Legislative Update

The 2020 First Extraordinary Session continues through the end of the month of June, and PIA of Louisiana continues to monitor bills of interest to our membership.

As you've surely heard, while a bipartisan majority passed SB 418 during the regular session, the Governor vetoed Sen. Talbot's SB 418, the Omnibus Premium Reduction Act, last Friday, June 12th. Unfortunately, an error in drafting bill language created a significant issue as it pertains to collateral source (the muddied language would have created a new cause of action entitling a claimant to recover health insurance premiums). Fortunately, the Legislature was ready with a number of responses to a possible veto….

On Monday, June 15th, the House of Representatives debated two measures that seek to reform Louisiana's broken legal system, which we know drives up the cost of auto insurance for Louisiana policyholders. Both of these bills advanced from the House floor and were heard in Judiciary A on Wednesday.

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PIA Publishes Analysis of Changes to PPP

Congress has passed and President Trump has signed H.R. 7010, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. The bill extends the window for businesses to be able to spend the funds loaned under the program. The legislation allows businesses that have received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to spend a smaller percentage of the money, 60 percent instead of the current 75 percent, on payroll and other qualifying expenses and still maintain forgiveness eligibility.

The bill also gives businesses some new flexibility by allocating more time for them to use their PPP funds—24 weeks instead of eight—and extending the deadline for rehiring workers from June 30 to the end of this year.

PIA National has published a detailed analysis of the changes, written by Lauren Pachman, Esq., PIA National Counsel and Director of Regulatory Affairs. You can access the two-part analysis here and here.

PIA National had urged Congress to repeal the PPP's payroll requirement altogether, a move that would have provided small businesses with maximum flexibility as they struggle to stay solvent during this difficult time. PIA National will continue to work to improve the PPP in future legislation considered by Congress.





States Issue Guidance on Civil Unrest Claims

While many of the recent protests against police violence have been peaceful, businesses across the country have been affected by looting or vandalism. The New York State Department of Financial Services issued an emergency regulation requiring state-regulated insurers to accelerate the claims process for businesses and individuals suffering damage from a riot or civil commotion, and the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) similarly issued a bulletin to insurers requesting them to expedite claims filed by looted businesses.

The Illinois DOI also requests insurers to advance claim payments and "err on the side of the policyholder" when paying claims as a result of riots, civil commotion, or vandalism. Guidance released by Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman aims to help business owners understand the terms in their policies and how and when to file claims. Altman called on carriers to help "the commonwealth and expedite claims processes to the extent possible to help businesses and communities in need."





Study: Millions Face Double Jeopardy from COVID-19

Researchers at Harvard Medical School and CUNY's Hunter College found that more than 18 million Americans, most of whom are minorities and low-income individuals, are uninsured or underinsured and are at an increased risk of developing severe cases of COVID-19.

"Our study shows that minority communities face double jeopardy from COVID-19. On the one hand, they are at higher risk of severe complications from coronavirus, and on the other hand, they are more likely to be uninsured and underinsured, and hence to avoid care or to face potentially ruinous medical bills," said Dr. Adam Gaffney, the study's lead author and a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School.

Black Americans were 42 percent more likely to be at risk for severe COVID-19 and 51 percent more likely to have inadequate health care coverage than high-risk non-Hispanic whites. Native Americans were 90 percent more likely to be at high risk for severe COVID-19 and 53 percent more likely to have inadequate health care coverage. Minorities are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 because they are disproportionately represented in many professions deemed essential and many continued to go to work during lockdowns.







IdealTraits Hiring Tool

Many independent insurance agencies struggle to find top talent. PIA has partnered with IdealTraits to help solve this problem.

How can IdealTraits help with your hiring needs? If you use IdealTraits, you can streamline the hiring process to save time. As a PIA member, you can use this hiring tool to find top candidates quickly, send mass emails to candidates, and increase the number of applications.

What is it? IdealTraits is a platform tool that helps insurance agencies hire top performing sales and service staff. The tool helps with sourcing, recruiting, and hiring processes. If you are having trouble finding top talent, or you would like to improve your hiring strategy, IdealTraits may be the best solution for you. IdealTraits' new PIA program ensures PIA members can use this comprehensive tool to hire top performers for their agencies.

The features of this program include:
  • Post jobs for free on numerous online platforms
  • Track applicants in one place
  • Pre-screen candidates to predict job performance
  • Identify the right candidate and hire
Want to learn more? Visit www.idealtraits.com/pia.

Or

Attend a short webinar about PIA's program with IdealTraits (recording available to all attendees).