DES PLAINES, Illinois -- The Board of Directors of the Alliance of American Insurers and the Board of Governors of the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) have adopted a resolution approving a merger agreement between the two national insurance trade associations.

The actions taken by the respective boards must be approved by a vote of the member companies of the two trade groups. If approved, a new organization to be known as the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) would be formed and begin operations in January.

"The boards of both NAII and the Alliance are strongly urging their members to vote in favor of the merger, said Jack Ramirez, NAII president. "PCI will create the nation's premiere trade association representing the property and casualty industry. With over 1,000 members that write approximately 40 percent of the market, PCI will have the resources and staff to provide its members with more and better services than they currently enjoy and with the political strength to have a much more powerful voice in state capitals and in Washington."

"We believe this merger will create a unified organization positioned to operate more effectively and efficiently," said Rodger S. Lawson, Ph.D., Alliance president. "The new organization's structure and focus will enhance our ability to attract additional members and become an even stronger voice in the public policy arena."

If the merger is approved, Ramirez would be president and CEO of PCI, while Lawson would be executive vice president.

Initially, the new organization was to be known as the National Association of Property Casualty Insurers. However, both boards agreed to the PCI name because it more accurately communicates who the organization represents and is more easily recognized by key audiences.

PCI would represent companies that write nearly 50 percent of the market in private passenger auto insurance, nearly 40 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial insurance market, and over 39 percent of the workers' compensation market.

Under the merger agreement, PCI would have a total of 140 employees and would be headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, Ill. In addition to an expanded staff in Washington, DC, PCI would have regional offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Sacramento, California; Tallahassee, Florida; and Trenton, New Jersey.

Anthony Dickson, president of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Companies and past chairman of the Alliance, would serve as chairman of the board of governors of PCI. Harvey Pierce, chairman and chief executive officer of American Family Insurance Group and current first vice chair of NAII, would be the vice chairman of the newly formed association.

Source: NAII

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