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PIA: Taking the High Road

Monday, May 21, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Corey Mathews
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PIA: Taking the High Road


The Professional Insurance Agents of Florida was formed by and for agents nearly 60 years ago to provide its members with the education, communication, and advocacy they need to strengthen their businesses and contribute to their success. Today, we remain committed to that mission, as we always have.

In our pursuit of excellence in education, PIA engaged in an agreement with a relatively unknown National Alliance to produce the Certified Insurance Consultant (CIC) program in Florida. Over the course of a 36 year relationship, PIA built, promoted, and executed the CIC curriculum with such success that is now widely recognized as one of the best programs in Florida. Last year, that agreement was unilaterally cancelled without justification and in violation of its terms and transferred to FAIA, who all but concedes it is just another program on the pile to them.

After months of consideration and deliberation, the member-elected Board of PIA determined that its role as advocates for its members dictated that we seek enforcement of the terms of the contract to protect the reputation of our association from those who have long falsely speculated and spread rumors that we were on the verge of collapse. Furthermore, many of our members and other agents around the state have repeatedly expressed their desire that we continue to produce the CIC program.

PIA has attempted to reasonably resolve this dispute and is still hopeful that it may in the near future. No effort was made to obscure our actions, but rather we determined that we did not wish to cast dispersions or affect perceptions as a result of our dispute. We have never been in the business of attacking other organizations, but rather doing what is in the best interests of our members.

Unfortunately, FAIA persists in its attempts to undermine and destroy an association that is steadfastly committed to the prosperity, growth, and perpetuation of the independent insurance agent. Perhaps it's our willingness to protect not only the major agencies, but also smaller main street agencies. Perhaps it's merely spite that we are able to charge significantly less in dues and provide just as many great benefits as they can. Whatever the reason, we call on them to abandon their "unfortunate distraction" of attacking fellow agent associations and join us and the other great agent associations in a cooperative effort to represent agents on the issues that are most urgent right now; including agent's commissions being threatened, Citizens embarking on a dangerous course of destabilization, independent agents under attack from direct writers, and the commoditization of insurance through the internet. Regardless, PIA will continue to focus on those fights and take the high road, as we always have.

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