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Nov 20
Attune's Fantastic Incentives

attunelogosm.pngAccess to markets shouldn’t prevent you from writing business. That's why we've joined forces with our sister associations to develop IMS – a market access solution for your agency.

Today, we're thrilled to share some great incentives for writing new business with Attune through the end of the year.

Earn a $300 Gift Card
Attune is offering agencies a $300 gift card for their first policy. All you (or someone from your agency) have to do is bind a qualifying Businessowners' or Workers' Comp policy through the Attune Portal by December 31st. 

If your agency qualifies, you'll have the option to select gift cards from places like Amazon, Lowes, Apple, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and more.  See the full promotion rules.

3% Bonus Commission on New Workers' Comp
You can earn an extra 3% commission on all eligible new business Workers’ Compensation policies (regardless of the effective date) bound from now until Thursday, Dec. 31.
Check out some of the top Workers’ Compensation options: ​
Food Services
Professional Services (Offices)
Automotive Services

Wholesalers and Distributors
Retail / Mercantile
Food Manufacturers
Medical Services
Schools and Child Care

The one-time commission bonus payout will be sent via direct deposit to all qualifying agencies on or before Jan. 31, 2021. See the full promotion rules.

Earn 5% Extra on Retail & Office BOP, and XS New Business 
You can earn an extra 5% commission on all eligible retail and office BOP and XS new business policies (regardless of the effective date) bound from now until Thursday, Dec. 31.
Check out some of the top retail and office classes:​

Medical Offices
Law Offices
Insurance Offices
Advertising and Related Services
Bookkeeping Services

Retail / Mercantile
Liquor Stores
Electronic / Cell Phone Stores
Meat Stores

The one-time commission bonus payout will be sent via direct deposit to all qualifying agencies on or before Jan. 31, 2021. See the full promotion rules.

Nov 17
Market Access Bonus - $300 For Your First Attune Policy

It's a great time to write a Businessowners' or Workers' Comp policy through IMS - our Market Access Program!   

Attune is offering ​agencies a $300 gift card for their first Attune policy. All you (or someone from your agency) have to do is bind a policy through the portal by Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. 

We can get you set up with Attune quickly. Visit​

Here's the full rundown of promotion terms​...

Promotion Terms
$300 For Your First Policy Promotion sponsored by Attune Insurance Services, LLC, 83 Maiden Lane, Floor 6, New York, NY 10038 (Attune).

Promotion Name: $300 For Your First Policy

Territory: All States and the District of Columbia (except where insurance products aren’t approved).

Start Date: Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. ET

End Date: Thusday, December 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Description of Promotion: $300 For Your First Policy Promotion will provide Attune-accredited brokerages the opportunity to receive a $300 gift card based on their agency’s Attune activity. Attune will provide $300 gift cards to agencies who bind their first BOP or WC  policies between Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, and Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. A full list of eligible classes is located in the Attune Portal.

Attune will provide gift cards on a rolling monthly basis for those who meet the criteria, and the final payout will occur on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

By participating, sub-producers/employees agree to the following rules governing the promotion:
  • The promotion is open only to licensed insurance sub-producers or employees under the supervision of a licensed sub-producer having an in-force contract with Attune who are invited to participate by Attune.
  • No reward may be passed through in whole or in part to any customer.
  • The sub-producer will defend and indemnify Attune against any claim by any employee of the sub-producer or any other person or organization.
  • The promotion may not be available in all states and is void where prohibited by law.
  • The promotion is not a guarantee that insurance coverage will be bound.
  • Sub-producers and employees are solely responsible for compliance with any applicable laws and regulations regarding producer compensation.
  • Attune is not acting as an agent for any insurance company in relation to the promotion. No reward granted is deducted from premiums.
  • Attune reserves the right to suspend, modify or cancel the promotion for any reason and at any time.
  • Attune, in its sole discretion, may disqualify any sub-producer found to be engaged in dishonesty or fraud with regard to the promotion or the business of insurance.
  • The promotion is not part of the Attune producer contract. Nothing in the promotion or in these terms amends or alters the producer contract between Attune and the sub-producer.
  • The sub-producer agrees that any claim or dispute regarding the promotion will be resolved exclusively and finally by binding arbitration in New York, NY in accordance with the current commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association.

Nov 16
Loss Prevention Report on Risks Related to Cleaning & Disinfecting During the COVID-19 Pandemic


By Brian Bixby, IAAC President

The risks related to cleaning and disinfecting during the COVID-19 pandemic are multifaceted – and they can have a significant financial, legal, or reputational impact or result in business interruption.
While most employers have considered the impact of increased cleaning requirements on their workforce, some may not have considered other related risks or how to prevent any potential resulting losses.
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions considered these risks for a wide range of public spaces, workplaces, businesses, and schools and developed a loss prevention report examining some of the general liability risks stemming from the increased cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection requirements of the pandemic. It also looks at this planning process, who needs to be involved, and how the plan should be communicated and enforced.
Nov 16
On Our Mind…Countdown to Pre-Licensing

By Sue Keegan , AIC, MBA, Learning & Development Manager

 Our virtual P&C Pre-Licensing program​ starts in less than a month. It's exciting to see something that I've heard about and worked on since I started with Big I (almost 7 months ago – WOW!) come to fruition. 

 Our program allows you to be in the office or at your desk while you attend virtually. Our live instructor is there to guide you through the required 90 hours of class. There is no travel requirement whatsoever. You can take the exam from the comfort of your home or office without the need of a monitor. 

 Once you have passed our Pre-Licensing exam, you will receive a certificate of completion, and you can schedule your P&C Licensure exam with New York State. When you pass the state exam you will be granted a New York State Property and Casualty License!

 Please reach out if you have questions, need help registering, or would like to discuss our many other course offerings.  

Check out these classes happening before Thanksgiving:​

Racism. Ethics and The Insurance Industry

15inONE Ce Program

Construction Contracts: What the Insurance Agent Should Know​

Nov 12
Announcing the annual Local Association "Stack the PAC" Challenge!

​​We are excited to announce the reinvigorated, reimagined, “Stack the PAC" local association competition! Each fiscal year (May 1 – April 30), beginning this year, the top performing local association for IAPAC fundraising will be honored with the Champion Cup!Stack The PAC trophy.jpeg

What is the purpose of “Stack the PAC?"

Now, perhaps more than ever, our industry is facing threats from Albany. Our goal is to drive home the importance of our political action committee, recognize associations that go above and beyond for the cause, and most importantly help independent agencies thrive by growing our influence.

How is the winning local association determined?

The winner is determined by a weighted scoring system that factors in both total dollars raised and percentage of members contributing. This levels the playing field means that any association can take the trophy!


What are the current standings?

Weighted ScoreLocal Total Contributions Percentage of Members Contributing
83CENTRAL NY$3,87839%
55WESTERN NY$3,81525%


Contact Scott Hobson​ with any questions.

Nov 06
Ask Tim: N.Y. Workers' Comp Coverage Endorsement on Homeowners Policy

lawnmower-155231_640.pngThe following is a re-publication of a post that originally ran in 2011.

Question from an IIABNY member: I have a personal lines customer who called saying he has a person come to his house every other week and do five hours worth of cleaning. He wanted to confirm there is liability coverage should she be hurt. I called the insurance carrier and the underwriter forwarded the attached Workers Comp endorsement, which to me is a bit confusing. Can you advise your understanding of this endorsement? I would assume if she were hurt on the premises and the insured was negligent (i.e. he allowed her to use a ladder that was defective and she fell), that his liability would respond. But what if she were hurt on the premises and he wasn’t negligent? Would the Workers Comp coverage kick in?

​Answer: ​​This endorsement provides so little coverage that the New York Insurance Department won’t even let insurers charge for it anymore (they used to be able to charge $3.) Essentially, it provides Workers’ Comp benefits to the insured’s employee (one with casual employment or regular employment of less than 40 hours per week) if that employee is subject to the New York Workers’ Comp Law. The question becomes, who fits the description of a covered person and also is subject to the Workers’ Comp Law? Almost no one: 

Who Is Not Covered By The Workers' Compensation Law?
The spouse and minor children (under 18 years old) of an employer who is a farmer as long as they are not under an express contract of hire (WCL §2 [4])...

People, including minors, doing yard work or casual chores in and about a one-family, owner-occupied residence or the premises of a nonprofit, noncommercial organization (WCL §2 [4]). Casual means occasionally, without regularity, without foresight, plan or method. Coverage is required if the minor handles power-driven machinery, including a power lawnmower.

Essentially, the endorsement provides benefits if a kid using a power mower or snowblower gets hurt while working on the insured’s property. If he’s using a shovel, he’s not eligible for benefits; if he’s fired up the Toro, he is. Otherwise, the endorsement doesn’t cover most domestic employees because those employees are not covered by the law (“coverage does not apply to an employee who is not required, under New York Workers’ Compensation Law, to be covered.”)

Another page on the Workers’ Comp Board’s Web site goes on to say:

Domestic workers include chauffeurs, nannies, home health aides, au pairs, nurses, baby-sitters, maids, cooks, housekeepers, laundry workers, butlers, companions, and gardeners working in a private household.

Domestic workers employed forty or more hours per week by the same employer (including full-time sitters or companions, and live-in maids) are required to be covered by a New York State workers' compensation insurance policy.

Workers' compensation insurance is NOT required IF the only people who work for the household are domestic workers in a private household who individually work less than 40 hours per week for that household and do not live on premises. However a person who employs household help for less than 40 hours per week are encouraged to obtain a voluntary workers' compensation insurance policy to protect both the employer and the employee.

Please note that a homeowner's insurance policy's workers' compensation insurance rider does not cover any domestic employees for workers' compensation benefits.

Therefore, this endorsement will not cover the person cleaning your insured’s home. He can either rely on his liability coverage or voluntarily buy a Workers Comp policy to provide coverage.
Nov 06
DFS Nixes Requirement To Have Exams Monitored

​The New York State Department of Financial Services will no longer require that an insurance producer have a monitor present during an exam following a ​continuing education course. The department announced the change in a November 2 circular letter.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DFS started issuing a series of circular letters​ in March that extended producer license expiration dates and made other temporary changes. Among those changes was a moratorium on the requirement to have a monitor present during a CE exam. A circular issued in August extended the changes to November 5. The new circular stated in part:

DFS hereb​y eliminates the requirement that a monitor be present when an insurance producer takes any exam at the conclusion of either a continuing education or prelicensing course.  This change does not modify the requirement to take an exam at the conclusion of a self-study continuing education course or online prelicensing course as set forth in the Continuing Education Criteria and Prelicensing Criteria. ​

​As a reminder, Big I New York's new "15-in-1" program, which enables producers to get 15 credits through a combination of self-study and a four-hour webinar, includes an exam after the self-study portion. The DFS announcement means that producers who take advantage of the program can take the exam without needing a monitor. 

Contact our Education Department​ for more information about the 15-in-1 program.

Nov 06
Discount on My Agency Campus Training

​Our friends at My​ Agency Campus​ are celebrating Thanksgiving all month long.  They're offering a 20% discount on all of their online training bundles.  The bundles are a great way to introduce new hires to the insurance industry and to boost the business skills of your entire team.

Enter MAC20 at checkout to receive the 20% discount.

Thankful for Online Learning- Post .png 


Nov 03
A Message on Election Day 2020 from Lisa Lounsbury, Big I New York President & CEO

​By Lisa Lounsbury, Big I NY President & CEO

Election day is upon us. Because this season is unlike any most of us have experienced, I shared support and a call for leadership with our staff team. I'm sharing this internal message with you now because it is my hope for all of us.

Hi Everyone,
I want to remind you that Big I New York fully supports you exercising your important right to vote.  If you have not voted yet and wish to so, please coordinate taking time to vote with your supervisor (if you go during business hours).
As you know, we are living in turbulent times right now - the pandemic, civil unrest, and political divide.  Let’s do our part to be leaders in uniting our country.  No matter the outcome of the elections, there will be upheaval.  I fear that our country will continue to focus on the things that divide us.  I challenge you to think about ways that you can support unification and healing.  Let’s lead by example and get back to some basics:
  • Unity:  United, our country is strong.  Divided, we are weak.  Let’s work to look for the common ground we share with others and not immediately jump to the differences.  Focus on the positive.

  •  Respect:  Respect for each other.  It's not to say that we have to agree, but we should treat each other with respect and dignity.  Keep in mind that you have not walked in another person's shoes and can never fully understand or appreciate how people have formed their opinions and views.  Take the high road (or the “other side of the road” as my son Garret used to say when I coached him on dealing with his sister) in your dealings.

  • Compromise:  There are few times in negotiations where one party or person achieves 100% of what they want or is correct 100% of the time.  When both parties compromise, the outcome will be stronger and more sustainable. 

  • Our differences unite us:  Our country is a beautiful country that fundamentally values the diversity within it.  Different opinions, approaches, and perspectives are critical to achieving the best results and outcomes.  Let’s celebrate our ability to be unique and express our differences. 
Be kind and be patient in the upcoming weeks.
Nov 03
Is Your Agency Compliant with NY's New Sick Time Law?

​New York’s Sick Time Law- What You Need to Know and Do

New York State’s Paid Sick Leave law (also referred to as “sick and safe time”) is now in effect.  All employers with employees in New York must begin to provide their employees time off for sick and safe time purposes. The amount of time and whether or not it is paid or unpaid depends on the number of employees a company has as well as, for small companies, the previous year’s net income.

As of September 30, 2020, employees were to begin accruing sick time at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. They can begin using this time for any covered reason as of January 1, 2021. 

While your current paid time off policies may be sufficient, they must meet all the requirements of the new sick and safe time such as accrual rate, availability for usage, permitted reasons, notice and documentation requirements, and carry-over allowance.

The New York Sick Leave law allows employers to make some variations such as front-loading the allotment and setting a maximum annual usage. 

New York law requires all employers to provide employees with written notice of all paid time off policies such as vacation, holiday, and sick time prior to going into effect.  Therefore, employers should provide employees with a written policy laying out all the information they need to know.

Offers for Big I NY members:
Our HR partner, Affinity HR Group​, has several ways to help our members stay compliant with this new law.

General New York Sick Leave policy template - $70

Customized New York Sick Leave policy - $90

One-time offer: 10% off Big I NY-discounted rates for any handbook revision or handbook development project.  Offer valid through December 15, 2020.

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