IIABW is renowned for its effectiveness in advocating on behalf of independent agents and brokers in the state legislature and with regulatory agencies. IIABW's lobbyist, Bill Stauffacher, works with IIABW's Government Affairs Committee to advocate proactively for agents and brokers. We have a dedicated grassroots network who respond quickly to pending legislation through calls and emails to their elected officials.
Taxes in 2017:
The Washington Legislature must address two critical components of the Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary decision: reduce school districts' use of local property-tax levies to fund state obligations for "basic education"; and ensure that the state fully funds all K-12 education costs - including class-size reduction, all-day kindergarten, teacher salaries, and student transportation, material - by 2018.
To meet the state's McCleary obligations, we are anticipating that $1 - $1.5 billion in new tax revenues will need to be raised. Expect proposals from lawmakers to create a state-based capital gains tax (5% rate) and proposed elimination of "tax preferences" such as the insurance producers' B&O tax rate on commissions.
IIABW members will have plenty at stake in these policy and budget debates. Back in 2013, IIABW led the fight to against a 20% increase in our B & O tax and a proposed 7% state capital gains tax.
New Rules from the OIC
: Here are some of the new rules that IIABW is advocating on behalf of agents with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.New RCWs.pdf
: After a number of agency fines for rebating including a $30,000 fine in 2015 for client meals, christmas wreaths and sporting event tickets, IIABW worked with the legislature and Office of the Insurance Commissioner on a new law ESSB 5743
which enables agents to spend more money marketing to and thanking their clients (from $25 to $100 per year). The OIC published 'suggested best-practices guidelines' in hopes of minimizing confusion: Gifts, dinners, etc.; Referrals
; Charitable contributions
; Lead cards/mailing lists
; Promotional games of chance
Agent Licensing: IIABW worked closely with Congress to pass H.R. 26, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015. The law included an amendment which will create NARAB - a tool which will make it much easier for agencies to keep licenses in multiple states. NARAB II Big I Member Guide.pdf
OIC Audits: The OIC wrote this article in December 2016 to help agents understand how an audit works and what the department is focusing their attention on. Examinations by the OIC.pdf
Day at the Capitol
Every year IIABW works with other industry groups on an All Industry Day at the Capitol to educate insurance professionals on the latest legislative and regulatory issues and to lobby legislators on IIABW's legislative priorities. To view pictures from the 2016 Day at the Capitol, click here.
Big I Pac
IIABW’s state political action committee, Big I Pac, pools contributions from over 150 members annually and gives those dollars to elected officials and candidates who advance IIABW core principles on agent-specific, insurance industry and general business issues. Simply put, a PAC contribution is the equivalent of purchasing political insurance. Contributions do not buy solutions to legislative debates, but they do allow the Big I significant 'face time' with very busy elected officials to give us an opportunity to make our case.
Personal AND corporate contributions can be made to the Big I Pac. Here is a list of last year's contributors, bigipaccontributors.pdf
By joining IIABW, you also become a member of our national association, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA). IIABA lobbies the U.S. Congress on behalf of agents and brokers. Agents from IIABW each year meet with our Congressional delegation in Washington D.C. Click Here to read about the issues discussed during our last visit.
InsurPac, IIABA's political action committee, represents agents' and brokers' views on federal issues and helps elect favorable candidates to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. IIABW annually raises $15,000 for InsurPac. Here is a list of contributors from last year: insurpac16.pdf