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PIA National President Harris Addresses PIA of New Jersey

PIA National President Andy Harris addressed a meeting of the board of PIA of New Jersey on Monday, June 10...
June 12, 2013

PIA National President Andy Harris addressed a meeting of the board of PIA of New Jersey on Monday, June 10. He touched on several topics, including some of the lessons agents learned as a result of Superstorm Sandy.

“Disasters vary by region – but the response of the PIA does not,” said Harris. “Be it flood, wildfire, earthquake, hail, hurricanes – when people are in need, insurance agents are there! During a crisis, our industry runs toward the danger zone, not away from it. Once the first responders clear the area, we are next in to start the process of recovery. Our concern for our clients, our actions on their behalf – it’s the same in New Jersey as it is in Louisiana or Florida. There is nothing positive about any natural disaster. But, in times of crisis, the value we bring to our clients comes shining through.”

Harris said that during the storm and its aftermath, the role of social media in disasters became clearer. “During Sandy, when the ‘traditional’ forms of communication failed, people used social media. It was used as a tool to pass on vital information to people who could not access traditional news outlets, like TV or radio. PIA members used social media to keep in touch with their insureds. Facebook is the 21st century version of the town square. If you are not active on Facebook and the other social media platforms, you are absent from your community, and so is your agency!”

Andy Harris also addressed other topics. He observed that agents are finally seeing the soft market end. “The market turn is good for both agents and companies, because our destinies are linked,” he said. Harris also reported on initiatives he is spearheading, including his challenge to all PIA affiliates to increase membership, which is seeing early success. “We renewed our collective commitment to PIA. And it’s working,” he said.