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PIA Victory! Wall Street Journal Issues Correction Requested by PIA

The Wall Street Journal has removed the misrepresentations about independent insurance agents in its Personal Finance article about buying homeowners insurance and issued corrections, admitting...
April 26, 2011

The Wall Street Journal has removed the misrepresentations about independent insurance agents in its Personal Finance article about buying homeowners insurance and issued corrections, admitting they were wrong. These were the corrections requested by PIA National President Fred Thomas in his April 13 letter to the WSJ. The publication admitted that the earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that independent insurance agents' prices will be higher than direct writers or captive agents; and made other key corrections.

Here is the correction by the WSJ:

Correction: An earlier version of this article made incorrect and unsupported characterizations of the three categories of sellers of home insurance: direct sellers, captive agents (who were incorrectly identified as "sponsored agents") and independent insurance agents. The earlier version made an unsupported claim that direct sellers are very selective about who can sign up, and it incorrectly implied that direct sellers are the only sellers that may disqualify applicants based on where the they live or some other aspect of the application. The earlier version also made the incorrect claim that sponsored agents are often better than independent agents because they can be more inclusive about who gets covered. Finally, the earlier version incorrectly said that independent insurance agents' prices will be higher than direct sellers or sponsored agents.

Here is the WSJ's edited version of its original article, with its correction at the bottom.

Here is PIA National President Fred Thomas' April 13, 2011 letter to WSJ that requested the corrections.

What It Means to Agents: This represents a significant win for independent insurance agents. The Wall Street Journal is perhaps the ultimate media source for financial information, and misstatements about the value of using an agent in such a forum could have been damaging. PIA would like to thank the editors of the Wall Street Journal for admitting that they made mistakes in their original article and correcting them. We would also like to thank the many PIA members around the country who sent their own letters to the WSJ as well.

Defending the reputation and the business interests of PIA members is a key component of PIA's Mission Statement:

"To promote, protect and defend the integrity of our members, the value of their profession and the success of their businesses."

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