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PIA National President Harris Addresses PIA of North Dakota Convention

PIA National President Andrew C. Harris addressed the opening lunch session of PIA of North Dakota’s annual convention on Monday, May 6, held in Bismarck...
May 7, 2013

PIA National President Andrew C. Harris addressed the opening lunch session of PIA of North Dakota’s annual convention on Monday, May 6, held in Bismarck. PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Ron Von Haden is also attending and will make a presentation on Tuesday, May 7.

“Not only is North Dakota on the top of the country, PIA of North Dakota is on the top of the list when it comes to involvement by agents,” said Harris. “Most years, year after year, North Dakota sends more agents to participate in the PIA Federal Legislative Summit than any other state in the Union. All of you realize the critical importance of agents being engaged and involved. When it comes to being unabashed advocates for our agenda, PIA of North Dakota ‘gets it.’”

Harris addressed a broad array of issues. He cited several recent large research studies, including one by the PIA Partnership, that disprove “conventional wisdom” that says customers, especially younger ones, want to buy insurance online. Harris cited studies by Ernst & Young, Accenture and the PIA Partnership that revealed consumers do not want to do all their insurance shopping online, they care about more than just price, and they express a preference for setting up their auto and home insurance policies in person, with an agent. He noted the Accenture study found that nearly one-third of respondents aged 18 to 24 said they prefer to obtain a quote in person and 68 percent of respondents aged 18 to 24 said they would be willing to pay more for personalized advice when purchasing an auto or home insurance policy.

“So much for ‘conventional wisdom,’” Harris said, noting that misconceptions are being fueled by massive advertising campaigns by direct writers. “The path to success for independent agencies is to continue to provide choices, professional service and advice — integrated with digital, mobile and social media capabilities.”

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