April 2012

Legislative Update

Budget passed:
Last week, the New York State Legislature passed a $132.6 billion dollar state budget that increases spending 1.9%.  This is Governor Andrew Cuomo’s second on-time budget.  Last year’s budget and December session relieved much of the spending pressures.  There were no new taxes or fees imposed on insurance wholesalers in this budget. 

Earlier, the legislature had agreed on redistricting lines for the Assembly and Senate. They were not able to agree on lines for the Congressional districts, so these lines have been left to a court-appointed master. 

Wholesaler issues:
The Senate passed a PIWA-supported modernization initiative, S. 6552 by Senator Seward. This bill would remove burdensome red tape including annual declinations within a three year period, and allow for treatment as a declination where premium is in excess of 25%.  Assemblyman Morelle has introduced a similar, but not identical bill, A. 3800.  Although supported by PIWA, CIBGNY, PIANY, IIABNY, and ELANY, the bill faces uncertain prospects in the Assembly.

The domestic excess line authority initiative has been introduced in both houses.  This PIWA-supported legislation would permit the creation of domestic excess (surplus) line insurers in New York.  Currently several other states permit such authority, which provides U.S.-based surplus lines companies a better way to compete with alien insurance companies.  PIWA sees this as a job retention and job creation measure.  These bills are identical: A.9783 by Assemblyman Morelle and S. 6808 by Senator Seward.  These bills were just introduced, and are currently in the respective Insurance Committees. 

Other issues:
We understand that the Senate and Assembly Insurance Committee chairs will be holding a roundtable discussion on May 15 on insurance and hydrofracking.

Watch for further information on all of the issues being addressed in Albany by PIWA on your behalf.

PIWA Spring Fling coming soon!

Mark your calendar—PIWA Spring Fling May 24

PIWA’s second Spring Fling Education and Networking event will be held at St. Johns University in Manhattan on Thursday, May 24.
Afternoon education sessions are geared for ‘junior brokers’ and producers as well as senior wholesale managers. Please encourage your entire staff to come to this event—they’ll leave better prepared to sell in this changing marketplace........and they’ll gain important industry contacts.

Session 1: Additional Insured endorsements and complications –Presented by Arthur Flitner, senior director of knowledge, the CPCU Institutes  
Perhaps no other type of policy amendment requires more effort – and raises more questions – for brokers and underwriters than additional insured (AI) endorsements. In this session, Arthur Flitner will take us on a practical tour of the most commonly used AI endorsements and facilitate a discussion that will draw out the experience and wisdom of the audience to bring clarity to this challenging topic. So come prepared to share your expertise and questions.

Session 2: Panel discussion: How to sell successfully in a hard market
The market change has begun. Are you and your producers prepared? Discuss the impact of the changing marketplace on your operation and how your sales staff can be uniquely positioned to prosper as more retailers look to the excess line market in the hard market. Gain the perspective of company, wholesaler and retailers......perfect for anyone who hasn’t yet worked in a hard market environment, and for those who realize that the hard market of 2012 will not be the same as cycles of the past.

Multiple-person registration discounts available to PIWA members—be sure to register all of your staff! For more information or to register, click here: http://www.piwa.org/promo_springfling_12.php

Please support PIWA Company Partners

In response to suggestions from members, PIWA this year established a new Company Partners program, through which wholesale carriers and other supporters of the New York wholesale community can show their ongoing support of PIWA and its members. This support is critical to the association as it provides us with the resources to conduct meaningful member events.
Please be sure to thank PIWA's 2012 Company Partners, and help us to promote the program to other carriers. For a list of PIWA 2012 Company Partners and information on the program, go to the PIWA website: www.piwa.org