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Jan 17
FEMA Buys Half Billion Dollars of Flood Reinsurance

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Photo by Tom Good. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced last week that it has purchased $502.5 million in reinsurance from 18 carriers on potential flood insurance losses during 2023. The coverage will apply to portions of insured losses that exceed $7 billion from a single flood event.

This is the seventh consecutive year that FEMA has purchased reinsurance on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP.) FEMA paid $90.2 million in premium for the coverage.

Read more on the FEMA website

Jan 10
Month In Review: December 2022

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Jan 10
Calling All Young Agents

​The board has a goal to identify young Big I CT members (under 40 years old or new to independent insurance industry) to form a Young Agents committee.  The committee is open to anyone involved in or supporting the insurance industry (including all agency and company personnel). 

If you are interested in creating relationships and learning more about the industry, please consider volunteering to join our Big I CT Young Agents committee to set the direction for the future. 

The committee would meet virtually 3-4 times a year (and sit in on Big I CT board meetings as needed) and help to plan 1-2 events for fellow young agents, carrier reps and vendors in CT.   

If you want to get involved and support your developing career in insurance, please reach out to Kathy Lawler, Operations Manager at Big I CT and she can answer any questions you have. 

We hope to hear from you!​

Big I CT Young Agents Mentors

  • Jay Long, Gerardi Insurance
  • Steve Sadlak, Max Sadlak Agency
  • Meredith Messenger, InsureGood, LLC ​


Jan 09
CT Workers Comp Min/Max Payrolls for Executive Officers Announced

​Each year, the Workers' Compensation insurance rate filing submitted to the Connecticut Department of Insurance by the National Council on Compensation Insiurance (NCCI) includes adjustments to the maximum and minimum payroll amounts for executive officers. The 2023 rate filing, which was approved by the department last fall, provides for the following​:

Maximum Weekly Payroll applicable in accordance with the Basic Manual rules, Rule for premium determination of executive officers and Rule for premium determination of members of LLCs..…..………………… $3,000
Minimum Weekly Payroll applicable in accordance with the Basic Manual rules, Rule for premium determination of executive officers and Rule for premium determination of members of LLCs..…..………………… $1,500

The new amounts were effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
Jan 05
Win a Marketing Plan for Your Agency!


If it seems like you have a seemingly endless list of things to do just to keep your agency afloat — not to mention growing — then good news! You're in the majority of independent agencies who are simply doing what they can to stay on top of it all. The Big “I" Agency Universe Study and additional member surveys and touch points have shown us that nearly half of our member agencies struggle with marketing and they know they should be doing more.

We are excited to share with you that Trusted Choice will be giving away a Marketing Plan ($2,000 value) to one lucky Big “I" member agency. This 90 day action plan will help you set a clear direction for your agency to take charge of your marketing and sales efforts with a detailed step by step plan.

This guided process takes 4 weeks and is designed to:
  • Evaluate and audit your current marketing strategy
  • Gain clarity on the ideal customer you serve and how this impacts your agency's marketing and sales
  • Build a step by step process for attracting, converting and keeping your best customers
  • Create a “Big 3" action plan that prioritizes your agency's growth over the next 90 days
Submit your entries now through 11:59pm on Friday February 17, 2023.
Dec 23
Flood Program Extended To Sept. 30, 2023

flood-17506_640.jpgUPDATE: President Biden signed the bill​ into law on Dec. 29, 2022.

An omnibus spending plan approved by Congress today includes a nine-month re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP.) President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. has pledged to sign the measure, which sets federal government appropriations for the 2023 fiscal year. The reauthorization means that you will be able to obtain new and renewal flood insurance policies through the program without interruption.

Congress has authorized the NFIP on a temporary basis since its inception in 1968. Its most recent authorization was due to expire at the end of the day December 23 when appropriations for the federal government were also to run out. The newly enacted bill will keep the government and the flood program running for the rest of the 2023 fiscal year, which ends on September 30, 2023.

Those of you who obtain flood coverage for your clients through the Big I Flood Program will be able to continue to do so at least until next autumn.​

Dec 20
Big I CT Earns InsurPAC "Eagle Award" for Second Year in a Row

For the second year in a row, Big I CT has earned national recognition by raising over $100 per member agency for InsurPac, earning the prestigious "Eagle Award."

InsurPac is the Big "I" national political action committee, established to support the election or defeat of candidates to federal office. It works hand in hand with the Big I advocacy team to promote, protect and perpetuate the independent agency system.​ 

InsurPac raises and distributes approximately $2.3 million each election cycle, making it one of the largest small business PACs in the country. It is funded by voluntary, personal, LLC and Partnership contributions from independent agents, brokers and agencies throughout the country. 

Thank you to all who helped stand up for our industry and our customers by supporting InsurPac! Learn more and support InsurPac here.​

Dec 20
Flood Program To Expire Dec. 23 Unless Congress Acts


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Photo by South Carolina National Guard. Public Domain.
​​
UPDATE: Congress approved a one-week extension​ of the current federal budget late on Dec. 15. The flood program is now due to expire at 11:59 pm on Dec. 23.​

The National Flood Insurance Program will run​ out of authorization to operate on Dec. 16​, barring congressional action. The program, which Congress has authorized on a temporary basis since its inception in 1968, will lose the ability to issue or renew policies on that date.

Reauthorization of the NFIP is not controversial. However, its authorization is tied to approval of an overall spending plan for the federal government. The government's fiscal year ends on September 30 each year. In most years, Congress fails to adopt a budget before the fiscal year end and the government operates under short-term funding measures known as "continuing resolutions." Continuing resolutions authorize government spending until a certain date. The most recent continuing resolution runs out on Dec. 16.

​Congressional negotiators are working on a deal​ that would keep the government open until Dec. 23, giving them a week to work out a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year. If that deal becomes law, the NFIP will operate as normal until that date, at which time it would again be scheduled to expire.
Dec 14
Big I CT Meeting with Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais


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The Big I CT Board of Directors met with CT Insurance Commissioner Andrew Mais in his office on Friday, December 9. Deputy Commissioner Jared Kosky and Gerard O'Sullivan, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, were also in attendance. 

Chair of the Board, Melissa Gatto, and Lisa Lounsbury, Big I CT President, shared appreciation for how responsive the Department of Insurance team has been on issues impacting independent agents in Connecticut. Each board member had the opportunity to introduce themselves and share a little about their agency. Scott Hobson, AVP of Government Relations, discussed Big I CT's priorities for 2023 and areas that Big I CT can work together with the Department of Insurance. 

The group discussed InsurTech, NextGen Career Academy, and insurance consumer issues. Commissioner Mais indicated that the Insurance Department's priorities for 2023 are currently being reviewed by Governor Lamont and will be shared upon his approval. 

We look forward to working with Commissioner Mais and his team in the new year. 


Oct 24
Attention Progressive Home Agents: New Coverage Restrictions
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American Strategic Insurance Corp., a member of The Progressive Corporation, has made numerous changes to their Homeowners policy form that may reduce coverage for some of your clients. The changes went into effect on April 6, 2022 for new business and June 6, 2022 for renewals. 

Working with Progressive’s management, Big I CT has determined the following information:

  1. Progressive delivered copies of the full renewal policies to all renewing homeowners policyholders. 
  2. In addition to the full policy, Progressive gave policyholders a letter titled IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT YOUR INSURANCE POLICY – Changes to Your Insurance Policy. This letter provides an overview of changes included in the new policy form.
  3. One part of the letter states: “SECTION I – EXCLUSIONS: We have added an exclusion for Diminished Value, Existing Damage and Windstorm or Hail damage to listed items.” The letter does not describe the listed items, but the policy includes the following language:

"a. We do not cover any loss due to windstorm or hail to:

1. Outdoor radio equipment, television antennas, satellite dishes, and aerials including their lead wiring, masts and towers;
2. Awnings, aluminum framed screened enclosures, aluminum framed carports, and aluminum sheds; and
3. Solar panels, solar water heating systems including solar panels, pipes supplying and returning water to solar panels, and equipment or devices controlling solar water heating systems.”

If you have clients with any of these types of property and who have purchased the American Strategic renewal policy, they may be uninsured for wind or hail damage to them.

Big I CT wants to remind all producers of the importance of knowing any policy form you are offering to your consumers. We recommend reading any carrier’s policy forms before offering them to a consumer for purchase.

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