The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State Inc.’s newly elected president, Donna Chiapperino, reinforced the association’s opposition to mandatory compensation disclosure, stressing that the regulation must not harm the state’s insurance-buying public by hindering a sales process that enriches its knowledge. Chipperino’s comments were made in her inaugural speech yesterday at the association’s Hudson Valley Regional Awareness Program in Tarrytown, N.Y.
“Like all producer groups, it is our continued hope that Regulation 194 never goes into effect. But now, as we await the court’s decision on a legal challenge to the impending regulation, PIA is working to prepare producers by providing step-by-step, authoritative guidance and tools to help them meet the requirements of the regulation if it is enacted as scheduled. Our ability to provide the best possible service to the insurance-buying public must not be hindered,” Chiapperino said. “This, after all, is what we’ve argued has been our primary interest against this regulation from the onset.”
“PIA has worked vigilantly and relentlessly against mandatory disclosure, this year taking the responsibility negotiating compliance issues with the department on behalf of the producer community. Since this issue was first initiated, PIA has made it very clear that mandating disclosure is both unnecessary and unwarranted–we continue to make that point each time we talk with the department. PIANY representatives have met frequently with NYSID officials this year, drafting and delivering input and suggested changes to the department’s draft circular letter to make sure that–if it goes into effect as scheduled–compliance will be as easy and non-invasive as possible.”
“Our meetings with the department have been fruitful, and our efforts will clearly mitigate the potential impact of the regulation on all of our businesses. But, we realize that many agents still don’t understand when they need to disclose–and when they don’t,” Chiapperino said. PIA has turned its attention to helping the producer community deal with the significant challenges the regulation presents. The association has been meeting with agent advisory groups around the state, discussing how disclosure might affect agents’ business and exploring how the regulation will be incorporated into agency workflows. A continuing education course on the issue was also offered as part of the HVRAP event, and additional education will be scheduled once the final circular letter is released.
In addition to PIA’s fight against mandatory disclosure, Chiapperino also discussed benefits available to independent agents in belonging to PIANY, citing the association’s continued work to increase services, while keeping expenses down, and she commended members for taking part in ensuring the industry’s future and embracing a supportive culture, which she said resembles a family.
Chiapperino continued: “Looking around this room, it is clear that the best of our industry rises to PIA membership. The contribution each of you makes to your association; to your clients; to your community, and at your office is commendable. It is this association, comprised of people like you and me, which protects the ongoing welfare of the independent agency system. It is our duty and mission to take part in PIA so it can continue to ensure the prosperity and health of our industry and I appreciate having you as part of our family, as part of my family.”
PIANY is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.