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PIACT testifies in support of bill to improve insurance industry workforce

HARTFORD, Conn.—In testimony before Connecticut’s Joint Insurance and Real Estate Committee of the General Assembly on Tuesday, March 7, Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut Inc., past President Augusto Russell, CIC, praised the committee for its effort to bolster the state’s insurance workforce.

The committee, led by Sens. Tim Larson, D-3, and Sean Scanlon, D-98; and Rep. Kevin Kelly, R-21, was called to discuss raised bill, S.B. 928, "An Act Establishing A Task Force To Study Methods Of Developing, Expanding And Improving The Insurance Industry Workforce In This State."

PIACT said it supports the bill, which would create a task force to develop methods of improving the insurance industry workforce. Russell gave supporting oral testimony and a written statement applauding the committee for addressing the dwindling numbers in the agent population and the difficulty in recruiting new talent to the industry. He also strongly encouraged the committee to consider the value an active insurance agent would be in service on this task force. Both bills will go up for a joint favorable vote later in the session.

"PIACT commends the committee for addressing this need in the insurance industry. We strongly urge the committee to consider the experience and insight an active insurance agent could offer in service of such a task force," said Russell. "As an association supported by members, we strive to assist our members with many issues pertaining to their agencies and businesses. The most reoccurring issue our members reach out to us for tips and advice on is recruiting and retaining talented independent insurance agents. Our members continue to express frustration in this area."

Insurance agents provide a wide range of integral services for both individual consumers and the business community. Agents guide consumers through a complicated process, providing quotes and scrutinizing plans while ensuring that consumers consider the best options available to them. The reducing number of agents in the marketplace leaves consumers with dwindling resources to help guide them through their insurance needs.

As part of its efforts to foster the development of future insurance agents, PIACT has collaborated with Goodwin College to create insurance-specific coursework within the business program that target the changing world of insurance and provides a pathway to for Goodwin students to gain proper Connecticut insurance licensing. PIACT also assists by offering practical experience through paid externships to Goodwin students.

"PIACT is advocating for the passage of S.B. 928, and looks forward to working further with you as a resource on this issue," Russell said.