Case Study: Legislative Advocacy
“In Quorum Public Affairs, we’ve found a partner who combines strategic counsel with rapid, results-oriented action. The Quorum team is skilled, well-connected, professional and aggressive. They combine issues-related focus with long-term vision to meet AIA’s varying needs.”
The American Insurance Association (“AIA”) is the leading property – casualty insurance trade organization, representing approximately 400 insurers that write more than $120 billion in premiums each year. AIA member companies offer all types of property – casualty insurance, including personal and commercial auto insurance, commercial property and liability coverage for small businesses, workers’ compensation, homeowners’ insurance, medical malpractice coverage, and product liability insurance.
The association leads by forging constructive solutions to industry issues. AIA listens to opinions and ideas of its companies, consumers, regulators, and business leaders. Then we build consensus by melding the best of what the insurance industry needs to remain sound and what consumers need in insurance protection.
In 2001, the House Insurance and Civil Practices Committees in the Texas Legislature were considering three measures that would have adversely affected AIA members who do business in Texas. The proposed legislation addressed litigation management guidelines, third-party audits of legal bills, and insurer use of in-house counsel. The AIA needed knowledgeable, well-connected representation in Texas to quickly mobilize education and grass roots campaigns in opposition to the measures being considered by the House committees. The AIA found that strategic partner in Quorum Public Affairs.
The Road Ahead
Quorum continues its long-standing partnership with AIA through the Texas Coalition for Affordable Insurance Solutions, advocating a competitive insurance marketplace.
Quorum quickly designed and initiated an integrated communications campaign to address all three proposed measures on multiple fronts. Mobilizing the Quorum Network© field team throughout the state, Quorum executed a high-level, “grass tops” letter-writing program to key House members, generating more than 100 constituent letters over a two-week period. To complement the coalition development effort, Quorum also executed a targeted “will call” phone bank program to urge constituents to write their elected representatives on the House Insurance and Civil Practices committees. As a result, only the litigation management guidelines bill made it to the House floor.
In executing a floor vote strategy, Quorum coordinated a “Joint Statement of Support” from leading organizations including the Texas Association of Business; National Federation of Independent Business; Texas Civil Justice League; Texans for Lawsuit Reform; Small Business United of Texas; Citizens for A Sound Economy; and the Texas Business Coalition that was distributed to elected officials.
All told, these efforts helped contribute to the measure passing by a five-vote margin in the 150-member House, much narrower than the 31-0 margin in the Senate. Quorum immediately engaged its coalition partners to urge a gubernatorial veto. The veto effort was successful, in part due to the close House vote.
When the Texas Senate took up asbestos litigation reform in its 2003 session, the AIA again engaged Quorum Public Affairs to manage a public affairs and targeted communications campaign in support of the reform. Quorum prepared district profiles for each member of the Senate to determine key points of contact, mobilized other issue partners like Texans for Lawsuit Reform and the Texas Citizen Action Network, and engaged key opinion leaders to contact swing vote legislators to shore up those members leaning in favor, and persuade those who remained undecided.
Through longstanding relationships, Quorum also engaged GOP party leadership from the Texas Republican County Chairmen’s Association, the Texas Federation of Republican Women, and the State Republican Executive Committee to contact Republican Senators. Quorum helped AIA generate earned media and mobilize corporate community members such as Kroger Corp. While the campaign fell one vote short in the Senate, AIA has continued to benefit from an increased profile among influential House and Senate committee members.