PIA Connection by yaofenji


									PIA Welcomes Carriers Joining PIA Branding Program
Charter Sponsors Sign On to Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM

           PIA would like to welcome the first group of insurance companies to sign on as sponsors of our
           compelling new agent branding program, Local Agents Serving Main Street America.SM

           “PIA is pleased to welcome this first group of distinguished insurance companies as participants
           in the PIA Branding Program,” said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik. “By
           signing on as sponsors of the PIA Branding Program, carriers demonstrate their commitment to
           the success of the independent agency distribution system and the continuing prosperity of
           their professional agent sales force.”

               Charter sponsors of the PIA Branding Program are:
                           AIG Agency Auto                               Insurance House
                    American Commerce Insurance                       MetLife Auto & Home
                                                                    Motorists Insurance Group
                  Auto-Owners Insurance Company
                                                               Northern Neck Insurance Company
                     Bristol West Insurance Group
                                                                       Ohio Casualty Group
                        Celina Insurance Group
                                                                  Progressive Casualty Insurance
                     Central Insurance Companies                            Company
                      Columbia Insurance Group                  Southern Insurance Underwriters
                 German Mutual Insurance Company                State Auto Insurance Companies
                         Harleysville Insurance                          Unitrin Specialty
                             The Hartford                               Westfield Insurance

           Please turn to the next page to learn more about company sponsorship of the PIA Branding Pro-
           gram and what participating carriers are doing to support their PIA member agents and to pro-
           mote their sponsorship.

           Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?
           To become a company sponsor — or to help bring a company you work with on board as a spon-
           sor — simply contact PIA National and request a Company Sign Up Kit be mailed to you. The kit
           describes the program in detail and contains a simple Carrier Agreement.

           Contact the program’s managers listed below, or contact them both at

           Ted Besesparis,                            Alexi Papandon,
           Vice President,                            Asst. Vice President,
           Communications/PR                          Communications
           tedbe@pianet.org                           alexipa@pianet.org
           (703) 518-1352                             (703) 518-1353
Company Sponsorship of the PIA Branding Program
What does it mean to be a company sponsor?

PIA has always been very much of a grassroots             Many company sponsors have cooperative advertis-
organization. The PIA Branding Program is a great         ing programs. For those that do, we strongly encour-
example of this. Across America PIA members are           age them to include the PIA Branding Program adver-
contacting the companies they do business with            tisements in those programs. As a result of
and asking them to sign on as sponsors of the PIA         becoming a company sponsor, one carrier has actual-
Branding Program. As a result, companies are com-         ly expanded its cooperative advertising program to
ing on board, showing their support of the inde-          include a rebate of some PIA membership dues.
pendent agency system and their PIA member                Other companies are supporting the PIA Branding
appointed agents.

So what does it mean to be a company sponsor?
                                                                                                                                                       Spring 2007

Just as it doesn’t cost PIA members to use PIA’s adver-
tisements, company sponsorship in the PIA Branding
Program is free. By not paying a fee, company spon-
sors are better able to spend their money in ways that
support their specific marketing efforts.

                                                          Introducing a new “Partner” for your agency...
                                                                                                                                   -- see page 22

                                                                                                                              STFC declares 63rd consecutive
                                                                                                                               The board of directors of State Auto Financial
                                                                                                                             Corporation (NASDAQ: STFC) declared a quarterly cash
                                                            STFC announces record fourth quarter                             dividend of $0.10 per share, payable March 30, 2007, to
                                                                                                                             shareholders of record at the close of business on March
                                                                                                                             16, 2007.

                                                                                                                               This is the 63rd consecutive quarterly cash dividend
                                                              State Auto Financial Corporation (NASDAQ/GS: STFC)             declared by the company s board since STFC had its ini-
                                                                         A “taste” of the              Inner Circle                      What to do for
                                                            reported record fourth quarter net income of $44.9 million,                   offering of bad day
                                                                                                                             tial public a really common stock on June 28, 1991.
                                                                                                                             STFC s dividend payments have increased at a compound
                                                                           Greek Islands                   Class of 2006
                                                            or $1.08 per diluted share, versus $29.5 million or $0.71 per
                                                            diluted share for the same period in 2005. Net income from       average annual growth rate of 15% since 1991.
                                                                           (page 14)                       (page 17)                     (page 28)
                                                            operations per diluted share for the fourth quarter of 2006
                                                            was $1.03, versus $0.73 for the same period in 2005.
                                                              STFC s GAAP combined ratio for the fourth quarter of           State Auto joins PIA branding program
                                                            2006 was 83.5, versus 90.5 for the fourth quarter of 2005.
                                                            Catastrophe losses accounted for 0.6 points of the total
                                                            47.5 loss ratio points or $1.4 million in the fourth quarter
                                                            2006, compared to 7.6 points of the total 58.2 loss ratio
                                                            points, or $19.9 million for the same period in 2005. STFC s
                                                            fourth quarter 2006 revenue was $281.0 million, versus
                                                            $280.9 million for the same period in 2005.
                                                              Revenue for the year of 2006 was $1.12 billion, versus
                                                            $1.14 billion for 2005. For the full year of 2006, net income
                                                            was $120.4 million, or $2.90 per diluted share, compared to        State Auto is among the first group of carriers to join the
                                                            $125.9 million or $3.06 per diluted share, for 2005. The         National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
                                                            GAAP combined ratio for 2006 was 91.4, as compared to            (PIA) branding program, Local Agents Serving Main Street
                                                            90.1 for 2005. Return on stockholders equity was a healthy       AmericaSM.
                                                            15.1% for 2006. STFC s book value per share closed the             The PIA branding program, Local Agents Serving Main
                                                            year at $20.32, after recognizing a reduction to stockhold-      Street AmericaSM, is a compelling advertising and promo-
                                                            ers equity of $63.9 million or $1.56 per share due to adop-      tional campaign available at no additional cost to all PIA
                                                            tion of SFAS No. 158, Employers Accounting for Defined           member agencies throughout the nation. The program
                                                            Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans.                  reinforces the position of PIA members in their local insur-
                                                              “In the face of intensifying competition and softer pricing,   ance marketplace as local agents who offer personal sup-
                                                            the year proved to be a challenging and rewarding one for        port and service, as well as a choice of companies poli-
                                                            State Auto Financial. This quarter s record results were out-    cies, to better fit their customers needs.
                                                            standing, validating our commitment to disciplined under-          “Throughout our 85-year history, State Auto has
                                                            writing and capping off another strong year of profitability     remained committed to the independent agency system
                                                            for STFC. We believe our history of stable and consistent        because of the clear value independent agents offer poli-
                                                            performance provides confidence to our shareholders and          cyholders,” said Chairman/CEO Bob Restrepo.
                                                            policyholders that we can meet industry challenges head-         “Outstanding personal support and service plus a wide
                                                            on and succeed,” said STFC Chairman, President and               variety of insurance products can only benefit the con-
                                                            CEO Bob Restrepo.                                                sumer. We are proud to join PIA and our member agents
                                                              “2007 is expected to be a year of positive transition for      in promoting those benefits through Local Agents Serving
                                                            State Auto. We are developing and deploying several prod-        Main Street AmericaSM.”
                                                            uct and technology enhancements that should provide our            “State Auto s dedication to professional insurance agents
                                                            independent agency distribution force with the tools neces-      and the agency distribution system is well known in our
                                                            sary to compete for additional profitable business, in both      industry,” said PIA Executive Vice President/CEO Len
                                                            personal and business insurance segments,” added                 Brevik. “From its founding in 1921, State Auto has advo-
                                                            Restrepo.                                                        cated the independent agency system as the best method
              Program by placing full-page advertisements in trade                                                                           PIA Branding Program. A complete list of the first
              publications. This is only the beginning.                                                                                      twenty carriers to come on board can be found on
                                                                                                                                             the preceding page. An up to date list is available on
              If you have been appointed by a company sponsor,                                                                               the PIA Branding Program website,
              you may have seen the PIA Main Street logo and read                                                                            www.pianet.com/piabrandingprogram.
              about the PIA Branding Program in some of their
              communications vehicles. On this page you’ll see                                                                               On the next page you’ll find answers to some fre-
              samples of carrier newsletter articles, agent-only web                                                                         quently asked questions about the PIA Branding Pro-
              pages and other communications that our sponsors                                                                               gram. For additional information — and to preview
              have sent to their agents. PIA has also created an                                                                             and download the many ads that are available to PIA
              advertisement template, shown below, that sponsors                                                                             members — please visit the PIA Branding Program at
              can use to build awareness of the PIA Branding Pro-                                                                            www.pianet.com/piabrandingprogram.
              gram and their sponsorship.

              PIA would like to thank those companies that
              have come on board as charter sponsors of the

We support Local Agents Serving Main Street America SM
    The Hartford is pleased to support the PIA Branding Program, Local Agents Serving Main
    Street America SM. We applaud the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
    (PIA) for developing an identity program which helps convey the importance of the value
    added service professional independent insurance agents provide their clients each and
    every day, all across America.

    Agents wishing to learn more about the PIA Branding Program should visit

                                                                                                                        March 2007

                               PIA Branding Program:
                               A Great Fit For Your Agency
                               We are proud of the positive response received from our                  Did You Know?
                               announcement showing support of the PIA's program, Local Agents
                                                                                                        Agents now have an extra two
                               Serving Main Street America SM . All the emails and phone calls          hours to process Unitrin Specialty
                               received prove that there is value to be gained through participation.   Web endorsements. Our new
                               Think about it. Who in your agency has the time or qualifications to     extended Web endorsement hours
                               create professionally designed advertising materials? Exactly.           are Monday-Saturday, 1 AM – 10
                                                                                                        PM Central Standard Time. We
                               Through our sponsorship of the program you are only a few clicks         have also upgraded our sweep
                               away from making that a reality in your agency.                          report process so that agents now
                                                                                                        can view date-specific pending
                                                                                        >> Read More    sweep reports.

PIA Branding Program: Frequently Asked Questions

(1) Where do I get the ads?                                         (6) I work with a company that is not yet a
       Each of the ads is available directly on PIA National’s          sponsor of the PIA Branding Program.
    website as a high-resolution PDF file that PIA members              How can I get them on board?
    can download and provide to their publications and/or                  Contact Alexi Papandon at alexipa@pianet.org or
    printers. Go to www.pianet.com/piabrandingprogram                   703-518-1353. He can provide you with a Company
    and follow the links for PIA Members to access the File             Sign-Up Kit for you to personally put in the hands of a
    Download Page. There are no “ad slicks” or CDs avail-               company marketing representative (preferred) or send
    able with the ads.                                                  one to your contact on your behalf.
(2) How do I put my logo and contact                                (7) Can I make changes to the ads?
    information on the ads?                                                No, not without receiving specific permission from a
       Each ad has a blank space for logos and contact infor-           PIA Branding Program representative at PIA National.
    mation. Simply provide the high-resolution PDF file to              PIA Branding Program staff has gone to great lengths to
    your publication and/or printer and they will almost                minimize the chance that any of the claims made in
    always insert your logo and contact information at no               these advertisements violate federal, state or common
    additional cost in return for the advertising/print business.       law. Additionally, the ads form an important basis of our
                                                                        association’s and our members’ branded identity. Thus,
(3) Can I place a company logo on my ad
                                                                        no changes to the advertisements’ copy and/or design
    even if the company is not a “sponsor”
    of the PIA Branding Program?
                                                                        elements are permitted without permission.
       Yes, provided you have the company’s permission to           (8) Are there any yellow page ads?
    do so.                                                                 No, however, PIA members may integrate pieces of
(4) I represent a company that is a sponsor                             copy from our advertisements into their ads and include
    of the PIA Branding Program. Does that                              the PIA Main Street Logo. Because this copy is copy-
    mean that I can use their logo in my ad                             righted, and may only be used by PIA members recog-
    and/or does that mean I will get                                    nized by PIA National, it is suggested you verify your
    reimbursed as part of their cooperative                             PIA membership by logging into the PIA Members sec-
    advertising program?                                                tion of the PIA Branding Program.
        Not necessarily. Companies’ regular logo use and            (9) Who do I contact with a question?
    cooperative advertising program rules and restrictions                 Please do not hesitate to contact the program’s
    apply, unless an authorized representative of the compa-            managers listed below, or contact them both at
    ny has informed you otherwise. Furthermore, not all                 piabrandingprogram@pianet.org.
    PIA Branding Program sponsors have cooperative adver-
    tising programs.                                                          Alexi Papandon
                                                                              Assistant Vice President, Communications
(5) Can companies that don’t have                                             (703) 518-1353, alexipa@pianet.org
    cooperative advertising programs
    become sponsors of the PIA Branding                                       Ted Besesparis
    Program?                                                                  Vice President, Communications/
        Yes, regardless of whether a company has a coopera-                   Public Relations
    tive advertising program, PIA welcomes the companies                      (703) 518-1352, tedbe@pianet.org
    that support the independent agency distribution system
    as sponsors of the PIA Branding Program.

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