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PIA Partners with Emerald to Provide Agency Web Sites to Independent Agents
Jan 06, 2010 (06:01 PM EST)


WASHINGTON, Jan. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) today announced its partnership with Emerald, a leader in web site development, to offer independent insurance agents across America the opportunity to obtain web sites for their insurance agencies at special prices negotiated by PIA. The program is available immediately to all agents at www.bestagencywebsites.com .

The web sites available through the PIA-Emerald program have been tailored to meet the needs of today's independent agents so they can compete -- and win -- on the Internet. They offer a high degree of personalization to accommodate any agency, regardless of its mix of business. Cutting edge technology blends with a customer centric approach to deliver a web site experience that customers and clients of all ages and backgrounds will find useful and easy to navigate. All of this comes in a package that manages to save agents time and money.

"For a number of years now, PIA has been reporting that, while the majority of insurance buyers plan to purchase their insurance off-line through a local insurance agent, many of these insurance buyers want to gather information online and possibly initiate contact there as well," said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEO Leonard C. Brevik. "The web sites available through the PIA-Emerald program make this a reality, enabling independent agents of all sizes to compete at a high level and surpass the high expectations of today's Internet users."

The program's web site styles include dozens of revolutionary design possibilities with an engaging combination of lifestyle themes, Flash movies, branded color palettes, pull-down menus and icon-based navigation. Emerald's easy-to-use web site management system lets non-technical agency staff choose how their site looks and what features will be included on the site. Features include quote request forms, articles on a variety of topics, interactive scenario calculators, online client services to lessen the load on agency staff, answers to frequently asked questions, a glossary of common terms and more.

"As the Internet continues to mature and become an indispensable part of many people's lives, insurance buyers have increasingly high expectations about what services and options they expect agency web sites to offer," said Paul Peterson, President of Emerald. "Poorly designed and technology deficient web sites won't meet their expectations."

"In the past agents could get away with simple web sites featuring a photo of the agency and a few 'brochure' pages describing the agency owner and the agency's products and services," said Alexi Papandon, Assistant Vice President of Communications at PIA National. "However, the web habits of Americans in general and Generation Y in particular, coupled with the web savvy of many insurance industry players, requires all agents to step up their game. While this can seem daunting to a local independent agency, PIA and Emerald have put the pieces in place to make it easy for agencies of any size to play in the big leagues."

"The web site is the new store front, even if you don't sell insurance online. It's where many insurance buyers will form their first -- and possibly last -- impression of an agency," said PIA National's Brevik. "We are proud to provide America's independent agents with a turn-key solution to the challenge of building and maintaining a top flight agency web site."

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA members are www.pianet.com . PIA's web address is .

For over 20 years, Emerald has served as a marketing resource and partner to thousands of financial professionals, providing innovative products to help build and grow profitable businesses. Today, we continue to bring the best in effective marketing solutions to thousands of agents and brokers and hundreds of insurance companies and broker-dealers. Emerald's web address is www.emeraldconnect.com .

CONTACT: Ted Besesparis of the National Association of ProfessionalInsurance Agents, +1-703-518-1352

Web site: http://www.pianet.com// http://www.emeraldconnect.com/