Two independent agent associations in the northeast said they will discontinue their affiliations with the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).
The Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania (IA&B of Pa.) said on Tuesday it informed the PIA that it will no longer be affiliated beginning 2012. The Delaware Association of Insurance Agents & Broker (DAIAB) also notified the PIA of its decision to cease its affiliation at the start of 2012.
However, both associations will remain affiliated with Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. (IIABA or the Big “I”).
The two associations expressed their frustration with dealing with multiple nationwide trade groups for independent agents as well as having to pay dues to both PIA and IIABA.
In a letter to PIA, IA&B of Pa. Chairman G. Greg Gunn said the board of directors was unanimous in deciding that the action is in the members’ best interest in light of the many challenges they face as independent agents.
IA&B of Pa. Chairman Gunn added that “since the consolidation of our state associations in 2003, we have openly espoused the need for independent agents to have a single national trade association focusing on addressing needs and challenges.”
Gunn expressed his disappointment that no progress has been made on the national level to consolidate trade groups.
DAIAB Chairwoman Diana Hornung Hanby added that her organization has also sought to have a single national trade association that could focus on better serving the needs of independent insurance agents. “Seeing no movement toward forming a unified trade group at the national level was a source of great frustration,” she said.
The two associations share a staff of 35 professionals. IA&B of Pa. serves more than 1,100 member agencies. DAIAB has more than 40 member agencies.
PIA National CEO Leonard Brevik said “it is unfortunate that the IA&B has decided to no longer be affiliated in Pennsylvania and Delaware with PIA, but we look forward to continuing to serve independent agents in these two states for many years to come.”
PIA will actively and aggressively solicit continued membership in PIA to all independent insurance agents in Pennsylvania and Delaware, Brevik said. “In fact, in letters to members in Pennsylvania and Delaware, IA&B noted its decision ‘does not remove your right to make your own decision to belong [to PIA]. You are free to choose to belong on a direct basis.'”
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