Agent perspectives: OIA Advocacy Day showcases impact of IAs

OIA members standing outside Ohio Statehouse image

Independent insurance agents proved to be a powerful force at the Ohio Statehouse on OIA Advocacy Day held in May. 

Our member agents spent the day advocating on behalf of Ohio consumers and educating legislators on the value of independent agents in local communities. Thanks to everyone who participated and made this year’s event a success!

Two important issues, top priorities for OIA’s advocacy team, took center stage during agents’ conversations with legislators:

  • Modernizing Ohio’s auto insurance verification system with the latest technology and best practices to identify uninsured motorists. 

  • Protecting consumers from “storm chasers,” residential roofing contractors who deceive customers about unnecessary repairs following severe weather. 

A diverse group of independent agents from across the state took part in Advocacy Day, from next-gen agents to experienced industry leaders.

OIA member agents at OIA's Advocacy DayOIA staff and member agents got to meet and network with Ohio legislatorsOIA staff and member agents outside of the Ohio Statehouse

For several attendees, this was their first foray into the advocacy arena, and they were excited to become more involved. We chatted with a few attendees to learn more about why they participated in OIA Advocacy Day: 

“I’ve been in the insurance industry for 11 years, but this is my first time participating in Advocacy Day. When I first heard about this event, I thought about the main issues impacting my clients, and the uninsured motorists issue is something I see at our agency all the time. It’s an issue with such a huge impact, from consumers to small and large businesses. This is also a great networking opportunity with legislators, the OIA team and my peers in the industry." Andrew Crouch, CMS Insurance Agency, Inc. (Cincinnati, OH) 

“As independent agents, we are experts in our industry, so it’s up to us to share information with our local representatives. When they have questions, I want to be a resource, somebody who they can call to learn more about insurance and important issues impacting our industry. My takeaway from this experience is to take that next step and start building relationships.” Janie Geis, Wichert Insurance Services, Inc. (Cuyahoga Falls, OH) 

“Advocacy Day is all about touching base with members of our legislature to maintain or establish relationships. I try to reach out on a regular basis to let them know about the issues that matter most to me as an independent agent and why they should care about them too. My hope is for independent agents to be viewed as a significant part of their constituency."  Brent Phelan, Phelan Insurance Agency, Inc. (Versailles, OH

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