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Your Friends are Saving You a Seat!

Platinum Level The PIA PartnershipAIG Agency Auto Silver Level Central Insurance CompaniesThe Hartford A perfect example of grassroots in action occurred on April 6,...
February 18, 2007

Be a Part of the 25th Annual PIA Federal Legislative Summit

PIA wishes to thank the Platinum
and Silver level sponsors of the
2007 PIA Federal Legislative Summit

Platinum Level

The PIA Partnership
AIG Agency Auto

Silver Level

Central Insurance Companies
The Hartford

A perfect example of grassroots in action occurred on April 6, 2006.  One day after Senators John Sununu (R-NH) and Tim Johnson (D-SD) introduced The National Insurance Act of 2006, PIA had over 150 professional independent insurance agents on Capitol Hill as part of the annual PIA Federal Legislative Summit to explain to Members of Congress exactly why they should oppose this legislation, and any other like it, creating a federal charter for insurance.

That is what it means to be part of a national organization - banding together to make your thoughts known to better educate and persuade decision makers on every level.  Banding together especially in times when legislation could threaten the very way you serve your customers each day. 

You have the opportunity to be a part of this grassroots advocacy when you join your fellow PIA members March 28-29 for the 2007 PIA Federal Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. PIA members from around the country will meet with their elected representatives to tell them firsthand how legislation they are contemplating affects independent insurance agents.

The summit begins March 28 with an orientation session followed by an in-depth legislative briefing and Q&A session conducted by PIA government affairs and congressional staffers, held at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, PIA's headquarters hotel.

The following morning, March 29, participants will gather at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill for a breakfast program featuring remarks by PIA leaders and briefings by Members of Congress. 
 
A highlight of this year's legislative summit will be the keynote address from veteran journalist Morton M. Kondracke during the kickoff breakfast. Kondracke is a regular commentator for the Fox News Channel, where he serves as co-host of the weekly political show, The Beltway Boys and is a nightly "all stars" panelist on Special Report with Brit Hume. He is the executive editor and columnist for Roll Call, Capitol Hill's feisty independent newspaper.

PIA members will spend a full day of scheduled meetings with lawmakers in their offices. At day's end, FLS participants can enjoy a reception for all Summit attendees to recap the day and share stories from their visits.  The reception will be followed by the annual fundraising and awards dinner of the PIA Political Action Committee (PIAPAC).

25 Reasons to Attend the 25th Annual PIA Federal Legislative Summit

1. No one shares the views of independent agents better than a PIA member
2. It's your duty
3. The cherry blossoms will be in bloom!
4. Visit America's Hometown
5. Show Members of Congress that you pay attention at home and in Washington
6. Help extend TRIA!
7. The 64 New Members of Congress need to hear the message of PIA members
8. Address Natural Catastrophe issues
9. Bring Main Street to Capitol Hill
10. Discuss positive reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program
11. Tell legislators that the federalization of insurance is bad business
12. Meet PIA members from around the country
13. Attend the Young Insurance Professionals event
14. Hear from veteran journalist Morton Kondracke
15. Acknowledge PIAPAC leaders at the PIAPAC Dinner
16. Build on the success of the past 24 years!
17. Walk the hallowed halls of Congress
18. Join forces with other PIA members to make our voice heard
19. Learn more about issues of importance from government affairs staff
20. Hone your lobbying skills with presentations from Capitol Hill staff and members
21. Visit the Smithsonian Museums
22. Meet PIA National Leadership and Staff
23. Receive the ever-popular Congressional Guide
24. Ride the Metro
25. Make this year's FLS a great start for the next 25 years!

Issues of Importance

As with last year's PIA Federal Legislative Summit, much of the focus in this year's legislative visits is expected to be 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.

"We are now in the second year of a strategic campaign being run by big banks and large securities firms in which they are attempting to convince members of Congress that our state-based system of insurance regulation is broken," said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. "There's just one problem - it's not broken."

"The big banks and large securities firms are seeking to transfer insurance regulation from the states to the federal government for their own economic benefit," Brevik said. "The Main Street agents of PIA believe that state insurance regulation has worked well and continues to effectively serve the needs of insurance consumers and local communities, as it has for more than 200 years. PIA agents will be telling their members of Congress that they oppose an optional federal charter and support modernization of the state system at the state level."

PIA members will also advocate for the creation of a national natural catastrophe plan that supports the availability, affordability and stability of property insurance in catastrophe prone areas, as well as the economic viability of local communities.

"PIA members and their clients in the Gulf Coast states are continuing to deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said PIA National President-elect Robert Page of Houma, Louisiana. "We are coping with a crisis in insurance availability and affordability. That's why we need to create a comprehensive natural catastrophe plan that is national in scope. We got lucky with no bad storms in 2006. We need to get ready for the next disaster while we have the chance."

PIA National President Donna Pile sums it up best when she said, "The makeup of Congress has changed but PIA's positions on key insurance issues remain the same. PIA is adamantly opposed to all proposals for optional federal charters for insurance. PIA strongly supports a permanent solution to insuring for terrorism risks that extends and builds upon the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). And PIA remains dedicated to identifying positive solutions to insuring for natural catastrophes and flooding disasters."

Reserve Your Seat Now!

Joining your friends at the 2007 PIA Federal Legislative Summit is easy.  Simply go to PIA National's website www.PIANET.com/grassroots/FLS to find more information and register for the FLS.  If you have questions about the Federal Legislative Summit, contact Kellie Bray, Assistant Vice President of Federal Affairs at kelliebr@pianet.org or 703-518-1364.

PIA Connection

This article originally appeared in the Februuary 2007 PIA Connection.