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A Message From PIA's President

October 2016


It is with a great sense of pride combined with the humility of a Mainer that I begin my year of service to PIA as national president.

As a longtime member of PIA, I’m particularly excited about what we’ll be accomplishing this year to help you be more successful as an independent agent and increase your stake and role in the industry.

Just this year, we initiated the ongoing, industry-wide dialogue on our concept of a Buy Button for agents. The Buy Button would allow agents to bind a policy in a once-and-done fashion without bridging over to a carrier’s system.  Back in the era of manual rating, agents had the ability to bind on the spot. Ironically, technology has slowed that process down and placed independent agents at a competitive disadvantage. A Buy Button would help turn the advantage back to the agent.

And to keep our focus on helping agents succeed, we have joined with industry colleagues to organize the Insurance Digital Revolution (IDR), an industry initiative to accelerate the adoption of digital technologies by independent insurance agents. You’ll be hearing more about the IDR initiative as the year moves on.

Our focus won’t stop at technology. The PIA Partnership has become the signature agency-carrier council. The Partnership is currently engaged in two projects. One will make resources and expertise on agency perpetuation available to PIA members; the other will focus on cyber liability risk. We’ll be providing you with solutions to help you plan for your own agency perpetuation, as well as protect your agency and assets from cyber attacks.

We’ll continue to offer our outstanding array of products for agencies, such as a broad selection of E&O, outstanding services, as well as products for agents to sell.

There is so much more we can accomplish. I will also be sharing ideas about things we can do to give back to our communities. I look forward to visiting with as many of you as I can. Let’s all work together to make it a great year!


Gary Blackwell