PCI Hosts Del. Legislative Conference to Showcase Industry Issues

January 31, 2006

Three dozen insurance industry representatives walked Delaware’s Legislative Hall of the state capitol last week to meet with state legislators and discuss pending bills on the use of credit history, workers’ compensation reform, and cancellation and non-renewal of homeowners insurance.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) hosted the first-ever Delaware Legislative Conference and representatives from the Delaware Independent Insurance Agents Association, and the American Council of Life Insurance also participated in the event.

“The Legislative Conference provided an opportunity for the insurance community to hear from legislative leaders that have a direct impact on their business operations,” said Richard Stokes, PCI’s northeastern regional manager. “More importantly, it gave insurance professionals the chance to communicate our positions on key issues to lawmakers in a personal, one-on-one manner. This helps put a human face on the industry and reminds legislators that their actions have a direct impact on the company employees and insurance consumers who live and work in their district.”

Senate Minority Leader John Still addressed the group about insurance scoring and its impact on policyholders. Senator Still questioned insurers about the impact a ban would have on policyholders obtaining competitive insurance. “Because of the direct feedback that insurance professionals were able to give the senator, he knows that a ban on credit history would negatively impact most of the consumers – and voters – in his district, much less the state as a whole,” said Stokes.

In their meetings with legislators, industry professionals stressed the importance of enacting significant workers’ comp reform this year. “We told them that this was not just an insurance issue, but one that affects Delaware’s entire economy,” said Stokes. “Failing to enact reform could make the state less attractive to new businesses and present employers.”

Insurance professionals were armed with information that allowed them to demonstrate the importance of the property casualty insurance industry to Delaware. Two-hundred-thirty-nine PCI member companies write policies in the state, insuring over 200,000 cars and 56,000 homes. PCI members write more than $534 million in annual premium in Delaware and invest $295 million in state municipal bonds.

“The Legislative Conference was a very effective way of letting legislators know that insurers are committed to improving the state’s insurance market and play a major role in the health of the Delaware economy and the financial security of its citizens,” said Stokes. “Based on the success of the event, we are hoping to expand participation next year and make this an important annual event on our political advocacy calendar.”

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