1, 2013, Pre-FIRM Rate Tables.   

New hurricane forecast maps to show flood risk

On June 1, 2014, national forecasters plan to roll out new color-coded broadcast maps, in tandem with the start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The maps, which are the result of experience and polling, will geographically show the potential for flooding as a result of storm surges. Historically, Americans living on vulnerable coastlines have paid more attention to hurricane wind strength, and not flooding, when deciding to evacuate. These maps will help residents understand how flooding can potentially affect them. More …   

HUD to consider spending Sandy relief on other disaster areas

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is considering spending more than $1 billion of the remaining $3.6 billion, designated for Sandy relief, in other areas of the country affected by other disasters. More …   

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RAND study supports TRIA reauthorization

A recent RAND Corp. study supports the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act’s reauthorization, and found that an extension would prevent the federal government from spending an estimated additional $1.5 billion to $7.2 billion in the event of a terrorist act on the U.S. More … America’s PrepareAthon!, a campaign to improve the nation’s resilience will take place Wednesday, April 30, 2014. For more information, click here.   

FIO to look into auto-insurance affordability

The Federal Insurance Office has initiated a study that will look into the affordability of auto insurance. According to a notice posted in the Federal Register, the FIO is seeking comments by June 9, 2014, from state insurance regulators, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance industry, policyholders, academia and others. Specifically, the FIO seeks comments regarding the definition of "affordability," as well as the metrics and data the FIO should use to monitor access to affordable auto insurance. More … While recognizing the FIO’s authority to monitor underserved communities and consumers, minorities and low- and moderate-income persons’ access to affordable insurance products, PIA opposes FIO preemption of state insurance oversight, whether optional or mandatory, and opposes any expansion of the FIO’s responsibilities or authority. To that end, PIA encourages the FIO to work closely with state insurance departments in the development of this study.   

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ISO/PCI analyze 2013 p/c insurers’ performance

The Insurance Services Office Inc. and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America published a press release on private U.S. property/casualty insurers’ performance in 2013. P/C insurers’ net income after taxes grew to $63.8 billion in 2013 from $35.1 billion in 2012. The combined ratio—a key measure of losses and other underwriting expenses per dollar of premium—improved to 96.1 percent for 2013 from 102.9 percent for 2012. The swing to net gains on underwriting is attributable to premium growth and a drop in net losses and loss adjustment expenses, but were partially offset by increases in underwriting expenses and dividends to policyholders.   

Indemnity Insurance Corp. RRG in liquidation

An Order of Liquidation for Indemnity Insurance Corp. RRG was entered on April 10, 2014, by the Delaware Chancery Court. Indemnity Insurance Corp. RRG is hereby declared to be in an unsound condition and to continue to transact insurance in this condition is hazardous to its policyholders. The order states all insurance policies will remain in force until the earlier of the following events: Stated expiration of the policies, effective date coverage is replaced with another carrier or all insurance policies cancel on April 18, 2014, or the 30th calendar day from the date of this order, whichever is later. The bar date for any and all claims must be filed with the receiver prior to the close of business on Jan. 16, 2015. Federal law prohibits a guaranty fund from backing risk-retention groups. For a copy of the liquidation order, click here.   

Ask PIA: Vehicle liability of co-signor on a lease

Q. Our client co-signed a lease for a vehicle acquired by his nanny. The dealer says our client is only backing the lease, but I am concerned that he has incurred liability for the use of this vehicle. What does PIA think? Also, would the answer be different if the vehicle was acquired by the co-signer’s 1.) son living in his household; or 2.) his son living in a separate household? A. There is no legal theory in New Jersey to hold the owner of a vehicle liable for its use solely based on ownership of that vehicle. That does not, however, mean the owner cannot be drawn into a suit. 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.   

PIA’s Custom Class: Education when and where you want it

With the PIA member-exclusive Custom Class program, your employees get tailored, targeted knowledge and continuing-education credit without leaving the office. Get more value out of the time and money your agency or company is investing in CE when you plan a program to suit your needs. With PIA Custom Class all licensed insurance professionals in your agency or company earn CE credits at the same time, at substantial cost savings. And, they’ll gain important knowledge specific to your business’s operations that they can start implementing immediately. PIA can help you create a winning spirit throughout your business while staying up-to-date with state licensing requirements. More …   

Join PIANJ for upcoming educational sessions

PIANJ will hold a number of Webinars and education sessions throughout April. The schedule includes the following: 2014-2105 CPIA 2: Implement for Success, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (NJCE: 7 GEN); and 2014 CISR IP: Insuring Commercial Property Exposures, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 8 a.m.-3:45 p.m. (optional exam is at 4:15 p.m.) (NJCE: 7 GEN; CISRs in good standing will receive 12 CE credits).   

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PIANJ-YIP: Call for nominations

The New Jersey Young Insurance Professionals is calling for nominations to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the association. The association will recognize the Young Insurance Professional of the Year (an individual who has displayed superlative dedication to professionalism and service); and the Distinguished Service recipient (an individual who has worked to further the goals and objectives of NJYIP) at the 2014 PIANJ/PIANY Joint Annual Conference in Atlantic City Monday, June 9, 2014. For a nomination form, click here. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 16, 2014. Return forms to or fax to (888) 225-6935.   

PIA Company Representation Survey

Your response is needed for PIA’s Company Representation Survey. The information obtained from this year’s survey is important to us. It allows PIANJ to keep members informed on company activities that have a direct impact on your agency, such as an insurer insolvency, merger or acquisition or the benefit of PIA’s Company Rating Tracking Service. Please take a few minutes now to complete the personalized survey you received in the mail, and return it to PIANJ’s Industry Resource Center by faxing it to (888) 225-6935. If you do not have a copy of your survey, contact PIANJ’s Industry Resource Center at (800) 424-4244.   

Other states’ WC resource kit available

When an employer has ongoing operations in another state, it is easy to recognize the need for coverage under that state’s laws. The employer usually does not protest when directed to purchase additional coverage under these circumstances. It is when employment is temporary or incidental that resistance occurs. The producer is then put in a position of counseling the employer on the ramifications of being without other states coverage. PIANJ’s technical staff has made available a resource kit, QuickSource document QS29015, which addresses the complexity of other states’ workers’ compensation coverage issues and how some states are addressing the issue.   

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