There are many reasons for membership in the PIA. The reasons run from insurance products, access to affordable E&O, education, relationships with companies and other agents and more. One of the many is the association’s connections to what’s happening politically in each of the states we represent.
In this case, it’s Oregon.
PIA Oregon Lobbyist Lana Butterfield and her political committee keep close track of what’s happening in the Oregon Legislature each year. One bill — House Bill 3242 — was aimed squarely at the insurance agent and increased the duty level an agent has in their relationship to a client.
The lobbyist and the committee contacted the bill’s sponsor and explained why section three of the bill would be harmful to the independent agency system and to insurance agents.
The Division of Financial Regulation said: “We think that HB 3242 would expand the scope of an agent’s duty of care, whether independent or captive. Current law uses specific facts to determine whether a special relationship exists to create the duty of care required to support a negligence claim against an independent agent. HB 3242 would codify the special relationship requirement for both independent and captive agents toward policyholders. Note that this bill goes further, extending a producer’s duty of care to all “other person[s] to which the insurance producer solicits, negotiates, or sells insurance.”
“We asked the sponsor to amend the bill to delete that section, and he agreed to do so if PIA sent him a letter saying we are neutral if Section 3 is removed,” Butterfield wrote. “PIA has done so, which should relieve our members minds about agents’ direct involvement in this bill. PIA is now neutral on HB 3242 with the proposed amendment.”