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PIA Members Lobby Congress at Federal Legislative Summit, Meet Senior Officials at White House

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2007 - Hundreds of members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents descended on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C....
March 31, 2007

Main Street Agents Advocate Against Federal Regulation

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2007  - Hundreds of members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents descended on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. March 28 and 29, 2007 for their 25th annual Federal Legislative Summit. PIA members met with their Representatives and Senators and participated in a White House briefing.

"We had very focused messages to deliver," said PIA National President Donna L. Pile. "We told them PIA is steadfast in its support for state regulation of insurance and in opposition to all proposals for federal regulation of insurance. We also expressed our strong support for extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA)."

During the official kickoff for the summit, Fox News commentator Morton Kondracke delivered the keynote address and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) expressed support for PIA's positions on key issues in a televised interview with PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik.

Much of the focus during this year's legislative visits was on PIA's opposition to proposals for a federal takeover of insurance regulation. Already, bills have been introduced calling for optional federal charters for insurers and significant alteration of the insurance industry's limited antitrust exemption under the McCarran-Ferguson Act - proposals PIA opposes.

For the second year in a row, PIA members met with Sen. John Sununu (R-New Hampshire), who plans to reintroduce a bill calling for optional federal charters for insurers.

"Sen. Sununu's support of optional federal charters hasn't changed a bit since last year, and PIA told him our opposition to his proposal also has not changed," said PIA Regulatory Affairs Committee Chairman Don Flanders, who is a Republican state legislator from New Hampshire. "We had a meeting of the minds, but we didn't change each other's minds."

PIA members from New York met with Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) while PIA members from Mississippi met with Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.).

PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik noted during an address to conference participants that PIA is in the midst of a nationwide grassroots campaign targeting the endorsement of optional federal charters by a commission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "PIA is disappointed that this body of the national U.S. Chamber has taken a position on optional federal charters that we believe is clearly not in the best interest of agents, taxpayers or insurance consumers," Brevik said. PIA National President Donna Pile added, "I can't believe the Chamber of Commerce would support the creation of a new federal bureaucracy and I hope they ultimately decide not to endorse the position of their commission."

PIA leaders also met with senior Administration officials at the White House on March 29 for an extensive discussion of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). PIA members from Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida shared their perspectives on post-catastrophe insurance challenges with the Administration officials.

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.