Ohio BMV’s Financial Responsibility Random Verification Program Eliminated

The program that has been administered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles since 1998 to randomly check to ensure that Ohioans are complying with the state’s financial responsibility laws has been eliminated.

In a somewhat expected move, language to eliminate the program was inserted by the Senate Transportation Committee to the state transportation budget to eliminate the verification program. This program has been a target for elimination by some legislators for years as it has become increasingly ineffective at catching uninsured drivers, and thus is viewed by some as burdening responsible drivers who comply with the law. The program screens approximately 280,000 drivers per year via mail and approximately 4 percent of the letters sent each year catch uninsured motorists (this equates to 11,200 people per year). It costs $550,000 per year or roughly $46,000 per month.

OIA is the only organization that weighed in on the elimination of this program. In our testimony, we emphasized that the last Financial Responsibility Study Committee Report issued in 2014 recommended REPLACING the BMV’s random selection program – not simply eliminating it. Furthermore, we made clear that we do have concerns about not replacing this program with a more robust auto insurance verification system that capitalizes on the technological advances that have become available in the last several years. To date, an effort to do so has yet to get underway, yet more than half of the states have passed laws and begun to develop and implement online auto insurance verification systems to identify uninsured motorists. Read OIA’s testimony. 

When Does the Program End?

The language initially added to the transportation budget bill sought to end the program at the beginning of 2020, however, this language was further modified to eliminate the program on the effective date of the transportation budget bill which is July 1st. 

What Checks Remain?

With the elimination of this program, the checks that remain for financial responsibility include traffic stops and individuals affirming that they have proper financial responsibility when they apply for a permit/license or they register a vehicle.

Questions or comments?

Contact Carolyn Mangas, OIA’s Government Affairs Manager, at carolyn@ohioinsuranceagents.com.

Also see

Financial Responsibility Study Committee Report

OIA Transportation Budget Senate Testimony

E&O Not Impacted By PIA Disaffiliation

OIA disaffiliated with PIA National, how does that affect your E&O coverage? It doesn’t!  Our exclusive direct appointment with our insurance carriers is not reliant upon an affiliation with the PIA National.

For over 120 years OIA has been your trusted advisor helping you protect your agency, with over 85% of independent agents trusting us to provide them with insurance coverage.  OIA has exclusivity with our markets which allows us to provide our agents with the broadest policy terms at the most competitive rates available. At OIA, our E&O experts are industry professionals who understand your business with a collective experience of over 75 years as licensed insurance professionals.

For over 50 years, OIA has partnered with insurance carriers that have been focused on insuring the independent agency system. With a majority of the independent agents insured by our carriers nationally, they have designed their policy forms to meet the unique needs of our industry and staffed experts in the areas of claims, legal and underwriting.

Partnering with OIA allows us to assist you in meeting your risk management needs through training classes tailored to qualify your agency for policy discounts while providing industry specific instruction to mitigate your risk of an E&O claim.  Through our carriers, you have access to risk management portals filled with leading topics around current coverage issues, templates for use within your agency to help you communicate to your clients and staff, and best practices for risk management.

As the agent’s agent, OIA understands how important it is to provide our clients with the best in class to protect your agency. Our mission to protect, promote and progress the independent agent stands as strong today as it did 120 years ago. We are dedicated to your success and we will continue to partner with you to deliver top notch insurance coverage and excellent customer service through our staff of trained E&O experts. 

We are proud that independent agents in Ohio turn to us for their insurance needs and we will continue to be a trusted business advisor to you.

Interested in learning more about OIA's e&o Insurance?

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OIA surrenders PIA National charter

PIA National has partnered with Ohio agents for many years, however, given the challenges and opportunities that face IAs in the changing marketplace, it is critically important for us to utilize IA resources in the most prudent manner possible.

After extensive consideration and valuation of our options, we are surrendering our PIA National charter in the state of Ohio.

We’ve prepared the following FAQ to provide insight into our decision-making process and help explain what it means to you.

Q: Why is OIA disaffiliating from PIA National?

A: There is a redundancy of services between the two national agents’ organizations.

One example is in advocacy efforts at the federal level – 44 percent of PIA National resources are expended on federal advocacy, while 30 percent of IIABA’s resources are dedicated to federal advocacy. We frequently receive updates from both national organizations within minutes of each other that essentially say the same thing.

The redundancy of federal advocacy efforts is not only an inefficient use of resources, it is likely hurting the IA system. Multiple messages and PACs dilute our messages and send mixed signals to public policymakers.

Despite combining our efforts at the state level in 2013, Ohio agents have still been paying twice for federal advocacy services, among other duplicate services offered by both national organizations. Independent agents would be better served by one combined national organization.

Q: Does Ohio leadership believe the two national organizations should merge?

A: Like the two state-level Ohio agents’ associations did in 2013, we encourage PIA and IIABA to pursue merger discussions.

We believe one national association with a singular focus on helping independent agents, and not competing with one another, is the best path forward for independent agents.

Over half of the state agents’ associations have merged within their respective states in the past 30 years. In addition, mergers have recently occurred in the national property and casualty insurance association community. Both the national carrier associations and wholesalers merged their national associations (American Property Casualty Insurance Association – 2018) (Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association – 2017).

Having successfully completed a state-association merger in Ohio, OIA would welcome the opportunity to participate in merger discussions with the two national agents’ organizations.

Q: When does this change take effect?

A: The change is effective April 9, 2019.

Q: What programs will no longer be available?

A: We are not aware of any unique programs, services or offerings that differentiate PIA National from the IIABA. Nearly all of the programs available through PIA National are also available through IIABA, with IIABA offering a much wider breadth of programs.

Q: Will my Utica E&O policy be affected?

A: No, not at all. Your Utica E&O policy is written through OIA’s in-house independent insurance agency, which has its own arrangement with Utica. You can continue to contact OIA’s trusted team of advisors for your E&O, cyber liability, umbrella and EPLI coverage. For questions about your E&O policy, including all of our available markets, please contact Judy at (800) 555-1742.

Q: How will the CIC and CISR program in Ohio be affected?

A: There is no impact on the CIC and CISR programs, or any other professional development classes offered by OIA. We will continue to offer the same great programs, including the addition of new pre-licensing classes and additional online courses. OIA’s relationship with The National Alliance (creator of the CIC and CISR programming) is completely independent of our relationship with PIA and will remain unchanged.

Q: I am currently enrolled in a PIA Trust program. What should I do?

A: You have two options. There are comparable programs offered through IIABA and we are happy to help walk you through the steps to switch. If you prefer to stay in a PIA Trust program, there is an option to join PIA at the national level for $225 per year by visiting pianet.com/join/nationalonlymembership.

Q: I currently access the Hartford Flood program through PIA National. What should I do?

A: You have two options. There is a comparable program offered through an IIABA partnership with Selective Flood and we are happy to help with book rolls between Hartford and Selective. If you prefer to continue using the Hartford program through PIA, there is an option to join PIA at the national level for $225 per year by visiting pianet.com/join/nationalonlymembership.

Q: What will OIA do with the funds previously forwarded to PIA National?

A: OIA will repurpose the resources currently dedicated to PIA to support Ohio agents’ ability to compete in the modern marketplace. This includes investing in and/or building additional resources and services.

For example, OIA is now leveraging data analytics for independent agencies by providing performance benchmarking reports and insights to propel growth.

Q: Can I still maintain a separate PIA National membership?

A: Yes, you may still join PIA at the national level. PIA National membership fees are $225 per year and you can sign up by visiting pianet.com/join/nationalonlymembership.

Q: I have the PIA logo on my website. What logo should I use instead?

A: We recommend you use the OIA member logo as it is most likely to resonate with your clients. To download the OIA logo for use on your marketing materials, please visit this page. If you would like to utilize a national brand as well, we recommend the Trusted Choice logo.


Please contact Jeff Smith with any questions regarding the disaffiliation from PIA National. 

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Click below to read the full letter sent to OIA members.

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Buckeye Insurance Group recognizes 14 OIA members

OIA members Block Insurance Agency, Fort Recovery Insurance Agency, Francis J. Paulus Insurance Agency, Hatfield Insurance Agency, John Wood Insurance Agency, Kathrens Insurance Agency, Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, Leugers Insurance Agency, Littman-Thomas Agency, Miami Valley Insurance Agency, Michael Murphy Insurance Agency, Pahl Insurance Solutions, Shockey-Ryan-Long Insurance Agency, Stahl-Stoller-Meyer Insurance Center were all recognized by Buckeye Insurance Group with its Preferred Agency Status for 2019.

The status is given to agencies that demonstrate the highest level of insurance knowledge, professionalism and service to their customers. OIA is proud to represent high-caliber agencies like these and congratulates them on this accomplishment!

Interested in becoming a member of oia? 

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PORTAGE, MI, JANUARY, 2019 – J.M. Wilson is proud to announce that Travis Lankerd, Brokerage Underwriter, and Jenna Hans, Senior Property & Casualty Underwriter, have been selected for the 2019 class of the Markel Ascending Stars Program that recognizes young talented insurance professionals as future leaders in the insurance industry.  These young leaders will be invited to take part in a special council, with the goal of strengthening their professional relationship for the duration of their career.

Travis joined J.M. Wilson in 2017 as a Brokerage Underwriter and has earned cyRM (Cyber Insurance and Risk Manager) and RCLS (Registered Cyber Liability Specialist) designations.  He is an Olivet College graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Risk Management.  Travis’ favorite part of the job is the opportunity to be challenged on a daily basis to find solutions to complex problems.  He also enjoys knowing that his work provides value to the financial security and risk management of the insureds’ businesses.

Jenna Hans joined J.M. Wilson in 2013 as an Assistant Underwriter, before her promotions in 2015 as P&C Underwriter and 2018 as Senior P&C Underwriter.  Jenna enjoys the relationships she’s developed with her carriers and agents and her favorite part of the job is facing new and different challenges every day.

About J.M. Wilson

J.M. Wilson is a Managing General Agency and Surplus Lines Broker providing independent insurance agents access to specialty markets for both personal and commercial lines. With offices in eight states, J.M. Wilson is able to provide coverage for standard and hard-to-place commercial, transportation, property & casualty, brokerage, professional liability and errors and omissions, personal lines and surety classes in thirty-six states.

For more information about J.M. Wilson, call (800) 666-5692 or visit www.jmwilson.com.

J.M Wilson is a cooper level parter with OIA. Contact Megan Smith to learn more about becoming a company partner and the benefits you receive. 

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