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Aug 10
On Our Mind: Time to Embrace the New Normal

By Sue Keegan, AIC, MBA, Learning & Development Coordinator​​

What can we do right now to shift our mindset, to accept that the old norm is gone?  What's our new norm going to look like?  I certainly never envisioned myself working out of my basement but here I am, and while I'm down here I might as well make the best of it.  We can't do things the same old way we used to do them because that's not going to work. 

So, what's something you can do today to help your agency transition to the “new normal?"  May I suggest overhauling your website?  

  • Include pictures of your staff with correct contact information. 
  • Have your hours changed – should they change so you can be more accessible?  If so, update that information. 
  • Are the telephone numbers correct – any changes / additions?  Indicate that your customers have not experienced any disruption in service due to the pandemic and that you will continue to be here to serve them, whether you are in your office or in your spare bedroom. 
  • Add a testimonial from a customer you helped during the pandemic. 

We are all stuck in this pandemic with nowhere to go but up.  As Bill Russell said, “The game is scheduled.  I have to play, so I might as well win." 

 

PS: Education is ALWAYS important. Here are a few webinars to take advantage of:

ABEN Understanding the Insurance Industry

ABEN Those Kids and Their Cars​​


Aug 07
DFS Extends License Expiration Suspension Through September 6th

The NYS Department of Financial Services has again extended the suspension of the expiration of individual producer licenses for an additional 30 days, through September 6, 2020.  

At the end of this 30-day period, all licenses that would have expired between March 25, 2020 and September 6, 2020 will automatically expire on September 7, 2020, unless the producer completes all necessary continuing education credits, and submits a license renewal application, before September 7, 2020.​

The Department has also extended the suspension of the requirement that a monitor be present to complete producer continuing education and pre-licensing course exams online for an additional 90 days, through November 5, 2020.

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Aug 07
New Connecticut Data Security Law To Impact Insurance Agencies

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​A new Connecticut law will require many insurance agencies to implement cybersecurity programs. The requirements take effect in less than two months.

The Insurance Data Security Law requires Connecticut licensees to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive written information security program based on a risk assessment. The programs must include the administrative, technical and physical safeguards for protecting their information systems and the nonpublic information stored in them. The deadline for implementing the program is October 1, 2020. The program must be commensurate with:

  • The size and complexity of the licensee
  • The nature and scope of the licensee's activities, including, but not limited to, the licensee's use of third-party service providers, and
  • The sensitivity of the nonpublic information the licensee uses or has in its possession, custody or control.

Licensees are also required to perform due diligence when they select third party service providers with whom they will do business. By Oct. 1, 2021, they must require these providers to implement their own information security programs. These programs must safeguard licensees' systems and nonpublic information to which the providers have access.

If a cybersecurity event occurs, the licensee must:

  • Launch a prompt investigation
  • Notify the Insurance Department
  • Notify all individuals whose nonpublic information may have been accessed.

Insurers who experience cybersecurity events must notify the producer of record no later than when they notify the consumers.

Penalties for non-compliance are up to $50,000 per violation.

Some licensees are exempt from the law's requirements:

  • Between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021, licensees with fewer than 20 employees including independent contractors
  • On and after Oct. 1, 2021, licensees with fewer than 10 employees including independent contractors
  • Licensed employees, agents, representatives or designees of licensees

Big I Connecticut successfully fought for the exemptions for small agencies.

Others are considered to be compliant if they meet other requirements:

  • Licensees who are subject to and in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Licensees who are compliant with the requirements of another jurisdiction approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department

The department may issue regulations that name the jurisdictions. Licensees who comply this way must submit a certification to the department by Feb. 15 each year.

 For more information, see Insurance Department Bulletin IC – 42. ​

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