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Oct 14
What does it take to maintain an internal perpetuation plan at your agency?


2021-10-14_14-20-32.jpg

Join us to find out! In this session, Reagan Consulting will address the best practices of agencies committed to internal perpetuation in 2021. 

When: Wednesday, November 3rd
2:00pm - 2:45pm ET
Speaker: Tom Doran, Reagan Consulting

Don't miss out, click here to register today! 

Reagan Consulting’s research indicates that a vast majority of agencies intend to perpetuate ownership internally. Interestingly, the economics of remaining private can trump a sale to a third-party buyer, even at today’s lofty valuations. Although internal perpetuation remains a great and preferred option for most agencies, the marketplace has changed dramatically over the past 10 years. What worked a decade ago in terms of perpetuation planning and execution may no longer work today. 

Oct 13
New Continuing Ed Requirements Take Effect Nov. 12

CE.JPGThe New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has formally adopted a rule imposing new continuing education course requirements on insurance producers and adjusters. If your license is due to renew on or after next April 1, you must take the required coursework in order to renew. 

​The regulation, which DFS first proposed last July, will take effect on Nov. 12 and applies to licenses renewing on and after April 1, 2022. An agent or broker will be unable to renew a license unless their 15 hours of continuing education include:

  • At least one hour of courses on the provisions of New York insurance law and regulations
  • At least one hour of courses on ethics and professionalism
  • At least one hour of courses on "implicit and explicit bias; equal access to justice; serving a diverse population; diversity and inclusion initiatives in the insurance industry; and sensitivity to cultural and other differences when interacting with clients, potential clients, or other members of the public."
  • For all property-casualty licensed producers, at least one hour of courses on  the sale of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  • For producers who sell coverage through the NFIP, at least three hours of enhanced flood insurance instruction.

Big I New York submitted comments to DFS during the public comment period​. The department rejected our request for a delay in making the change effective, stating that they believe they have delayed it long enough (they originally proposed a Jan. 1, 2022 effective date.) However, they responded to our questions by saying that courses on the financial services cybersecurity regulation and an agency management course that includes the law, ethics and diversity topics would satisfy the requirements. 

Big I New York is taking steps to help you meet these new requirements. We already have approval for courses on New York law, ethics, and flood insurance​, and we have submitted an outline for a course on diversity and inclusion for approval by DFS. We hope to receive approval for that course shortly. An "on demand" course on the cybersecurity regulation will be available soon. We are also in the process of updating our popular "15-in-1" CE program​ that enables producers to meet their 15 credit requirements in one shot. We expect to receive approval and make the new program available by year's end.

If your license is due to renew after next March 31, you should plan now to take the required courses in time for your renewal. Watch the education calendar on our website and our weekly education newsletter​ for course announcements.

Oct 11
3, 2, 1 With Sue Keegan: GearUp!; Webinar Wednesday; Catalyit Launch

3 Things

It's not too late to sign up for tomorrow's GearUP! Vaccines, Masks, Mandates-What's An Employer TO DO?  Join us for a panel discussion, moderated by our own Tim Dodge, on what members can and cannot do as employers regarding COVID.  The panel will be led by attorney John Valentino, Big I NY Chair of the Board Ron Brunell, Big I NY Regional Director David Borg, and Big I CT Chair of the Board Melissa Gatto.

It’s also not too late to get in on this week’s Webinar Wednesday – Cyber Series.  In this week’s session,  Steps to Secure Your Email, you'll learn how to avoid the popular tricks cybercriminals are using every day, including phishing, malware, ransomware and spoofing.

It's happening!!!  Catalyit launches this Thursday, October 14th.  Whether you're an agent looking for all the agency tech guidance in one place, or a solution provider looking to help them, you'll want access!  Get on the list here.


2 Ideas

There was a lot of interest in Fat Bear week.  I feel obligated to let you know that this year's winner was 480 Otis. Click here to check out the before and after hibernation pix.  

I'm back again with another podcast recommendation.  Kaelyn Willcox, Big I NY's Digital Marketing Specialist, clued me in on this one and I love it.  It's called Lore.  Start with episode 178, Opportunity – there's an insurance connection!


1 Question

What is the most irrational superstition you have? I’ll go old school back to my basketball playing days. I listened to the same song before every single game. Am I embarrassed to share that song? You know what? No I am not. That song is (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!) Let me know your irrational superstition via email at skeegan@biginy.org or post in our Community.
Oct 08
Register Now: How Agencies Are Dealing With the Delta Variant

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Oct 08
Collaborate for Growth with MyNetwork

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

You may recall I shouted out MyNetwork a few weeks ago and talked about how we partnered with Big I Oklahoma to offer our members an opportunity to join other female peer leaders in a high-impact virtual setting to learn and collaborate for growth.  I am following that up today with fantastic news.  The Big I Diversity Council is providing female agent leaders a discounted registration fee for MyNetwork's mentoring program which kicks off this fall.  Check it out here and if you're interested, please complete the survey to qualify for a scholarship toward the program.

Oct 08
Industry Roundup: Six Tips for a High-Functioning Hybrid Workforce; ​Auto Insurers Face Mounting Claims Costs Post-Pandemic; Federal Cannabis Prohibition & Workers' Comp

Auto Insurers Face Mounting Claims Costs Post-Pandemic

Surging vehicle repair and replacement costs will significantly slash underwriting margins of the country's car and truck insurance providers as claims rebound to pre-pandemic levels, a new report by market intelligence firm S&P Global has revealed.

 

Ban On 'Surprise' Medical Bills Remains on Track

The Biden administration on Thursday put final touches on consumer protections against so-called “surprise" medical bills. The ban on charges that hit insured patients at some of life's most vulnerable moments is on track to take effect Jan. 1.

 

Employees May Not Be Working Inside Office Buildings, But Cyber Criminals Are

The normal bustle inside of many office buildings has come to a halt during the pandemic switch to remote work, but these empty buildings could be inviting a different kind of activity: cyber crime.

 

Re/Insurance Cyber Rates Could Double Before 2023, as Attacks Skyrocket

The pandemic caused economic and insured losses from cyber attacks to skyrocket, which has heightened awareness of the risk and increased demand for cyber re/insurance, according to a report published by S&P Global Ratings.

 

Federal Cannabis Prohibition & Workers' Comp

The House Judiciary Committee has approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, bringing the potential for the bill to be reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and raising the potential end of federal cannabis prohibition.

 

Six Tips for a High-Functioning Hybrid Workforce

There are challenges to cracking the code to a high-functioning hybrid workplace, as many employers strategize the look and feel of in-person operations in anticipation of the pandemic's eventual end.

 

Allstate Closes $400 Million Sale

Allstate Corporation has obtained all regulatory approvals and closed the sale of its New York-based life insurance business, Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York (ALNY), to Wilton Re for about $400 million.

Longtime New York City Contractor Indicted for $1M Insurance Fraud

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) Commissioner Margaret Garnett announced the indictment of a New York City Contractor for evading more than $1 million in insurance premiums while working on City of New York contracts for sidewalk and road repair.

 

Former New York Insurance Broker Sentenced to Prison for $1M Fraud Scheme

A former insurance broker is going to prison for defrauding insurance companies and individual investors out of more than $1 million.

 

5 Steps to Ensure Cyber Insurance Claims Don't Get Denied

Maximizing coverage requires vigilance before an incident occurs and throughout the claims process.

Oct 07
Growing Your Book with Workers’ Compensation

​A guest post by PMC Insurance Group


By Stephen PrimianoStephen-Primiano-Regional-Broker-PMC-Insurance-Group-150x150.webp

Today I woke up as I normally do, a prompt bottle for the baby coupled with my regime of morning coffee mixed with the morning news. As I clicked through a variety of news venues a common narrative taking place is the state of the job market. As a broker delivering Workers’ Compensation products and solutions, that topic is very important to me as it has a direct impact on my business and that of the independent insurance agents I support.

We have just begun the 4th quarter, and I am beginning to think of ways to deliver more value and find new opportunities for our agents to grow. The outlook is promising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.9 million jobs will be created from 2020 to 2030 (a growth rate of almost 8%), which translates to 165.4 million jobs. There is a great opportunity for agents to grow their business by securing Workers’ Compensation, either as stand-alone coverage (or for those who want it all) as part of the full suite of commercial coverage.

Best Opportunities for both Short-term and Long-term Growth

  • Healthcare jobs make up the largest percentage of growth – specifically home healthcare and personal caretakers who assist with routine care (bathing feeding etc.) – which will account for over 20% of the growth in the total jobs market over the next decade.

  • We are also seeing shift to more Trucking and Transportation focused jobs as the need to move goods and services increases – this is another high growth industry with projections of up to 12%. These areas of growth are both promising forecasts and represent areas in high demand right now that agents can capitalize on.

  • Another industry expected to grow over the next decade is Staffing Services (a.k.a. Temp Staffing) as the need to place short-term labor increases. According to a recent report released by SIA, the US staffing agency revenue will grow by 16% this year and Healthcare Staffing by 24%. These additional areas are opportunities for agents to increase their Workers’ Comp book.

Identifying key industries for short and long-term growth are only part of the solution. For agents that would like to place more Workers’ Comp, PMC can help. We are Workers’ Compensation specialists, with the expertise and market access to help agents deliver more options and customized solutions for their commercial accounts. We are program administrators with industry experts who oversee our Workers’ Compensation programs, and we operate as a team together with our agent partners, working collaboratively to understand the nuances of their clients’ business, so that we can best position them in the market. PMC is known for getting those tough deals done.

Special Event for Big I NY Members

Over the next few weeks, we will be preparing a special webinar with a panel of experts who will provide more depth on how agents can grow their business by capitalizing on our current and growing labor force. This webinar is exclusively for Big I NY members and will take place on November 10th at 11 AM. Keep an eye out for Big I NY emails as more information will be coming soon.

If you have questions about any of these growing industry sectors or other Workers’ Comp questions related to any of your accounts or needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Stephen Primiano, anytime. I can be reached directly at 781-365-1108 and sprimiano@pmcinsurance.com.​​

By PMC Insurance Group

Since 1996, PMC Insurance Group has worked to help independent agents grow their client base by offering workers' compensation solutions for a wide array of businesses. As one of the most distinguished workers' compensation wholesalers in the country, we have the tools and resources to help you create coverage programs for both small businesses and large accounts.

Oct 06
HERO Act Prevention Plan Activation Extended to Oct. 31

FFP and Surgical Face masks used during Coronavirus pandemic COVID-19 

Private employers in New York State must continue implementing their airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans until at least October 31, 2021. The New York State Department of Health announced the extension of the requirement on September 30.  All insurance agencies should continue following their plans indefinitely.

The New York State HERO Act​ required all private employers to adopt these plans by August 5, 2021. In addition, employers must implement their plans if the Health Department designates a disease as "a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health." The department made that designation with regard to COVID-19 on Sept. 6. 

The original designation expired on Sept. 30, but the department's announcement extended it until Oct. 31. A decision about whether a further extension is needed will be made at that time.

Oct 06
Paid Family Leave Change To Take Effect Jan. 1

PFL logoA regulation to cap the number of days Paid Family Leave workers can use intermittently will take effect this winter. The New York State Workers Compensation Board has formally adopted it​ with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2022. This will affect both your employer clients and your agencies.

The adopted regulation is identical to the one the board proposed last May, which we reported on at the time.  While the law and previous Paid Family Leave regulations express the amount of permitted leave in terms of weeks, some workers may need to take leave in increments of days (for example, to care for elderly family members on days when home health care is not scheduled.) The new regulation clarifies that the number of days allowed is the average number of days worked per week multiplied by 12 as of January 1, 2021. It applies to new Paid Family Leave claims made on and after Jan. 1, 2022.

Download the regulation's text

Oct 04
Relay continues to put brokers first with the launch of I5 Affinity

A guest post by Support New York member Relay Platform​.


If you have not offered an insurance Affinity Program before, the time is now.

Brokers – your small business clients are struggling with a variety of new problems; navigating and implementing virtual workforces, events, covering payroll while trying not to cut costs, etc. The pandemic has shined a spotlight on the value and importance of insurance and in tandem it has created a unique opportunity for professional associations to offer relevant insurance coverage for their members through Affinity Programs.

Why should you care? The insurance industry is facing a problem of supply and demand and Affinity Program partners help insurance companies grow the demand by leveraging associations. Affinity Programs allow brokerages to offer tailored offerings to associations' members and provide additional value and strengthen their organizations. Additionally, Affinity Programs are a great way for brokers to attract and sell more insurance so they can save time and make more money. It's a win-win-win situation for brokers, associations and their members.

In September, Relay launched Affinity Program Integration, I5 Affinity. The latest feature in our ever-evolving platform allows brokers to work within our platform and find expedited success in using Affinity Program capabilities to offer exclusive discounts and benefits to associations while also leveraging Relay's cutting-edge technology to integrate submission intake directly into the associations' websites and portals. Relay is the only solution that can capture all your quotes in one place across all P&C lines, whether they come from emails, portals, or instantly through APIs. We can then instantly generate tailored, co-branded Smart Client Proposal™ for your clients, along with unique analytics on conversion rates. These state of the art features saves brokers and agents hours a day and boosts success rates in any Commercial Line.

While they have extensive benefits, Affinity Programs can be labor intensive for brokers and administrators. Affinity programs are client-facing by nature and most times focus on small businesses. Relay's solution provides a better experience for both the broker and the insured which in turn makes a broker a more appealing partner when prospecting Affinity Programs. These factors combined with the increased need for modern technology has positioned Relay as a key for great customer experience and demonstrating innovation to your Affinity Partners.

Brokers, are you tired of all the leg work involved in attracting and selling insurance? Ready to learn more about I5 Affinity?

Contact Relay to learn more


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