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Jun 23
Big I New York Earns Diamond Elite Insurance Education Honors from IIABA

By Sue Keegan, Education Administrator


We are excited to announce that Big I New York has earned a Diamond Elite 2022 Excellence in Insurance Education award from IIABA!

The criteria for this award includes creation of new programs, ways to deliver education in our "new normal," innovation, and marketing.    

We are honored to continue to deliver you award-winning education opportunities!

Love, your awesome education team,
Jim, Sue, Tim, Lisa and Kim

Jun 23
Industry Roundup: Pandemic Takes Toll on Mental and Physical Wellbeing, Leading to More Online Insurance Purchases; Price of Homeowners Insurance Jumps 34%; U.S. Commercial Auto Q1 Premiums Make Significant Jump Over 5 Years

Pandemic Takes Toll on Mental and Physical Wellbeing, Leading to More Online Insurance Purchases

A Swiss Re Institute survey of 11,000 consumers worldwide conducted two years into the COVID-19 pandemic found that the pandemic led to an increase in online insurance purchases as well as a greater willingness to share personal health data, particularly among the younger generation.


State Farm Hit by Summary Judgement Reversal

A court order which granted summary judgment to State Farm over a breach of policy case has been reversed.


Price of Homeowners Insurance Jumps 34%

QuoteWizard® released their annual "State of Home Insurance" report and found that the average price of home insurance has increased by as much as 34% in some states since 2021.


NY Botanical Garden can go Forward with COVID Business Interruption Suit

A New York state appeals court is allowing the New York Botanical Garden to go forward with a business-interruption loss suit against an insurer that refused to pay for losses due to COVID-19 shutdowns.


U.S. Commercial Auto Q1 Premiums Make Significant Jump Over 5 Years

According to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis, direct premiums written for the liability business line by U.S. commercial auto insurers in the first quarter were significantly higher than in the same period in 2018.


New York's High Court Rejects Trump Bid to Skip Testifying in AG's Civil Suit

New York's highest court on Tuesday rejected former President Donald Trump's last-ditch effort to avoid testifying in the state attorney general's civil investigation into his business practices, clearing the way for his deposition next month.


Lightning Caused $1.3 Billion in U.S. Homeowners Claim Payouts in 2021

According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple I), more than $1 billion in lightning-caused U.S. homeowners insurance claims were paid out to 60,000-plus policyholders in 2021.


Former NY Insurance Regulator Joins Lemonade

Lemonade has hired New York's former top insurance regulator, Scott Fisher, to help lead its legal team.


New York City and Miami Have Most Homes at Risk of Storm Surge Damage

CoreLogic risk modeling data shows that nearly 7.8 million homes with more than $2.3 trillion in combined reconstruction cost value (RCV) are at risk of hurricane-related damages.


Hardened U.S. Cyber Insurance Market Here to Stay

According to an AM Best report, a 16% increase in claims and only a modest reduction in the loss ratio despite significant rate increases highlights the segment's ongoing challenges.

Jun 17
Father's Day Reflection: Multigenerational Agencies

​By Julie Furst, Big I NY AVP of Marketing & Communications

IMG_1352.jpgBig I New York Chair of the Board Nick Masterpole with his family at his installation ceremony. Nick is part of a multigenerational agency and was sworn in by his father at the event.

There's something special about our industry that feels pretty unique - the number of multigenerational agencies. Just this morning, I was on a call with six agencies, and 3 of them were the third generation. I often hear agents reference 'my father' or 'my grandfather' and 'our family.' The independent agency channel is full of family businesses. And, I usually hear the story of how generations 2 and 3 were going to embark on a different path but found that the road led back to home in their agency.

Though being in a family business can be complicated at times, the nostalgia and respect for those who came before are clear. These agency forefathers often rose against opposition to hang their shingle and support their loved ones while fighting for agency appointments. They pounded the pavement at night and on weekends to build a book of business. They dreamed of having their children follow in their footsteps while having to try to flex to the new ideas the young ones brought when they came on board.

The nature of several generations of business means you've been around a while too. These families built a tradition of community support and engagement. They've helped similar agencies, even though they were competitors. They've endured ups and downs and have historical knowledge to pass along.

So, cheers to the fathers and grandfathers who have come before us in our channel, and those who will carry us forward. This is a great place for a family business.​
Jun 16
Big ‘I’ Fall Leadership Conference Registration Open

Join us Sept. 14-18 in Niagara Falls, New York, for our 2022 Big "I" Fall Leadership Conference! You don't want to miss the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and network with your peers. This year's program will include IIABA Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and other committee meetings.

The Fall Leadership Conference will also offer additional program events, such as the Education Convocation, to be held Sept. 13-15, and the Young Agents Leadership Institute (YALI), to be held Sept. 16-17.

Be sure to join us on Sept. 17 for the Installation of Officers luncheon and reception in honor of John Costello, chairman-elect, hosted by Big I New York. Collectively, these program events facilitate unique connections with industry leaders of today and tomorrow.

To reap the benefits of this annual event, register today. Guest rooms sell out fast, so don't delay in reserving your hotel accommodations. Remember to keep an eye on the State News e-newsletter in the coming months for up-to-date program details; check out the program schedule


Jun 15
Legislative Session Recap: Major Victories on Photo Inspection, Excess Lines Affidavits

After a long final week, the regularly scheduled 2022 Legislative Session concluded, with the Senate finishing their work at 2:30 A.M. Friday June 3rd, and the Assembly finishing just before 8:20 A.M. on Saturday June 4th. During the entire 2022 Legislative Session, 1,007 bills passed both Houses, which is the most to have passed both Houses during a Legislative Session in the last 25 years.

We are pleased to report that we have scored several major wins this session, including most notable, the passage of our bill to eliminate mandatory auto photo inspections. Contact SHobson@BigINY with any questions. 


Beneficial Bills Passed/Advanced:

Repeal Auto Photo Inspection Mandate – Passed Senate and Assembly

S.6028 (Breslin) and A.6877 (Zebrowski)

In a historic victory, Big I NY's “Auto Insurance Consumer Relief Act", which makes auto photo inspections optional at the discretion of insurance carriers passed both houses of the legislature. The bill is our top legislative priority this year, and has finally cleared the legislature after being stalled for nearly a decade. The passage of this bill was the result of a concerted multi-year grassroots and lobbying campaign involving legislative meetings with agents and lawmakers, hundreds of phone calls and emails, 1,700 petition signatures by agents and their customers, and a statewide PR and media campaign. As a testament to the strength of our campaign and merits of our position, the bill passed both houses with overwhelming support.

The bill must now be signed by Governor Hochul. We anticipate the bill will not be sent to her desk for several months, at which time she has ten days to act. If signed, photo inspections will become optional at carrier discretion beginning January 1, 2023.


Streamline Excess Lines Affidavits – Passed Senate and Assembly

S.8127 (Breslin) and A.9088 (Hunter)

We celebrate another important win with the passage of a bill to reduce the information required to be reported when placing coverage in the excess markets. The bill would reduce the number of data elements that a broker is required to collect and report for each of three declining licensed insurers from seven to three. The insurer name, NAIC number and the reason the broker believed the licensed insurer would consider underwriting the risk would still be recorded in an affidavit. The bill must now be signed by Governor Hochul. We anticipate the bill will not be sent to her desk for several months, at which time she has ten days to act.


 Anti-Arson Application Repeal - Passed Assembly

S.2627 (Sanders) and A.603 (D. Rosenthal)

Big I NY supports legislation to repeal the anti-arson application in the last remaining jurisdiction, NYC. The bill passed the Assembly this year, but was not brought up for a vote in the Senate.


Harmful Bills Defeated:

 Single Payer Healthcare – Died in Committee, Senate and Assembly

S.5474 (Rivera) and A.6058 (Gottfried)

This bill would abolish the state's private health insurance market in favor of a government run “single payer" program. The Assembly has passed the bill five times now, and there are currently 33 co-sponsors in the Senate; the exact number needed to pass it. Last year, Big I NY mobilized a group of members with experience in the health and benefits space to meet with Senators during “Single Payer Action Week." That momentum carried into 2022, and the bill ultimately the bill was never voted out of committee in either the Senate or Assembly.

 Lead Paint Exclusion Ban – Passed Assembly, Died in Senate Insurance Committee

S.7039-A (Ryan) and A.7488-A (Rivera)

Legislation to ban the use of lead paint exposure exclusions in residential habitational coverage passed the Assembly, but died in the Insurance Committee in the Senate. This bill would send shockwaves through the market, and could lead to a crisis of cost and availability. Big I NY and partners in the insurance industry advocated instead for a primary prevention approach as a more effective solution to the issue of lead paint poisoning.


Harmful Bills Passed:

Expansion of Wrongful Death Benefits – Passed Senate and Assembly

S.74-A (Hoylman) and A.6770 (Weinstein)

This legislation would expand the types of compensation available to family members in a wrongful death claim to include grief and emotional anguish. The current law permits families of a victim of wrongful death to collect the full value of any economic damages (for example medical costs, loss of support, loss of a future inheritance, etc.), damages for pain and suffering experienced by the victim, and punitive damages if the defendant's conduct was particularly malicious and/or intentional.

We oppose this bill because it is unnecessary and costly. The current law provides juries the ability to fairly compensate the families of victims. Emotional damages by their very nature are subjective and impossible to quantify, and in tort cases where they are awarded, are often sizeable. Ultimately the cost of these awards are borne by policyholders and the public writ large, through higher premiums, loss of affordable coverage options, and higher taxes. A recent study found that this legislation could increase average annual premiums for New York residents and businesses by $2.2 billion or 12.6%.



Jun 10
Can An Insurance Company Retroactively Charge For a Young Driver?

new Teen driver girl

Question from a member: On a personal auto application for one of our carriers requests information on all residents in the household, including young children. This insured was written in November, 2002 in our office listing the husband, wife and two children. In June, 2008, one child became a licensed operator; they did not call to inform our agency. The carrier did not add this child or send out any type of questionnaire, but knew this child's name and date of birth from the original application. The policy renewed in November, 2008. This young driver was involved in an accident in January, 2009. This carrier did cover the loss, but they want to go back to June, 2008 and charge for the inexperienced driver. Can they legally go back to June, or just to the renewal date of November, 2008? The carrier sent me the wording from their policy that states - "You agree to cooperate with us by promptly and truthfully answering all questions about autos and drivers we insure and signing all papers related to such insurance. You agree to tell us within 60 days if you have a. changed your address; b. changed your marital status; c. changed the distance you drive to work or school; d. changed the use of your vehicle; e. added drivers to your policy, including dependents when they obtain their learner's permit; etc." Our insured did not misrepresent, fraud or conceal this information.

Answer: A 2003 New York State Department of Financial Services advisory legal opinion discussed the topic of rating an auto policy with a youthful operator. The attorney wrote:

"As to when the insurer may increase the premium, this also depends upon the filed rating rules and plan of the insurer. The policy form should govern changes in premium during the policy period and the rates on file govern what should be charged to the insured. Typically, an insurer will increase the premium when advised that the child has obtained a driver’s license and will not wait until the next renewal date. Since the increased premium reflects increased risk, this is permissible and is not prohibited under the Insurance Law. Note that the insured is usually required by the insurer to advise it of any change in driving status of the members of the household. Hence, if the insured failed to timely notify the insurer that a child had obtained a driver’s license, and the insurer subsequently finds out, the insurer may be entitled to additional premium retroactive to the issuance of the driver’s license." [emphasis added]

Based on this paragraph, it appears to me that the insurer’s actions in this instance were legal.

Jun 09
Industry Roundup: ​Trump Set to Undergo Questioning in July in Insurance Probe; Helping Commercial Clients Prepare for a Hurricane; The Reasons it's so Hard to Insure Cryptocurrency Operations

Trump Set to Undergo Questioning in July in Insurance Probe

Former President Donald Trump, his namesake son and his daughter Ivanka have agreed to answer questions under oath next month in the New York attorney general's civil investigation into his business practices, unless their lawyers persuade the state's highest court to step in.


Helping Commercial Clients Prepare for a Hurricane

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1, and with most predictions pointing toward an above-average amount of activity this year, it's imperative that insurers check with their commercial clients to ensure they're properly prepared.


Tech Firms Selling Insurance: 'Do You Want Fries with That?'

As more companies from outside the industry move into the insurance business, they'll be looking to make strategic acquisitions of IAs and tech-savvy agencies with already built products.


The Reasons it's so Hard to Insure Cryptocurrency Operations

In order to secure appropriate and affordable coverage, cryptocurrency players need to have a compelling story to tell potential insurers.


U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Hear COVID Business Interruption Case

The US Supreme Court decided Monday that it will not hear an appeal of a decision that denied coverage for losses caused by COVID-19 shutdown orders, effectively closing the last door for such claims in the federal court system.


Cyber Continues as Outlier in Otherwise Stabilizing Commercial P/C Market

A mid-year update on the commercial property/casualty market from USI Insurance Services is the latest to report rate stabilization in most lines of business – except for cyber.


New York Senate Approves Bill to Mandate Medical Marijuana Health Insurance Coverage

The New York Senate passed legislation requiring public health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana expenses and clarifying that private insurers may do the same.


Health Insurers Poised to Pay $1 Billion in Rebates to 8.2 Million People this Year

8.2 million policyholders are expected to get a piece of $1 billion in premium rebates this fall from various insurers, according to a preliminary analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation.


FEMA to Launch Initiative to Modernize Building Codes in Cat-Resiliency Effort

Federal officials are launching a new initiative to modernize building codes so that communities can be more resilient to hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other extreme weather events that are intensifying due to climate change.​

Jun 03
Go Big 2022: Key Takeaways


One of the first managers I worked for gave me a great piece of advice when I was preparing to attend my first conference. “Lisa, if you take away one thing from this conference it will have been worth your time to attend.  That one thing may be new information, a new idea, a new contact or new inspiration."  That has always stuck with me.  But, me being me, I try to get 1 thing from each session, class, and conversation.  Actually, I try to get three!

For Go Big attendees last week, I am confident they left the day with many takeaways — How to increase the value of their agency; How LinkedIn followers open up doors; Why investments in technology are necessary;  Realistic sales tactics and processes; How an innovative agency culture attracts and retains staff talent and customers; Earning CE; Tips to create 4 star google reviews; and observations on Washington and the economy from the one and only, Joan Woodward!

While the sessions and speakers were outstanding, the networking and time in the Industry Marketplace with top notch Solutions Providers ranked high with attendees.  Insurance is a relationship business and Go Big provided ample fun ways for people to connect.  Based on all of the smiles, hugs, handshakes, high fives and conversations I observed, it was evident that attendees were thrilled to be together in person.

I am really proud that Big I New York provided a meaningful event for our members and the industry to be together in person.  I know that I left the event with pages full of new ideas, thoughts and new contacts.  Based on feedback and the high net promoter score,  I know attendees strongly felt that Go Big​ was worth their time.


Lisa Lounsbury, CAE, AAI, AIS
President & CEO

Jun 02
Industry Roundup: ​3 Unintended Consequences of Well-Intentioned Cyber Regulations; Autonomous Vehicles: Predictions vs. Truth; North Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins with Ripe Conditions for Above-Average Activity; Acrisure Touches $23B in Valuation

3 Unintended Consequences of Well-Intentioned Cyber Regulations

Policymakers worldwide are stepping up efforts to create cyber regulations that can help mitigate and boost society's resilience against these threats and assert control over how some technological innovations are used.    


Autonomous Vehicles: Predictions vs. Truth

The cause of most accidents is human error; distracted driving, speeding, drunk driving and reckless driving are the top four causes of accidents. If we could eliminate these and other driver-related factors, the number of accidents would significantly drop.


North Atlantic Hurricane Season Begins with Ripe Conditions for Above-Average Activity

The pre-season forecast update for North Atlantic hurricane activity continues to forecast 18 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major (Category 3 and above) hurricanes, according to storm tracking service Tropical Storm Risk (TSR).


Victim of New York Subway Shooting Sues Gunmaker Glock and Parent Company

Glock Inc. and its parent company were sued by a New York City woman who was seriously injured when she was seriously wounded by a gunman who opened fire aboard a crowded morning rush-hour subway train in Brooklyn last month.


Acrisure Touches $23B in Valuation After Latest Funding

Acrisure said on Tuesday it had raised $725 million in a fresh funding round led by a wholly owned subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, valuing the insurance brokerage at $23 billion.


Europe Seeks G-7 Coordination on Russian Oil Insurance Ban

According to people familiar with the matter, the European Union is working with some Group of Seven members to coordinate a ban on providing the insurance services required to ship Russian oil anywhere in the world, a move that could further limit Moscow's ability to finance its war in Ukraine.


Lowering Interstate CDL Age Limits Brings More Risk Than Reward

Research, data and real-world experience prove that young, inexperienced drivers have higher crash rates than older drivers with more experience, and motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds.

Ransomware Attacks Up More Last Year Than in Prior Five Years: Verizon

Verizon released its 15th annual report on data breaches last week, finding that ransomware attacks increased by 13 percent in a single year—representing a jump greater than the prior five years combined.


Insurance Premiums Doubling for Some Aviation, Marine Businesses

Insurance premiums are doubling or more for some aviation and marine businesses particularly exposed to the war in Ukraine, increasing costs for airline and shipping firms, industry sources say.


Crypto Insurance – How the Market is Expanding

It may have shrunk in recent months with currencies such as Bitcoin plummeting in value, but the global cryptocurrency market cap – as of Thursday, May 26, when Roberts spoke to Insurance Business – sat at $1.29 trillion, according to tracker Coin Gecko.​

Jun 01
Big I NY's Photo Inspection Reform Bill Just Passed the Legislature

​The New York State Senate​ recently passed Big I NY's Auto Insurance Consumer Relief Act, our bill to make CARCO inspections optional at the discretion of insurance carriers. Earlier this year, the bill passed the Assembly. Now, all that remains is for it to be signed by the Governor. 

I want to take a moment to thank all of our agents who spoke up on this critical issue. This is a truly historic accomplishment; for over a decade this bill has never moved. Today, it is one stroke of a pen away from becoming law. 
What did it take to get here? 
Persistent pressure from agents. Dozens of meetings with state lawmakers. Hundreds of phone calls. Thousands of emails and petition signatures. Letters to the editor, tweets, and shares on social media. Organizing the support of twenty different employer associations across NY. More than anything, your passion - and frustration - carried us to the finish line.
What happens next? 
The bill must be officially "sent" to the Governor's desk by the legislature. It's not uncommon for this step to take several months. Once it hits her desk, she has ten days to sign or veto it. If signed, the bill will take effect on January 1, 2023. At that point, carriers are free to no longer require photo inspections.

Soon, we'll call on you to contact Governor Hochul and urge her to sign our bill. But for now, take a moment to savor this victory...and, of course, make a contribution to our political action committee

Scott Hobson, MPA
Assistant Vice President of Government Relations​

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