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MAIA On the Road: Agent Forums


Fall%20road%20I’ve made several mentions of our annual Agent Forums on Twitter lately. On Wednesday morning I sat in on one of the seven forums and realized that in all the years I’ve worked here, this is the first one I’ve been to. This recap of the work done throughout 2009 was certainly informative and interesting to hear- even for someone who watched it all happen.

The crowd of agents who gathered at MAIA Headquarters on Wednesday were addressed by three of our senior association staff, Frank Manicini, President  & CEO, Dan Foley, VP of Legislative Affairs, and Donna McKenna, VP of Communications. Each gave an informative recap of the work done at MAIA over the past year, and provided a road map for what we can expect in 2010.

A Brief Recap:

Frank gave a brief update on the ongoing Arbella/MAIA vs. Commissioner of Insurance legal action. These proceedings have been ongoing for the last 16 months, and the MA Supreme Judicial Court decision is expected sometime in early February.  Frank blogged about his recent SJC experience here at Property & Casualty Speaking.

Frank also took a moment to mention that the Agent Awareness Campaign is going into its 10th year, and noted that this media campaign, which focuses on raising public awareness about Independent Agency system, is made possible by the contributions of our generous Insurance Company partners.

Legislative Highlights:

Dan spoke about several key legislative items, and was most happy to share the success of the grassroots campaign to pass the bill to preserve the At-Fault Accident Appeals Process. Dan made it clear that direct action by MAIA members made sure that this issue was heard at the State House and helped to drive an unprecedented number of representatives to sponsor this bill. MAIA will continue the use of grassroots efforts to bolster our lobbying effort in the upcoming year, and you can expect to be hearing from us on this in the upcoming months. 

Dan also took some time to discuss the implementation of the proposed Massachusetts Data Security Regulation (201 CMR 17.00). He has been testifyingall year in an attempt to make this regulation friendlier to small businesses, and he encouraged agencies to stay informed about compliance. The next Panel of Professionals which will be held Friday October 30th in Boston at The Big Event and the additional practical information is available on our website at the INFO-ONLINE Center under the Government Affairs heading. 

At the RMV:

Lastly, Donna generated the greatest amount of conversation as she tackled several Registry of Motor Vehicles issues. Donna’s breadth of knowledge concerning the RMV is much greater than mine, and therefore I won’t get into the issues she undertook here.  However she will be expanding on many of the topics she covered during the Agent Forum (including the registration of Low Speed and Limited Use Vehicles) during her Four Registry Track Sessions at The Big Event on Saturday, October 31st. Look for the latest Registry News or you can contact her directly by email at

The Future of Agent Forums:

The very first item Frank spoke of concerned the possibility of changing the venue for the Agent Forums in the future. Our IT team has been testing the ability to stream these types of sessions live on the web. It is very likely that next fall you will able to see the session as it is broadcast live on the web. A live stream will allow anyone to watch the session from a web connected computer, and hopefully the session would also be stored and available for you to watch at anytime in the future. What do you think about virtual Agent Forums?  

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