IN THIS ISSUE:
Editor's Note: IIABNY's office will close at noon Dec. 24 and remain closed through Dec. 25 in observance of the Christmas holiday. The office will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 26. IIABNY's office will also close at 3 p.m. Dec. 31 in observance of the New Year's Day holiday and reopen at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 2, 2014. Please note the next issue of IIABNY Insider will be published Dec. 31.
OF SPECIAL NOTE: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has until midnight tonight to either sign or veto legislation strongly supported by IIABNY to curb abuse in the issuance of certificates of insurance. Gov. Cuomo had 10 days (excluding Sundays) to act on the bill, which was passed by houses of the legislature last June and sent to him on Dec. 6. IIABNY will inform its members as soon as it learns of the governor's actions.
ACORD Approves Construction Certificate Addendum for New York
Insurance industry standards-setting organization ACORD has approved a new form sought by a coalition of insurance trade groups that included IIABNY. The form might make it easier for insurance producers to meet construction certificate of insurance demands.
The form, New York Construction Certificate of Liability Insurance Addendum, is designed to replace supplemental certificates that many government agencies and other certificate holders routinely demand. Producers will issue it along with the ACORD Certificate of Liability Insurance, ACORD 25 (2014/01). Among other things, it includes fields to designate:
- Whether the insurer providing coverage is admitted, excess line or writing in the Free Trade Zone
- Whether the Commercial General Liability policy is an Insurance Services Office form or another form
- Construction operations for which the policy restricts or excludes coverage
- The ISO form numbers of the additional insured endorsements on the policy
- Whether coverage for an additional insured applies on a primary and noncontributory basis
- Whether the CGL and umbrella policies provide additional insureds with advance notice of cancellation
IIABNY worked for more than a year with the Professional Insurance Agents of New York; Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers of Greater New York; New York Insurance Association; and others to develop the form. Representatives of IIABNY and PIANY participated in the ACORD working group conference calls to urge its adoption. ACORD’s full membership approved it during voting in November.
Last summer, the New York State Legislature approved a bill supported by IIABNY to reform the use of certificates of insurance. That bill prohibits the use of certificate forms other than those promulgated by ACORD, ISO, the carriers providing coverage and the mortgage lending industry. Should Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign the bill, the new form would be the only acceptable replacement for supplemental forms created by third parties.
The form, numbered ACORD 855 NY (2014/06), will be available for use starting next summer.
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Scaffold Law Reform Campaign Kicks Off this Week
A major media blitz to bring attention to New York’s Scaffold Law (Labor Law 240/241) will begin Thursday. A strong supporter of the effort, which was announced Tuesday on the steps of New York’s City Hall, is Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York. IIABNY is a LRANY member and part of the Get NY Building coalition, which is comprised of construction professionals working with lawmakers and other partnering organizations. On Thursday, Get NY Building will begin airing statewide radio and television ads, urging action in Albany on this archaic law.
The so-called Scaffold Law assumes absolute liability for contractors and owners, regardless of the circumstances surrounding a job site accident. Organizers say the campaign aims to reform the law, improve construction safety and reduce construction and insurance costs. LRANY will host a lobby day, dedicated specifically to the scaffold issue, on Feb. 11, 2014 in Albany. IIABNY members and their contractor clients should mark their calendars to attend. Look for registration information in an upcoming issue of IIABNY Insider.
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Member Agency, Agent Receive Recognition
Albany-based Ten Eyck Group is featured in the December 2013 issue of Rough Notes as the magazine’s Marketing Agency of the Month. In the issue's cover story, Rough Notes noted Ten Eyck’s client communications, including its upgrade of an agency management system that enhances the agency ability to track its customer communications and provide bindable quotes.
Ten Eyck group’s 30-person staff is led by agency principals and partners Chris Brassard, CIC, a former IIABNY Chair of the Board, and Charles Barnes, CIC. The agency was founded in 1905.
“Ten Eyck Group’s commitment to perpetuating the independent agency system and its long tradition of integrity clearly makes them an agency that represents the best the system offers,” Rough Notes concluded.
Non-Profit Agency Recognizes Rockland County Agent
Douglas Katz of Bardonia-based Jacob J. Katz Co., recently received the second annual Sen. Thomas Morahan Independent Living Award from the Rockland Independent Living Center. Katz is a member of IIABNY’s Technology Leadership and Advocacy Committee and formerly served as the committee’s chair.
If your agency receives industry or other notable recognition you would like to share with the IIABNY family and have it mentioned in IIABNY Insider, please email all relevant information to us for consideration.
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Commercial Property Forms Change
Insurance industry standards setter ACORD has announced revisions to two applications that insurance producers frequently use for commercial property submissions. The new editions are for use on or after Sept. 1, 2014.
The affected forms are ACORD 139, Statement of Values Section, and ACORD 159, Schedule of Property Limits. The revisions, which carry 2014/09 edition dates, replace the 2004/03 editions. Both forms contain formatting changes; new fields for agency contact name and email address; replacement of the word “COMPANY” with “CARRIER”; and new copyright and registered mark language.
The Statement of Values Section has deleted footnote numbers in three columns; changed the title of the “ACV/RV” column to “VALUATION”; added an additional data row; and deleted the INSTRUCTIONS section. The Schedule of Property Limits has deleted a footnote number in one column and deleted most of the INSTRUCTIONS section.
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Big 'I' Responds to FIO Report, Welcomes Call for Enactment of NARAB II
IIABA recently commended the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Federal Insurance Office for the release of the long-awaited report on “How To Modernize And Improve The System Of Insurance Regulation In The United States.” The report was required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
“The Big ’I’ has been eagerly awaiting the release of FIO’s modernization report for well over a year and we are actively reviewing the details,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “While we agree with the report’s conclusion that insurance regulation could be improved and modernized in certain areas, we strongly believe that any federal action should be targeted and limited with day-to-day regulation left in the in the hands of state officials. The state-based system of insurance regulation has served consumers and our economy well for decades. The Big ‘I’ strongly supports the continued preservation of this system and is ardently opposed to any direct infringement by the federal government.”
The report also specifically calls on Congress to enact the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Act or NARAB II. It correctly notes that “consumers are detrimentally affected by the absence of uniformity and reciprocity in producer licensing” and that “NARAB II must provide producers an efficient and streamlined multistate licensing mechanism.” IIABA and IIABNY strongly support NARAB II and believes its approach of using narrow and targeted federal legislation to address a long-standing, persistent problem in the market is the correct approach for modernizing insurance regulation.
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Independent Agent will be Posting Daily Stories Online Starting at End of January
Beginning with the launch of the redesigned Independent Agent magazine website at the end of January 2014, IA editors will be posting at least one story to the new website every weekday, every week, every month, all throughout the year. With unique insights and perspectives on everything from hot markets to p-c trends to government affairs, your more frequent dosage of IA magazine will help keep you up to date on topics that matter most to you.
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Unlimited Sales Leads Don't Have to Cost an Arm, Leg on TrustedChoice.com
We are gearing up to "go live" with quoting for our independent agencies on TrustedChoice.com in late January. Now is the time to get your agency set up to receive these leads!
Armed with member feedback, Project CAP has created a new pricing model for leads. The Advantage Subscription allows unlimited leads for one low price. Even better, we've worked hard with the team for a huge incentive. Sign up by Dec. 31, and your agency can receive the Advantage Subscription for $29 per month (normally $75 per month).
Enrollment takes only a few minutes and you will lock in your subscription rate for all of 2014. All you have to do is complete a short online form by Dec. 31 and someone will call you to complete your registration.
Questions? Call Project CAP at (855) 372-0070, e-mail Julie MacConnell or visit the CAP website.
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Tips from Trusted Choice® to Share with Your Homeowners Clients
The following consumer tips are from Trusted Choice®. You may use them on your website or in client communications.
The holidays are a time for celebration and family. Many people have a few extra days of vacation to relax, and some use this time to play catch-up or finish projects that have been looming for the past year.
You can utilize this time to complete (what should be) an annual home inventory. We don’t want to discourage you from doing inventory on your different-colored tube socks, but this home inventory is geared toward helping you maintain an accurate record of your valuables for insurance purposes. A home inventory is a list and visual record of all your personal belongings, which will help you find replacement items if you ever need to do so.
Use this as a quick guide, and then you can get back to your sock count!
- Start from the purchase. Keep all receipts from large purchases like electronics, expensive artwork and jewelry. If you don’t have the receipts, use old credit card statements for proof of purchase.
- Take photos. You should take photographs of all of your possessions for your records, and keep them with your inventory list.
- Make note of serial numbers. Record serial numbers of items where applicable—you can provide these for police if your belongings are ever stolen.
- Keep copies of records. Maintain your records in a safe place, preferably a fire-proof safe alongside other important information. In addition, keep electronic records by either emailing the information to your personal email or uploading it to a secure place.
Not sure what goes on the list? Think about this:
Buying a new teapot does not warrant a spot on the inventory. But if you just gave your kitchen a facelift that includes everything from new cabinets to appliances, definitely add those items and the labor to your home inventory.
Back to the socks!
Once you’re finished with the “official” inventory, go ahead and count those socks. Use this time to do the following:
- Get organized. Sort through the photos on your computer, upload CDs to your iTunes account and get rid of the Tupperware with no matching lids. You will thank yourself once the New Year is here!
- Go through your clothes. Good rule of thumb: If you haven’t worn it in the last two years, get rid of it. Donate clothing to a shelter or go online to sell the items. You can use the extra space to make room for new Christmas gifts
If your home inventory reflects items that are not covered under your current policy, talk to your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent for additional information about coverage you may need. Enjoy the holidays!
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Consumer Health Insurance Guide is Available for Linking to Agents' Websites
InsuranceQuotes.org has published a consumer-friendly health insurance aide. Titled Health Insurance: Your Comprehensive Guide, it defines common terms, offers advice on how to shop and get the most value, how to avoid scams, and more. IIABNY members may want to consider posting links on their websites to the guide.
The guide is available here.
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