Industry News

  • Find the Flood Insurance Leads You Need

    January 3, 2018 can help you convert your clients and prospects into flood insurance clients. PIA has an exclusive partnership with, a unique service that makes it easy for your clients and prospects to learn about their flood risks and how much an NFIP policy will cost them—right on your agency’s website.

    On Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, PIA is holding a FREE WEBINAR so you can learn all about and what it can do for your agency’s growth potential. Evan Spindelman, president, will show you the website interface and illustrate how easy it is to use. The webinar will conclude with an open Q&A session.

    Space is limited, so register today.

    Can’t wait for the webinar? Learn more now.

    As part of PIA’s ongoing partnership with, we are proud to provide PIA members with December’s newsletter, a monthly newsletter produced by for flood insurance agents.

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  • Holiday Light and Fire Safety Tips

    December 5, 2017

    Just in time for the holidays, The PIA Branding Program has released a holiday light and fire safety-focused consumer-friendly issue paper with safety information for your clients.

    This one-page paper features key information your clients should know to help them stay safe this holiday season. Each paper is available in multiple formats (1) ready-to-send with PIA logo and branding, (2) customizable so that it can be personalized by PIA members with their photo/logo and contact information, and (3) new papers include an infographic for social media. Social media copy is also provided for each paper.

    Log on here and download yours! Start sharing this content with your clients today or utilize the text on your agency's website, email, or blog. Happy holidays!

    The PIA Branding Program provides a collection of free advertising and marketing materials PIA members can customize and use in their local market and beyond.

    Funding for the PIA Branding Program is provided in part by PIA’s Pinnacle Partners: Bankers Insurance Group, Encompass Insurance, Erie Insurance, Nationwide Independent, Progressive Insurance, State Auto Insurance Companies, The Motorists Insurance Group, and Wright Flood.

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  • PIA Statement on Passage of House Flood Legislation

    November 14, 2017

    WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has issued the following statement on the House’s passage of H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act:

    PIA opposed the bill over the provision that cuts the Write-Your-Own (WYO) reimbursement rate paid to insurance companies that participate in the NFIP by 3 percentage points. The WYO reimbursement rate is the vehicle by which agents receive their commissions for selling NFIP policies. Many WYO carriers have stated that, for them to remain in the program, they will pass on the cut to agents through their commissions.

    PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile said:

    “H.R. 2874 includes some important reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), such as revamping mapping and mitigation programs and including a mechanism for consumers and communities to appeal FEMA decisions. Notably, PIA is pleased with the inclusion of language to incentivize the growth of the private flood market, which we strongly support.

    “Despite these positive aspects, PIA opposes H.R. 2874 because it contains a provision that will hurt consumers, agents, and the program itself going forward.

    “One of the goals of reforming the NFIP is to increase sales of policies, especially preferred risk policies, to put the program on a firmer financial footing. Reducing agent compensation undermines that goal by applying a disincentive for agents to increase sales. Such a cut will force agents who currently sell flood insurance to leave the program, because it will become prohibitively expensive for agents to continue to sell flood insurance, and it will discourage new agents from entering the NFIP policy market.

    “PIA will continue to work with Congress to provide a strong and robust protection for agent compensation, so consumers will have the expertise they need to navigate the NFIP, and the program itself can achieve the increased level of participation it requires to be financially strong.”

    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

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  • Past PIA National President Nick Verreos Dies

    November 14, 2017

    Nick A. Verreos, a past president of PIA National (1986), passed away on September 22, 2017. Verreos started the Verreos Insurance Agency in 1956 from scratch with a storefront office in San Francisco’s Mission District. Retiring after 53 years, the agency, now in Brisbane, California, is in its 61st year.
    “Nick was a very dynamic member, national director and PIA National President,” said Patricia A. Borowski, PIA National senior vice president emeritus. “He loved life, his wife, Adrian, and he loved PIA. He was so proud of what PIA meant and did for the individual PIA agency owner, and the positive impact PIA made to improving the industry.”

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  • PIA Praises NFIP Relief in Disaster Bill

    October 31, 2017

    President Donald Trump signed into law a $36.5 billion disaster aid bill that contains $16 billion in debt forgiveness for the National Flood Insurance Program. The relief package, which includes funds for recovery from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, was approved by the House on October 12. The package, H.R. 2266, was passed in the Senate on October 24.

    PIA issued a statement praising the NFIP debt forgiveness, which will allow the NFIP to continue to pay claims, as it had already reached its borrowing limit. PIA is continuing to work with Congress to provide a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP that recognizes the vital role independent insurance agents play in delivering the program to policyholders. Authorization for the flood insurance program is currently set to expire on December 8.

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  • Insurance Can Take the Scream Out of Halloween

    October 31, 2017


    Halloween can be a fright when trick-or-treaters flock to your property. But taking reasonable steps to safeguard your home and having the right homeowners’ or renters’ insurance makes it easier to get into the spirit of things, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

    READ: Share PIA’s Halloween Safety Tips with Your Clients

    Your homeowners’ or renters’ policy provides financial protection for a number of disasters, whether they occur on Halloween or any other day of the year, but homeowners should take reasonable steps to prevent injury or property damage, as well as confirm that they have the right type of insurance.

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  • PIA National, National Underwriter and Flasp?hler Research to present the 2018 Independent Agent Survey

    October 11, 2017

    Survey will provide unprecedented insight into agents’ needs.

    Following the success of 2017’s Independent Agent Survey, National Underwriter Property & Casualty, in cooperation with the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and Flaspöhler Research, will continue that partnership with a new survey.

    Findings from the 2018 National Underwriter/PIA Independent Agent Survey will provide deep, revealing insight into the challenges, needs, and demographics of independent Property & Casualty insurance agents across the U.S.

    Renowned intelligence firm Flaspöhler, with which National Underwriter has enjoyed a decade-long editorial relationship, has long conducted an annual study of agents on behalf of key P&C carriers, which use the results to help them best meet agent needs. Beginning this week, the expanded 2018 questionnaire — crafted by Flaspöhler, PIA, NU and P&C carriers — is being distributed to NU’s proprietary lists of independent agents nationwide as well as PIA’s national membership.

    The results of this project will be shared in print and online as a data-rich cover feature of charts, graphs and editorial analysis in National Underwriter’s February print edition, as well as on and in PIA’s member magazine, PIA Connection.

    “We are proud to once again conduct this survey that is regarded as an authoritative benchmark and empowers independent agents to share with the entire P&C industry exactly what’s on their minds,” said Shawn Moynihan, National Underwriter’s Editor-in-Chief. “Our alliance with PIA in this effort will help us all gain broader perspective on the needs of the people who sell P&C products every day, and will help inform our editorial coverage going forward as we continue to serve them.”

    “PIA is pleased to once again partner with National Underwriter and Flaspöhler in this groundbreaking survey, the size and scope of which provides our industry with the most comprehensive and accurate picture of what professional independent insurance agents need to best serve their P&C clients,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “Independent agents are the preferred distribution system for P&C products. Results of this survey will help them stay on top.”

    Independent agents can look for the e-mail invitation to the survey link beginning this week.

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  • NCOIL Tribute to the Late Don Flanders

    October 11, 2017

    Don Flanders

    The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) offered a tribute to PIA of New Hampshire National Director Donald “Don” Flanders, 82, who passed away on September 28, 2017. A member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives since 2000, Flanders was also a member of NCOIL representing PIA since 2003. In the most recent NCOIL Newsletter, NCOIL Leadership shared thoughts on the occasion of Don’s passing.

    “Don was a diligent legislator who served multiple roles at NCOIL, including Vice Chair of the Audit Committee and multiple policy committees,” said Kentucky State Rep. Steve Riggs, NCOIL President. “He brought the insurance policy perspective from his state and we will miss him greatly.”

    “Don was an astute gentleman and at the core of NCOIL for a very long time, and will be missed on both sides of the Connecticut river,” said Vermont State Rep. Bill Botzow, NCOIL Secretary.

    “Rep. Flanders was a leader among the ranks of the nation’s insurance legislators, and he will be sorely missed,” said Commissioner Tom Considine, NCOIL CEO. “Additionally, Don was a man who ranked family as his top priority, something we at NCOIL respected tremendously. Our then-President asked Don to take on a more formal, permanent leadership role last year, but Don passed because he did not want to miss more time from his family. He was a good man who did great things.”

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  • Longtime PIA Leader Don Flanders Dies

    October 4, 2017

    Don Flanders

    Longtime PIA of New Hampshire National Director Donald “Don” Haven Flanders, 82, passed away on Thursday, September 28, 2017, surrounded by his loving family.

    Don joined PIA (then the National Association of Mutual Insurance Agents – NAMIA) in 1960, shortly after he graduated from Bentley College with a degree in accounting and started his insurance career at the Byse Agency in 1952. Don became owner of the Byse Agency Inc. of Laconia in 1976 and served as chairman of its board until his passing. He held the CIC, CPCU and CPIA designations.

    Active as a PIA volunteer for well over half a century, he held nearly every volunteer position in the association. Don was a Board member of PIA National from 1988 until his passing, serving with distinction in numerous positions of responsibility.

    A member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives since 2000, he was also a member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) from 2003, and served on both until his death. He was also a member of the New Hampshire Reinsurance Facility board and a member of New Hampshire Auto Assigned Risk Plan board, both from 1982 until his passing.

    Don was an active PIA Board member until his death, most recently representing PIA of New Hampshire during the recent PIA National Board and committee meetings in Minneapolis, Minnesota Sept. 13-16, 2017.

    “Don was a genuine gentleman,” said PIA National President-elect Keith Savino. “I am honored to have been able to work with him on a national level for about 15 years. PIA was only one portion of the life of a very giving man. His presence was always welcome, his opinions professional and respected. He was someone to admire, a truly great man.”

    “My heart aches to hear this news,” said past PIA National President Donna Pile. “Don was such an integral part of PIA when I was serving. Blessings to his family as he passes the torch to the next generation. He will be well remembered in our hearts at PIA.”

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  • PIA?s Keith Savino Receives AUGIE Award

    September 27, 2017


    PIA National incoming President-elect and insurance technology leader Keith Savino has received an award from AUGIE, the Associations & User Groups Information Exchange. Savino, along with former ACORD board member Andy Fogarty, were both were recognized for their efforts in the creation of AUGIE many years ago, and their uninterrupted support of the industry group.

    The award was presented by Jim Armitage current chair of AUGIE, and Mike Skeele current vice chair (and Past PIA of New York President).

    Savino is a current AUGIE Executive Council Board Member, representing PIA National. PIA has been an active participant in this important industry group since its inception, and is the driver of the Buy Button campaign, which AUGIE supports.

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  • The Hartford Is Here to Help

    September 27, 2017

    As part of PIA’s ongoing partnership with The Hartford’s flood insurance program, we are proud to provide PIA members with the latest Flood Agent eNewsletter produced by The Hartford for its flood insurance agents.

    In addition to The Hartford’s eNewsletters, PIA members visiting PIA’s Flood Insurance Marketing Support Center can download flyers to help their personal lines and commercial lines clients prepare for floods, deal with the aftermath of flooding, prepare for a visit by an adjuster and better understand the NFIP remapping process.

    PIA thanks The Hartford for making these excellent materials available to all PIA members, regardless of their participation in PIA’s flood insurance program with The Hartford.

    PIA members who want to earn great flood insurance commissions while working with a top-flight Write-Your-Own flood insurance company should consider the PIA/Hartford flood insurance program. To learn more visit or contact Joseph M. Surowiecki, Jr. of The Hartford at 860-547-5006 or

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  • Auto-Owners Named PIA 2017 Company of the Year

    September 20, 2017

    Auto-Owners and Gary

    PIA has named Auto-Owners Insurance Company as the recipient of its prestigious 2017 Company Award of Excellence. The presentation was made on September 15, 2017 at a gala ceremony held in conjunction with PIA’s Board of Directors meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    “Auto-Owners is highly deserving of this, our association’s highest company honor,” said PIA National President Gary Blackwell, in presenting the award. “For independent agents, Auto-Owners is a true partner. Many of us have placed Auto-Owners Insurance high among the carriers we represent. There are many good reasons for this: Financial strength and stability. Excellent service. Superior products. Unparalleled quality. And ease of doing business.”

    The PIA National Company Award of Excellence honors a company for its commitment to PIA, to the American Agency System and to furthering the interests of professional insurance agents by creating a better business environment.

    “We are honored and humbly accept this award on behalf of the associates of Auto-Owners that make such awards possible,” said Chairman & CEO Jeff Harrold, who along with Mary Pierce, senior vice president, marketing & sales, was on hand for the presentation.

    “In our 101-year history, we have marketed exclusively through the independent agency system and see no reason to change. Like the PIA, whose focus is on enhancing the capabilities and skills of their members, we have found the better we serve our agents, the mutually stronger we become.”

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  • Protect Your Agency with PIA Cyber Insurance

    September 20, 2017

    Many small business owners may not think they need cyber liability coverage, but small businesses are extremely vulnerable to security threats. That’s why PIA is excited to announce a cyber insurance program that responds to the most common threats facing small and mid-sized businesses.

    After evaluating carriers, PIA partnered with ABA Insurance Services and selected Great American E&S Insurance Company (rated A+ by A.M. Best) as the premier carrier for the PIA cyber insurance program.

    The policy covers risks such as social engineering, funds transfer fraud, ransomware, network interruption, data breach, network security, and media liability. Coverage is now available to agents through their local PIA affiliate producers using a simplified, slot-rated quoting process. The policy premium is significantly discounted from those rates found in the standard market and includes enhancements not typically offered by competitors.

    Later in the fall, PIA members will be able to sell the coverage to their clients as well.

    To learn more about cyber insurance coverage contact your local PIA Affiliate or if you are an agent in CO, DE, IL, MA, OK, PA, RI, SD, WV or Guam click here.

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  • Congress Votes Short Term Extension of NFIP; PIA Statement

    September 11, 2017

    On Friday Sept. 8, the U.S. House followed action the previous day by the Senate, approving a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The temporary extension of the NFIP—which was to expire on Sept. 30—was part of a deal brokered by President Trump that included a three-month agreement to fund the federal government and lift the debt ceiling until Dec. 8, along with a $15.3 billion hurricane aid package.

    After the House vote, PIA issued a statement praising the NFIP extension.

    “We view this short-term extension as a chance for Congress to provide taxpayers with the financial stability such a program requires by passing an essential long-term reauthorization of the NFIP. It has become apparent during this historic hurricane season that far too few homeowners have flood insurance, a situation that must be changed,” said PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile.

    Our statement also noted PIA remains opposed to a flood legislative package that passed out of the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year, because it would lower the reimbursement rate paid to NFIP carriers, who reimburse independent agents who sell the policies from that rate.

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  • PIA Announces Disaster Fund to Assist Texas Victims of Hurricane Harvey

    August 31, 2017

    WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) is raising funds to provide relief grants to Main Street business owners who were adversely impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

    The PIA Disaster Relief Fund, a project of the PIA Insurance Foundation, is soliciting charitable donations to provide relief grants to Main Street businesses that may be facing gaps in the insurance coverages or other assistance available to them. Grants are available in areas of Texas covered by Federal or state declarations of disaster related to the flooding events that resulted from Hurricane Harvey.

    “We are witnessing one of our nation’s most devastating natural catastrophes,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “PIA of Texas members are already doing what independent agents do—helping their clients in a time of need.”  Becker said PIA has a long history of providing charitable disaster assistance to Main Street business owners.

    “When disasters strike, PIA members are there to help,” Becker said. “The PIA Insurance Foundation is proud to do its part to help people in Texas recover from these floods. Our hearts go out to the people of Texas in this trying time.”

    To Donate to the PIA Relief Fund:

    To Apply for a PIA Relief Grant:

    For questions, information, or additional donation methods, please email:

    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

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  • Show Everyone You Are a PIA Member!

    August 23, 2017

    When it comes to marketing you and your business make sure you place the PIA member logo on all of your business materials—website, business cards, letterhead, signage, promotional materials, etc.

    Show your clients you’ve taken the initiative to join an organization that will help educate and guide you in all of your insurance journeys.

    There is no cost to use the logo and they may be reproduced by all current PIA members as permitted and specified in the guidelines for using PIA logos. Download yours today.

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  • NAIC Urges Renewal of NFIP

    August 1, 2017


    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issued a letter to Senate Banking Committee and House Finance Committee leadership urging lawmakers to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before its expiration. “The NAIC stands ready to work with Congress to support a long-term reauthorization,” said NAIC CEO Mike Consedine.

    READ: PIA Supports NFIP Reauthorization

    The NAIC also issued support for the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (S. 563), which would allow states to remove private flood insurance restrictions, helping insurers to provide coverage that would serve as a market alternative to the NFIP. The bill would allow states to remove private flood insurance restrictions, helping insurers to provide coverage that would serve as a market alternative to the NFIP.

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  • Last Chance to Make a PIA Award Nomination

    July 25, 2017

    You still have a few days left to submit a nomination for a fall PIA National award!

    The deadline to make a nomination for one of the PIA National Fall Awards has been extended to Thursday July 27, 2017.

    Nominations for the Company Award of Excellence, Managing General Agency of the Year and Excellence in Social Media* awards may be submitted by individual PIA member agents, as well as PIA state and regional affiliate associations. Nominations for the Company Representative of the Year are made solely by PIA state and regional associations. National-only members may submit nominations for the Company Representative of the Year award.

    All four awards will be presented during a luncheon ceremony on September 15, 2017, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, held in conjunction with PIA’s 2017 Fall Governance Meetings.

    Nomination forms are available at /awards For questions or additional information on the awards, contact Sade Hale at or (703) 518-1350.

    (*) Agencies may nominate themselves for a Social Media award.

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  • Across State Lines: Myth vs. Reality

    July 25, 2017

    Recently, President Donald Trump said that by allowing insurers to sell health plans across state lines, “your premiums will be down 60 and 70 percent.” The president made the claim during remarks before a luncheon on July 19 with Republican senators to talk about legislative efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    In a “myth vs. reality” fact sheet, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) said the idea that cross-state sales would bring about lower premiums was a “myth.” It said the reality is: “Interstate sales will start a race to the bottom by allowing companies to choose their regulator,” allowing insurers to target the healthiest consumers. “While those individuals in pristine health may be able to find cheaper policies, everyone else would face steep premium hikes if they can find coverage at all,” the NAIC wrote.

    PIA opposes allowing health insurance sales across state lines, because doing so would strip states of their regulatory authority over insurance and undermine the foundation on which state regulation of insurance is based. “All insurance is local,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker. “This is especially true of health insurance … permitting the designation of any one state as regulator for all states would, in essence, impose a one-size-fits-all solution dictated by Washington, D.C.—which, ironically, has been one of the main criticisms of the ACA.”

    READ: Small Businesses Split Over Republican Health Plans

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  • Prepare for a More Active Hurricane Season

    July 18, 2017

    With the increase in hurricanes expected this season, experts say small business owners and property owners need to assess how well they are prepared for losses from major storms. Colorado State University forecasters have increased their predictions for this hurricane season to include 15 named storms, eight of which will become hurricanes.

    READ: Forecasters Revise Hurricane Predictions Upward

    To prepare, small business owners and property owners should ensure they have adequate insurance coverage and employ tactics to protect offices, homes, factories, and warehouses from wind, rain, and flooding. Business owners also should keep company information secure and protect employees. In addition, being prepared means a contingency plan is in place for running a business if its premises are destroyed or inaccessible, say experts.


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