PIA of Louisiana's 72nd Annual Convention
July 25-28, 2015 • Perdido Beach Resort
Orange Beach, AL
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Watch PIA's 10-Year Anniversary of Hurricanes
Katrina and Rita Video

Review of 2015 Legislative Session

The 2015 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session came to a close sine die on Thursday, June 11, 2015. While the 2015 legislative agenda was fairly quiet from an insurance perspective, largely due to the emphasis placed on State budget concerns, there were a number of notable bills that passed with the support of the PIA of Louisiana.

HB215 (LaBas) was signed into law as Act 15. This act now allows producers to respond to allegations of wrong doing prior to any regulatory action. Insurance agents and producers can now respond to such allegations and if able to "show cause" (as to why regulatory action should not be taken), avoid regulatory action. Previously, even if a producer was found to be innocent in such actions, he or she would be required to disclose the regulatory action on any application for licensing. This will provide producers with a means to head off such actions that are based upon unsupportable allegations.

SB172 (Morrish) Provides regulation of insurance for Transportation Network Companies such as "UBER" and "LYFT". Previously there were potential gaps in coverage due to the livery exclusions found in most personal auto policies. After the issue was highlighted by the Louisiana P&C Commission, senator Morrish spearheaded this legislation, resulting in assurance that such "ride sharing" arrangements are fully insured from the time the ride sharing app. is turned on, until the passengers exit the vehicle.

HB673 (Huval) was with regard to the licensing of Insurance Consultants. This issue was referred to the House Committee on Insurance, where the PIA, in conjunction with the Department of Insurance and other industry groups, will study the issue with the intent of putting forth legislation next year.

The governor has until August 16 to sign, veto, or allow legislative measures to pass without his signature.

Overall we feel that there were some very useful and pro-industry legislative initiatives that have now become law, or that have progressed, in part due to the support of your PIA of Louisiana.

Please click here to find a summary of the bills PIA monitored this session and the status of each at the close of the session.

Once Again

The United State Supreme Court ruled last week to uphold the availability of tax credits on the federal exchanges. Please find here a one-page summary of the opinion.

PIA Advocates for Key Fixes to ACA Following Decision

Immediately after the Supreme Court's decision upholding subsidies in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), PIA advocated for two key fixes to the healthcare law. In an interview with A.M. Best's BestNews, PIA said Congress should pass two bills: one removing independent agent compensation from the calculation of medical loss ratios (MLRs); and the other repealing the 40% excise tax on so-called "overly generous" employer-sponsored health plans, known as the "Cadillac Tax."

"Congress needs to fix this," said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Mike Becker, referring to the MLR. "The current interpretation of the MLR formula is hurting independent agents and the individuals and small businesses they serve."

Regarding the Cadillac Tax, PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Jon Gentile says it has to go. "PIA strongly supports a repeal of the 'Cadillac Tax' because it will impact not just high-benefit plans, but moderate-benefit plans, and it could have an unequal impact based on the age, gender, family size and geographic location," stated Gentile. On June 26, PIA was joined by a coalition of 18 business groups, including the American Benefits Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in seeking a repeal of the tax.

Upcoming PIA Events
07/08/2015 -- New Orleans Chapter Meeting

07/25/2015 -- PIA of Louisiana 72nd Annual Convention

07/25/2015 -- YIPs Hospitality Suite

07/26/2015 -- PIA of Louisiana 72nd Annual Convention

07/27/2015 -- PIA of Louisiana 72nd Annual Convention

07/28/2015 -- PIA of Louisiana 72nd Annual Convention

08/04/2015 -- North Shore Chapter Meeting

08/12/2015 -- Baton Rouge Chapter Meeting

08/18/2015 -- CISR William T Hold
(Shreveport, LA)

08/19/2015 -- CISR Dynamics of Service
(Lafayette, LA)

Virtual Exhibit Hall

Check out our
Virtual Exhibit Hall

Hurricane Relief Center
Click to enter our
Hurricane Relief Center

PIA-endorsed MLR Bill Introduced in Senate

A bill that PIA strongly supports, the Access to Independent Health Insurance Advisors Act (S.1661), was introduced in on June 24 in the U.S. Senate. Sponsors Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) said the legislation that will ensure health insurance agents and brokers can continue to provide essential counseling and advocacy services to consumers looking for the right health insurance coverage.

"Our priority should always be to protect consumers and small businesses, ensuring they have access to the best possible healthcare coverage," said Sen. Coons. "Our bipartisan bill will fix a provision in the healthcare law that is currently making it harder for independent agents and brokers to stay in business and serve consumers."

S.1661 addresses a provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) known as the medical loss ratio (MLR) that has had unintended consequences for licensed independent agents and brokers and their employees. Due to the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) interpretation of the medical loss ratio provisions in the health reform law, health insurance carriers are required to treat agent and broker commissions as part of their administrative costs. This, in turn, threatens the ability of independent agents and brokers to stay in business and serve the public.

PIA supports S. 1661 and companion legislation already introduced in the House, H.R.

Federal Banking Regulators Issue Flood Insurance Rule

On June 22, the Federal Reserve, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the National Credit Union Administration and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency finalized a joint final rule regarding loans secured by properties located in special flood hazard areas. The final rule implements provisions of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA).

What It Means to Agents: The rule generally requires regulated lending institutions to escrow flood insurance premiums and fees for loans secured by residential improved real estate or mobile homes that are made, increased, extended or renewed on or after January 1, 2016, unless the loan qualifies for a statutory exception.

The rule requires institutions to provide borrowers of residential loans outstanding as of January 1, 2016, the option to escrow flood insurance premiums and fees.

The rule includes a statutory exemption from the requirement to purchase flood insurance for a structure that is a part of a residential property if that structure is detached from the primary residence and does not also serve as a residence. However, lenders may nevertheless require flood insurance on the detached structures to protect the collateral securing the mortgage.

This rule does not address the private flood insurance provisions in the Biggert-Waters Act. The agencies plan to address these provisions in a separate rulemaking. The rule also implements provisions in the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (the Biggert-Waters Act) relating to the force placement of flood insurance. The text of the full rule can be found here.

Natchitoches Parish Flood Maps Become Final in July

New flood maps for Natchitoches Parish will become effective early next month.

Local, state and federal officials encourage everyone to view the maps before Monday, July 6, 2015 in order to understand their flood risk and then consider buying flood insurance. Click here for the entire story.

Thanks to Our 2015 PIA Partners:

American Strategic Insurance (ASI)

Capital Premium Financing

LUBA Workers' Comp

Markel FirstComp

Prime Rate

Stonetrust Commercial Ins. Co.

VIP Software