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Professional Insurance Agents Unveil New Website

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2004 - The nation's professional insurance agents have a new home on the Internet that enhances form and function to provide easy...
June 3, 2004

Major Enhancements to www.PIANET.com Made to Better Serve Agents

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2004 - The nation's professional insurance agents have a new home on the Internet that enhances form and function to provide easy access to information, products and services.

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has unveiled the newly redesigned www.PIANET.com. The new website marks the successful completion of a year-long project undertaken at the behest of the association's board of directors.

"Because PIA is the nation's best association for independent insurance agents, it is only fitting that we have a state-of-the-art website that provides all of our members with quick, easy access to all the things that we do to benefit them," said PIA Executive Vice President and CEO Len Brevik. "The new PIANET is not only faster, bigger and better, it projects an image of PIA to the world that accurately reflects who PIA members are: professional insurance agents who are engaged, involved and dedicated to serving their clients."

The new PIANET organizes information in an easy-to-access manner. When a user clicks on an article of particular interest, links of related articles and documents about the topic automatically appear. There are dedicated limited access sections for PIA members, leaders and executives and staff of PIA state and regional affiliates. Users can customize their PIANET experience by selecting items of interest to appear each time they log on.

The debut of the new PIA website also includes the introduction of the PIA Main Street Store, where members of the association can find out about products and services they can access to offer their clients and better manage their own agencies.

"We decided to call this the PIA Main Street Store because PIA is Main Street, not Wall Street," said PIA National President Carl G. Stoecklin. "PIA members are your neighbors down the street who help you protect your home, your car, your business, your assets, your family and your future. The debut of the new PIANET is just the first element in PIA's process of resurgence that began months ago and is now starting to unfold."

Additional features and functionality will be added to the website in the coming weeks. In 1994, PIA became one of the first associations to establish its presence on the Internet.

"Congratulations go to our PIA National staff for giving us what we wanted, a first-class website for our association," said Gene Hayes, chairman of the PIA National Image Committee.

PIA's new Web platform, developed under an agreement with NetOnline Services of Schaumburg, Illinois, utilizes Microsoft's Content Management Server 2002, written in Microsoft's .NET, as the content management system. CMS 2002 utilizes web services written in XML, the standard adopted by ACORD, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development, and endorsed by the PIA National Board of Directors in 2001 as the preferred industry standard.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses.

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