Another NFIP Extension

President Donald Trump has signed into law a measure that extends the National Flood Insurance Program, until December 21. The extension was contained in a larger appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives and Senate. The two-week extension is the latest in a series of short-term extensions of the program.

"We urge Congress to pass as long an extension as possible into 2019," said Jon Gentile, vice president of government relations of PIA. The Senate also passed S. 3628, a separate bill offered by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA), which would extend the NFIP for six months to May 31, 2019. That bill now goes to the House.

PIA Praises Passage of Farm Bill Including Crop Insurance

PIA praised Congress for reaching a bipartisan agreement and passing the Farm Bill, which preserves vital crop insurance provisions. The Senate passed the bill on December 11 by a vote of 87-13. The House followed suit on December 12, approving the bill by a vote of 369-47.

The fate of the Farm Bill, which includes jurisdiction over the federal crop insurance program, had been up in the air since the House and Senate entered into a conference committee in July.

"We are pleased that Congress was able to agree on a compromise, bipartisan Farm Bill that includes strong support for the federal crop insurance program," said Jon Gentile, PIA's Vice President of Government Relations. "The 2018 Farm Bill recognizes the need for a strong federal crop insurance program and the vital role that independent agents play in its delivery."

Marriott Data Hack One of Largest In History

Marriott International, one of the largest hotel chains in the world, revealed that its Starwood reservations database had been hacked and that up to 500 million guests could be affected. The data breach involved information mined from the reservations database for Starwood properties, which include Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis hotels, among others. An unauthorized party had accessed the database since 2014, company officials said. The breach included names, email addresses, passport numbers and payment information.

Marriott's breach is one of the biggest in history, second only to Yahoo's breaches in 2013 and 2014, which affected 3 billion user accounts.

The PIA Partnership has developed a cyber education resource to help independent agents understand cyber risks, so they can better protect their agencies and their clients' businesses. It is available free to all PIA members at:

A series of webinars are available, each focusing on a different area of cyber risk for agents and brokers.

Take the National Underwriter/PIA Agent Survey!

For the third year in a row, PIA has partnered with the National Underwriter and renowned research firm Flaspöhler to conduct the 2019 National Underwriter/PIA Independent Agent Survey. This is a follow-up to last year's very successful survey. It's a chance to make your voice heard!

Every major carrier will see key results from this study. Let's make sure they hear what PIA Agents have to say!


All PIA members who take the survey will be automatically entered in a drawing to win a free iPad!

This is your chance to tell carriers—and the entire insurance industry—exactly what you think!

Questions focus on what independent agents desire most from carriers; how they perceive the P&C market and changing distribution channels; how their commissions are structured; what their greatest technology challenges are; and what agents need to help grow their books of business.

As this is a statistical study, all of your individual responses are strictly confidential and will only be used in aggregate.

The results of this project will be shared in print and online in National Underwriter, on, and published in PIA Connection.

Please take a few minutes now to


Join the PIA Peers Facebook—Great Networking Tool!

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.