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Oct 22
Industry Roundup: The Future of Work; Unvaccinated Employees Risk Job Losses; Allianz Warns of Cyber Pandemic Driven by Ransomware

Bigger Ships are Causing Greater Supply Chain Risks

Severely disruptive events often expose previously unseen or underappreciated vulnerabilities. Add to the list how the trend toward increasingly mammoth vessels is making global supply chains even more fragile.


Insurance Agency M&As Up 13% Thus Far in 2021

There were 553 announced insurance agency mergers and acquisitions during the first three quarters of 2021, up from 490 in 2020, According to an OPTIS Partners' M&A report, that was the highest recorded total for this period.


Lessons from the Pandemic for Event Cancellation Coverages

Event cancellation insurance has been one of the most impacted by the pandemic — and the event insurance market is changing fast.


What Insurance Agents Need to Know About the Future of Work

Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance recently released “The Agent's Guide to the Future of Work" e-book that offers insights and advice on hiring talent, creating great agency cultures and building the next generation of insurance leaders.


Unvaccinated Employees Risk Job Losses as Employer Mandates Take Effect

Thousands of unvaccinated workers across the United States are facing potential job losses as a growing number of states, cities and private companies start to enforce mandates for inoculation against COVID-19.


Why the Pressure is on Directors and Officers Over Cyber

Cyber risk has taken center stage with the shift to remote working models last year, with cyber criminals taking advantage of the vulnerabilities that continue to grow within a business's spaced-out digital infrastructure.


Cyber Criminals Target "Low-Hanging Fruit" In Agribusiness

The world's largest meat processing company, Brazil-based JBS SA, fell prey to a ransomware attack in May 2021, where hackers paralyzed the servers supporting the food giant's operations in North America and Australia.


Allianz Warns of Cyber Pandemic Driven by Ransomware

Cyber intrusion activity worldwide jumped by 125% in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, according to Accenture, with ransomware and extortion operations one of the major contributors behind this increase.


Insurer Justified in Denying Coverage in Uninsured Motorist Case

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit found Progressive Northern Insurance Co. didn't breach the duty of good faith in denying an uninsured motorist (UM) coverage.


New York Directs Two Cryptocurrency Lending Platforms to Cease Activity

Two cryptocurrency lending platforms were asked to cease activities in New York by the state's attorney general on Monday and three other platforms were directed to provide information about their business.​

Oct 22
Governor Hochul Recommends Gaurav Vasisht as NYSIF Executive Director

​Governor Kathy Hochul has recommended Gaurav Vasisht to serve as Executive Director of the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). Ultimate responsibility for appointing the Exeuctive Director rests with the NYSIF Board of Commissioners.

Mr. Vasisht has served as an advisor to a former Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as a lawyer to three Governors of New York, and in key roles at the New York Department of Financial Services, its predecessor, the New York Insurance Department, and the New York Attorney General's Office. As Senior Vice President and Director of the financial regulation program at the Volcker Alliance ("Alliance") from 2014 to 2020, Mr. Vasisht advised former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker and numerous Volcker Alliance board members on financial stability and regulatory matters. Mr. Vasisht also guided the development of reform proposals and promoted the Alliance's policy priorities before the federal government, including the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, the House Financial Services Committee, and an array of financial regulatory agencies. 

Before joining the Alliance, Mr. Vasisht spent a decade in New York State government. Most recently, he served as Executive Deputy Superintendent of DFS, heading the agency's Banking Division, and prior to that was Senior Deputy Superintendent of DFS's predecessor agency, the NYS Insurance Department. Mr. Vasisht has also worked as First Assistant Counsel and Assistant Counsel to three Governors of New York and Assistant Attorney General in the Investment Protection Bureau of the NYS Attorney General's Office.

Oct 19
Big I NY & CT members have a "Guardian" protecting them!
scottaward.jpgI am proud to share that Scott Hobson, AVP of Government Relations for Big I New York & Connecticut, was awarded the 2021 Guardian of Civil Justice Award from The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) today. LRANY is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit grassroots organization dedicated to reducing lawsuit abuse for the benefit of all New Yorkers. Scott was honored for his work as a former employee of LRANY and his tireless work for Big I NY & CT members to advance a fairer and more balanced tort system.

Scott started with Big I New York in 2018 and had an immediate impact on the meaningful advocacy work we do for our members. He has thoughtfully researched and interviewed members to understand their business and what the associations can do to protect them and their clients. By leading collaboration with other trade groups and systematically mobilizing record-breaking grassroots activities, Scott goes the extra mile to advocate for our members.

Big I NY is an active member of LRANY, and Scott has worked closely with the group on many issues of importance to independent agents, including:

• Defeating legislation that would subject businesses of all sizes to private lawsuits for an expansive array of vaguely defined "unfair and deceptive business practices."

• Calling for the removal of the private liability from the proposed "New York Privacy Act," which would impose a strict "data fiduciary" standard on businesses.

• Urging the Governor to veto legislation that would automatically disclose the sensitive contents of an insured's policy applications if they are sued.

Scott is balanced, strategic, and ethical. His grit and finesse get results for agents in New York and Connecticut.

Congratulations Scott!​

Oct 18
3, 2, 1 with Sue Keegan: HERO Act; Free CE Credit; Squishing the Squash

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

3 Things

Mark your calendar for next Monday, 10/25, to attend GearUP! HERO Act, Part III – Workplace Safety Committees.  If your agency has 10 or more employees, starting on Nov. 1, the New York State HERO Act requires you to offer them the opportunity to form a workplace safety committee. How will that work? Who picks the members? What will the committee do? Join us on October 25 for this short webinar where we’ll discuss these questions and explain what this new requirement means for your agency. 

It's been 50 years since FEMA has updated their flood risk rating methodology. Did you know that big changes went into effect on 10/01/2021? Join Curtis Bryan Wednesday, 10/27 for a webinar where he talks about NFIP Flood Risk Rating 2.0, and earn 1 FREE CE credit while you learn what is and is not changing.  

The NYS 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, 2021, you must take the required coursework in order to renew.  

2 Ideas

What does it take to maintain an internal perpetuation plan at your agency? Join us Wednesday, 11/3, to find out.  In this webinar, Reagan Consulting will address the best practices of agencies committed to internal perpetuation in 2021.  

If you have any interest at all in elephants participating in Oregon Zoo’s annual “Squishing of the Squash” (and truly, who doesn’t?), today is your lucky day.  It’s strangely satisfying.

1 Question

Well, we are in spooky season, so it seems right to ask this question. Do you believe in ghosts? I 100% do. Please let me know via email at or post in our Community. If you have a ghost story to share, even better!​
Oct 15
Industry Roundup: Vaccine Mandate Updates; Hidden Cyber Risk in US Property Insurance; 2021 State of the Commercial Insurance Marketplace

Administration's COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers Moves Closer to Approval

The Labor Department signaled that it is close to acting on President Biden's plan to require private-sector workers get Covid-19 vaccinations or be regularly tested, a move that has drawn a mixed reaction from larger and smaller companies.

Hidden Cyber Risk in US Property Insurance Has $12.5 Billion Loss Potential

A new study jointly conducted by CyberCube, AM Best and Aon has warned that cyber risk accumulating in the US property insurance market could lead to staggering losses of about $12.5 billion.

Exploitable Application Flaws Increase Cyber Risks

In March 2021, Microsoft announced it had detected four vulnerabilities being actively exploited to carry out targeted attacks. Chained together, these vulnerabilities could be used to gain access to Microsoft Exchange server software, steal emails and plant further malware for increased access to a company's network.

Hub International Limited Acquires Assets of New York's Safe Harbour Group

Hub International Limited, a global insurance brokerage and financial services firm, acquired the assets of Safe Harbour Group Ltd.

Closing the Deal: Insurance Contracts and eSignatures

The digital transformation taking place within the insurance industry is a symptom of a larger societal shift surrounding consumer behavior. Best-in-class virtual services are now something customers have come to expect, and companies across the board are automating business practices out of necessity.

What Agents Should Understand When Insuring an Airbnb

Independent agents need to work closely with their clients to make sure the recommended coverage accounts fully for how properties are being used and by whom.

State of the Commercial Insurance Marketplace in 2021

The insurance marketplace has been changing rapidly, with the economy having a significant impact on both carriers and businesses, including employers, public entities and the middle market.

Who's Using What in P&C Insurance: October 11, 2021

Insurance technology news from Method Insurance Services, At-Bay, Beazley and more.​

Millennials Team Up to Fulfill the Dream of Homeownership

For millennials, many of whom are getting married later in life, swimming in student-loan debt and facing soaring home prices, homeownership can feel more like a fantasy than an achievable goal. So, some first-time home buyers are taking a more creative route to make it happen—by pooling their finances with partners, friends or roommates.

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


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 or post in our Community.
Oct 08
Register Now: How Agencies Are Dealing With the Delta Variant



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.

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