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NFIP Extended Through November 21, 2019

PIA is pleased that the Senate joined the House in including an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in a federal funding continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the NFIP and other federal programs until November 21. The NFIP would have expired after September 30 without Congressional action. The CR was passed 82-15.

"It is fortunate that we avoided a lapse in the flood insurance program; however, this is now the 13th extension of the program since 2017, when its most recent long-term authorization expired," said Jon Gentile, Vice President of Government Relations at PIA National. "Short-term extensions are not a solution, and they create uncertainty for consumers, the insurance industry, and real estate markets."

"Thankfully, a way forward for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP already exists in the bipartisan legislation that passed unanimously out of the House Financial Services Committee in June." The National Flood Insurance Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3167), sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and the National Flood Insurance Program Administrative Reform Act (H.R. 3111), sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), passed out of the House Financial Services Committee on June 12, and these bills include important reforms to the program, along with a long-term, five-year reauthorization.

"PIA National calls on the House to pass this legislation cleanly as soon as possible, and we ask the Senate to then do the same. Congress should not miss this bipartisan opportunity to reform the NFIP and reauthorize it on a long-term basis," Gentile said.

ULM Releases Newest Resume
Book of Insurance Students

Are you looking for someone to work in your agency or company? Be sure to check out this resume book of students in the Risk Management & Insurance Program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM). Representatives of the Young Insurance Professionals, Board Members Britt Greime, Baylie Babin and Kristin Swanson, recently attended ULM's Career Fair to discuss careers in insurance and met several of these students. We highly recommend that you look to the ULM's Risk Management & Insurance Program when searching for your next employee. They offer both intern and full-time employment opportunities.

Upcoming PIA Events
11/19/2019 -- CPIA-3 Sustain Success

11/19/2019 -- Acadiana Chapter Meeting

12/03/2019 -- North Shore Chapter Christmas Meeting

12/03/2019 -- Northeast Chapter Christmas Meeting
(Monroe, LA)

12/03/2019 -- Holiday Meeting of the North Shore Chapter @ 11:30 a.m.
(Pine Wood Country Club, Slidell)

12/04/2019 -- New Orleans Chapter Christmas Banquet and Installation
(New Orleans)

12/04/2019 -- CPIA-3 Sustain Success

12/04/2019 -- NW Chapter Christmas Social
(Shreveport, LA)

12/05/2019 -- YIPs Holiday CE at the Races @ 9:00 a.m.
(New Orleans)

12/11/2019 -- BR Chapter Christmas Luncheon
(Baton Rouge, LA)

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall

Disaster Relief Center
Click to enter our
Disaster Relief Center

U.S. DOL Issues Final Overtime Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a final rule for overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Here are the main points to know:
  • raising the "standard salary level" from the currently enforced level of $455 to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker) (this is the amount that was in the proposed rule on which PIA commented earlier this year);
  • raising the total annual compensation level for "highly compensated employees (HCE)" from the currently-enforced level of $100,000 to $107,432 per year;
  • allowing employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) that are paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level, in recognition of evolving pay practices (this also reflects the proposed rule that was issued earlier this year); and
  • revising the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and in the motion picture industry.
The DOL says the new rule will make 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay under the FLSA.

Insurance Agents Cheer House Passage
of Cannabis Insurance Bill

PIA is pleased the House passed H.R. 1595, the SAFE Banking Act of 2019. The vote was 321-103. The SAFE Banking Act includes key provisions from an insurance focused cannabis bill that would protect insurance agents involved in servicing cannabis-related businesses in states where such business is legal.

"Thirty-three states have medical marijuana laws and eleven states have legalized it for recreational use," said Jon Gentile, Vice President of Government Relations for PIA National. "As such, it is common sense to protect insurance agents from prosecution for doing business with cannabis-related businesses in states where they are legal."

"Insurance agents are neither enemies nor supporters of cannabis itself," Gentile said. "They simply provide insurance to businesses that do business with legal entities."

The SAFE Banking Act had applied only to banks until recently, when PIA National and other allies secured key parts of the PIA National-supported Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act into the bill. The addition of key provisions of the CLAIM Act in the SAFE Banking Act will prevent federal criminal prosecution of and civil liability for agents, brokers, and insurers, and their officers, directors, and employees when engaging in the business of insurance in states that have legalized cannabis in some form.

"PIA National supports the SAFE Banking Act now that it includes the provisions from the CLAIM Act that protect insurance agents," Gentile said. "We will continue to advocate for its passage and have already begun to work with Senators to urge the bill's passage."

PIA DMV: PIA's Direct Marketing Vault

Grow Your Business with the PIA DMV: PIA's Direct Marketing Vault — October 3, 2 PM ET

Learn more about the PIA DMV: PIA's newest program offering through the PIA Branding Program.

PIA has partnered with ONE Brand, a third-party USPS endorsed provider, to create a collection of PIA-branded customizable postcards that PIA members can use to promote their agencies.

Attend this webinar to learn about the common marketing challenges that small business owners face obtaining leads, and the benefits of a direct mail and targeted digital ad display campaigns. Plus, see a PIA DMV demo. Register.

Other upcoming PIA webinars:

Sell PIA Cyber Insurance — October 2 at 2 PM ET

Power Interviewing: Hire Right the First Time — October 16 at 2 PM ET

Thanks to Our 2019 PIA Partners:

Capital Premium Financing

Gulf States Insurance Co.

LUBA Workers' Comp

Markel FirstComp

National General Insurance

SafePoint Insurance

SageSure Insurance Managers, LLC

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.

Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana
4021 W. E. Heck Ct., Building K • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70816
(800) 349-3434 • (225) 766-7770 • (225) 766-1601 (fax)