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A Message from our Lobbying Team at Adams & Reese

For Louisiana Legislators, a majority of the Carnival Season is likely to be spent at the Capitol cutting the state out of a nearly $318 million budget shortfall for FY17. This news comes after the Revenue Estimating Conference recognized Friday that state collections are nearly $340 million short of those forecasted for this year. Greg Albrecht, of the Louisiana Legislative Fiscal Office, tied the low collection numbers to the state of Louisiana's economy and the large number of high-earning oil field jobs that the state has lost: "We are still losing jobs on a monthly basis," he noted.

For a fourth time in the span of a year, Legislators will convene to address Louisiana's fiscal woes and will only be able to fill a portion of the budget hole with funds transferred from the state's Rainy Day Fund. Governor John Bel Edwards (D-Amite) has stated that he hopes to save healthcare and higher education from additional cuts by calling a Special Session for mid-February. Edwards and lawmakers have cut nearly $850 million in the past year, but many legislators feel like additional cuts to programs should be made before any revenue raising measures are discussed. "I do believe there is a way to close the gap. A potential plan for how the administration plans to address the deficit is what I want to hear more about," said House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia). The Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget is tentatively scheduled to meet on January 27 to officially recognize the shortfall.


PIA: Repeal and Don't Replace the
Federal Insurance Office

In a letter to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) calls for the repeal of the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) without replacing it.

PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker said that with Congress poised to significantly roll back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, repeal of the FIO should be included in the Financial CHOICE Act, the legislative vehicle for Dodd-Frank reform.

"At the same time, we would like to see a provision that was inserted in last year's version of the Financial CHOICE Act removed," Becker said. "That provision would create a new federal office called the Office of the Independent Insurance Advocate within the Treasury Department. We are concerned that merging the FIO into such a new office could unintentionally establish an even stronger federal insurance entity with an even broader mandate."

PIA opposed the creation of the FIO from the outset. In 2010, advocates of federal insurance regulation succeeded in getting the FIO established as part of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank)—but PIA, along with others in industry including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), fought back attempts at the time to give the FIO broad authority. In the end, protections against the FIO acting as a regulator of the business of insurance were included.


Upcoming PIA Events
01/25/2017 -- 1752 Club Annual Membership Meeting @ 6:30 pm
(Baton Rouge)

01/26/2017 -- YIPS Winter Conference

01/27/2017 -- YIPS Winter Conference

02/01/2017 -- CISR Personal Auto (Lafayette, LA)

02/07/2017 -- North Shore Chapter Meeting

02/07/2017 -- CISR Commercial Property (Shreveport, LA)

02/08/2017 -- Associate Member Appreciation @ 4:00 pm
(PIA of Louisiana)

02/08/2017 -- CISR Commercial Casualty I (Baton Rouge, LA)

02/08/2017 -- Baton Rouge Chapter Meeting

02/09/2017 -- CISR Personal Residential (Kenner, LA)

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall

PIA Members: What Keeps You Up at Night?

PIA in partnership with the National Underwriter and Flaspöhler are asking PIA members to share their individual opinions and perspective as part of the National Underwriter/PIA Independent Agent Survey, a project whose findings will provide deep, revealing insight into the challenges, needs, and demographics of independent Property & Casualty insurance agents across the U.S.

This project provides a voice to independent agents to share with the entire P&C industry exactly what's on their minds. Among other things, it will reveal what they desire most from carriers; how they perceive the P&C market and changing distribution channels; how their commissions are structured; what their greatest technology challenges are; and what these professionals need to help grow their books of business, among many other matters.

The questionnaire, which was crafted by NU, PIA and Flaspöhler, and asks specific questions pertinent to your business, is being sent again to PIA's national membership. We encourage PIA members to complete the survey.

"PIA is pleased to partner with National Underwriter and Flaspöhler in this groundbreaking survey," said PIA National President Gary Blackwell. "This provides a powerful opportunity to PIA members to share their views with the entire industry and focus attention on their needs. I urge PIA members to participate."

"As we near the finish line on this project, we want to hear from PIA members about the issues that concern them most and directly affect their agencies," added Shawn Moynihan, National Underwriter's Editor-in-Chief. "When the link lands in your inbox, make your voice heard."

PIA members, be on the look out for the e-mail invitation to the survey.

2016 Was "The Year of the Flood"

Munich Re reports that 2016 was the year of the flood in the United States, with 19 separate floods last year, which is the most in one single year since records began in 1980. The worst flooding occurred in Louisiana last August, killing 13 people and destroying about 60,000 buildings. Munich Re says the disaster cost $10 billion, making it the worst natural catastrophe since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Overall, there were 91 weather, climate, or geological disasters in the United States in 2016, including severe storms, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, heat waves, and droughts. It was the second-most on record. Across North America, 160 natural disasters were reported, which was the most on record, says Munich Re.

Globally, there were 750 disasters, the highest number in four years, costing $175 billion in 2016, of which only $50 billion was insured. The world's costliest natural disasters in 2016 were a pair of earthquakes in Japan in April ($31 billion), floods in China in June and July ($20 billion), and Hurricane Matthew's hit to the Caribbean and the United States ($10.2 billion).

PIA at Trump Transition Meeting

PIA National was represented by Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile at a meeting with senior members from the Trump Transition Team in early January. The meeting's focus was on financial services issues broken into three issue buckets: Dodd Frank, regulatory relief, and housing and insurance.

PIA National spoke of the importance of a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that expires in September of this year, as well as the need to grow the private flood market. In addition, PIA was the only organization to call for the full repeal of the Federal Insurance Office. We will continue to engage with the Trump Transition Team leading to January 20 when President-elect Trump takes the oath of office.

Thanks to Our 2017 PIA Partners:

American Strategic Insurance (ASI)

Capital Premium Financing

LUBA Workers' Comp

Markel FirstComp

Prime Rate Premium Finance Corporation

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.