From the Executive's Desk
Nothing like getting involved to get the most out of your PIA membership. And now is the perfect time to join one of our committees or join our Board of Directors. We are always looking for new talent and new ideas. There are leadership opportunities, if that’s your thing, or perhaps you want to develop your leadership skills.
Our committees include Membership, Education and our Annual Conference. We would like to add others such as Young Professionals and Budget & Finance as we grow our membership. Committees are open to both agency and carrier members. If you are interested, please contact me.
We also are looking to add members to our Board of Directors. The Board meets 3-4 times per year. Due to the pandemic, we have been meeting virtually but look forward to meeting in person. The Board sets the course for PIANC. It’s a great group of agents, and you will enjoy being a part of the Board. You must be an agent to join.
Finally, don’t forget to mark your calendar for our Annual Conference in Winston-Salem on August 24-25th. See you there.
Kevin Kowar, CIC, AU
Association Executive, PIANC
Welcome New and Renewing Members
Terry Brock of Brock & Associates Insurance, Hendersonville, NC
Scott Neumann of Neumann Insurance Service, Matthews, NC
A Message from the President
Keith Hayes, AAI, CPIA
One of the most sacred things you can do as a citizen of the United States is to vote and to have the ability to be able to talk to your representative or senator about issues that are important to you or your industry. The PIA of North Carolina annually participates in PIA Advocacy days in Washington DC. The last couple of years it’s been virtual, but historically, and hopefully in the near future, these meetings will be in-person. I’ll admit I was a bit intimidated the first year I went. I had never been to DC before and never had the chance to talk to a high-level political figure. The first year I went, I was ill-prepared. I didn’t know what I was going to do. But with much guidance from our National Director, John Cook and PIA National Staff, I was off and running.
Over the past few years, PIA’s focus has been the Federal Insurance Office, the National Flood Program, Crop Insurance, etc. All of these various topics are vital to the continuation of the insurance industry as it is today. One of the issues that really hits home for me is the FIO (Federal Insurance Office). This office was enacted as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. Essentially this act established an office that could have been used for the federal government to wrangle away control of the insurance industry from the state level to the federal level. It is the opinion of the PIA, as well as most insurance associations that this would be a bad idea, as the current state-ran system works in an industry that has so much variation between states. One state knows what is better for its citizens than the collective Federal government.
This FIO has been relatively dormant since its inception. Although it was formed by the Dodd-Frank Act, it has never been funded by any Congressional spending bills. Therefore, an ‘empty office’. It was recently assigned some authority by the Biden administration which signed an Executive Order (EO) on Climate-Related Financial Risk. This EO directed the Treasury Secretary to task the FIO with assessing “climate-related issues or gaps in the supervision and regulation of insurers.”. More recently, ostensibly in response to the EO, the Treasury Secretary issued a request for Information on the Insurance Sector and Climate-Related Financial risks. This request was objected by the PIA as the Treasury Secretary increased the scope in which the FIO’s mandate was originally intended.
In order to prevent the expansion and overreach of the FIO, it truly needs to be repealed. A bill (H.R. 4866 – Federal Insurance Office Elimination Act) was sponsored in the House by Congressman Ted Cruz (R-TX), and has several cosponsors and currently sits in the House Financial Services Committee on 07/30/2021. It is laws like these that Advocacy Days as well as the PIA’s own lobbyists work so hard to achieve. This has been the first law that has made it this far and at some point, the Committee will review and advise. I highly encourage each of you to get involved on Advocacy Day. This year, it’s virtual and will be at the end of March. There’s no better way to enact change in our industry than to be able to get directly to the decision makers and their staff!
PIANC’s Advocacy Days are April 5 - 6th, 2022. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Kevin Kowar, Kevin@pianc.net
This Month's Articles for You
Thank You Action Partners and Auxiliary Members
Smart Choice - Gold Action Partner
West Bend Mutual Insurance - Silver Action Partner
AmTrust North America - Auxiliary Member
Progressive - Auxiliary Member
From PIA National
Introducing, The Agent Experience
As an insurance agent, relationships are at the core of what you do. PIA’s new program, The Agent Experience, was created to expand your views about building relationships in a virtual world. Take the Agency Experience self-assessment to see where you stand in terms of opportunity and how you operate. This program contains videos of agents’ real-life experiences, tip sheets, and a resource hub to help you build and grow relationships online.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."