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Aug 30
It’s back to school season so let’s talk Project InVEST

C.Shaw_NextGenBadge.jpgIt's back to school season so let's talk Project InVEST. 

How can we as an industry encourage high school and college students to check out how awesome insurance is? Let's face it- most of us ended up in insurance by accident- so they can too! Planting the seed can start with one interaction. Looking to impact your community? Approach your local high schools or teacher friends and see how your industry experience can add value to their curriculum! Insurance is an incredible opportunity for students to explore and no college degree is needed! I travel around the state talking to students about my career and how unique it is! Your experience is worth sharing too! With so many different types of jobs in the industry, we have something for everyone. Educating teachers and community leaders on this is our first step to impacting a student's industry and job choice. A high school could just need a guest speaker, or maybe a several-week program to supplement their lesson plans- we can help!

Big I NY is full of resources to help Project InVEST succeed on a local level and you can be a part of it? Contact us if you'd be interested in presenting to students or if you know of a high school that could benefit from Project InVEST.

 Carrie A. Shaw, CIC​
Aug 28
Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance - Questions & Answers

​This file contains the answers to three questions members have asked recently about Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance. It is permanently available on the FAQ page and the Auto Insurance page​ in the Answer Center.

Download the Q&A document

Aug 21
Let's Get Out There and Tell The World!


Let's get out there and tell the world!!

Tell The World?? Ok, how about at least the next generation how awesome the Insurance Industry is....

Over the next ten years, thousands of jobs will be available for the teens and young adults of today. We need to do a better job educating them about the wonderful career that we all know and love; too many kids (and adults too) only know about insurance by what they see on TV... the boring desk job selling insurance. In reality, there are SO MANY career paths in the insurance industry! We need to step up and show them about the other aspects of the industry; sales, support, IT, marketing, accounting, claims, analytics, nursing, engineering, forensics, etc. When you choose a career in insurance, so many doors open up.

How do we start to tell the world? Visit your local school, community college or BOCES.  We have a lot of material for you to use; videos, powerpoints, handouts, sample letters, you name it! It could be a 20 minute guest speaker presentation, participation in a career day, a Q&A session, or telling a story about what you like about being in insurance. Easy peasy!​

Take these steps to get started...
  • Check out​ ​Our Invest Page
  • Identify a school near you: do you know a teacher, guidance counselor, administrative staff? Reach out to see if they have any upcoming career fairs or opportunities to speak. Ask if you can stop in to hang a flyer on their bulletin board.
  • Contact me to discuss the best approach.​ I'd love to help you get the word out!

And if you're already out spreading the word about the amazing industry we're a part of, we'd love your feedback HERE. Tell us how we can help!

Jim Lombardo
Aug 16
One-Page Handout For Clients on Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance Now Available

​We are pleased to offer you a one-page handout that will help you explain Supplemental Spousal Liability Insurance to your clients. A law that took effect on August 1 makes this coverage automatic on auto insurance policies unless the insured requests that it be removed. Previously, the coverage was available as an option but the insured had to ask to have it added.

The file is a one-page document in Microsoft Word format and is suitable for copying and pasting onto your letterhead. It is structured as a series of questions and answers. We have posted it under the Coverage Questions heading on the Auto Insurance page​ in the Answer Center.

Download the handout

Jan. 16, 2023 post about the law​

May 12, 2023 post about related ACORD forms​

Aug 09
What You Need To Know When a Carrier Withdraws From the Market


On Monday, August 7, an insurance carrier that has written a significant amount of personal auto and homeowners coverage in New York informed its agents that it intends to withdraw its primary underwriting company from the preferred home and auto insurance market in all states. Since that announcement, we have received questions from members about the rules the carrier must follow in New York as it implements its exit.

The bottom line is that any carrier providing personal property and casualty insurance must have a withdrawal plan approved by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS). They cannot implement that plan without approval. Here are the details:

The applicable law is Section 3425 of the New York Insurance Law, titled Certain property/casualty insurance policies; cancellation and renewal provisions; agents' contracts and brokers' accounts. Download the complete text of the law.​

Subsection (o) of that law sets requirements for “(a)n insurer that intends to materially reduce its volume of policies written …"

​A regulation that the law required DFS to issue regarding withdrawal plans for homeowners insurance (there is not a similar regulation for auto insurance) defines “material reduction of volume of policies" as:

  • a reduction in the net number of homeowners insurance policies written, by 20 percent or more, or a reduction in the net number of such policies by 500, whichever is greater, during a five-year period; or
  • a reduction of the net number of homeowners insurance policies in force, by 4 percent or more, or a reduction in the net number of such policies by 100, whichever is greater, during a one-year period.
  • That number does not include any policies that the law permits the insurer to cancel mid-term under one of the handful of permitted reasons, such as non-payment of premium.

​Subsection​ (o) sets two sets of rules for such an insurer – one set for personal auto, the other for homeowners.

The insurer is required to submit to the New York State Departme​nt of Financial Services (DFS) a detailed plan that describes:

  • What they want to do
  • Why they're doing it
  • What they will do to minimize market disruptions, and
  • Anything else DFS may require.

The regulation mentioned above defines “minimizes market disruption" as “actions to be taken by an insurer which intends to materially reduce its volume of policies to provide for the orderly reduction in homeowners insurance coverage." These may include:

  • measures such as locating alternate insurers to provide coverage, and determining the effects of the replacement coverage on insureds' coverage and premium costs;
  • efforts by the insurer to maintain a service force in affected areas during the exit period;
  • efforts to inform insureds of options available for replacement of coverage with admitted insurers;
  • efforts by the insurer to prevent the increase in the volume of policies issued by the New York Property Insurance Underwriting Association (NYPIUA​) in affected areas which may result the exit; and
  • any other actions serving to minimize market disruption.

The regulation sets very detailed requirements for what must be in the plan. For example, the carrier must inform DFS of the number of policies to be canceled or non-renewed in each county; areas within a mile of the salt shoreline in Westchester County and the four New York City boroughs other than Manhattan; and areas where policy volume written through NYPIUA has increased significantly since 1992.

The insurer must submit the plan to DFS at least 30 days before it intends to implement the plan for personal auto, and at least 60 days in advance for homeowners.

DFS has 30 days to act on the plan. The plan is acceptable if it “it demonstrates that the material reduction is accomplished in a manner that minimizes market disruption." DFS must explain any reasons for rejecting the plan, and the carrier has 15 days to respond to the objection. Once DFS approves a plan, the carrier must implement it and provide periodic reports to DFS.

The carrier may still cancel auto policies for any reason during the first 60 days of the first policy term, and it may cancel after that for non-payment of premium, suspension or revocation of an insured driver's license, or fraud and material misrepresentation.

If the carrier writes more than 750 auto policies statewide, it is limited to non-renewing up to 2% of its policies in each rating territory in addition to its ability to cancel policies.

If it writes less than 750 policies and intends to non-renew them, it must submit to DFS a market withdrawal plan similar to that required for homeowners.

The carrier's communication to agents said it will “begin developing plans for the reduction of business and will communicate with you about the impact to your agency and customers as plans are finalized." We encourage any of you who are affected by this action to carefully monitor future communications from the carrier about its exit plans. We also suggest that you begin the process of locating alternative markets, in the best interests of your clients, as soon as possible.

More information about carriers' ability to terminate or change policies is available from the Cancellations, Nonrenewals & Conditional Renewals page in the Answer Center of our website.​

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