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PIA Agency Member in the News

Thanks to PIA Member Mark Harlan of Harlan Insurance Agency in Alexandria, for discussing issues related to high auto insurance rates in Louisiana. As we gear up for this year's legislative session, we expect high auto insurance rates to be a big issue for legislators to consider. During last year's Session, the Legislature passed HCR 47 and SCR 55, which formed the Louisiana High Auto Rates Task Force. PIA representative Lou Fey has met with the Task Force several times, and just recently the chairman, Kirk Talbot, who is also the Chair of the House Insurance Committee, met with industry lobbyists to discuss possible tort reform legislation. Be on the lookout for PIA's full Governmental Affairs Report outlining the bills we'll be watching and taking positions.

Upcoming Legislative Session

The PIA Governmental Affairs Committee will meet this coming Thursday, March 21 to begin looking at bills introduced for this coming Session. The Session will begin April 8 and end June 6. This is a fiscal legislative session, however, each legislator is able to submit up to 5 non-fiscal bills. A complete list of those bills we'll be watching and taking positions on will be emailed to you as well as posted on PIA of Louisiana's website at www.piaoflouisiana.com. Once again this year, we will be using social media and enlist your help in educating consumers about insurance issues, so please like and share these posts as we make them available.

Upcoming PIA Events
04/01/2019 -- PIA National Spring Meetings

04/02/2019 -- PIA National Federal Legislative Summit

04/02/2019 -- North Shore Chapter Meeting

04/03/2019 -- PIA National Federal Legislative Summit

04/04/2019 -- PIA National Spring Meetings

04/09/2019 -- N.O. Chapter Charity Golf Event
(Loft 18)

04/11/2019 -- BR Chapter Crawfish Boil @ 5:00 pm
(Lakeside Daiquiri & Grill)

04/11/2019 -- Northwest Chapter Crawfish Boil @ 5:00 pm
(Red River Brewing Company)

04/11/2019 -- PIA Northwest Crawfish Boil
(Red River Brewing Company)

04/16/2019 -- CPIA-2 Implement for Success
(Baton Rouge)

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall

Results Are in From the PIA/National Underwriter
Independent Agent Study

For the third year in a row, PIA has partnered with the National Underwriter/PC360 to conduct the 2019 National Underwriter/PIA Independent Agent Study. It is designed to provide insights into the commercial lines segment from the perspective of independent Property & Casualty insurance agents and brokers throughout the United States. The survey asked producers for their views on working with commercial carriers, their books of business and the challenges they face.

Results from the survey are published on PC360, in the March 2019 National Underwriter and in PIA Connection. Listed below for are links to see the survey results:

Results are in: The 2019 NU/PIA independent agent study
Part 1 of 3: Producers were asked about the business challenges they face and much more.

2019 Agent Study: Major business lines, sales goals and more
Part 2 of 3: As part of the 2019 NU/PIA Agent Study, we asked producers how satisfied they are with P&C commercial lines.

2019 Agent Study: Commissions, carrier strengths and more
Part 3 of 3: Insurance producers who responded to the 2019 NU/PIA Independent Agent Study seem satisfied overall with their carrier relationships.

In Depth:

National Underwriter print article:
Listening to Agents: results of the 2019 NU/PIA Independent Agent Study

On PIAnet.com:

PIA thanks the National Underwriter, ALM Media and Flaspöhler/NMG Consulting.

PIA Agents Win Early Victory in Draft NFIP Legislation

PIA National is optimistic about four draft bills that were recently released by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA). This draft package was released in advance of a March 13 hearing on NFIP reauthorization ["Preparing for the Storm: Reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program"]. PIA National submitted testimony for the hearing.

Each of the released bills pertains to one of four categories: mitigation, mapping, administrative reform, and a foundational bill that reauthorizes the program for five years, forgives the debt, and addresses affordability. The current authorization for the NFIP expires in May.

PIA National has advocated for several provisions included in this package, including a long-term reauthorization, increased investment in mapping and mitigation, the creation of a consumer appeals process of FEMA mapping decisions, and the inclusion of provisions to continue the program's move toward risk-based rates.

"Perhaps most important for independent agents is what PIA National has successfully prevented from being included in the draft package—a cut to the Write-Your-Own (WYO) reimbursement rate for insurers administering the NFIP," said Jon Gentile, vice president of government relations of PIA National.

A WYO rate cut could force the WYOs to pass that reduction on to agents through their commissions. In turn, that reduction in agent commissions would likely result in an exodus of qualified independent agents from the NFIP, which would devastate the program. PIA National has consistently been the only independent insurance agent association that opposes a WYO cut.

"While the release of Chairwoman Waters' draft package is only an initial step toward reauthorizing the NFIP, PIA National views the maintenance of the current WYO rate as an early victory for our unrelenting advocacy on this issue," Gentile added. "PIA National will remain vigilant on this issue throughout this process."

PIA National will also continue to encourage Chairwoman Waters to include other important provisions, such as H.R. 1666, the continuous coverage bill introduced earlier this week by Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), in a final NFIP reauthorization bill. A continuous coverage provision would allow consumers who could be left vulnerable if their policies are canceled in the middle of the policy year to go back to the NFIP and purchase a policy at the rate they previously had.

PIA National Opposes Insurance Sales Across State Lines

PIA has reaffirmed its long-standing opposition to proposals that would encourage insurance sales acrossn state lines. Such proposals constitute a clear threat to the successful state-based system of insurance regulation, which PIA supports.

PIA National is strongly opposed to an action taken that seeks to allow the sale of health insurance across state lines. Following President Trump's October 2017 executive order (EO #13813), directing federal agencies to consider ways to increase competition and choice in health care, the U.S. Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a 60-day request for comment on selling health insurance policies across state lines.

NAIC: Interstate Health Insurance Sales: Myth vs. Reality

PIA National is a steadfast supporter of continued supervision and regulation of insurance by the states as outlined by the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945, and opposes all proposals that would create a version of federal insurance regulation, in full or in part. Allowing the sale of insurance across state lines could strip the states of their authority over health insurance and undermine the regulatory structure set up by McCarran-Ferguson.

"In its notice, CMS seeks to dismiss these concerns, but we don't find their assurances credible," said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile. PIA National will submit comments within the 60-day window and strenuously oppose attempts to subvert state insurance regulation.

Thanks to Our 2019 PIA Partners:

Capital Premium Financing

Excalibur National Insurance Company

Gulf States Insurance Company

LUBA Workers' Comp

Markel FirstComp

SafePoint Insurance

SageSure Insurance Managers, LLC

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.

Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana
4021 W. E. Heck Ct., Building K • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816
(800) 349-3434 • (225) 766-7770 • (225) 766-1601 (fax)