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PIA Affiliates Share Storm Experiences

PIA agents who are coping with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy recently shared their questions with PIA agents who survived Hurricane Katrina...
January 30, 2013

PIA agents who are coping with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy recently shared their questions with PIA agents who survived Hurricane Katrina. The conference call brought together agents from PIA of New Jersey and PIA of Louisiana. The agents from Louisiana imparted their hurricane and storm survival strategies promising that, while it will take time, agents can survive after a storm like Sandy.

The panel of Louisiana agents-turned-storm-experts included: PIA National Vice President and Treasurer Richard A. Clements, who also serves as PIA’s representative to the National Flood Insurance Program (NIFP) and the Flood Insurance Producers National Committee (FIPNC); PIA Louisiana past President John Faucheaux; and PIA National past President Robert P. Page. The panel was assembled with the help of PIA National Executive Vice President and CEO Ron Von Haden; PIA National President Andy Harris and PIANJ Executive Director Diane Fowler.

The storm veterans discussed with PIA directors what they learned after surviving a series of hurricanes in their state; how they overcame challenges and long-term considerations, as well as legal issues and market conditions New Jersey agents can anticipate. The group shared similarities in experiences to date, such as: a lack of communication, based on sheer volume, between carriers and insureds; challenges that come with an increased need for adjusters and inconsistencies among them that led to frustrations for insureds; and the benefit of a central source for information.

The Louisiana agents urged their New Jersey counterparts to make sure they participate in policymaking as much as possible. They said one way they were able to bring stability back to their area was by agents being extremely active with regard to legislative and regulatory reactions. They said agents were at every committee meeting and hearing, telling policymakers, “we don’t want to be Florida; we don’t want to drive the market out.”

The New Jersey agents asked about errors-and-omissions concerns. “Agents need to facilitate, advise, reassure, explain … this takes time, but empathize with your clients,” advised Clements. He noted that careful documentation and clear procedures are important.

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