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PCI Board Chair: Industry Remains Healthy and Competitive Despite Economic Crisis

Source: PCI

Posted on 28 Oct 2009

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John Blackburn, chief executive officer of COUNTRY Financial and chair of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America's (PCI) Board of Governors will address the PCI Annual Meeting on Wednesday and highlight the strength and competitiveness of the industry as well as its commitment to delivering on its promise to policyholders during this challenging economic environment.

Blackburn began his term as chair of PCI, which is composed of more than 1,000 member companies and represents the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association, just as the nation was beginning to see the full signs of the economic crisis and changing political landscape. “We quickly recognized that the old ways of doing business and approaching advocacy were no longer enough,” said Blackburn. “We created special board committees to help ensure we were nimble and able to respond quickly to emerging threats. We focused on thought leadership and securing a seat at the table with key policymakers.”

To be successful in this environment Blackburn, the Board of Governors and the PCI staff established the association as a true thought leader and the Wall Street Journal this summer recognized the trade group as a “Washington Influential.”

“PCI is the go to property casualty trade association as policy debates are waged during these difficult times,” said Blackburn. “As a result, PCI has demonstrated success in carving out property casualty from the financial services regulatory reform proposals thus far and I think we will continue to be successful in our goal of achieving the least and lightest touch of the federal government on our industry.”

The PCI Board Committee on Natural Catastrophes is also developing strong policy positions and guidelines that will reshape the debate on NAT CAT solutions as Congress takes up the issue next year.

At the state level Blackburn said PCI has successfully defended the members’ position on the use of credit-based insurance scoring, fended off constant threats of onerous bad faith legislation, scored great victories in a number of states, such as the North Carolina Beach Plan reform and continues to make a difference through strong legal advocacy.

“As I look back on this past year,” said Blackburn, “I am proud of our industry. Despite the fourth most costly hurricane season and the economic crisis, we continued to deliver on our commitment to policyholders – and without having to ask for a government bailout. We all must continue to tell this good story in the state houses and on Capitol Hill.”