December 2023 PIANC News

From the Executive's Desk

As 2023 draws to a close, I'd like to think back on my best experience from the year.  It was the marriage of my son Dominic and his wife Gabrielle.  I gained a daughter!  What is your favorite memory of the year? Did you write a new piece of business that you are proud of? Did you accomplish something on your goals list?

At PIA of NC, this year has been one of growth and change.  Kevin Kowar, our beloved Association Executive, retired and began a new chapter in his life.  I was promoted to the new Association Executive which left an opportunity for us to hire Charletta Jones, our new Director of Education.  Ami Critcher was hired to take over as the Marketing and Events Planner since we had a vacancy in the Marketing department.  Lisa Farnham continues to work with agencies on their E&O, cyber and other insurance needs as well as being the staff liaison for our convention.  Kim Bishop remains a constant for staff and our members on a consulting basis and we are always so happy to see her at our Annual Convention.  Denis Rockwell “Rocky” is still making phone calls and visiting with agents to communicate the benefits of becoming a member, we also love seeing him at Annual Convention and our Annual Golf Tournament!  With everything that has transpired in the last year, we now have a fresh perspective on 2024 and how it will benefit our members by providing them with improved benefits, education, and technology.

This year, our volunteers have been quite active!  During the transition, Dean Wooten, our Association President, set a course for us with an emphasis on membership and our members.  The Board of Directors approved to keep our Annual Convention in the Winston-Salem area, Amy Perkins agreed to head up the Convention Committee and planning is underway!  Saray Uribe agreed to step into the Treasurer/Secretary role, on our Board of Directors.  We will be looking for new members to the Board of Directors this year as our President believes in new ideas keep us moving forward.   After many years serving as your PIA National Director, John Cook has stepped away from this role with Dean Wooten taking his place.  We are so thankful for the years of service that John gave to the industry, Dean is looking forward to working on behalf of NC in the national arena in support of the independent agent.  Without the countless hours, hard work, and enthusiasm of these people as well as the countless more volunteers who are committed to supporting PIA of NC, we could not have done 2023 without ALL of you!

This year has undoubtedly lived up to the adage that the only thing that is constant in this world is change.  In 2024, we look forward to serving you, our members, and collaborating with our volunteers. While we anticipate further change, we will continue to maintain you, our members, as our true focus.


Sheryl Chasse, Association Executive PIANC

Thank you sponsors 2023
Thank you members 2023
Save the Date Aug. 21 22 2024 NC

Carrier Ratings: Have the Necessary Process in Place

Rating agencies such as A.M. Best, Demotech, S&P, etc., periodically dissect the financials of nearly every insurance carrier in the marketplace. Ratings can change based on these reviews, so have a process to secure a carrier’s most up-to-date information. Every agency should have an established minimum financial rating for the carriers they do business with. While a minimum rating of “A-” using the A.M. Best rating approach is common, consider how your E&O carrier addresses insolvency in the policy form.

{click to read the full article}


Floodplain Education

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a Federal program, established by Congress in 1968, that allows property owners to purchase federally-backed flood insurance within communities that participate in the program.  In return for this insurance protection, participating communities implement floodplain measures to reduce flood risks to the new development.  Through this program, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and participating communities are able to reduce future flood losses.

See additional information at the links below.

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PIANC Membership

PIA is your resource to help your agency grow and prosper.  We provide quality education, effective advocacy to protect your agency and our industry, networking and leadership opportunities, as well as insurance coverages for your agency.

PIANC offers four types of membership:

  1. Agency Main
  2. Agency Branch
  3. Additional Voting
  4. Retired
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Postings are free for PIA members.

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2023 Course Schedules

Select the graphic or button to learn more and register.




From PIA National

Cyber Security Insurance

PIA Partners with Propeller

PIA is proud to partner with Propeller to offer a fully automated, instant issue surety bond solution.


By offering a white-labeled surety bond platform backed by "A" rated carriers, Propeller makes it easy to search for, purchase, and distribute bonds while earning a competitive commission and growing your surety revenue through a lead generation-based model.


Agency Perks:

  • 30% Commission on all bonds, new and renewal: Contract, Commercial and Fidelity.
  • Performance Plus Program offering up to $1MM in credit-based underwriting for Contract Bonds.
  • Book Roll Bonus Program providing agents a large bonus in addition to the 30% commission on bond purchases for rolled books of business.
  • A library of 7,000 bonds available with dozens more being added each month.
  • Free access to technology, surety markets, and surety experts allowing your agency to become a great bonding resource overnight.
  • An MGA licensed in all 50 states.
PIA Propeller

PIA Partners with Ascend

From billing to premium financing to distribution of commissions and carrier payables -- PIA and Ascend have you covered! 


Free to Use - No Subscription Fees:  let your customers decide how they want to pay - Credit/Debit Card, ACH, Wire


One-Click Premium Financing:  automatically built into the checkout experience without any extra back and forth.

Instant Commissions:  receive your commissions in 24 hours.

Simplify Carrier Payables:  minimize time spent figuring out commissions and carrier payments.

Full Transparency:  get notified when clients pay and markets are funded.

PIA Ascend

Introducing Winning@Customer Retention

Demonstrating the value of working with an agency is key. That’s where Winning@Customer Retention comes in. It's a new program from the PIA Partnership designed to help agencies improve customer service and retention. We’ve pulled together resources to help track client retention rates, segment, and communicate with customers.

The program puts spotlight on technology and solutions that play a big part in improving customer communications, referrals, and enabling agencies to select the right solutions and be proactive. Winning@Customer Retention includes a mix of online materials and tools and in-person and virtual sessions and events.


In the event of cyber business interruption, insurance covers loss and costs in excess of normal operating expenses required to maintain the business and restore operations.

PIA National is happy to introduce the PIA 401(k) Program. It is a turn-key, low-cost solution for agency owners and their employees and performs over 90% of administrative tasks by becoming your retirement department support team.

The PIA 401(k) Plan provides what employees want and what independent agents need to deliver it, in an efficient and cost-effective way.


In an increasingly virtual world, it’s critical that you know how to build relationships online. That’s why PIA National has launched its latest member benefit, The Agent Experience.

"We’ve built this tool to expand your views about building relationships in a virtual world—and to provide access to resources that will help."

”Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon. July 1969 AD. We came in peace for all mankind."

Neil Armstrong