In April, Will and I traveled to Washington DC on our 5th or 6th trip to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers (IIABA) Legislative Conference. This year we were joined by about 15-20 Michigan agents. We spent some time prepping for our meetings on the Hill the following day and had some time to network with agents from across the country. We’ve formed a lot of great relationships over the years with our peers and it’s like a reunion once a year. It’s one of my favorite parts of this conference and to some extent really rejuvenating to learn from your peers what works for them and what doesn’t and why. We all struggle with some of the same things so it’s nice to ask and learn from others working on the same things we are working on.
Thursday morning we were up and ready to go at breakfast by 7:00AM to hear Representative Steny Hoyer from Maryland and Senator Mitch McConnell speak to us about the importance of being involved in the legislative process personally and professionally. Then it was off to the Hill to start our lobbying efforts. We discussed crop, flood and health insurance as well as tax reform and cyber security. We met with a staffer from Representative Bishop’s office, a staffer and Representative Jack Bergman and a staffer and Representative Paul Mitchell to discuss the above issues. Overall, our meetings went pretty well and again I learned even more about the legislative process.
After our meetings the Michigan agents gathered to debrief and share dinner together. After dinner we joined the National Young Agents Committee (YAC) and agents from across the US to help raise money for InVEST. InVEST is a national program that we are involved in to spread the word about how awesome of an industry insurance is and how many opportunities there are in this great industry. InVEST provides teachers with free training and resources regarding our industry. The MI YAC’s have helped schools in Michigan get connected with this program and the YA’s, including myself have spoken about our experiences in this awesome industry. The event raised over $35,000 for InVEST!
Overall, this trip was completely worth missing a couple of days in our office to go and lobby not only on behalf of ourselves but also the business’ we insure. We know more about these issues and how it not only affects us but our clients and their constituents! We are the experts in this field and it is our responsibility to tell our story. If you aren’t involved in the political process then you should be! #mllins #getinvolved #bigilegconf