The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has numerous provisions that impact Big “I”members, businesses both large and small, and individuals. This document provides preliminary analysis of the Senate passed legislation and may change as additional information is released.
Click here to read a breakdown of the four legislative prioities: deliver aid to small businesses to avoid insolvencies and to keep paychecks flowing, provide recovery checks and unemployment insurance directly to the American people, appropriate additional funding and resources for the healthcare fight against COVID-19, and stabilize key industries to prevent mass layoffs.
Hot off the presses: CARES Flowchart
Click here to read the memo from the Big "I" on how the Act impacts agents and their customers.
Other resouces include:
Click here for the "Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses" published by the U.S. Senate Republican staff. Click here to read additional information from the U.S. Treasury Department regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. Click here for the "Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act" published by the U.S. Senate Democratic staff. Please click here to watch a video from IIABA, regarding the steps they are taking to assist members during this pandemic. Watch an outstanding webinar (no charge) on the
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the CARES Act by Affinity
HR Group, a Big I Hires partner.
The webinar includes a vast amount of
information important your business, including frequently asked questions from
business on the new laws.
Important information that will answer a number
of questions we have been receiving from agencies. Watch the
On March 20th the Speaker reconvened the Unicameral for March 23rd to authorize emergency spending to address the coronavirus pandemic. By Wednesday, March 25th (43rd legislative day), LB1198e was passed by 45 affirmative votes, and signed by the Governor. Four Senators were excused because they are at high risk for the COVID-19 virus. Click here for Unicameral report on final bill provisions.
Speaker Scheer announced before adjournment on March 23rd, that the earliest likely call back date is Monday, May18th. When called back, Senators will complete the remaining budget bills before any others, and the role of prioritized bills will be increased in the remaining 17 legislative days. We should expect an effort to fashion a forest of “Christmas tree” bills, since only bills that are prioritized and out of committee have any chance of making it to the Governor’s desk.
Click here to read the full Unicameral Update
Click here to read how the recently passed CARES Act impacts insurance agents and their clients.
Click here to see individual state regulatory responses to COVID-19
Did you know that ADA & Website Accessibility focus is resulting in an extremely high level of litigation for small businesses? 2019 saw over 11,000 suits filed in the US, a 181% increase from the previous year.
Most suits are the result of automated website review software intended to deliberately identify business websites that do not provide the accessibility functions needed for the disabled. Then lawsuits are filed against small businesses, knowing many will quickly settle out of court.
What does this mean for independent agents?
As small business owners, know that you are a target for this litigation. And at the bottom line, you want to deliver ways to make it easy for consumers to find you, and customers to do business with you.
Click here to review ACT's ADA compliance resources
The Treasury Department has determined that employees of certain essential financial services may still go to work, even with other places deciding that they must work from home. Among these essential businesses are companies that provide insurance services.
Even if certain insurance companies decided that they will be working from home, business continuing as usual is not out of the question. Serving customers through remote locations is possible, and while some adjustments may be challenging, this industry fortunately provides some flexibility. Insurance is still a need in times like this, and agents everywhere will continue to provide it.
Treasury Memorandum Re Financial Services
Amid Local Lockdowns, Treasury Issues Documentation for Bankers
How Coronavirus Will Impact Agents and Brokers
The Nebraska Department of Insurance just released a notice about closings and current accommodations due to the circumstances arising in our present day.
All Prometric testing centers are closed until April 16th, 2020.
Resident licenses expiring in March or April can be given a 90-day extension for the CE requirements of the producer if requested. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any requests.
Education providers can request that their in-person courses be changed to a webinar. Email email@example.com for any requests.
Proctor requirements for online courses will be waived until July 31st, 2020.
For more information, click here to read the full notice.
The Legislature was expected to return for its 41st day on Tuesday, March 17th; however, on Monday, March 16th the Speaker suspended the session until further notice. Then on March 20th the Speaker reconvened the Unicameral for March 23rd to authorize emergency spending to address the coronavirus pandemic. Read Unicameral report on today’s session.
If the Unicameral must adjourn again for an extended period prior to passing must-pass bills (e.g., budget items; flood items), then the legislature shall return. However, it is possible that the legislature will not complete all 60 days.
Click here to learn more.
Also, click here to read more about the DOI's notice regarding, Producer Licensing Information Pertaining to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Walking A Straightline, is an ethics webinar that has been made available on 4/8/20 from 12pm - 3pm. This webinar will examine insurance statutes and regulations that apply to an agent’s legal and ethical responsibility to an insured, claimant, insurer, and other agents.
Click here to register!
As many of us adapt to protecting ourselves from harm, insurance agencies need to do the same. Primarily by making sure they are cautious moving forward as to not open themselves up to an E&O claim. Yes, you want to help your clients, but there a lot of new questions being asked, which can lead to people making assumptions. Those assumptions can lead to E&O claims. Also, Big "I"'s risk management department strongly advises that agencies NOT make a coverage determination on behalf of any insurance carrier or deny any claims - read, Carrier Directives to Deny Claims, article to learn more about this issue.
If agents make incorrect assumptions about a policy and the insured experiences a loss that is not covered or is denied, then that will leave the agency susceptible to a claim of their own.
The best way to avoid these situtations is to never assume the role of an expert on topics where you are not an expert. Also, developing good practices during these times will help avoid E&O situations.
Please review the documents below and develop a plan that allows you to assist clients while at the same time protecting your business.
Risk Management and the Coronavirus
Sample Letter to Clients
Webinar - Deeper Dive - Coronavirus Coverages & Exclusions - BI, WC, CGL, Event Cancellation, Cyber Risk, Homeowners, Working At Home:
View Webinar Here
Upcoming E&O Webinars:
4/14/20: Commercial Property Coverage Gaps and How To Fill Them
4/15/20: Roadmap To Personal Auto and Umbrella Insurance
Instead of hosting our Nextgen events, we came up with a plan to lend a helping hand. The COVID-19 outbreak has done plenty of damage, but we are here to help combat the trouble by helping the less fortunate.
Nextgen has pledged to donate $1,500 to Food Bank for the Heartland and Lincoln Food Bank to provide meals for children ($500 to Central/Western Nebraska, $500 to the Lincoln area, and $500 to the Omaha area).
For some kids, school is how they get one of their meals every day. Schools around the state are closed, so some are going hungry and being kept from food that they would normally be provided. Our donation is going toward making sure these less fortunate kids are fed during these difficult times.
We hope you can join us in donating toward this cause. Even a small donation can go a long way for these children all around Nebraska.
Our goal is to raise $5,000 by April 23rd, 2020. Make a difference by donating here today!
As you may have noticed we have been posting quite a bit about resources pertaining to the impact Coronavirus is having on businesses and respective insurance coverages.
If you have missed out on any of those posts, please use the link below, so you can get caught-up and stay informed.
IIABA webinars and resources
|Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.