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  May 08, 2014

Rate your carriers in PIANY’s Company Performance Survey

PIANY launched its Company Performance Survey on Monday. The survey, available through June 30, 2014, gauges your views of the companies you represent. Independent agents can rate the companies with which they do business on 20 performance items, including: claims handling, products and pricing, underwriting, technology and marketing support to gauge their relationship with the carriers. To take PIANY’s Company Performance Survey, click here. For more information, click here.  

LI RAP attendees enjoyed a new location, inspired speakers, unparalleled opportunities

Hundreds of insurance professionals attended PIANY's Long Island Regional Awareness Program, May 1, 2014, to network, earn continuing-education credits and browse the latest industry innovations. This year's Long Island RAP took place at a new location—the stunning Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. The gorgeous venue and perfect spring weather combined with inspired speakers and unparalleled networking opportunities, made this year's Long Island RAP a day to remember. For a full recap of the event including videos and photos, click here, and see this month’s issue of the PIANY Reporter. Photo: The Long Island RAP Committee poses with the event’s keynote speaker Bob Nystrom.  

PIANY is turning 75—Celebrate with us at this year’s conference

The PIANY/PIANJ Joint Annual Conference, June 8-10, 2014, in Atlantic City will commemorate the 75th anniversary of your association. Don’t let this event take place without you. The conference already is the largest gathering of insurance professionals in the Northeast. In addition to all the events, education sessions and networking opportunities, be ready to walk the red carpet and see people you may not have seen in a while at the Diamond Anniversary Gala Banquet. 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. For more information, or to register, click here.  

PIANY congratulates CISR scholarship recipients

The Federation of New York Insurance Professionals had its Annual Convention on April 25 in Fishkill. There, PIANY President Alan Plafker, CPIA, awarded CISR scholarships to Carolyn Larkin, Ray Knight, Jessica Smith, Maria Thomas and Paula Pirzinger. PIANY congratulates these individuals on the achievement, and for enhancing their industry careers. Interested in a scholarship so you, too, can pursue your CISR or CIC designations with PIA? For more information, click here.  

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DFS releases licensing exam report

The 2013 Report on Insurance Agent Licensing Examinations released by the Department of Financial Services (required be Section 214 of the Insurance Law) outlines the total number of examinees; the passing rate of all examinees; the mean scores; as well as additional data on the correlation of the passing rate and mean scores of examinees to the applicants’ gender, age, level of education, race, ethnicity and native language. In 2013, 3,262 people took the property/casualty agent and broker licensing exam. The overall passing ratio was 50.21 percent, and the average score was 69.29 percent (passing score is 70 percent). The 1,251 examinees who had completed four years of college had a slight advantage with a passing ratio of 56.43.  

NYPIUA encourages policyholders to add hurricane peril

In anticipation of the official start of the hurricane season on June 1, the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association will be sending letters to insureds whose policies do not currently include windstorm coverage. A sample of the letter is found here.  

Group self-insured trust update

Legislation passed in 2011 requires the Workers’ Compensation Board to prepare a semi-annual report to the governor and the legislature regarding the status of the various insolvent group self-insured trusts. The key aspects of the Dec. 31, 2013, report include the following: The outstanding liability for all defaulted trusts administered by the board is down to $346,076,000 from $772,209,000 in our June 30, 2013, report; the board has signed final settlement agreements with approximately 1,100 defaulted trust members; and the total number of defaulted trust claims being administered by the board has decreased to 1,612, which is substantially less than the number of claims handled since the initial transition, which was 7,515, and the number of claims reported in the June 30, 2013, report, which was 3,072. Insurers have accepted the liability of about 4,200 open claims, receiving $370 million in state bonds to purchase the assumption of liability policies. Also, see the latest May 1, 2014, GSIT funding status report from the WCB—access the PIA Industry Resource QuickSource document QS31363.   

Call to action: House TRIA extension bill would do more harm than good

On May 1, a conceptual draft of a House TRIA extension bill was released. The bill, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Modernization Act of 2014, was written by House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and would extend the authorization of TRIA for only three years, while also making some major changes to the program. The most radical change to the program is the introduction of a new program trigger for all non-nuclear, biological, radiological and/or chemical events from $100 million to $500 million. This increase would be phased in over three years. In addition, TRIM would lower the cap on non-NBCR federal payments to the industry from $100 billion to $75 billion. PIA asks you to contact your members of Congress to ask them to support a straightforward long-term reauthorization of TRIA. PIA advocates for a House version that brings us closer to that goal. More …  

ID Federation launches tool for secure access to multiple carrier sites

An industry coalition, ID Federation Inc., launched a software tool for securely accessing multiple insurance websites with a single sign-on. The tool, SignOn Once ( allows agency staff to use one login to securely access systems of multiple carrier business partners for transactions such as quoting, submission and account management. The ID Federation invites insurance carriers and solution providers to participate in SignOn Once. More …  

What you need to know about Indemnity Insurance Corp. RRG

As PIANY reported previously, an Order of Liquidation for Indemnity Insurance Corp. RRG was entered on April 10, 2014, by the Delaware Chancery Court, which declared the company to be "in an unsound condition," and said that "to continue to transact insurance in its condition is hazardous to its policyholders." For more information on how this affects you as an agent, click here.  

Ask PIA: No guaranty funds for RRGs

Q. The risk retention group our insured is participating in for liability coverage has been downgraded by A.M. Best Co. Will the guaranty fund back the policies issued by the risk retention group if they become insolvent? A. Based on U.S. Code Title 15, Section 3902, risk retention groups are not covered by insolvency guaranty funds based on the following: "A risk retention group is exempt from any state law, rule, regulation or order." The code requires a notice be given to policyholders advising the state insurance insolvency guaranty funds are not available for risk retention groups and are not permitted to participate in any insurance insolvency guaranty association to which an insurer licensed in the state is required to belong. 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.  

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PIA flood update: What FEMA memorandum means for you

As PIANY previously reported at the end of last month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency released Memorandum W-14016 regarding Section 3 of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (H.R.3370). The purpose of the update was to provide information pertaining to the implementation of the HFIAA revising the requirements and options for notifying policyholders of changes in premium resulting from restoring pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map subsidies for policyholders. It also provides for acceptance of a statement of primary residence. These changes took effect May 1. For more information, including a summary of the changes and what this means for you as an agent, click here.  

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 …  

PIA’s Technology Hotline

PIA’s Technology Hotline is a member benefit to help agents navigate the myriad technology options available for their businesses. The hotline offers advice on questions relating to Real Time, download/upload, comparative rating, hardware, software, workflows, taking full advantage of your system, using technology to sell more effectively, the new social media, agency websites, management and productivity data set-up and analysis and much more. To access the Technology Hotline, contact PIA’s Industry Resource Center by phone (800) 424-4244, fax (888) 225-6935 or email PIA is your source for all your technology questions. Last year, PIA’s Tech Info Central was accessed some 600 times by PIA-member agents.  

Upcoming Webinars offered by PIANY

Upcoming Webinars include the following: Long-Term Care Insurance (Tuesday, May 13, from 10-11 a.m., NYCE: 1 BR, LB, C1, LA, PC); Training for Issuers of the ACORD 855 New York Construction Certificate of Liability Insurance Addendum (Tuesday, May 20, from 10 a.m.-noon, NYCE: 2 BR, C3, PC, PA); and Top Ten Commercial Lines Endorsements (Thursday, May 29, from 10 a.m.-11 a.m., NYCE: 1 BR, C3, PC, PA). For more information or to register, click here.  

PIA offers personal auto exposure checklist

For your convenience, PIANY’s technical staff developed a sample comprehensive personal auto survey that you can use with your insureds and prospective insureds. The survey assists you in reviewing appropriate personal auto coverage issues, including ownership, liability, personal injury protection, underinsured motorists, physical damage coverage, applicable endorsements and credits. It also allows you the opportunity to write your recommendations and provides a spot for your insured to initial if they choose to decline the recommended coverage(s). To order yours, access QS31261 in PIA’s QuickSource library.  

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