November 2023 PIANC News

From the Executive's Desk

November is such a great time of year, I start being a little more aware of things I am thankful for; I am especially thankful for our PIA family, and our volunteers who give their time to help do all the things we do.

In the near future, you will notice some changes in our registrations; there will be many ways in which agencies will be able to register multiple employees for classes and update their agency records.  There will also be a way for users to see classes and events they have taken previously!  We are excited for this change to offer up to date technology!

Will you share your experience with us?

We are looking for video testimonials (if you are too camera shy, we will take something written) on how PIA has helped you in your career/agency/company.  Maybe you have taken a class that has helped you or you can share what it means to you to have PIA in your corner? Please contact if you would like to share.  We will be gathering these testimonials throughout the rest of the year, and as a thank you, we will offer anyone that shares a free 3hr webinar!


Sheryl Chasse, Association Executive PIANC

Meet Ami, Events & Marketing Manager

As Sheryl has been promoted to Association Exec, Ami will take on the Events, Marketing, and Social Media pieces, working with Charletta Jones (Director of Education) to offer support for the Education department.

Ami comes to us with a diverse background, which includes IT Project Management, many years of Customer Service and Event planning, and marketing. She is passionate about using social media to engage our members and to share and promote valuable insights, while growing our numbers using new media to appeal to a whole new generation of Insurance Professionals. Ami always looks for the fun in everything, and is having a great time working with our Convention, Philanthropy and Scholarship Committees. Never afraid of a challenge, she is excited to learn about the Insurance industry and has recently earned the CPIA designation.

Join us in welcoming Ami to PIAVADC!

ami headshot

Ami Critcher, Events & Marketing Manager

Meet Amy Perkins, PIANC Board Member

Who are you?

I am Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer at The Cranford Agency, Inc. I’m a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, and past president of Randolph Insurance Professionals Association. I’m also on the Board of Directors of Professional Insurance Agents of North Carolina.

I’m married to Derek Perkins who is also employed at The Cranford Agency. We have three children- Bennett, age 9, Anna Claire, 6, and Caroline, 1. We reside in Asheboro, North Carolina.


What is your specialty?

I primarily insure commercial risks with an emphasis on assisted living facilities (property, liability, workers compensation, auto). My mom found this niche many years ago, and I’ve taken the reins.


Where do you live/work and how does this inform your approach?

I live and work in Asheboro, although our footprint extends from Virginia to Florida. It is beneficial to live in the same city as your business because you do have an opportunity to network; however, with our niche, our location is not as important. Many of our clients don’t even realize where we are located because they come to us for our knowledge on the assisted living industry, not for the physical convenience of our office.


When did you first start in insurance?

Growing up with two parents who were insurance agents, I swore I would never work in this industry! I hated hearing about insurance every night at dinner. Funny how things work out! I began answering the phones at the agency at 6 years old and worked many summers during high school. That was not enough to persuade me to consider a career in insurance, though. During my senior year at UNC, I was applying to graduate school for psychology. I was also doing an internship at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, NC. I quickly realized that while I had a passion for helping people with mental illness, it was not good for my own mental health to bear the burden of their issues- many of whom were in the hospital because they could never be declared competent enough to stand trial for serious crimes. My mom had been thinking of selling the business around that time, so I called her and told her that I might want to try insurance after all. I came to work on a trial basis and never left! Now, my husband and I are the ones talking about insurance at dinner while our children are forced to listen!


Why insurance? What is your passion about it?

In high school, I took a quiz to determine what careers would best suit me. Two careers came up- psychologist and insurance agent. Up until them, I didn’t think those two fields were similar, but they really are. We often deal with clients at their worst and most vulnerable moments. My psychology degree has truly helped me to find the right words to comfort and show empathy for those that have suffered a loss. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, insurance is not at all boring! Each day is filled with new and exciting challenges. I’m very competitive, and I love the thrill of writing new accounts.


Why PIA? Why did you join and why do you stay?

My mom was president of PIA several years ago, so I’ve been familiar with the association for many years. PIA is an excellent resource for agents. We provide E&O, continuing education, CPIA designation, networking events, and much more! I enjoy meeting other like-minded agents and furthering my knowledge of the insurance industry. Since I do have a niche market, I’ve received referrals from other PIA agents!


How do you approach your business?

I believe that one thing that differentiates highly successful people is their ability to problem solve. Everyone that comes in to our office has some sort of problem for which they need a solution- whether it is a premium that is too high, uncovered risks, claims scenarios, difficulty with their current agent, etc. It is our job to find solutions for them. Every situation has a solution, and I enjoy the challenge of strategizing to find the right fit for each client. My mom always said that if you treat people the right way, you will never have to worry about getting new business. I’ve found that to be true, and I live by that both personally and professionally.


amy hs

Amy Perkins, V.P. & COO, The Cranford Agency, Inc.

Save the Date Aug. 21 22 2024 NC

November is Men's Health Awareness Month and is dedicated to raising awareness about men's health issues and promoting the physical and mental well-being of men. Men are at a greater risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke than women. Get on the road to better health: eat healthy, get physically active, quit smoking, and most importantly - make prevention a priority. Click the ribbon above for more information.


Show us your "No Shave November" look for a chance to win one of three Gift Cards. Ladies – we don’t want to leave you out so send us pics of your husband, father, son or significant other. Deadline to submit your before and after photos is December 10th. Winners will be announced on December 15th. Send your entries to Watch your email for more information and details on how to vote for your favorite!


What Should You Do When A Customer Makes an Allegation of an Error or Omission? 

In the event that an agency customer had a claim denied by their carrier, or for which there were not enough limits to cover the loss, the customer may decide to contact your agency and allege that they either had the wrong coverage, or that the coverage they had in place had insufficient limits. If this occurs, there are several things that you need to do, and practices that you should avoid, to ensure that you do not compromise your E&O coverage.

{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
jobs board

Postings are free for PIA members.

Advertise with PIANC

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