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Company visits

PIANJ meets with MAPFRE executives

Representatives from PIANJ and MAPFRE met to discuss recent events in the Garden State's marketplace on May 11, 2016, at the office of PIANJ President Charles J. Caruso, CIC, CPIA, in Cranford, N.J.

Those in attendance included: Caruso; PIANJ First Vice President Donald F. LaPenna Jr.; PIANJ Vice President Rip Bush, CPIA; PIANJ Director and Business Issues Committee Chairperson Michael DeStasio Jr.; PIANJ Business Issues Director Jim Pittz, CIC, CPIA; MAPFRE Senior Vice President & Regional Director Stefan Jensen; and MAPFRE Assistant Vice President & Regional Manager Lori Sharpe.

PIANJ contacted MAPFRE to discuss members' concerns regarding MAPFRE's strategy to review the personal-lines results for some New Jersey agents as well as its plans to work with other agents to mutually discontinue their relationship. "MAPFRE will work closely with its agents to help minimize disruption and ensuring that changes are communicated in a timely fashion. Our long-term goal is rate stability and providing a viable market for standard and preferred business. MAPFRE Insurance is committed to our New Jersey agency partners and we are pleased that they have chosen to work with us and thank them for their commitment," explained Jensen.

During the meeting, MAPFRE explained that it had worked with the Department of Banking and Insurance concerning its plans. Jensen expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the department.

The group agreed that, in situations like this, communication to agents is the key. As long as agents understand the carrier's actions and why they are happening, a smoother transition can take place. PIA can be an asset in carrier communications. When issues or situations arise, PIA members turn to their association to find out what is happening and the association can help prevent a situation from escalating due to miscommunication.

Additionally, Bush asked MAPFRE about its handling of coastal offerings. Sharpe replied, "We continue to experience more growth outside of the coastal areas, as in recent years the coastal market has expanded to include many carriers that have an aggressive appetite to write business on the shore's edge."

Overall, MAPFRE was forthcoming with its market plans and reiterated its support of PIANJ and the independent agency system.