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PIA to Hold 25th Annual Federal Legislative Summit

WASHINGTON, February 5, 2007 - Members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents will convene on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on...
February 5, 2007

Insurance Agents to Converge on Capitol Hill March 28-29 2007

WASHINGTON, February 5, 2007  - Members of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents will convene on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on March 28 and 29, 2007 for their 25th annual Federal Legislative Summit.

The 2007 PIA Federal Legislative Summit is a gathering of PIA members from around the nation who spend two days meeting with their elected representatives to advance the views and legislative positions of professional independent insurance agents.

"The makeup of Congress has changed but PIA's positions on key insurance issues remain the same," said PIA National President Donna L. Pile. "PIA is adamantly opposed to all proposals for optional federal charters for insurance. PIA strongly supports a permanent solution to insuring for terrorism risks that extends and builds upon the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). And PIA remains dedicated to identifying positive solutions to insuring for natural catastrophes and flooding disasters."

The summit begins March 28 with an orientation session followed by an in-depth legislative briefing and Q&A session conducted by PIA government affairs and congressional staffers, held at the Marriott Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, PIA's headquarters hotel.

The following morning, March 29, participants will gather at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill for a breakfast program featuring remarks by PIA leaders and briefings by Members of Congress. 
 
Veteran journalist Morton M. Kondracke will deliver the keynote address during the PIA Federal Legislative Summit's kickoff breakfast. Kondracke is a regular commentator for the Fox News Channel, where he serves as co-host of the weekly political show, The Beltway Boys and is a nightly "all stars" panelist on Special Report with Brit Hume. He is the executive editor and columnist for Roll Call, Capitol Hill's feisty independent newspaper.
 
PIA members then head over to the House and Senate sides of the Hill for a full day of scheduled meetings with lawmakers in their offices. At day's end, a reception for all Summit participants will be followed by the annual fundraising and awards dinner of the PIA Political Action Committee (PIAPAC).

As with last year's PIA Federal Legislative Summit, much of the focus in this year's legislative visits is expected to be on PIA's opposition to proposals for a federal takeover of insurance regulation. Already, bills have been introduced calling for optional federal charters for insurers and significant alteration of the insurance industry's limited antitrust exemption under the McCarran-Ferguson Act - proposals PIA opposes.

"We are now in the second year of a strategic campaign being run by big banks and large securities firms in which they are attempting to convince members of Congress that our state-based system of insurance regulation is broken," said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. "There's just one problem - it's not broken."

"The big banks and large securities firms are seeking to transfer insurance regulation from the states to the federal government for their own economic benefit," Brevik said. "The Main Street agents of PIA believe that state insurance regulation has worked well and continues to effectively serve the needs of insurance consumers and local communities, as it has for more than 200 years. PIA agents will be telling their members of Congress that they oppose an optional federal charter and support modernization of the state system at the state level."

PIA members will also advocate for the creation of a national natural catastrophe plan that supports the availability, affordability and stability of property insurance in catastrophe prone areas, as well as the economic viability of local communities.

"PIA members and their clients in the Gulf Coast states are continuing to deal with the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita," said PIA National President-elect Robert Page of Houma, Louisiana. "We are coping with a crisis in insurance availability and affordability. That's why we need to create a comprehensive natural catastrophe plan that is national in scope. We got lucky with no bad storms in 2006. We need to get ready for the next disaster while we have the chance."

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. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America.

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