you can’t miss these upcoming webinars!

October 22, 2015, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Commercial Liability Endorsements to Watch Out For

Catherine L. Trischan, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AU, AAI, CRIS, ARM, MLIS

This course will familiarize the participants with the types of endorsements that can severely restrict coverage under the Commercial General Liability (CGL) Policy.

We will review several ISO endorsements and see examples of non-standard endorsements often used by insurers.  In each case, we will discuss the effect that the endorsement has on the coverage that would otherwise have been included in the CGL policy.

The following will be discussed:

  • Endorsement that limit operations covered.
  • Residential Exclusions.
  • Cross Liability.
  • Contractual Liability.
  • Subcontractor issues.
  • Employee Injury issues – the Third Party over claim.
  • Known Loss or Damage Issues.
  • Liability limits.
  • Damage to Your Work.
  • Liquor Liability and much more!

To register, click here.

November 4, 2015, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Latest Revisions and Updates to the NFIP

Rita Hollada, CIC, CPCU, CPIA

The National Flood Insurance Program has been significantly impacted by two recent pieces of legislation. First of all, the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 called for sweeping changes. In addition to the reauthorizing the NFIP through September of 2017, it called for elimination of all rate subsidy by the Federal Government and the requirement that every insured property pay rates based on its full risk. Unfortunately, this requirement had a crippling effect on older properties and many owners were seeing flood insurance premiums increase many times over.

Provisions of the BW FIRA were being phased in over time, with some effective in October, 2013 but the bulk of the significant changes taking effect in June, 2014. However, as a response to significant consumer complaints, Congress acted once again with legislation. The Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 was passed in March. Many of the provisions of that legislation reversed aspects of the Biggert Waters Act even before they became effective.

The purpose of this web presentation is to try to sort this out for agents who are writing flood insurance for their clients. We will discuss the provisions of both pieces of legislation, including that which has been reversed and that which is being phased in over time. We will review the flood manual changes effective November 1, 2015 that continue to bring the NFIP in compliance with the mandates of these two recent laws affecting flood insurance availability and pricing.

To register, click here.

To see online CEU courses approved for the state of Tennessee, go to this website and create an account:

show up and show out: you’re invited to our big event next week!

Are you an independent agent, or a vendor that directly aids insurance companies and agencies? If so – do you like lunch? What about if it’s FREE?

Next week, the PIA of Chattanooga will be hosting an event at the O’Charley’s in Hixson on Tuesday, August 25 from 12 noon – 1 pm, and we would LOVE to see you there!

Join us for some awesome food (lunch is on us!), a great presentation, and some valuable networking with professionals in your field.

Send us an email at for more information! We look forward to seeing you there!

happy administrative professionals day!

Today, I want to send out a very heartfelt thank you to all of our administrative professionals.

No industry – no, not one – could survive without support staff. They’re the backbone. They’re the doers. They’re the ones that find a way to make it happen. They’re there after hours, scrambling to make other arrangements with their friends and families, because the company just got slammed with work, and it’s their job to do it. They’re typically the first ones to show up in the morning to open, and they’re typically the last ones to leave to close. They’re important – and today is their day.

Thank you, so much, every administrative professional out there. Thank you for all your do for your respective companies and employers. Thank you for your (ginormous) part in making every dream a successful reality.

Thank you, sincerely, from the PIA of Chattanooga.

And for the employers out there, hint: gifts are appropriate. Check out this link for the Top 5 Best Gifts for Administrative Professionals.

dolla’-dolla’ bills y’all: P/C insurers face $1 billion hit from February storms

February storms in the U.S. are expected to cost insurers more than $1 billion, according to the latest Global Catastrophe Recap from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.

Five separate storm systems hit the U.S. during the month, bringing heavy snow, frigid cold, freezing rain and ice. The storms resulted in 72 deaths and transportation disruption and business closures in major metropolitan areas.

Early estimates suggest economic losses from the storms will be in the low billions, the report said, with insured losses likely to exceed $1 billion.

Two of the storms belted northeastern parts of the United States during the month, including one that brought record snowfall to parts of the Northeast. In Massachusetts, some locations reported up to 36.0 inches (91.4 centimeters) of snow, while major cities in the region were brought to a virtual standstill as transit systems were closed. Aon Benfield estimates the total economic damage and losses (including business interruption) from these Northeast storms to be at least $500 million.

Forecasters are watching to see what happens next.

“As we begin to transition to the start of the severe weather season, it will be interesting to see if a cooler pattern lingers into the spring months. Should such a scenario occur, it is entirely possible that U.S. tornado totals could remain at historically low levels for a fourth consecutive year,” said Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting senior scientist and meteorologist.

With the temperatures warming up significantly the past couple of weeks, what do you think will happen?

FEMA fraud

The head of Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood insurance program acknowledged he has seen evidence of fraudulent engineering reports that may have been used to deny flood claims by Superstorm Sandy victims, according to CBS’s “60 Minutes” program that aired Sunday.

“I’m not gonna sit here and conceal the fact that it happened. ‘Cause in the last three weeks, I’ve seen evidence of it,” said Brad Kieserman, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance.

Kieserman said in the “60 Minutes” program that he’s already had to answer to allegations of fraud and criminal activity at the expense of Sandy’s hardest-hit families.

Kieserman said he has referred to the inspector general the evidence he’s seen of fraudulent reports and what could be criminal activity by using unlicensed engineers.

When asked when did FEMA learn that there may be a problem, that fraudulent reports may have been used to deny claims, Kieserman said based on what he’s seen, “there were signals in late 2013, early 2014, that there were problems that the Sandy survivors were experiencing with engineering, with the claims process, with appeals.”

Kieserman said that as far as he knows, no one at FEMA has ever said to the insurance companies or to the engineering companies to “keep the claims down.”

But “60 Minutes” says lawyers paid for by FEMA have gone after Sandy survivors in court, accusing them of fraud.

Kieserman said last month FEMA is working to settle lawsuits by hundreds of Sandy victims who challenged denials or alleged underpayments of flood insurance claims.

Private insurers participating in FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program have come under scrutiny in recent months over allegations they denied or rejected damage claims based on allegedly falsified reports. About 1,500 cases over flood claims from Sandy are pending in New York and New Jersey courts.



preventing and thawing frozen pipes: what to tell your insureds

Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

Why Pipe Freezing is a Problem

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal or plastic pipes. No matter the “strength” of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose bibs, swimming pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated interior areas like basements and crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. Pipes that run against exterior walls that have little or no insulation are also subject to freezing.
To find out on what steps you and your insureds can take to both prevent and thaw frozen pipes to prevent a water damage, click here.
Remember, if a water damage does occur, always encourage your insured to call you directly before they file a claim, and contact a professional to assess the situation and determine what services will be needed and how much those services will be so you can coach them on their best course of action based off the estimate for repairs, claims history, and their deductible amount.