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Apr 11
Week In Review: April 11, 2024

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Apr 09
Big I CT Leaders Meet with Rep. Kerry Wood

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From left to right: Lounsbury, Long, Rep. Wood, Guerrera, MacNamara, Hobson

Recently, Big I CT's leadership team met with Representative Kerry Wood (D, Rocky Hill) at the State Capitol to discuss our legislative issues. As Co-Chair of the state legislature' Insurance and Real Estate Committee, Representative Wood holds substantial influence over insurance-related legislation.

Big I CT's delegation included board members Jason Guererra, Jay Long, and Dan MacNamara​, Big I CT's Lisa Lounsbury and Scott Hobson, and William Malitsky, partner at our lobby firm FOCUS Government Affairs. We the top issues on our position paper​, ranging from easing paperwork burdens on excess lines transactions, protecting the use of non-competes, preserving underwriting flexibility, and reducing costly lawsuit abuse. Big I CT board members provided an on-the-ground report of the market conditions, which are the worst they have been in many decades.

Representative Wood was gracious with her time and expressed her support of all of the issues we discussed. She reported hearing many concerns of the cost and availability of insurance from her constituents, and specifically mentioned the challenges faced by nonprofit healthcare providers. She committed to continue to work with Big I CT and industry stakeholder to ensure a fair and healthy insurance market.

We thank Representative Wood for her ongoing support and look forward to working with her and members of the CT Legislature on issues of importance to independent agents and their customers. 

Apr 05
The NJ Earthquake: Answers To Clients' Insurance Questions


magnitude 4.8 earthquake centered west of Manhattan struck the northeastern U.S. this morning. We at Big I Connecticut hope that all of you, your families, friends, and clients are safe and suffered no injuries. However, it is possible that some of your clients suffered property damage. Your phones may ring with calls asking whether homeowners and commercial property insurance covers the damage. Here is what you and they need to know:

Standard homeowners and commercial property insurance policies typically do not insure against damage caused by earthquakes or other types of earth movement. The ISO Homeowners 3 – Special Form states that the insurer does not insure for loss caused directly or indirectly by earthquake, landslide, mudslide, or earth sinking, rising, or shifting. We have reviewed the homeowners policies of four carriers that use their own forms; all have similar exclusions. The ISO Commercial Property Causes of Loss – Special Form contains an almost identical exclusion.

Personal and commercial auto insurance policies typically cover damage to a vehicle caused by an earthquake if the policyholder purchased Comprehensive Coverage on the vehicle.

If your personal or commercial clients purchased earthquake insurance, their policies would include earthquake coverage endorsements. Examples include:

  • ISO homeowners endorsement HO 04 54 03 22
  • Travelers homeowners endorsement HQ-054 CW (02-20)
  • ISO commercial property endorsement CP 10 40 02 19
  • ISO businessowners policy endorsement BP 10 03 07 13

Deductibles for earthquake coverage are typically a percentage of the limit of insurance on the covered property. For example, the dollar earthquake deductible for a dwelling insured for $400,000 with a 5% deductible is $20,000.

The deductibles typically apply separately to buildings and personal property. If the deductible is 5%, and the homeowners policy insures the dwelling for $400,000 and the contents for $200,000, the insurer will apply two deductibles – one of $20,000, the other of $10,000, for a total of $30,000.

“Difference In Conditions" commercial property insurance policies typically provide earthquake coverage subject to a large deductible such as $50,000. Some inland marine coverage forms may also provide the coverage as an option. For example, builders risk and installation floater policies often have coverage available by endorsement.

The Insurance Information Institute offers these explainers for those who want more information:

If you have specific questions, feel free to email us at ​

Apr 01
Big I CT Issues Guidance on Excess Lines Due Diligence Documentation

​At a recent meeting with the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID), Big I CT raised concerns about the difficulty retail agents face in documenting due diligence when placing coverage in the excess market. Specifically, it is often impossible to document the name and title of the representative of the declining carrier, as this information is not provided.

CID advised us that retail agents are permitted to exclude the name and title of the insurance company's underwriter declining coverage from the declination forms in situations where this information is not provided by the declining company. This may include, for example, a declination generated by an automated system. In these situations, brokers and retail agents may instead provide supporting evidence, for example a screen shot or copy of and email declination.

Read the full bulletin here.

Contact ​with questions.

Apr 01
New Haven Insurance Executive Mary B. Pursell, CPCU Named Big I Connecticut National Director

Big I Connecticut proudly announces the appointment of Mary B. Pursell, CPCU to its Board of Directors as National Director, representing Connecticut agents and brokers on the esteemed Big "I" National Board. With a career spanning decades in the insurance industry, Mary brings impressive expertise and a steadfast commitment to advancing the interests of independent agents and brokers.

A trailblazer in her own right, Mary made history as the association's first female board president in 2005. Mary's journey in insurance began in high school and her dedication to excellence, building relationships, and commitment to helping others secure assets helped her grow to President of Abbate Insurance Associates, Inc.

The Big "I" National Board comprises one volunteer agent director from each state association, ensuring diverse representation and strategic decision-making. At the forefront of its agenda are priorities such as effective advocacy for members across all branches of government and sectors of insurance, alongside robust communication efforts championing independent agents, brokers, and their clientele.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Mary's passion for community service shines brightly. In 2015, she founded Linens of Love, a charitable initiative providing essential linens and toiletries to individuals in need within our community shelters and service organizations.

"We are thrilled to welcome Mary Pursell to our Board of Directors," said Bob Jones, Big I Connecticut Chair of the Board. "Her wealth of experience, unwavering dedication, and commitment to community service align seamlessly with our organization's values. Mary's presence will enrich our strategic endeavors and further empower independent agents and brokers nationwide."​

Mar 28
Week In Review: March 27, 2024

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Mar 21
Week In Review: March 20, 2024

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Mar 20
Sad News

"Hey" Brian, (or Lisa, or Kathy, or Tim, or...insert your name here).

That's the way Jim Keidel always greeted our work family, including the agents he proudly served.

Jim Keidel

A big smile, an immediate approach with a hug or a handshake, and a warm "Hey" with your name. He would then ask you a question about your life. "How are the kids," "How's your mom doing," "How are things going?" Jim's care was sincere.


It is with profound sadness we share that our dear friend, Jim Keidel, has passed away. His memory will live on through so many.

For more than 30 years, Jim stood up for and by independent agencies as an E&O legal mind, helping them minimize exposures and strongly advocating for their interests. He shined in our annual E&O seminars and published nearly 300 E&O Reports. Jim poured his heart into our industry and made friends wherever he went. To say he will be missed is an understatement.

A memorial service for Jim will be held at 2:00 PM this Saturday, March 23rd, at Saint Stephen's Church, 353 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877. His obituary can be found here.

We are collecting remembrances of Jim to share with his family. If you would like to share a thought, picture, or story about Jim, please share it here or email it to Ryan St. Windsor at by April 19th.

Our thoughts and gratitude go out to the entire team at Keidel & Cunningham, who have remained committed to supporting members while grieving this loss themselves.

Above everything, Jim adored his family. Please lift his wife, Kit, and beloved daughters, Kloe and Phoebe, up in thoughts or prayers and consider a random act of kindness in his memory.​

Mar 13
Week In Review: March 13, 2024

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Mar 07
Week In Review: March 7, 2024

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