PIA Partners With InsureZone to Launch
PIA Market Access Program
to learn more about PIA Market Access during a
free webinar on July 11 at 3:00 PM ET.
PIA is proud to announce a partnership with InsureZone, Inc., based in Fort Worth,
Texas. Through PIA's partnership with InsureZone, PIA members will be able to access
over 50 national and specialty carriers plus real-time, online rating for personal
and commercial lines.
PIA Market Access, available at
, is a wholesale market access program
that will help PIA members access personal and commercial lines markets from a number
of admitted "A" or better-rated companies. Agents submitting applications through the
platform can receive quotes from most of these companies through a technologically
advanced personal and commercial lines rater.
"PIA Market Access can help those agents who may have difficulty obtaining carrier
appointments while initially growing their book of business gain access by utilizing
InsureZone's contracts," said PIA National President Timothy Russell, CPCU, of
Southport, Connecticut. "Not only will agents in this program retain ownership of
their book of business, but if they should choose to leave, there are no exit fees.
A win-win for agents everywhere."
PIA Urges Senate to Act on NFIP Reauthorization
Congress should move quickly on legislation to provide a long-term reauthorization
of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), urged PIA in a
letter to Senate leadership
. "We encourage the Senate to act
soon on legislation, rather than risk the program lapsing after its July 31 deadline
in the middle of hurricane season. Any reauthorization of the NFIP should contain
improvements to the program but take care not to include provisions that would have
unintended negative consequences." PIA noted it opposes any provision that would cut
the Write-Your-Own (WYO) reimbursement rate without a strong protection for agent
FEMA Stretched Thin at Start of Hurricane Season
Reservists at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) account for about half
of the agency's disaster-response personnel. They are dispatched as needed to help
recovery efforts following natural disasters. In the wake of Hurricane Irma, however,
about 500 reservists ignored FEMA's deployment request, according to FEMA officials.
Reservists are allowed to turn down up to three assignments each year, meaning FEMA
cannot count on a full reserve force during peak periods. With the 2018 hurricane
season already underway, FEMA is scrambling to hire more people who are willing to
depart at a moment's notice for assignments that can last months at a time.
Internal documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request
the agency's disaster-response force is understaffed by
. Staffing shortages often compel FEMA to shift personnel from one
disaster to the next and, in some cases, rely on workers who do not know how to do
the job effectively, according to interviews with 15 current and former FEMA workers.
Some local officials say the agency's mission of bringing federal aid where it is
needed is hampered by its constant turnover.
Join the PIA Peers Facebook — Great
The PIA Peers Facebook group is for members of the National Association of
Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and their affiliated state associations.
This agent-to-agent group was created for PIA members to discuss topics and
challenges they are confronted with on a daily basis such as challenges with
the market, technology, social media usage, agency marketing, and more; off-topic
discussions are discouraged and are subject to removal. The information in this
group is not intended to serve as legal, accounting, financial, insurance,
investment advisory or other professional advice. Contact the page administrator
for more information.
IDR Survey: Agent Use of Digital Advances
Independent insurance agents have made important advances in awareness and
use of digital technologies in the last two years, according to the Insurance
Digital Revolution's (IDR)
Insurance Digital Transformation Survey
Today, the majority of agents, 95 percent, say that digital technologies are
important or very important to their success, a substantial increase from the
58 percent who responded similarly in 2016.
"Insurance is a complex product and the majority of customers want a relationship
with their insurance professional, helping them through the process and handling
their unique needs," said Mike Becker, CEO of PIA National. "This is where
independent agents still hold the advantage over other options, like insurtechs
and direct writers. But agents can't stand still. They need to embrace digital
tools that will enhance that relationship."
"The results of the survey are encouraging. But there is still work to be
done," Becker said.
Additional findings include:
PIA is a founding member of IDR
want more carrier support including commercial lines
download, e-signature and better customer-facing solutions
- 95% say that digital technologies are important or very important
- In the past two years, the percentage of agents utilizing e-signature,
quoting on web sites, customer facing portals has increased
- Only four percent of agents said carriers' customer facing technology
- Only 37% of agencies have a written security plan or hold cybersecurity
training. Despite the lack of protection 55% rate their cybersecurity protection
as good or excellent.
, together with Associations & User Groups
Information Exchange (AUGIE) and Agents Council for Technology (ACT). IDR is an
industry advocacy and communications initiative to accelerate adoption of digital
technologies that enable independent insurance agents to improve customer
satisfaction, grow business, and increase profitability.