PIA of Louisiana's 72nd Annual Convention
July 25-28, 2015 • Perdido Beach Resort
Orange Beach, AL
 
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Check Out the New PIA Video with National President
Richie Clements Focusing on Member Involvement in PIA

How can an independent insurance agent make a difference, help his or her agency and improve the business climate for agencies everywhere?

By joining PIA and taking part in PIA. This week, we debut a video that focuses on the benefits of PIA membership by tracing the path of involvement taken by one member, Richie Clements, who rose from being a rank-and-file member to a leader in his state association, finally rising to be president of the national PIA association.

The video was produced by the National Underwriter for PIA National.





"I AM PIA" Ad Campaign Kicks Off!



In development for eight months, the new "I AM PIA" national advertising campaign has kicked off! The campaign shows individual PIA members talking about the reasons they belong to PIA. The campaign is designed primarily to generate membership leads for all PIA affiliates by running ads in national publications. The leads go to each affiliate, with the affiliate then deciding how to respond appropriately to the membership inquiries. We'll be notifying affiliates on an ongoing basis about which ads are running. Affiliates can opt to run ads locally, too.

The "I AM PIA" ads raise PIA's public profile even further, assisting with our industry, legislative and regulatory efforts. It enhances our brand and lets agents know about the many reasons that their agent colleagues have decided to say, "I AM PIA."

View this month's print ads:

Gene Galligan: www.pianet.com/docs/2015/iampiagalligan
In April in the National Underwriter, Gene Galligan talks about how his fellow PIA members helped him find a market after all his carriers pulled out following a hailstorm.

Upcoming PIA Events
04/28/2015 -- CPIA-3 Sustain Success
(Shreveport, LA)

04/29/2015 -- CISR Personal Residential
(Baton Rouge, LA)

04/30/2015 -- Baton Rouge Chapter Crawfish Boil

04/30/2015 -- CISR Personal Residential
(Kenner, LA)

05/06/2015 -- New Orleans Chapter Crawfish Boil

05/12/2015 -- CISR Commercial Property
(Shreveport, LA)

05/13/2015 -- CISR Commercial Property
(Lafayette, LA)

05/19/2015 -- CISR Commercial Property
(Kenner, LA)

05/19/2015 -- Acadiana Chapter Meeting

05/20/2015 -- CISR Commercial Property
(Baton Rouge, LA)



More...
Virtual Exhibit Hall


Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall



IBM Uncovers New, Sophisticated Bank Transfer Cyber Scam

IBM has uncovered a sophisticated fraud scheme run by a well-funded Eastern European gang of cyber criminals that uses a combination of phishing, malware and phone calls that the technology company says has netted more than $1 million from large and medium-sized U.S. companies.

The scheme, which IBM security researchers have dubbed "The Dyre Wolf," is small in comparison with more recent widespread online fraud schemes, but represents a new level of sophistication. According to IBM, since last year the attackers have been targeting people working in companies by sending spam email with unsafe attachments to get a variant of the malware known as Dyre into as many computers as possible. If installed, the malware waits until it recognizes that the user is navigating to a bank website and instantly creates a fake screen telling the user that the bank's site is having problems and to call a certain number.

If users call that number, they get through to an English-speaking operator who already knows what bank the users think they are contacting. The operator then elicits the users' banking details and immediately starts a large wire transfer to take money out of the relevant account.

What It Means to PIA Agencies: For PIA agencies, along with their business and municipal customers, it is important to remember that just as with "regular" crime, not every cyber theft/enterprise is targeting major corporations using elaborate methods of infiltration of highly sophisticated computer systems. Many, as this one, target the mid-to-small size firms. Further, they take the "easier" way into a business' system through an individual's "system" (it can be a smartphone) that the employee connects to their business' system in some way.

As PIA advises regularly, it may prove helpful if PIA agencies track to develop a "picture" of what "normal" daily activity on their systems AND through transactions looks like. This may allow an agency to spot unusual patterns earlier, allowing you to take action quicker. This includes monitoring ALL financial and banking transactions and instruments.

Intrusion can enter your system from employees' or your smartphone. Be sure that system security measures include all mobile devices and remote accesses and their users.

Be sure you contact your bank and investment firms to find out what are the methods, time frames and to whom do you report a detected fraud in your agency's commercial accounts. Ask what information the bank requires and what their obligations to you are. This includes asking them what they consider "online banking," and be sure that you have a physical copy of what your agency's and the bank's obligations are for both fraud detection and/or any system issues that arise as a result of using the online systems. Last, get it in writing!

Additional information on cyber security is available on the www.BusinessIDTheft.org website, provided as a free public resource by the Identity Theft Protection Association and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

To find out more about the Cyber Liability Products available to you and your agency through PIA, please contact Natalie Cooper at www.piaoflouisiana.com. To get an easy quote, click here.




Hurricane Advisories Will Now Include Storm Serge Alerts

As the people of New Orleans, New Jersey and New York know all too well, much of the death and damage caused by hurricanes isn't from the wind. It's from the storm surge.

When the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1, people living along the coast of the U.S. mainland are going to get a new set of alerts from the National Hurricane Center in Miami. In addition to tropical storm and hurricane warning and watches, the center will post storm surge alerts for any location where water might rise at least 3 feet (91 centimeters) above normal, said Jamie Rhome, team leader of the center's Storm Surge Unit.

"Roughly 50 percent of the lives lost" to tropical weather "are because of storm surge," Rhome said in an interview at the National Hurricane Conference in Austin, Texas. More than 1,500 people died when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005, and many of those deaths were attributed to surge up to 19 feet high in the New Orleans area, according to the center. In Sandy, surge overtopped Manhattan's Battery and sent seawater into subways, cellars and tunnels, blacking out parts of the island. Surge destroyed homes and businesses from Queens to the New Jersey coast as the destructive storm swept ashore.






Thanks to Our 2015 PIA Partners:
                

Americas Insurance Company


American Strategic Insurance (ASI)


Capital Premium Financing

Markel FirstComp

LUBA Workers' Comp

Prime Rate

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.

VIP Software