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Jul 29
Nominate a Charitable Organization for a Local Grant


The insurance industry is dedicated to assisting people in times of need. As such, the industry is uniquely suited to be a philanthropic leader, adapting its skill-set to charitable endeavors. ​On behalf of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Big I New York is pleased to invite your company or agency to nominate a charitable organization for a local grant.​

IICF helps communities and enriches lives by combining the collective strengths of the industry to provide grants, volunteer service, and leadership.

In an effort to expand the reach of IICF across communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the foundation is offering 10 local grants in the amount of $2,500. All charities awarded a grant must be sponsored by an insurance entity, so this your chance to nominate a worthy organization your company or agency supports or is familiar with in your community.
The application process is simple. Please communicate with your chosen nonprofit that you are nominating them to apply and ask the charity you are sponsoring to complete this application. They must provide the requested corroborating documentation and submit all items electronically to Rachel Boulton at by 5:00 PM September 9, 2022. 

We appreciate your help in recognizing outstanding charities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Formed in 1994, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity funded and directed by insurance industry professionals representing a broad spectrum of the industry. Since its inception, IICF has contributed over $40 million in local community grants, over 300,000 hours of volunteer service, and the leadership of over 100,000 industry volunteer​s.

Jul 28
Industry Roundup: Most Connected Car Drivers Aren't Unlocking Premium Discounts with Data; Chubb Breaks Records In Q2 Earnings; Nearly All Major Commercial Lines Saw Premium Renewal Rate Change Increases in Q2 2022; Hartford, HSB Specialty Sued

Most Connected Car Drivers Aren't Unlocking Premium Discounts with Data

Over 70% of drivers are interested in using connected car data for insurance discounts, but less than a quarter do.


Chubb Breaks Records In Q2 Earnings

It was a record-breaking quarter for Chubb, the world's largest publicly traded property & casualty insurance company, which released its second quarter earning.​

Nearly All Major Commercial Lines Saw Premium Renewal Rate Change Increases in Q2 2022

According to the latest Ivans Index report, workers' compensation was the only major commercial line to see a negative change.


New York Begins $30M Program to Help Municipalities Boost Cybersecurity Efforts

New York State is beginning a $30 million shared services program designed to assist counties with cybersecurity for government systems across the state, including tools to protect against ransomware attacks.


Hartford, HSB Specialty Sued Over Unpaid Phishing Scheme Claims

A lawsuit filed claims that Hartford Fire Insurance Co. and HSB Specialty Insurance should cover the stolen funds because the policies they offer cover "exactly" the type of cybercrime committed.


Data Breaches on Decline Through First Half of 2022

Ransomware showed a quarter-on-quarter decline for the first time since 2018, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.


New Cyber Risk Targets Small Businesses

Companies with weak or non-existent cybersecurity are easy targets for hackers.


Updating NY Statute and Restoring Liability Protection for Vehicle Owners

VTL §388 ensures that victims of accidents involving a vehicle owned by a person but driven by a non-owner could seek financial redress for their injuries.


What Insurance Pros Need to Know as Live Event Attendance Rebounds

After a trying and tumultuous past two years, the live event space is starting to see a rebound as LendingTree reported concert attendance has returned to pre-pandemic levels.


Business Interruption Insurance Would Not Cover Gas Cut-Off

The insurance sector is not materially exposed to the business interruption (BI) losses that could arise due to a cut-off in Russian gas supplies to Europe, Fitch Ratings says.​

Jul 26
State Insurance Fund Leaves LCM Unchanged


The New York State Insurance Fund​ (NYSIF) has announced that it is leaving its loss cost multiplier unchanged at 1.27. The announcement follows a recent announcement by the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board (NYCIRB) that Workers Compensation insurance loss costs will decrease by an averagte of ​8.7% on October 1.​

Loss costs are a component of insurance rates that reflect an insurer's expected cost of paying losses and allocated loss adjustment expenses. They do not include the insurer's overhead and profit. The loss cost multiplier is a numerical factor that the insurer applies to the loss cost to arrive at an appropriate rate. 

For example, ​the October 1, 2022 loss costs show a loss cost of 5.98 for the classification code 5183, "Plumbing - Not Otherwise Classified - All Operations To Completion & Drivers." To determine the State Fund's rate, multiply 5.98 by 1.27, for a result of 7.59. This number is multiplied by the payroll for that classification, divided by 100, to arrive at the policy premium.

Loss cost multipliers vary from one insurance provider to another. Every private insurer's Workers Compensation insurance loss cost multiplier is published on the website of the New York State Department of Financial Services. 

Created by law when New York adopted its Workers Compensation system in 1914, NYSIF is the largest provider of Workers Compensation insurance in the state, with a market share of 33.9% of 2021 direct written premium. Its loss cost multiplier has been at 1.27 since 2016.

Jul 22
Industry Roundup: ​What Property Owners Need to Know About Landlord Insurance; Are We Entering the Age of Pay Transparency?; Allstate Files Another Patent; Investigation Launched into Auto Insurer's Data Breach

What Property Owners Need to Know About Landlord Insurance

Renting out a property also gives rise to a unique set of potential risks, so getting the right kind of protection is crucial.


Are We Entering the Age of Pay Transparency?

Many employees are becoming more and more curious about what their colleagues are making, in an ongoing effort to institute pay equity.


NHTSA Investigating Another Fatal Tesla Crash

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into a fatal crash involving a Tesla, according to documents viewed by TechCrunch.


Cyber Insurance Firm Coalition Valued at $5 Billion After Fund Raise

Coalition raised $250 million in a late-stage funding round last month that valued the cyber insurance provider at $5 billion, at a time organizations have been facing an increasing risk of cyber threats.


Jobs Blowout Cements Case for Another Big Fed Rate Hike

Another blowout jobs number and continued wage growth will likely stiffen resolve at the Federal Reserve for another three-quarter point rate increase at the central bank's July meeting, as the welcome news of a still strong job market clashes with concern it will have to cool inflation.


New York City to Provide Inflatable Dams to Homeowners at Risk for Floods

Homes at high risk for flooding in New York City will receive free inflatable dams in a new plan rolled out Thursday by Mayor Eric Adams.


Allstate Files Another Patent

Looking to rewrite the way telematics is used in auto insurance, Allstate has filed a new patent application for proprietary technology.


Robots May Reduce Physical Injuries But Raise Substance Abuse, Mental Health Issues

A University of Pittsburgh study suggests that while American workers who work alongside industrial robots are less likely to suffer physical injury, they are more likely to suffer from adverse mental health effects — and even more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol.


Investigation Launched into Auto Insurer's Data Breach

A consumer rights law firm has announced that it will be investigating claims on behalf of Elephant Insurance Services – the auto insurance company which suffered a cyber incident that exposed the data of its customers.


Long Term Covid May Be Long Tail of Risk for Workers' Comp Insurers

Insurers are used to dealing with the unexpected, but determining the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic could be especially difficult.

Jul 15
Workers Comp Loss Costs To Drop 8.7%

sky-ga12c8d52a_640.jpgThe New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board announced today that the state Department of Financial Services (DFS)  has approved a reduction in Workers' Compensation insurance loss costs. New York employers will see an average 8.7 percent decrease in the loss costs used to calculate their premiums effective Oct. 1, 2022.

You can find the new loss costs in the board's announcement.

Separately, the board also announced that DFS has approved new rating values for the New York Experience Rating Plan. The values, which are also effective Oct. 1, 2022, are used to calculate an eligible employer's experience modification factor. This factor increases or decreases an employer's Workers' Compensation insurance premium based on the employer's history of insured losses over a three-year period. 

The adoption coincides with the implementation of a new methodology for calculating experience modifications, which the board announced last year. Information about the new methodology is available on the board's website.

Jul 14
Industry Roundup: ​U.S. Active Shooting Insurance Rates Jump as Incidents Rise; NHTSA Plans New Push Against Speeding; Independent Agency Customer Platform GloveBox Raises $5.5 Million; Businesses Should Prepare for Increased Data Surveillance

U.S. Active Shooting Insurance Rates Jump as Incidents Rise

According to insurers, the cost of purchasing insurance against mass shootings has increased by more than tenfold in the United States this year as a result of a string of deadly events.


The Next Frontier for Drones: Letting Them Fly Out of Sight

Aviation authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere are preparing to relax some of the safeguards they imposed to regulate a boom in off-the-shelf consumer drones over the past decade.


NHTSA Plans New Push Against Speeding

The head of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday the agency plans a new push to convince Americans to stop speeding, hoping to reduce traffic deaths which have risen sharply in recent years.


Independent Agency Customer Platform GloveBox Raises $5.5 Million

GloveBox, which provides independent agencies with a platform for aggregating insurance policy documents, regardless of carrier, in one centralized location, announced it has raised $5.5 million in Series A funding.


Nothing's Easy in Hard-Working Contractors' Market; Risks Include Inexperienced Workers, Inflated Costs and Inferior Materials

No other industry has weathered a global pandemic, economic changes, and a decade-long shortage of skilled labor better than the construction industry.


New York Waits to See If Bill to Expand Wrongful Death Damages Becomes Law

As New York Gov. Kathy Hochul mulls whether to sign legislation that will expand the types of damages that could be won in wrongful deaths cases, businesses including insurers are warning the change could mean higher liability insurance costs in the state, while advocates for victims are claiming the change would bring the state in line with other states and is long overdue.


Runaway Verdicts: Reversing the Trend

Social inflation generally describes verdicts that exceed $10 million but can apply to any unreasonably large award given the facts of a case.


Businesses Should Prepare for Increased Data Surveillance in Wake of Roe Decision

In response to SCOTUS overturning the federal right to abortion, businesses are advised to reevaluate their employee records.


Challenges in the Workers' Comp Space

The workers' compensation space is facing new challenges as claims costs rise.


Crypto Industry Should Face Tougher Regulations, Fed Vice Chairwoman Says

U.S. policy makers should extend investor protections and other financial rules to the cryptocurrency industry before the industry grows too large and begins to pose risks to the financial system, Federal Reserve Vice Chairwoman Lael Brainard said Friday.

Jul 08
​ Albany Update: Emails Needed on Big I Photo Inspection Bill, Oral Arguments Scheduled for “Best Interest" Lawsuit, Big I NY Pushes Back against Wrongful Death Expansion

Emails Needed on Big I Photo Inspection Bill:

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that for the first time ever, we successfully persuaded the legislature to pass our bill to make CARCO inspections optional at the discretion of individual carriers. Only one step remains: Governor Hochul must sign the bill. Your voice is critical now! Please take a moment to contact the Governor and tell her to do what's right for auto insurance customers: sign the Auto Insurance Consumer Relief Act.

Oral Arguments Scheduled for “Best Interest" Lawsuit:

Big I NY's four-year crusade against the unfair and unworkable first amendment to Regulation 187, which imposes among other things, a vague “best interest" standard on producers who sell life insurance and annuities, will culminate on September 8th, with oral arguments before the highest court in the state. At issue is the very constitutionality of the regulation, and perhaps, the state's ability to make similar regulations in the future. This ruling, expected in late 2022 or early 2023, will be the final word in the matter. Either the regulation will remain on the books or be struck down.

Let's take a minute to recap how we got here – and how Big I NY had your back every step of the way.

2018: The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) releases the draft amendment to Regulation 187; Big I NY submits formal comments in opposition. DFS adopts some changes but ultimately issues the final regulation including a vaguely-defined “best interest" standard.

November 2018: After careful consideration, Big I NY, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA-NY), and PIA sue the DFS alleging the regulation is, among other things, unconstitutionally vague and impossible to comply with.

2019: The NY Supreme Court (trial level court) rules in favor of DFS.

2020: Big I NY is the sole association to pursue an appeal.

2021: In a stunning upset, the NYS Appellate Court rules 5-0 that the regulation is unconstitutionally vague. DFS appeals the ruling to the NYS Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state. The regulation remains in force during the appeal.

2022: The Court of Appeals hears arguments from both Big I NY and DFS. 

Big I NY Pushes Back against Wrongful Death Expansion:

This week, Big I NY joined a broad group of businesses in calling on Governor Hochul to veto a bill which would radically expand the kinds of damages recoverable in wrongful death actions, driving up liability insurance premiums for public and private entities across the state. According to an actuarial analysis by Milliman, Inc., the bill would increase medical professional liability costs by nearly 40%. Automobile liability and general liability insurance would increase by as much as $2.2 billion. The result would be a 12.6% increase in annual premium across the board for residents and businesses.

Jul 08
Digitize Payments To Increase Customer Satisfaction…And More

​The trend is clear. People today prefer to pay digitally. That includes everything from Amazon purchases to their monthly utility bill – and yes, their insurance premiums! While there are still a few diehard check writers out there, digital transformation is here to stay

The Many Benefits of Digital Payments

Customer convenience is often cited as the main reason businesses offer digital payments. And statistics bear that out. In a survey of billing executives, 97 percent reported higher customer satisfaction as a benefit of digitizing payments. The report, called “The Digital Edge”, also found other key business benefits, such as: reduced collection times (86.5%), increased operational efficiency (90.8%), cost reductions (81.6%) and gaining a competitive edge (92.3%).

Who wouldn’t want to collect payments faster and more efficiently, at less cost, and gain a competitive edge?

Do Your Research

As you know, the insurance industry has historically not been an early adopter of technology and innovation. However, that is changing. ePayPolicy has customers that have been using our digital payment solution for five or more years. 

The pandemic also created a spike in insurtech adoption, as the industry turned to technology for remote team communication, customer relationship management and more. Customers and accounting teams needed no-touch payment options not only because of the risk of Covid, but also because checks being delivered to an empty office was of no use. Many of the habits left by the Covid pandemic are here to stay.

Where to look and what to look for

Which payment system is right for your organization? Read reviews, ask your state association rep (or look on their website for preferred partners), talk to your IMS provider. Which payment processor do they recommend? You want a system that streamlines internal processes, expedites receivables and integrates well with other systems already in place (or planned). 

Because of the fiduciary nature of collecting insurance payments, a generic payment system built for retail transactions is likely not the best choice. You will want to focus your search on solutions designed specifically for the insurance industry. This will give way to insurance-specific features like management system integrations, and you can also rest assured that customer support will understand your specific problems when needed.

Try Before You Buy

Compare apples to apples. Understand what your payment processing vendor charges for setup, as well as their monthly subscription fee. Do they offer a free trial? Do you have to sign a multi-year contract? What kind of training/support do they provide?

At ePayPolicy, we offer 60 days free to new users, no contract or set-up fees. 

Customer Adoption is Key

According to The Digital Edge survey, one of the biggest hurdles to digitization is employees with insufficient technical skills (59.6%). Be sure to choose a digital payment system that’s easy for your employees to use. After all, they will be the ones behind customer adoption.

Encourage everyone to advocate for digital payments. Announce proudly to customers (and prospects) that you now take payments online. Promote it across your website, newsletters, press releases, ads and social media. This will be welcome news! But don’t count on customers to remember from one payment to the next. 

Put a “Pay Now” link on your invoices, in your emails, and a big, can’t-miss button on your website. Show customers how simple it is to pay their premiums through your digital payment portal. Increased loyalty is definitely part of customer satisfaction!

With so many business benefits and literally no downside, isn’t it time to prioritize digital payments?

Jul 08
New Summer-Themed Social Media Content

Summer has begun and Trusted Choice® has new content available to assist you with your summer social media strategy.

Browse the full library of ready-to-use articles, graphics, videos and infographics they can utilize before the season is over. You'll find content on boating tips, pool safety, camping, grilling and more! 

Need help planning their summer social media strategy? Check out the new and improved monthly content calendar.​

Jul 08
ACT Tech Summit Registration Open
Registration is now open for the Big “I" Agents Council for Technology (ACT) Tech Summit back in person on Oct. 2.

Co-locating with ACT supporting member Applied for AppliedNet 2022, this fall's event will take place at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. You can expect valuable conversations with industry leaders on the latest technology trends that help independent agents move forward.

Music City is the perfect setting for ACT's “Digitally Remastered" Tech Summit. Don't miss it! Register now, and visit ACT's event page for information on registration, accommodations and area attractions. Stay tuned for more details on the agenda! ​

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