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PIA's Pile, Brevik Address Maine Insurance Agents Association

Insurance agents' voices echo loudly when raised in the halls of power, including on Capitol Hill, where they carry great weight with a number of...
April 24, 2007

Insurance agents' voices echo loudly when raised in the halls of power, including on Capitol Hill, where they carry great weight with a number of  lawmakers, according to Len Brevik, executive vice president of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).  Brevik and PIA National President Donna Pile both addressed the annual convention of the PIA affiliate in Maine, the Maine Insurance Agents Association.

During the event in Portland, Maine, Brevik reported on the just-completed PIA Federal Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C. He played video excerpts of an interview he conducted with Maine's junior Senator Susan Collins (R), in which she called the proposed repeal of the 1945 McCarran-Ferguson Act, championed by Sens. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), "a backdoor approach to federal regulation," and endorsed extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA).

"I want to tell your members how much their voices matter on Capitol Hill," she told Brevik. Collins emphasized the potential political power of insurance agents and small businesses more generally, saying that their deep roots in their respective communities could be leveraged to advance their interests.

"Agents are the unsung heroes who step out every day, and they see the consequences of things like [Hurricane] Katrina," said Pile. "You, the agent, are the dream protector. We're not only serving our industry, we're serving our economy."

Despite negative publicity for the industry in the wake of scandals over the response to Hurricane Katrina and bid-rigging among major brokerages, agents have "a golden moment" to educate the public, legislators, and regulators on their role in distributing a product that Pile referred to as "a public good."

The insurance publication The Standard had an extensive article reporting on Brevik's and Pile's presentations, which we share with their kind permission.

Maine's Sen. Collins Advocates Agents' Political Positions (The Standard 4/12/07, PDF file)

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