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PIA Western Alliance knows you want to be the best in the field, and the best way to stay on top is to stay informed. PIA Weekly Industry News Brief is an informative e-news brief that delivers the most relevant industry content.


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What if there were a way to complete ACORD forms accurately on the first pass?

Posted By Staff reporter, Tuesday, May 21, 2019

What if there were a way to complete the data accurately on the first pass and easily send the complete set of forms to your underwriter?




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Ask for Lori - she loves to help!

Tags:  Avyst eforms wizard  PIA insurance  PIA Member benefits  PIA Western Alliance 

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Oregon Young Insurance Agents: So grateful for their sponsors.

Posted By Staff reporter, Wednesday, May 8, 2019


The Oregon Young Insurance Agents Group wants to thank their sponsors, that make it possible to have the opportunity to come to the PIA Oregon Idaho Conference and Trade show.


This year, the group's sponsors have made it possible to reduce the price of conference admission - so all young insurance professionals had the opportunity to experience what it's like to go to an insurance industry conference.


Thank you!  

If it weren't for you...


Won't you help?

"Who will prepare us, for when you leave the industry?"

Your company's support provides the means for our Oregon Young Insurance Professionals to network, exchange information and ideas and support the cultivation of future leaders in the insurance industry.


Download a sponsorship form


$ponsorship webpage 


Tags:  capital premium finance  midland general agency  Oregon Young Insurance Agents: So grateful to thei  pia insurance  pia western alliance  red shield insurance  sublimity insurance 

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PG&E Gets Permission to Meet Safety Goals

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Pacific Gas & Electric is bankrupt. At the same time, it must still continue to provide power to its customers and is being legally required to manage the lands its power lines cross. The firm and its equipment — as you know — is being blamed for many of the wildfires that have decimated California over the last couple of years.


Those fires and the company’s culpability have driven it to declare bankruptcy.


To get all of the trees cleared and branches trimmed around power lines will require a lot of labor. PG&E said to accomplish that it will need — at the most — $350 million. A hunk of that is for employee overtime. However, company officials think the task can be accomplished for $235 million.


U.S Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali in San Francisco has approved the plan. Montali grilled John Lowe who is responsible for the company’s compensation program. The judge agreed he’s the expert and will go along. “It was helpful for me to hear from him,” Montali said. “Bottom line is I will defer to judgment of management.”


PG&E has to remove 375,000 trees this year. 

Tags:  insurance content  Insurance News  Pacific Gas & Electric  pia western alliance 

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PIA Oregon/Idaho Conference — Young Professionals & More

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 23, 2019



The newly re-established Professional Insurance Agents Oregon/Idaho Conference and Trade Show is almost here. Reinstating the conference also returns the association to its roots.

May 5-7

Salashan Spa & Golf Resort

Gleneden Beach, Oregon

As always the PIA puts on a great show and — if this is your first time — ask anyone who has regularly attended the annual conference, nothing is more informative, nor more educational, nor more fun than a PIA event.

Is this your first time? Are you under age 35? If so, you get to attend for free. Financially this is worth $299. The sum is significant but not a lot. The time investment — however — is invaluable.

At the annual PIA conference those of you new to the insurance industry will meet and get to know and network with insurance professionals from all walks of life. It’s the kind of experience you can use for a lifetime. Even better, the knowledge obtained at the annual PIA Oregon/Idaho conference can be used immediately.

You’ll also want to consider joining the PIA’s Oregon Young Insurance Professionals (OYIP) group. That — too — has value that doesn’t have a dollar amount.

3 easy ways to register.

1.    Log in to your profile to receive your PIA member discount on the entire conference or Monday or Tuesday only.

2.    Ala Carte– no log in required, create your own conference.

3.    Print the registration form to send back to us.

Come for a day, or stay for all three.

As for those who’ve been in the business for awhile, the annual PIA Oregon/Idaho Conference and Trade Show is an event that is too good to pass up. Who knows who you will meet? A problem that you might solve?

You might even discover a new, selling technique!

PIA Western Alliance Executive Vice President Clark Sitzes said, “This year we’ve brought in the heavy equipment to carve out a thoughtful and knowledgeable program.”

As with all PIA Oregon/Idaho conferences, there will be plenty to do from golf to the annual industry trade show to the industry awards recognition of agent, company person and blinders awards and to world class education.


Dave Iwatta Golf Tournament Salishan

As for golf, don’t miss the annual Dave Iwata Memorial Golf Tournament Sunday May 5th. Tee off begins at 12:30.

Here are the breakout sessions:

Thriving Through the Perfect Storm

Don't Kill Your Golden Goose: Protecting Your Agency Assets From Taxes and Lawsuits — 3 CE OR, ID

Agency Journey Mapping and Perpetuation Planning — 4 CE OR, ID | 3 WA

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Side of Insurance: Oregon Law — 3 CE OR

E&O Case Studies, Huge Losses and Navigating Social Media — 3 CE OR, ID WA

Do I need Long Term Care Insurance? Really? — 3 CE OR, ID, WA

Walk Like An Underwriter: Underwriting 101 — 2 CE OR


 Click here to see the schedule and learn more about the breakout sessions. 

3 easy ways to register.

4.    Log in to your profile to receive your PIA member discount on the entire conference or Monday or Tuesday only.

5.    Ala Carte – no log in required, create your own conference.

6.    Print the registration form to send back to us.

Tags:  Dave Iwatta Golf Tournament  Idaho Oregon Convention  PIA Western Alliance 

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Isn't she a beauty?!

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Safeco Auto Insurance PIA Western Alliance PIA insurance KKLUB

 1967 Pontiac GTO. Watch how it was restored - tap on the image above.


Your insurer's car is loaded with options,
make sure their insurance policy is too.


For more than 85 years, Safeco has delivered new and better ways to protect cars and drivers with auto insurance. Whether it be a sedan, hybrid, minivan, station wagon, SUV, pickup truck or anything in between, provide personalized coverage that's right for your client. If trouble comes along, we'll make sure they are taken care of every step of the way.



Safeco's Insurance
Coverage Options









 what is KKLUB?


Safeco is a proud member of PIA Western Alliance's KKLUB.



Tags:  KKLUB Member Safeco  PIA Insurance  PIA Western Alliance  Safeco Insurance 

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Oregon Governor Raids SAIF — PIA Oregon Reacts

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Professional Insurance Agents of Oregon — PIA Oregon — is just one of many groups in Oregon disturbed over Governor Kate Brown’s decision to grab funds from the quasi-private State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) to beef up the PERS retirement system.

Brown’s decision takes $486 million from SAIF’s $1.9 billion surplus.

Negative reaction around the state was immediate. PIA Oregon Lobbyist Lana Butterfield said the governor’s decision is not a good one and she checked off a few reasons why:

  SAIF’s reserves are essential to protecting the safety of Oregon workers and ensuring low rates for employers throughout state. 

  Small businesses, school districts, local governments and non-profits depend on SAIF’s affordable rates and safety programs to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

  Raiding SAIF’s reserves will negatively impact worker safety and accident prevention.

  Any excess premiums (that created the reserves) should go back to the employers who have paid them.

And the bottom line? SAIF’s funds ought not be used as a piggy bank by Salem politicians trying to cover unsustainable costs in PERS.


"Many PIA members serve small businesses. SAIF has stepped up to serve this community of small businesses that often have difficulty securing coverage,” she said. “It provides a very reasonable price for a high level of worker benefits and safety. If SAIF reserves are swept, it is likely employer rates will increase substantially over time.  This is not good for Oregon, small businesses or PIA members.”


In her news release on the decisions to shore up PERS, the governor said, “Oregon’s public employee retirement system, or PERS, is first and foremost an essential benefit for our public employees. In exchange for dedicating their lives to public service, Oregon has made a promise to provide them a secure retirement after decades of teaching our kids, fixing our roads, keeping our neighborhoods safe, fighting fires, or helping our children in foster care.”


Brown said it’s important to keep the promises the state made to those workers. Anything less is “kicking the can down the road.”


The editorial board of Portland, Oregon’s newspaper, The Oregonian published an editorial that urged the governor to reconsider her decision. It said:


“While the Legislature in 1982 passed a law expressly authorizing such a transfer, it would be controversial and risks destabilizing an entity that has competently, reliably and efficiently administered workers compensation for public and private employers for years. In trying to address the PERS crisis, Oregon should not do anything to trigger another,” the editorial board wrote.


In a story in Weekly Industry News last week, we referenced what happened with the 1982 decision of the Oregon Legislature. It authorized taking $80 million of SAIF’s reserves. A lawsuit followed and the Oregon Supreme Court said the state acted illegally and ordered the money returned.


With interest, $225 million was returned to SAIF and its policyholders. The attorneys fees and the cost of the litigation totaled a staggering $20 million.


If a decision is made by the Legislature to grant the governor’s decision to take that money, Weekly Industry News assumes lawsuits will be filed.


PIA Oregon is part of a coalition of business groups and associations opposing the governor’s decision. The group published a response a couple of weeks ago when the governor began talking seriously about taking the SAIF funds.


“SAIF’s revenue’s come via premiums from the 47,000 small businesses, school districts, nonprofits and local governments who depend on the company to cover their workers,” the group wrote. “The system is working well for workers and employers and this could significantly disrupt the balance that exists within the system. Make no mistake that this will impact rates paid by employers as SAIF fights to rebuild it’s reserves.”


The group called the governor’s decision, a dangerous game.


“They are literally stealing from one pot to cover liabilities in another and hoping that you can pay it back before something bad happens. That’s a dangerous game,” the coalition stated.


“Additionally, that would require significant changes to SAIF’s operating structure and should be done after careful study rather than as a hasty bailout strategy for PERS. SAIF is unlike other insurers in that it operates solely within the state of Oregon and is required to focus 100% on workers comp (mono-state and mono-lines).”


Republicans immediately criticized the SAIF raid decision. House Republicans said, “While recent Secretary of State audits reveal many agencies are prone to waste, SAIF has built enviable reserves, annually returning dividends to clients and covering thousands of claims. Ironically, cash reserves built on years of workplace safety and sound fiscal practice are viewed as easy pickings to shovel into the ever-deepening PERS pit.”


Mike Salsgiver is the Executive Director of the Associated General Contractors. He agrees and said SAIF’s reserves should be off limits. “You can be certain that raiding hundreds of millions of dollars from SAIF's reserves will negatively impact worker safety and accident prevention. That means higher rates for employers, reduced benefits for workers, or fewer investments in accident prevention. Any way you cut it, Oregon small businesses and workers lose,” he said.


Oregon Business & Industry represents Oregon’s largest employers. Spokeswoman Samantha Tipler said her group agrees that the SAIF raid is a bad idea. “We will strongly oppose this effort to raid SAIF to bail out PERS. The PERS solution should stand on its own.”


The governor’s PERS rescue plan has a couple of other components:

  After giving each family $100, the state will keep — one time — the income tax kicker. Brown hopes it will raise $400 million to 500 million.

  Repatriation funds already dedicated under 2018 Senate Bill 1566 (and Senate Bill 1529) for a total of $83.3 million.

  Windfall revenue from variable sources, including direct, above-trend revenues from capital gains and estate taxes to the account.


Keeping the kicker — funds returned to Oregonians if tax collections exceed income projections by 2% — will require a two-thirds vote by the Legislature to happen. It has no chance since the idea has to get support from both parties.


In last week’s Weekly Industry News, we covered a letter to The Oregonian from former PIA Oregon/Idaho president Rich Kingsley. He hit the nail on the head with his description of the governor’s decision.


“It was a stupid stunt then,” Kingsley wrote. “And to think of doing it again is still stupid, and reckless.”


Source links: Governor Kate Brown, Weekly Industry News — link 1, link 2, link 3OregonLive.com, Willamette Week

Tags:  insurance content  insurance news 2019  PERS  PIA Western Alliance 

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Utica’s E&O Tips — Premium Audit

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Errors & Omissions (E&O)Loss Prevention Tips

Your insureds don’t like surprises, especially when it comes to the topic of audits. Without proper explanation and timely, adequate handling procedures, policies subject to audit can lead to surprises and E&O claims against your agency.Your agency works long and hard to establish a relationship with a prospect. You learn about his or her business, analyze loss exposures, develop and present a comprehensive risk management plan, including insurance coverage, and win the case.

Now it’s time to think about audits, as a number of policies are subject to audit.

The following are some suggestions for your agency to ensure that your customer understands what it means to be audited and what he or she can expect.


  Identify which policies are subject to audit.

  Determine why the policy is subject to audit, whereas some other policies are not.

  Improper Workers Compensation class codes and territory issues are often discovered during an audit, and can result in premium changes.

  Check with the carrier prior to choosing classifications and developing premium.

  Document your conversation.


  Notify your client in writing, on the proposal, that his or her exposure will be audited.

  Explain the audit process and timing.

  Clarify the difference between a physical audit, phone audit, and self-reporting audit.

  Explain why the client’s premium can change from the initial proposal or policy premium. Talk to him or her about how growth, previously unknown exposures, changes in operations, new products and/or operations, acquisitions, etc., can result in premium changes.

  Reinforce his or her responsibility to maintain adequate records. Advise what specific information will be needed to complete the audit. 


  Utilize proper premium calculation forms. If the carrier has its own form for calculating premiums for policies subject to audit, use that form. 


  Strategize how to respond to an audit. 

  Discuss with agency management, or the producer, the best approach to promptly disclose premium increases to the client.

  In the event of a mistake, advise your client that you are looking into the matter.

  Collect your information and contact your E&O carrier.

  Together, determine if there are any solutions to the problem.

  Discuss how best to communicate with the client.

While not all premium audit problems can be avoided, proper knowledge, explanation, and planning go a long way toward maintaining a positive relationship with your customer and minimizing the E&O exposure to your agency. 


Purchase a Utica policy direct from the PIA!

pia for errors and omissions insurance



Tags:  E&O  errors and ommissions  Pia western alliance  Utica 

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M&A Activity — Growing ​

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019


OPTIS Partners tracks mergers and acquisitions. The company said the first quarter of 2019 saw M&A activity continuing to be hot. By “hot,” the company means 151 agencies changing hands. That’s one more than was seen in the first quarter last year.

These are agencies that sell P&C insurance, employee benefits, or both.

The largest number of the transactions were picked up by Patriot Growth Insurance Services. There were 18 of them and 17 closed. Other top buyers:

  Acrisure — 16

  Hub — 12

  Gallagher — 10

  Broadstreet Partners — 10

OPTIS Partners also noted there were only 57 unique buyers in the first quarter transactions. That’s the lowest number in any quarter since 2014.

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  insurance content  insurance news 2019  M&A Activity — Growing  pia western alliance 

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Your Taxes — Paycheck Withholding Changes

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019

April 15th has come and gone. Hopefully, you didn’t end up having to pay, and by that date all of your 2018 taxes are behind you.

Next up — this year’s challenge.

It appears the IRS will be implementing more changes based on the tax reforms enacted for the 2018 earning year. The change that will impact most of us has to do with what is withheld from your check.

A new W-4 form is going to be issued that the IRS says better balances what is withheld from your check to what ought to be withheld. In other words, you shouldn’t end up owing and the IRS ought not end up owing you.

That form is currently under construction.

Pete Isberg works for the payroll and human resources consulting company, ADP. He says the new form makes the simple more complex, and filling it out will be almost like doing your taxes all over again.

Isberg noted the final form hasn’t been released yet but he and other tax preparation companies and payroll firms have seen a draft. “It’ll be a much bigger pain,” he said. “The accuracy will be 100 percent, but the ease-of-use will be zero.”

The purpose of the release of the draft was to get feedback from them. Isberg said the form asks for:

  Non-wage income like interest and dividends

  What you’ll itemize and other deductions

  Income tax credits expected for the tax year

  Those with multiple jobs to estimate annual wages

“It looked a lot more like the 1040 than a W-4,” Isberg says.

In fact, the new form — he says — is so complex that it references 12 IRS publications that will help you fill it out. The worry of his company and others is confusion. Employers will be confused as to what it should contain and so will employees.

Training will likely be required.

Isberg also noted that some worry that the form probes into issues that workers might not want to share with their employers like how much their spouse makes, or whether they have another job on the side.

IRS spokeswoman Anny Pachner said those concerns are being taken into account and the next version — in May of this year — will make some changes. In the meantime, “We encourage taxpayers to take advantage of that opportunity and send us comments on the redesign,” she said.

Once those comments are received, a changed version will be released mid-summer.

That may not help. Kathy Pickering of the H&R Block Tax Institute said you’ll need a tub load of information to fill out the form. They include past 1099 forms, paystubs from last year’s earnings and more; things like:

  Your filing status

  Number of dependents

  Information about your itemized deductions such as home mortgage interest, state and local taxes, and charitable deductions

  Earnings from all jobs

  Information about non-wage income such as business income, dividends, and interest

“If you’re married, and both you and your spouse work, it will also be helpful to know information about your spouse’s income,” she also pointed out.

Plus, adding to the complication, states are also looking at new withholding forms.

Source link: MSN Money

Tags:  2019 insurance content  industry news  Insurance Content  pia western alliance 

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Oregon Mutual & Insuritas — Home & Auto Solutions

Posted By Staff writer, Tuesday, April 16, 2019



Oregon Mutual KKLUB PIA Western Alliance

PIA Western Alliance K-Klub member Oregon Mutual and Insuritas are partnering to integrate Oregon Mutual’s portfolio of property & casualty insurance products into Insuritas’ meta-agency platform.


The partnership between the oldest mutual insurance carrier on the West Coast, and one of the nation’s most established insurtech distribution platforms will connect them to over 3 million potential new members across Oregon, Washington, Idaho & California. The point is to further the commitment of both companies to empowering their customers to find the right coverage at the right price for all of their insurance needs.


Insuritas COO is Matt Chesky. “We are thrilled to partner with a team like Oregon Mutual’s that shares our passion for protecting and serving our policyholders,” he said. “Oregon Mutual has built a strong reputation for focusing on their roots and advocating for the best interests of their members and the communities they serve, while also embracing technology and thinking progressively about how they can enhance their member experience. We couldn’t ask for more in a partner.”


Oregon Mutual VP Sales and Marketing John Jolliff agrees. He said, “Positioning our product on the Insuritas meta-agency platform allows us to help customers buy our products through a highly personalized, digitally rich mechanism that pairs them with professional agents to aid in their purchasing decision. As a mutual company, our mission aligns strongly with that of Insuritas’ credit union partners, and we are proud that through Insuritas we will be able to partner with several of the leading credit unions in our markets.”


Tags:  Insurance content 2019  Insurance News  KKLUB  Oregon Mutual  PIA Western Alliance 

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A special thank you to our KKlub Members for their support.