PIA Western Alliance Forms

October 12, 2004

A new alliance covering nine Western states announced its formation to provide independent insurance agents with the strength and support they need to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

The PIA Western Alliance creates the nation’s broadest alignment of state and regional affiliates of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents. It covers nine Western states: California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

“The hometown, ‘Main Street’ insurance agent faces greater competition than ever,” said Clark Sitzes, executive director of the PIA Western Alliance. “Now they can offer their customers the range of products and services found in much bigger agencies, delivered with their traditional personal touch.”

Independent agents increasingly face much larger competitors, Sitzes said. Mergers have created bigger agencies, and more insurance companies have begun bypassing agencies to write coverage directly for customers.

“For more than a century, independent insurance agents have served as a vital lifeline for community insurance needs,” said Terry Adams, national PIA president and owner of Reinholdt Adams Insurance in Ashland, Ore. “But it’s more challenging than ever in today’s marketplace. By uniting PIA’s Western affiliates, we ensure the greatest purchasing power, leverage and expanded offerings, to benefit all PIA members in all nine states.”

For independent agents, the challenge is to gain access to enough products and carriers to fully serve their customers’ needs. A survey of PIA Western Alliance members showed that 75 percent have experienced a reduction in new business because they didn’t have enough sources for the coverage their customers needed.

To address this need, the PIA Western Alliance provides agents with access to diverse types of coverage from major carriers — including The Hartford, Safeco, AIG, Utica National and CNA — without requiring a minimum premium volume. Coverage includes property and casualty, homeowner and workers’ compensation, as well as personal and commercial umbrella policies.

Members and nonmembers are invited to explore the new products and services at the Western Alliance web site, www.piawest.com.

This alliance’s formation also marks an organizational revitalizing of the PIA in the Southwest states.

About PIA Western Alliance

The PIA Western Alliance links four regional affiliates comprised of nine Western state affiliates of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA). The alliance aggregates purchasing power, to provide a range of services and products found in larger agencies, enabling independent agents to thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Members sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses.

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