Professional Insurance Agents Reflect on
Successful 2014 PIA Federal Legislative Summit
Healthcare Reform, TRIA, Flood Insurance, Regulation, Crop, Top Issues of Focus
WASHINGTON — Members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) got a warm welcome – and got their points across – in congressional visits during their recent Federal Legislative Summit (FLS). The agents converged on Capitol Hill March 26-27 for the annual advocacy event.
PIA agents engaged their representatives and senators in discussions about an array of issues that are important to Professional Insurance Agents.
“Our legislative summit was a tremendous success, with a large attendance by PIA agents,” said PIA National President John G. Lee. “We met with our lawmakers to review our different issues of concern with them, such as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), healthcare, insurance regulation, flood insurance and crop insurance.”
Lee said members of Congress were responsive, with many supporting the organization’s positions. As for the others, he said, “They may not vote our way all of the time, but at least we can sit in front of them and explain our position and hopefully persuade them to vote our way.”
Congress has just passed flood insurance legislation that provides needed rate relief. PIA successfully supported and advocated for the grandfathering and mitigation provisions that were included in the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013 (H.R. 3370). “Now we will work with Congress to craft long-term solutions for putting the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)—which PIA steadfastly supports—back on the road to fiscal stability in the coming years,” Lee said.
Personal contact with members of Congress by their local constituents is critical to advancing the interests of agents, according to PIA National President-elect Richard A. Clements. “We were able to thank them for their work on flood insurance reform and ask their help on renewing TRIA. We also stressed that we could be their resource on any insurance matter.”
“It’s a very humbling experience and our lawmakers were very receptive. Our Federal Legislative Summit is another way that Main Street insurance agents can influence legislation,” said PIA National Vice President/Treasurer Rob Hansen.
“It is an example of effective grassroots advocacy in practice,” said PIA National Government Affairs Committee Chairman Tim Russell. “Agents from around the country converge on the Capitol with a common goal: to protect and promote the independent agency system.”
The PIA summit was truly a family affair, with some of the agents bringing their spouses and children along on congressional visits. “It is very powerful when a PIA member is voicing our cause with their spouse and children standing in support,” said PIA National Secretary/Assistant Treasurer Gary Blackwell. “I believe this shows Congress that their decisions affect families, not just a group or industry.”
“Not everything is broken in Washington!” said PIA National Immediate Past President Andrew C. Harris. “The ability to meet with and discuss the major issues impacting our industry with the Representatives that make the laws is still alive and well, as evidenced by our meetings last week. Although the process is still cumbersome, we were able to advocate for our members and help forge our mission forward in Washington.”
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM. PIA’s web address is www.pianet.com.
This press release online at: http://pianet.com/news/press-releases/2014/agentsreflecton2014piafls040214