Should the State Increase NY Disability Insurance Rates?

Governor Cuomo signs Covid-19 legislation.We’re living in unprecedented times and federal, state, and local governments are looking for ways to adapt. Seeking a balance between regulations and budget, legislation has sought to help Americans keep their businesses open and their employees paid through the vast challenges 2020 has brought us.

Most business owners in New York, along with insurance brokers and other professionals, have concerns about keeping our economy going. Increasing NY disability insurance rates for statutory DBL coverage might be the last thing on people’s minds. But it’s something those of us in the insurance industry should be thinking about.

Should the State Consider Raising NY Disability Insurance Benefits?

NY State Disability Insurance benefits, or DBL, has not increased in decades. With a maximum payout of $170 per week, NYS DBL lags behind New Jersey TDB benefits, and even Massachusetts and Connecticut. The latter two states recently introduced statutory paid leave for non-work related illness or injury.

The last thing New York business owners would want to face right now is a premium increase for any benefits. Many New York City landmarks have shuttered as a result of recent events, and mom-and-pop shops in Main Street areas across upstate and downstate New York have closed permanently or struggle to stay alive.

But an increase in NY state disability insurance pay-outs could yield benefits to employers in the long run, especially as we face uncertainty related to the pandemic. Will DBL claims rise if we see a second wave of the virus? Will the government be so quick to offer Federal aid packages the second time around? Will businesses, already hard hit by recent events, be able to mount a second comeback? No one knows the answers to these questions.

FFCRA Alleviates Pressure on NY State Disability Insurance Brokers

When the first wave of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, hit, the Federal government intervened with the Families First Act. The FFA alleviated much of the pressure on insurance carriers who otherwise would have faced unprecedented levels of claims because of COVID-19.

Here at The DBL Center, we also sprung to action. Our COVID-19 pre-screening software helped eliminate confusion regarding NY State Disability Insurance claims and FFA claims.

If the Federal government had not signed the FFA to help Americans with income replacement if they became ill from COVID-19 or had to care for family members with the virus, disability insurance carriers and brokers may have experienced a situation similar to what P&C brokers in the northeast experienced in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Business owners and the insurance industry, alike, were not set up to respond to an emergency of this scale. Our country was not prepared; but perhaps there is no effective way to prepare for a global pandemic.

Looking to the Future of NY Disability Insurance

Many people reading this, even our brokers who are tapped into the industry, don’t realize that the governor initially had plans to increase DBL benefits when he introduced Paid Family Leave. A short-term disability insurance increase was in the original legislation, but removed before the Paid Family Leave Act was signed.

Increasing NY state disability insurance benefits will help business owners retain high-quality talent, which is a challenge in any economy. New York City, especially, is suffering from “brain drain,” or young, smart, and affluent couples leaving the city. Reports say five percent of Manhattan’s population fled the city between March 1 and May 1 at the height of the pandemic. Further, 69% of tech and finance employees said they would leave New York if they could work from home.

This exodus began years prior to the pandemic because of real estate prices, but was exacerbated this spring.

No, increased DBL may not tip the scales, but having peace-of-mind that you can survive on your disability insurance benefits should you become ill with coronavirus could give many New Yorkers one less reason to leave. Couple that with the most robust PFL policy in the nation, and New York becomes a more family-friendly state.

It’s a good time to make legislation changes right now. New Yorkers have become accustomed to rapid change and increased benefits, including the $600 Federal boost in unemployment benefits.

As always, because it is a shared benefit, DBL represents one way business owners can provide added value to their top employees at a small cost.

Until the time comes that NY State disability insurance benefits rise, business owners can purchase private disability insurance in New York. DBL Center brokers can offer their customers increased benefits through enriched DBL, white-glove service, and faster, more flexible payouts.

What do you think? Is it time for NY to increase their disability insurance benefits?


New Jersey Business Owners Can Privatize NJ Temporary Disability Insurance In Three Easy Steps

The DBL Center, a wholesale general agency with 40+ years of insurance industry relationships, wants to help New Jersey business owners privatize NJ temporary disability insurance for possible cost savings and white-glove service.

Privatized NJ temporary disability insurance offers businesses:

  • Potentially lower rates
  • Superior customer service
  • Faster payouts, choice of payment methods
  • Choice of carriers
  • Easier claims process
  • Less red tape

By law, premiums must be the same or lower than NJ temporary disability insurance written through the state. Private New Jersey TDB benefits must be the same as – or better – than those offered by the state.

Premiums for NJ Temporary Disability Insurance Increase

New Jersey has a robust disability benefits package. In January 2020, New Jersey TDB payouts increased to 66.67% of a worker’s average weekly salary, up to $667 per week. As of July 1, 2020, the benefit grows to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary, capped at $881 per week.

With these benefit increases come a change in premium payments, too.

Employees now contribute .26% on the first $134,900 of earnings, with a maximum annual contribution of $350.74. Employers contribute based on employees’ earnings, with a cap of $35,000.

Is It Time for Business Owners to Privatize New Jersey TDB?

June 30, 2020 represents the next deadline to privatize New Jersey TDB.

Working through The DBL Center’s vast network of brokers, businesses can write privatized New Jersey TDB policies in three simple steps.

1. Obtain form AC-174.

Insurance brokers can no longer download the AC-174 form for their customers. Employers must visit the New Jersey Department of Labor website and fill out the Employer Application.

2. The DBL Center works with brokers to shop policies through a network of top-rated carriers.

The DBL Center does all the work from here. “We leverage our industry relationships and volume to find the lowest premiums. Many of our brokers save even more for their customers by bundling New Jersey TDB with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and life insurance,” says DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen.

3 Enjoy exemplary service with privatized NJ temporary disability benefits (TDB). 

DBL Center provides its New Jersey TDB brokers with the tools, resources, and relationships to deliver low rates, exemplary service, and benefits business owners can trust.

“The world seems to be changing here in the Northeast U.S. every day,” says Cohen. “The service New Jersey business owners receive from The DBL Center and our network of broker partners is one thing they can always count on.”

About The DBL Center Ltd.

Celebrating 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. The DBL Center specializes in Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) coverage in New York, Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) in New Jersey, and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii. The DBL Center also underwrites, manages and maintains Group Life/AD&D, vision, and dental packages, as well as individual life and income replacement policies, giving brokers and their customers the benefits of multi-line discounts and a single point-of-contact.

Through its dedication to personalized, concierge-level service, The DBL Center Ltd. remains true to its roots as a family- owned and operated, relationship-focused wholesale insurance agency.

InsuranceWholesaler.net is the company’s gateway to premium service, low insurance rates, and high commissions.

For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call (631) 293.5100 or connect with us on LinkedIn.


Private Disability Insurance in New York: Save Money and Create Happier Customers

As New York begins its phased reopening, many employers seek to call back workers on furlough or re-hire employees who have been laid off. Employers may also be looking for ways to reduce expenses as they come off possibly the roughest financial quarter New York businesses have faced in decades.

Now, more than ever, your clients are looking to save money and improve retention (or entice employees back to work). Enriching DBL benefits through private disability insurance in New York is one way your customers can:

  • Enjoy better service
  • Get an enriched benefits package
  • Save money by bundling statutory NY disability insurance with ancillary benefits

Why You Should Encourage Employers to Privatize NY Disability Insurance

The New York State Disability Benefits Law (DBL) gives employers the option to purchase NY state disability insurance through the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF). But writing policies through the NYSIF does not offer the advantages of private disability insurance. New York businesses who write DBL with the NYSIF max out coverage limits at $170 a week for 26 weeks. Who could live on that, especially in downstate New York?

When employers write NY Disability Benefits insurance through a private insurance carrier, they can enhance coverage limits past the state minimum, improve employee retention, and enjoy more personalized service. Additionally, DBL Center has relationships with multiple carriers, to offer a wide range of coverage options.

Why Insurance Brokers Should Choose DBL Center for New York Disability Benefits Coverage

The DBL Center has been helping NY insurance brokers write private disability insurance in New York for more than 40 years. Our instant binding application helps you prepare quotes from multiple carriers in a matter of minutes.

You can bundle enriched NY state disability insurance (DBL) with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and group life / AD&D for added savings. Plus, you’ll gain access to our state-of-the-art Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, helping you keep sight of it all with just a click.

Compare rates, grow your book of business, and earn more commission while DBL Center serves as your back-office support staff to manage and maintain your policies.

Bind your application for NY disability insurance (DBL) today!

 

 


Privatize NJ Temporary Disability Insurance: As Easy as 1-2-3


Have your customers privatized NJ temporary disability insurance for potential cost savings and superior customer service?

As we reported in October 2018, the State of New Jersey waived the signature requirement for business owners to obtain privatized New Jersey TDB coverage. This opened the door for brokers to write privatized NJ temporary disability insurance to provide customers with:

  • Potentially lower rates when bundled with other coverage
  • Superior customer service from a private carrier
  • Faster payouts, choice of payment methods
  • Choice of carriers
  • Easier claims process
  • Less red tape

By law, premiums must be the same or lower than NJ temporary disability insurance written through the state. At the same time, benefits packages for New Jersey TDB must be the same as – or better – than state benefits.

State Increases Premiums for NJ Temporary Disability Insurance

New Jersey has always had a robust disability benefits package. In January 2020, New Jersey TDB payouts increased to 66.67% of a worker’s average weekly salary, up to $667 per week through June 30, 2020.

As of July 1, 2020, the benefit grows to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary, capped at $881 per week.

With these benefit increases come a change in premium payments, too.

Employees now contribute .26% on the first $134,900 of earnings, with a maximum annual contribution of $350.74. Employers have a different taxable wage base than employees. Employers contribute based on employees’ earnings, with a cap of $35,000.

Is It Time for Business Owners to Privatize New Jersey TDB?

If your customers have not privatized New Jersey TDB yet, now’s the time. The next deadline to shift policies from New Jersey TDB written by the state to a private plan takes place June 15, 2020.

We can make it easier than ever for you to help your clients privatize New Jersey TDB – and grow your book of business with a statutory benefit with automatic renewals.

Just follow this simple, three-step process.

1. Instruct your customers to obtain form AC-174.

Brokers can no longer download the AC-174 form for their customers, and your insurance wholesaler also can’t provide it for you. Employers first must visit the New Jersey Department of Labor website and fill out the Employer Application.

This form replaces the previous TWES form. If your customer has already registered, they can go here to log in. From either location, they can download the AC-174 form and fill it out.

The census can help you obtain an accurate quote so there are no surprises for your customer when premiums are due.

2. Provide the AC-174 to DBL Center so we can shop policies through our network of top-rated carriers.

The DBL Center does all the work for you from here. We will shop policies and leverage our industry relationships and volume to find the lowest premiums. You may find your customers can save even more by bundling New Jersey TDB with ancillary benefits like vision, dental, and life insurance.

3. Write the policy and track your commissions through our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker.

Once we’ve secured the best coverage and lowest rates we can find for your clients, it will be an easy sell. After all, what business owner would want to pay more through the state and miss out on concierge-level service and faster payouts?

New Yorkers have benefited from private statutory benefits for years. It’s time New Jersey business owners enjoy the same flexibility and superior service they can get from The DBL Center and our dedicated New Jersey rep and brokers.

Let us help you write the policies for your New Jersey clients. You’ll gain access to our proprietary Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker, where you can track your commissions, renewals, and pending cancellations to improve customer retention. You’ll be able to view your book of business at a glance and access carrier portals with a click.

The world seems to be changing here in the Northeast U.S. every day. The service you receive from The DBL Center is one thing you can always count on.


Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Payment Deadline Approaches

Members of the sandwich generation benefit from the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical LEave Act
Earlier this year, Massachusetts introduced the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) for W-2 employees as well as some 1099 independent contractors. Benefits won’t go into effect until 2021, but employers can begin paying into the plan now.

July 1, 2020 marks the first deadline for payments.

As a shared benefit, MA Family Medical Leave Act premium costs are split between the employer and employees or contractors. Organizations with fewer than 25 employees can offer the plan to their workers as a voluntary, employee-funded benefit.

How Much Do Employers Need to Pay?

The DBL Center can write FMLA policies independent of other lines, so you can privatize policies under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act affordably and provide your customers high levels of service.

With the first MA PFML payments coming up, your customers may wonder how much they owe for their plan, whether it’s funded by the state of Massachusetts or written privately.

Your premiums are based on the total number of your lives in your company, which includes all W-2 employees:

    Full-time
    Part-time
    Seasonal

You do not need to count 1099 contractors, as they are responsible to write their own policies and pay the full 0.75% contribution.

When clients provide you with the active employee count and wages earned, they should report figures for the prior 3-month period. Contributions made by July 1, 2020 should include the total headcount from April, May, and June.

What About Furloughed Workers?

As COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to strike across the U.S., many employers have laid off or furloughed workers. If furloughed employees or workers on unemployment have earned at least $4,700 in the prior 12 months before filing, they may be eligible to file a PFML claim in January if they meet all other requirements.

In most cases, employers would still pay into benefits packages for furloughed employees, so these workers would count toward the organization’s number of active lives. However, unemployed workers would not.

During the pandemic, many organizations laid off employees and then brought them back to meet the June 1 deadline for loan forgiveness on a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan issued as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Employees re-hired by June 1 would need to be counted as part of Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premium payments.

Need Help Calculating Premiums for the Paid Family Medical Leave Act Coverage in Mass?

With so many changes going on for business owners right now, calculating Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premiums can be complicated. It depends on employers’ total lives for the past three months. These numbers may have varied wildly as employees were furloughed or laid off and then brought back as Massachusetts begins its phased reopening this week.

The DBL Center works with top Massachusetts statutory insurance carriers to provide the best service you’ll find. We’ll help you deliver the best rates and superior service to your customers with privatized Massachusetts PFML insurance policies.

Contact The DBL Center today.


Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act Payment Deadline Approaches

As Massachusetts enters phased reopening, businesses get set to pay Family Medical Leave premiums

Earlier this year, Massachusetts introduced the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) for W-2 employees as well as some 1099 independent contractors. Benefits won’t go into effect until 2021, but employers can begin paying into the plan now.

As a shared benefit, MA Family Medical Leave Act premium costs are split between the employer and employees or contractors. Organizations with fewer than 25 employees can offer the plan to their workers as a voluntary, employee-funded benefit.

July 1, 2020 marks the first deadline for payments.

Coming as it does on the heels of coronavirus reopenings across the state, the deadline may lead to some confusion for employers.

  • Who is an employee?
  • Do employers pay premiums for furloughed employees?
  • What about workers who were laid off but called back to meet the June 1, 2020 deadline for forgiveness on loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?

How Much Do Employers Need to Pay?

Statutory insurance brokers in Massachusetts who work with The DBL Center can write FMLA policies independent of other lines. Employers can privatize policies under the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act affordably while receiving white-glove service.

With the first MA PFML payments coming up, business owners may wonder how much they owe for their plan, whether it’s funded by the state of Massachusetts or written privately. Amidst the confusion of reopening and re-hiring employees, businesses may need guidance when it comes to Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Act premium payments.

Premiums are based on the total number of lives in a company, which includes all W-2 employees:

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Seasonal

Independent contractors (1099 workers) are responsible to write their own policies and pay the full 0.75% contribution.

Businesses should report figures for the prior 3-month period. Contributions made by July 1, 2020 should include the total headcount from April, May, and June.

What About Furloughed Workers?

As COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic struck across the U.S., many employers laid off or furloughed workers. If furloughed employees or workers on unemployment have earned at least $4,700 in the prior 12 months before filing, they may be eligible to file a PFML claim in January if they meet all other requirements.

In most cases, employers would still pay into benefits packages for furloughed employees, so these workers would count toward the organization’s number of active lives. However, unemployed workers would not.

During the pandemic, many organizations laid off employees and then brought them back to meet the June 1 deadline for loan forgiveness on a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan issued as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Employees re-hired by June 1 would need to be counted as part of Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premium payments.

Need Help Calculating Premiums for the Paid Family Medical Leave Act Coverage in Mass?

With so many changes going on for business owners right now, calculating Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act premiums can be complicated. It depends on employers’ total lives for the past three months. These numbers may have varied wildly as employees were furloughed or laid off and then brought back over the next few weeks. These employees count toward worker totals since they will be working in June.

“Here at The DBL Center, we’ve been experts in statutory insurance since 1976 when my father David Cohen started the company,” says Michael Cohen, DBL Center President and CEO. “With the tools, information, and resources we provide, our brokers are well equipped to deliver the best rates and superior service for privatized Massachusetts PFML insurance policies.”

About The DBL Center Ltd.

Celebrating 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. The DBL Center specializes in Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) coverage in New York, Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) in New Jersey, and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii. The DBL Center also underwrites, manages and maintains Group Life/AD&D, vision, and dental packages, as well as individual life and income replacement policies, giving brokers and their customers the benefits of multi-line discounts and a single point-of-contact.

Through its dedication to personalized, concierge-level service, The DBL Center Ltd. remains true to its roots as a family- owned and operated, relationship-focused wholesale insurance agency.

InsuranceWholesaler.net is the company’s gateway to premium service, low insurance rates, and high commissions.

For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call (631) 293.5100 or connect with us on LinkedIn.


Capture, Track, Improve: New Video Lets Brokers Test Drive the Broker Dashboard

Watch the video and then read on to learn even more about how our proprietary Broker Dashboard can help you capture data about your book of business, track policies and cancellations, and improve your net revenue.

“It’s not about what you earn. It’s about what you keep.” Since the early days of The DBL Center, this philosophy has been the company’s mantra. From founder David Cohen’s handwritten ledger to our state-of-the-art Broker Dashboard, DBL Center provides its brokers with the tools, technology, and service they need to retain more clients.

Times are challenging right now for businesses of all sizes. As small businesses struggle and close, we wonder how many will open their doors again once the pandemic is over. It’s crucial, right now, especially, for brokers to closely track their book of business, including renewals, cancellations, and pending non-pays.

The Broker Dashboard makes it easy.

The video above highlights the Broker Dashboard’s features that enable our licensed insurance agents to track new policies, policies that have lapsed, and overall retention, along with real time calculations of annualized premiums, and total commissions paid.

Having all this information in one easy-to-use, cloud-based app can help brokers manage their accounts – from wherever they might be working.

Let’s review some of the Broker Dashboard features that can help brokers keep more of what they earn and significantly improve their returns – making more in less time than ever before. Because we all know it costs more to sign a new customer than to retain one you already have.

1. Track cancellations.

As small businesses close their doors, it’s important for brokers to track the reason for cancellations and non-pays. Brokers receive emails every two weeks that list policies that are pending non-pay, so you can reach out and make sure the policy doesn’t lapse.

The Broker Dashboard also shows you the reason for the cancellation. You can even sort cancellations based on the size of the account, so you can focus on small businesses who may be struggling and help them find solutions to pay their bills. Nickels, dimes, and quarters make dollars. By tracking your clients through Broker Dashboard, you’ll be in a position to help keep their policies in force… which is good business for everyone.

2. Track new policies.

How much new business are you writing? Are you meeting your agency’s goals for growth?

The Broker Dashboard lets you track countless policyholders and up to date head count giving you real time eligibility, so you can see how much volume you have – from your biggest client to the smallest.

3. Track commissions.

Bottom line: How much are you making? The DBL Center’ proprietary Broker Dashboard shows you how much commission you’ve received across any selected time frame – for the month, the quarter, or the year broken down by product. This is the single-most important piece of information you need to gauge the overall health of your business. These net revenue tracking capabilities, alone, make Broker Dashboard an indispensable tool for your business.

4. Get direct access to preferred carrier websites.

The Broker Dashboard is more than just your net revenue and policy tracker. It is also your one-click portal to preferred carrier websites. Download claim forms and other documents and access important information from any internet-enabled device, regardless of the carrier’s business hours or availability of team members.

In today’s remote working world, business never stops. Broker Dashboard is there whenever you need it.

5. Contact DBL Center directly through the Dashboard.

Have a problem or question? Need to speak to your DBl Center representative? Want to learn more about a specific Broker Dashboard feature? Click the “report an issue” button and someone from The DBL Center will get back to you to help you get the most from your Broker Dashboard app.

There’s never been a greater need for cloud-based tools enabling DBL Center brokers to work from anywhere, at any time.

If you aren’t already using your Broker Dashboard, or would like to learn more about how it can help you track your business in real time, contact us today to schedule a remote WebEx demo.


DBL Center’s Remote Work Technology Keeps Its Brokers Competitive Through Coronavirus

Cloud-based Broker Dashboard and other tools help keep The DBL Center in touch with its brokers and help brokers serve their clients

Things are changing rapidly across the U.S. with new legislation related to family leave for coronavirus. DBL Center, the family-owned and operated wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory short-term disability benefits, strives to be a COVID-19 insurance resource center in New York and across the northeast U.S., providing customers with personalized service and cutting-edge technology.

Even before the coronavirus hit the U.S., The DBL Center had been on top of remote technology that makes it easier for brokers to write new business and manage their accounts from any internet-enabled device.

For brokers looking to provide the lowest premiums and best service to their business customers while increasing profitability, The DBL Center provides the technology and resources needed to write state-mandated disability coverage in New York, New Jersey, and beyond. But there are some things brokers may not know about The DBL Center.

  1. DBL Center’s proprietary Broker Dashboard app makes it easy for brokers to manage policies remotely from any internet-enabled device. 

Most insurance brokers are now working remotely as part of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders from the governors in their states.

As a cloud-based app, DBL Center’s Broker Dashboard makes it easy for insurance brokers to log in from any computer or mobile device with an Internet connection. When brokers bind new policies in real time through the DBL Center website, those accounts link automatically to their personalized Broker Dashboard.

“The Broker Dashboard has become an essential tool during the pandemic, enabling brokers to continue to bind policies and manage accounts while they practice social distancing and work from home,” says DBL Center President Michael Cohen.

  1. DBL Center brokers receive customized Broker Dashboard reports of renewals, cancellations, and reinstated policies every two weeks, straight to their inbox. 

Reports are automatically emailed on the first and 15th of every month, enabling brokers to provide their customers with proactive service.

  1. DBL Center’s on-site chat feature makes it easy to reach a knowledgeable DBL Center rep to answer questions or write policies at any time.

Pandemic or not, DBL Center is standing by to answer questions related to PFL and DBL claims, statutory disability policies, and more. Start a chat at any time, from any page of the DBL Center website.

4. DBL Center has expanded its offerings from NY, NJ and Hawaii into Massachusetts as a result of new Paid Family Leave policies.

DBL Center’s home state of New York set the precedent for generous Paid Family Leave policies three years ago and DBL Center was at the forefront of helping brokers transition to DBL policies with PFL riders. Now, DBL Center can help Massachusetts brokers write Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage, too.

  1. DBL Center is a go-to source for ever-changing COVID-19 legislation as it relates to paid leave and disability benefits.

DBL Center recently launched a COVID-19 resource center for brokers writing DBL and PFL in New York.

“We were one of the first in our industry to report on the federal Families First Act and how it will affect insurance claims. We are working virtually round-the-clock to provide updated news and information as it happens,” Cohen says.

Coming soon, DBL Center will launch a pre-screening form to help brokers and business owners determine who is eligible for PFL in New York and who should be applying for aid through the Families First Act or filing for unemployment.

  1. DBL Center’s video series, Rep Roundtable, spotlights top insurance carriers discussing industry trends.

    Our highly regarded video series, the Rep Roundtable helps brokers and their customers get to know the people behind their insurance policies, follow emerging industry trends, and get ideas to ramp up business.
  2. DBL Center is a second-generation, family-owned business founded by David Cohen and now owned by his son Michael Cohen.

David Cohen started The DBL Center in 1976 based on a business model that followed the boutique hotels he loved to visit on vacations, delivering white-glove, concierge-level service to brokers in a way that was unprecedented at the time.

Michael Cohen took over as President and CEO after his father’s passing. David Cohen’s legacy lives on in the creativity, vibrancy, and innovation Michael Cohen brings to the company. DBL Center continues to deliver the same level of customer service as it always has, leveraging carrier relationships and cutting-edge technology to provide brokers with the lowest premiums available and the highest levels of service.

About The DBL Center Ltd.

Celebrating 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. The DBL Center specializes in Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) coverage in New York, Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) in New Jersey, and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii. The DBL Center also underwrites, manages and maintains Group Life/AD&D, vision, and dental packages, as well as individual life and income replacement policies, giving brokers and their customers the benefits of multi-line discounts and a single point-of-contact.

Through its dedication to personalized, concierge-level service, The DBL Center Ltd. remains true to its roots as a family- owned and operated, relationship-focused wholesale insurance agency.

InsuranceWholesaler.net is the company’s gateway to premium service, low insurance rates, and high commissions.

For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call (631) 293.5100 or connect with us on LinkedIn.


Federal “Families First Act” Should Relieve Pressure on PFL Claims Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

In an attempt to keep the economy moving and provide Americans with the financial relief they need during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal government has introduced the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act.”

Beginning April 2, this act provides emergency paid sick leave benefits to employees unable to work for a variety of reasons. Employees may be eligible for paid leave if they are unable to work because they are:

  • In quarantine or isolation as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and in quarantine
  • Caring for someone in quarantine or isolation as a result of COVID-19
  • Have children in schools or daycare that have closed because of the pandemic

Employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide two weeks’ worth of paid sick leave. Employers will receive tax credits to offset these costs, hopefully minimizing the financial impact on their business.

Employees are also entitled to up to 80 hours of paid sick time at 2/3 the regular rate of pay, and an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave if the employee is unable to work because they need to care for a child whose school or childcare provider is closed for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s important to note that this paid leave coverage is from the federal government and is not related to NYS PFL.

The legislation also ensures that employees do not have to use any other paid time off in lieu of federal paid leave benefits. Employers also cannot mandate that employees find replacement workers.

NYS PFL Claims in Light of Coronavirus Pandemic

Until April 2 when Families First goes into action, New York State has stepped in to help employees with COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave, compensated in many cases through New York State DBL and PFL benefits. To help employees stay afloat during this challenging time, the state has waived the five-day waiting period before PFL benefits kick in.

Employers with fewer than 10 workers and less than $1 million in annual net income will still rely on DBL and PFL benefits for their employees, paid concurrently for a combined $2,884.62.

Those with 10 or fewer employees but net revenue exceeding $1 million, or employers with 11 to 99 employees must provide workers with at least 5 days paid sick leave, not counting any PTO they have accrued in the past. After that, employees can make a concurrent PFL / DBL claim for paid leave from Day 6 onward.

Businesses with 100+ employees and public employers are fully responsible for full salary continuation for a minimum of 14 days.

PFL programs only pay out for the intended duration of the quarantine period, which is 14 days. However, if the employee has not exhausted their paid leave from New York State by April 2, those benefits will end regardless. Employees will have to file a federal claim to begin collecting benefits again, this time under the Families First Act. Benefits under the Families First Act apply to companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Stimulus for Business Owners During the Pandemic

It is not easy balancing the economic well-being of our nation with the health and safety of our residents. It’s a challenge many business owners grapple with, as well, during this trying time.

In addition to lowering the federal interest rate, the U.S. government has introduced – or is in the process of introducing — legislation that will help small and large businesses stay afloat while we fight the pandemic with social distancing and isolation.

Last week, the Federal Reserve introduced the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, a program that lends money to banks to purchase assets from money market funds. Lending will not affect bank capital requirements, according to finance site Investopedia.

The government also introduced the Term Asset-Backed Security Loan Facility (TALF), enabling the purchase of asset-backed securities backed by auto loans, student loans, and small business loans to unfreeze credit and help stabilize the economy throughout the pandemic and during the economic recovery period afterwards. These measures will run until September 30, 2020, unless they are extended at that time.

The Fed is also working on a Main Street Business Lending Program. We will reveal details as they become available.

Ultimately, avenues will be available to keep large and small businesses afloat and give them access to the funds they need through loans and tax credits. Here at DBL Center, we will do our best to keep you apprised of changing legislation as it pertains to our brokers and their customers.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and know that the DBL Center is here, as always, to serve as your back-office staff as we get through these trying times together – remotely.


DBL Center Prepares to Assist with Questions about Short Term Disability and Paid Leave During COVID-19 Pandemic

DBL Center helps its brokers support their clients through this difficult time

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, business owners and employees in New York and New Jersey have many questions about short-term disability and paid family leave coverage. DBL Center, the family-owned and operated wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory short-term disability benefits, is here to answer questions and supply its insurance brokers with the information they need to help business owners and benefits managers across the region.

Common Questions about Short Term Disability and COVID-19

In this tumultuous time, employers and employees may wonder:

  • Will short-term disability cover their absence from work if they are diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized or quarantined?
  • Can they make a disability claim if they have been placed under quarantine but have not tested positive for the virus?
  • Can they make a Paid Family Leave claim to stay home and care for school-age children?

DBL Center, its network of brokers, and its trusted carriers, are working hard to provide timely answers to these questions and many others.

To better serve their customers, DBL Center brokers can reach a knowledgeable DBL Center representative at any time, 24/7, through the company’s new chat feature on its website.

Coronavirus and Short-term Disability Policies: What You Need to Know

Right now, a coronavirus diagnosis or quarantine does not constitute automatic approval of a short-term disability claim in New York or New Jersey. Some policies from certain carriers, however, may carry quarantine provisions.

If an employee is sick and unable to work due to COVID-19, these claims will be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the severity and length of the illness. Some cases requiring hospitalization may qualify for short-term disability in New York and New Jersey.

Claims submitted with a diagnosis of coronavirus will be evaluated based on all applicable contract provisions. The insured will need to provide proof that they are under the care of a Health Care Provider that can certify the disability and that the employee is unable to perform their job duties either in the workplace or via remote access.

PFL and the Coronavirus

New York State PFL claims for paid time off to care for children over a year old who are home from school because their school closed may be denied. If a child is diagnosed with COVID-19, PFL claims would be determined on an individual basis, depending on the severity of the illness.

Working from Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In an attempt to flatten the curve and reduce the spread of the virus, we understand that many P&C brokers who manage disability policies will be working remotely. DBL Center is here to support these brokers online and by phone.

“Our brokers have the ability to Bind DBL policies UNDER 50 lives from any internet-enabled computer, whether at home or in the office in order to keep the economy moving,” says Michael S. Cohen, DBL Center President and CEO. “Our exclusive Broker Dashboard gives our brokers access to all their policies and preferred carriers from any internet-enabled device, as well. During these challenging times, we will do everything we can to help our brokers support the businesses they serve with the information they need. We feel it’s important for everyone to work together as we face this unprecedented situation.”

About The DBL Center Ltd.

Celebrating 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. The DBL Center specializes in Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and PFL (Paid Family Leave) coverage in New York, Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) in New Jersey, and Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) in Hawaii. The DBL Center also underwrites, manages and maintains Group Life/AD&D, vision, and dental packages, as well as individual life and income replacement policies, giving brokers and their customers the benefits of multi-line discounts and a single point-of-contact.

Through its dedication to personalized, concierge-level service, The DBL Center Ltd. remains true to its roots as a family- owned and operated, relationship-focused wholesale insurance agency.

InsuranceWholesaler.net is the company’s gateway to premium service, low insurance rates, and high commissions.

For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call (631) 293.5100 or connect with us on LinkedIn.