The Legislative Enigma
If you are able to control your emotions on a roller coaster, I invite you to observe the machinations of the New York State legislature.
Many perplexed producers complain about the actions of their elected senator or assemblyman or assemblywoman, but I believe they lose this right to complain unless they are willing to roll up their sleeves and participate in the give and take process.
The officers and legislative representatives of the various producer organizations perform yeoman's service when they represent us in Albany (or any other state capital).
However, that effort, though extremely important, is not the whole story. Legislators respond much better to telephone calls, letters, telegrams, faxes and most of all face to face visits from their constituents.
None of us should believe that "George" alone will or can do it. Each of us has the responsibility to push hard to make sure our positions and voices are heard. We can't leave our lobbying efforts to chance or a few Georges.
If you didn't make the pilgrimage to Albany earlier this year with the Independent Insurance Agents and the Council of Insurance Brokers, I invite you to join the Professional Insurance Agents of New York State for their "Day on the Hill" on Monday May 23. Further information can be obtained by calling the Government Relations office of the Professional Agents at 1-800 PIAOFNY.
Even if you made the trek in January, come again. We need experienced perplexed producers.
Early in March, I had the pleasure of meeting with the staffs of the Chairmen of the Senate and Assembly Labor Committees to discuss workers' compensation reform. Workers' Compensation is the responsibility of the Labor not the Insurance Committee, although they work very closely.
One of the pieces of legislation we discussed was the expansion of Section 110 of the law which presently permits an employer to pay first aid costs without reporting the accident to the carrier, if there is no lost time, nor more than two visits to a provider (doctor or medical facility).
Over the past few years I have performed several hundred calculations where employers have paid these claims up to $300 per occurrence. The improvement in their experience modification always resulted in lowered rates.
Last summer Tom Lutz, the Professional Insurance Agents' legislative representative and myself, had the pleasure of meeting with some of the staff of the Workers' Compensation Board to explore...