A Message from PIA's President
Several months ago, I gave you a brief snapshot of some changes that the leaders of PIA initiated in order to strengthen our association. Here is a brief, interim update on that work-in-progress.
On December 10, Ron Von Haden assumed his new position as Executive Vice President & CEO of PIA National. Ron believes passionately — as I do — in the value that PIA provides to its members. His commitment to growing PIA is unwavering.
Ron is well into the process of speaking with each individual affiliate executive. So far, the responses to PIA National’s new focus have all been positive. That focus is on bringing about the closer alignment of all stakeholders in PIA, to get everyone moving in the same direction.
One of our prime areas of focus is on growing membership. I have appointed a Membership Committee, chaired by Stan Logan, our National Director from Kentucky, with the charge to facilitate, assist and encourage cooperation among all PIA affiliates in their membership development and retention activities. Already, this committee has met several times, developing an action plan to serve as an instigator and catalyst for PIA membership growth across the nation.
All of this is happening as PIA National continues to deliver. Our committees are focusing their efforts on: terrorism insurance; providing guidance to members on cyber liability; crop insurance; monitoring implementation of flood insurance reforms; assisting PIA members and affiliates in handling the fallout from Superstorm Sandy; defending agents’ interests in the face of healthcare reform; advocating for common sense public policy on natural disasters; encouraging streamlined producer licensing; monitoring and providing information on electronic proof of insurance; opposing federal insurance regulation and defending state regulation; and working to reduce tax and regulatory burdens on small businesses.
Our engagement on issues critical to our members produces results. For example, PIA’s advocacy was instrumental in securing a five-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Following a two-year PIA campaign, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) unanimously passed a model certificates law that PIA helped shape and advocated. In just the past three months, this model certificates bill has seen action in seven state legislatures, including four where it has been introduced or is about to be introduced. And in part because of PIA’s lobbying efforts, the ability for consumers to continue to use their professional insurance agents under the Affordable Care Act was written into the law.
The PIA Partnership continues to produce valuable, at-the-desktop tools PIA agents can use to help their agencies succeed. Its latest tool, “Closing the Gap – Growth and Profit,” is designed to help agencies project and plan for new business growth and profitability. PIA’s longstanding close relationship with our carrier partners in the Partnership has resulted in an impressive array of research and products that continue to help PIA agents across the country achieve greater success. The award-winning PIA Branding Program continues to provide members with professional image advertising and marketing tools.
PIA has acted to undertake rate revisions in some states for our PIAPRO E&O product to make it more competitive, and we are redirecting marketing to place it under the direct control of PIA. Our arrangement with Agoragate helps PIA members position themselves as the “Local Insurance Hero” when people search the web for insurance.
PIA remains a major player in our industry. We have an excellent track record of success that continues to this day. We have considerable clout on Capitol Hill, with the NAIC, with state regulators and with state insurance legislators. Our image is strong. PIA has a well-developed, positive relationship with our carrier partners.
PIA is the best agents association, bar none. We deliver great value for the membership dollar. That’s why our commitment to growing membership in PIA is unwavering.
Andrew C. Harris