|LIFE INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS
BY ACCEPTING AN INSURANCE LICENSE,
YOU ACCEPT A FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO
ASSIST YOUR CLIENTS IN A MANNER THAT IS
TO THEIR BEST BENEFIT.
YOUR WILLINGNESS TO PERFORM YOUR DUTIES ETHICALLY IS VITAL.
THE PURPOSE OF THE FOLLOWING IS TO GIVE YOU THE INFORMATION NECESSARY TO
ENABLE YOU TO DO SO.
FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE NOT TO PERFORM IN AN ETHICAL MANNER,
INSTEAD FOCUSING ON COMMISSIONS, ACCOLADES,
MEMBERSHIPS IN PEER ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER PERKS
WHICH ARE BASED PURELY ON SALES,
THERE IS ERRORS AND OMISSIONS INSURANCE
THE BASICS OF ETHICS
THE LIFE INSURANCE PROFESSIONAL
W.R. Marlowe Educational Services
P.O. Box 2721
Anaheim, CA 92814
(Some of this material is repeated – it is intentional)
\Eth"ics\, n. [Cf. F. ['e]thique]
1 - The science of human duty; the body of rules of duty drawn from this science; a particular system of principles and rules concerning duty, rules of practice in respect to a single class of human actions; as, political or social ethics; insurance ethics, thereby becoming interchangeable with “Morality”.
2 - Standards of conduct that guide decisions and actions, based on duties derived from accepted core values. A theory or system of such values. The major ethical theories include:
Utilitarianism (a type of teleology [there’s a design, a purpose other than what is most efficient or convenient ]) - all action should be directed toward achieving the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people.
Deontological Ethics - Ethical theory concerned with duties and rights in regard to a moral obligation, regardless of consequences, e.g., Kant’s Categorical Imperative. (Categorical = Absolute, without condition or exception / Imperative = Mandatory on everyone)
From Charles H. Spurgeon, 19th century Christian spiritual leader:
“To refuse to do right is a great evil; but to continue in that refusal until conscience grows numb upon the matter is far worse.”
“How is your business conducted? Are you above the tricks of trade? Do you know how to stand aloof from the common customs of other men, and say, ‘If all do wrong it is no reason why I should – I must, I will do right?’"
“Our line of conduct ought never to be ruled by gain or loss. Do right if the heavens fall. Do no wrong, even though a kingdom should be its reward.”
Moral Ethics (Morality) - relating to principles of right and wrong, which may be dictated by an accepted standard, such as Holy Scripture or a Code of Ethics.
WHAT IS INTEGRITY?
Integrity is a consistency between what we believe, feel and do in a particular situation.
(Opposite of Integrity? Hypocrisy)
Ethical Principles - Items to consider when selecting a course of action
The Rights and Duties of all involved
Are anyone’s rights abridged?
The right to know (the right to self-determination)
The right to privacy
The right to property
EX: A man in a BMW parked at Chick-fil-A. He walked in the store with 2 empty Chick-fil-A cups, filled them and left without making a purchase.
Are any duties or responsibilities left undone or incomplete?
Consequentialism - does the course of action minimize actual and potential harm and to whom?
Egoism: good for me, least harm to me
Utilitarianism: good for the group, least harm for the group
Altruism: good for all others, some harm to me
Simplistic Guidelines - When making a decision,
Does it pass the “Self-Evident Test”?Is an explanation necessary to make the activity appear ethical?
Does it pass the “Do As I Do Test”? Would you train your people to do what you did?
HAVE YOU BEEN PRESENTED WITH A CODE OF ETHICS BY YOUR COMPANY OR YOUR OFFICE OR YOUR MANAGER?
WHY HAVE a Code of Ethics? The existence of an accepted code of ethics is one thing that separates a “profession” from other kinds of work. Under this definition, people who do the same kind of work and adhere to an accepted ethics code are working in a profession, while people who do the same kind of work without sharing an ethics code are just people doing the same job.
Examples of Codes of Ethics: http://www.ethicsweb.ca/resources/business/codes.html
Specifically insurance - http://www.naifa.org/about/ethics.cfm
Since numerous Codes of Ethics have been formulated in regard to the field of insurance, our challenge, as members of the profession, is to adhere to that which already exists. In this class we will attempt to clarify appropriate beliefs, feelings and actions for the ethical insurance professional.
To Whom Do You and I Owe an Ethical Responsibility?
An insurance professional’s areas of ethical responsibility encompass their relationships with:
1) Existing clients
Existing clients need:
a) Periodic confirmation that they are taken care of (DO YOU HAVE A SYSTEM FOR DOING THIS?)
b) Assurance that they can get their questions answered (DO THEY KNOW THIS?)
c) Assistance at the time of a claim(THE PRE-PAID PART OF THE JOB)
How much do you specifically get paid for performing these 3 functions?
So, why, in a practical way, are these functions so important to your business?
Your next client will come from a referral from this client.
(AND - IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO)
2) Prospective clients
What do you want from a prospective client?
Their warm market?
Prospective clients, generally, are:
a) Needy for insurance, but (or think they are, i.e., woman wanted $1 million of life insurance. She lived with her financially independent Mom and couldn’t explain why she needed it - did I sell it to her? Doesn’t matter - the questions is - would you?
(No, I didn’t – I taught her out of it)
b) Ignorant about finances, and therefore
c) Hesitant, but actually
d) Looking for someone they can trust to guide them
To get their business, their money and their warm market, you must, above all, want their TRUST.
3) The general public
The general public, generally, needs
a)To be able to trust insurers and insurance agents
b) Education regarding insurance issues
c) Ethical advertising (which, by law, is defined as everything you say, write or print.
Attempting to gain trust is why so many insurance professionals get involved in churches, service clubs, children’s sports, etc., etc. — (IS THIS ETHICALLY APPROPRIATE?)
Insurers, generally, are:
a) Looking for clients and profits
b) Highly regulated
c) Dependent on, and responsible for, their agents
(Your insurer or insurers need your ethics in order to survive and not become headlines. Numerous insurers and securities dealers have had to change their names in order to continue in business. Want an education? Research why “Prudential Bache” became “Prudential Securities”.
5) The state
Legislates a minimum ethical standard and punishes violations of it.
6) Self and family
Peace of mind (see under Personal Duties) and setting an example
FUNCTIONING COMPETENTLY WHILE FULFILLING ALL OF THESE SIMULTANEOUSLY IS OUR CHALLENGE. WHEN A CHOICE HAS TO BE MADE BETWEEN THESE, OUR TRUE CHARACTER IS REVEALED.
ETHICAL OPPORTUNITY DISCUSSION SCENARIOS
“The current cost for a “child rider” is $6.00, which provides a death benefit of $1,000 from age 14 days until 21 years for all children in the family. This price was obtained by a calculation that assumed an average number of children per policy (2.3) and an average child mortality rate (1/1000). The result was a cost of $2.30 for a thousand dollars of coverage. The company added $3.00 for profit and expenses and then rounded up to obtain the $6.00 annual premium.
“The price was originally computed using life tables from the 1950s. Child mortality in 1999 was 1/3 of 1950 rates.
“The child rider would therefore cost $1.31 based on the 1999 mortality and population proportion data.”
1. When parents have small children and they are interested in a child rider, should you:
a) Point out, without being asked, the amount of additional coverage they could buy on themselves with the money they would spend on the child rider premium?
b) Offer them separate policies for each child?
c) If they are not interested, would you attempt to interest them? What arguments would you use?
2. When you realize that a client’s true need is for a tax-qualified plan, for which you’ll receive a minimal commission, but their stated desire is to buy life insurance, for which you’ll receive a large commission, do you:
a) Present all arguments regarding what you believe to be to the client’s best advantage?
b) Go along with the client in order to avoid losing their business?
c) Concerned that the client may later realize their true need, attempt to show them how your policy will serve their needs better than a tax-qualified plan?
3. If your manager established a practice which you believed to be unethical, would you:
a) Let it go and go along - she’s the boss?
b) Quit immediately - this is probably an indication of a deeper ethical problem which will only cause more problems in the future?
c) Have a private conversation with the manager expressing your concern?
(Of course your answer is probably “c,” but what do you do when the manager confirms, after the conversation, her intention to continue the practice?)
IF YOU REPRESENT MORE THAN ONE COMPANY, PICK YOUR FAVORITE FOR LIFE INSURANCE
4. If you were in a position to hire someone for this company, in what order of importance would you emphasize to them the following?
Number from least emphasis (1) to most (7).
____a. Potential income
____b. Improving the new-hire’s personal life
____c. The good the new-hire will be able to do for his/her clients
____d. The size of the company
____e. The reputation of the company
____f. The age of the company
____g. The quality of the company’s products
Regarding the above,
In order of importance to you, 1 being least important, 7 most important, why are you, at this point, still with your company?
____a. Potential income
____b. Improving your personal life
____c. The good you will be able to do for your clients
____d. The size of the company
____e. The reputation of the company
____f. The age of the company
____g. The quality of the company’s products
Compare these two lists. Would you emphasize these items to potential new-hires in the same order you value them?
Regarding the above,
In order of importance to the public, 1 being least important, 7 most important, how would you value these items?
____a. Employees’ potential income
____b. Quality of the employees’ personal lives
____c. The good the employees are able to do for his/her clients
____d. The size of the company
____e. The reputation of the company
____f. The age of the company
____g. The quality of the company’s products
Considering the three lists, to what extent are the values of you and your company(ies) reflective of the value of you and your company(ies) to the public?
Do you see ANY correlation between these values? Do you see how these different value systems could create ethical challenges?
5. Assume an insurance applicant told you a fact that would affect their insurability and therefore your sale, but you know that there is no way for the company to discover that fact if you “forget” to put it on the application. Considering the client is desperate for insurance and won’t be able to get it elsewhere as inexpensively if denied or rated by your company, what do you do?
a. Leave the fact off the application. If it were that important, the company would have created a way to assure that they know about it.
b. Go out on a limb - put the fact in the application with wording that may convince underwriting to ignore or de-emphasize it.
c. Just put the fact in the application.
d. Explain the situation to the client and let them decide whether to include the fact.
e. Refuse the application.
f. Other ________________________________________________________________
Would your answer be the same if the client were a relative or friend of yours?
INSURANCE INDUSTRY BAD EXAMPLES
“A veritable Who's Who of insurance companies have been smacked with class action lawsuits that ultimately settled for millions, sometimes billions, of dollars, because of insurance agent churning. For example, (4 companies) have paid hefty prices for churning.”Go to www.Insure.com and do an Article Search for "ethics".
I. Numerous companies’ agents persuaded policyholders to buy additional, more expensive life-insurance policies or to convert existing policies into annuities -- which, unknown to policyholders, earned the agents large commissions. (AT A CONTINUING ED CLASS, I HEARD AN AGENT OF ONE OF THESE COMPANIES BRAGGING ABOUT CONVINCING AN ELDERLY COUPLE TO MOVE $600,000 FROM THEIR INVESTMENTS INTO AN ANNUITY. HE DIDN’T BRAG ABOUT THE GOOD HE DID – HE BRAGGEDABOUT HIS $36,000 COMMISSION. ) Lawsuits alleged a number of deceptive sales practices. Among them:
* Replacing sound policies with unsound policies that didn't last.
* Deceiving customers about the policies' possible future cost.
* Mis-selling tax-deferred annuities for IRAs and other retirement accounts.
These are deceptive sales practices known as
“Churning” occurs when a salesperson makes repeated sales to the same customer in order to make commissions, and
“Twisting” happens when bogus comparisons are made to net a sale.
II. Agents from various companies have been caught doing the following:
* Selling universal life insurance policies as 401(k) retirement plans.
* Selling universal life insurance policies as “term insurance plus a mutual fund.”
Agents will frequently sell life insurance for the sole purpose of paying federal estate taxes. Insurance funding of estate taxes that will not be imposed until years in the future, and in an as yet unknown and unknowable amount, present a unique risk of imposing unexpectedly high long-term premium costs on an estate given the unpredictable fluctuations of interest and investment return rates, and the risk inherent therein, in the interim. They had best make sure that the policy NEVER lapses.
- Selling variable life policies as “mutual funds”.
IV. Under the terms of an agreement hammered out with a multi-state task force of insurance regulators, INSURER handed over a record $70,000,000 in total fines to the 50 states. INSURER also agreed to a nationwide restitution program that could reach $2 , to the 10,700,000 people who purchased a ‘permanent’ life insurance policy between January 1, 1982 and December 31, 1995.
Department of Insurance reports also faulted INSURER’s management for its failure to responsibly police and discipline its agents and fined them for destruction of documents relating to the investigations.
INSURER agents also sold insurance policies with misleading labels such as ''private pension plans,'' (selling life insurance as an investment) and identified themselves only as ''financial planners.”
(HOW MANY OF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T MAKE THEIR STATUS OBVIOUS? WHAT DOES IT SAY ON YOUR BUSINESS CARD? WHAT WOULD IT SAY IF THE LAW DIDN’T HAVE AN OPINION?)
Florida’s investigators concluded, "INSURER trained its agents to mislead, misrepresent and defraud policyholders," according to an internal report on the investigation. "The company is the core of this fraud."
The agents were able to fool so many consumers because they used projections -- generally wildly optimistic -- about how well policyholders' investments in annuities would perform. When the annuities earned a lower rate of return than projected, policyholders were required to make up the difference with increased premiums or risk losing their entire investment.
(DID THE AGENTS KNOW THEY WERE MISLEADING, MISREPRESENTING AND DEFRAUDING?)
V. National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. (NASD) levied a $20 million fine on INSURER Securities for deceptive sales practices in variable life insurance products. Agents’ involvement included:
* Inducing customers to roll over their INSURER life insurance policies to purchase new variable life insurance policies by misrepresenting the cost of the new policies. Agents were telling customers that the cash value and dividends in their existing policies could be used to pay for the new policies, when in fact there was not enough to pay the new premiums (churning). As a result, both old and new policies often lapsed because the policyholder could no longer pay the newer, and more expensive, premiums.
* Telling customers that premium payments would vanish after a certain number of years.
* Telling customers that variable life insurance was not insurance but an investment, savings, or retirement plan.
* Selling variable life policies to people for whom the product was unsuitable, including customers who either didn't want insurance or didn't know they were actually buying insurance.
Defining the Problem
Within any society, there are numerous ethical standards which, though similar, will vary based on the concerns of the specific sub-group (cf. a inner-city group of nuns with the same inner-city gang-bangers). Our concern is the ethics of being an insurance professional, that person who holds an individual’s or business’s or family’s financial future in his/her hands.
Businesses are also composed of cultures. Take a good close look at your company’s, at your office’s, at your hierarchy’s cultures.
What are the norms of behavior?
Are people who don’t violate standardized guidelines looked down on?
Is ethical behavior expected or is it seen as “strange” or “out of the ordinary?”
What is valued? Determine this by answering - “What is rewarded?”
Are sales / premium / commission emphasized and discussed in depth with little or no discussion regarding your individual reputation and that of the company? Or are you urged to protect your reputation and the company’s reputation at least as strongly as you are urged to protect its assets?
Have you ever, by any level of management, faced pressure to commit what you believe to be misconduct?
(Are those pressures from the leadership or from your peers? Which would be most likely to change your behavior?
Do systemic problems exist that could encourage good people to make bad decisions?)
Why would agents participate in the above actions?
1 - They believe that the company is a buffer between them and the insurance regulators.
2 - They have no previous insurance experience and their entire education comes from their company.
Other reasons? _________________________________________________________________
Creating An Ethical Atmosphere
Companies - Make it clear to all managers, from the top to the bottom of the management ladder, that ethical concerns will always outweigh the need for more company income. Indeed, though the perception may exist that ignoring ethics may result in greater profit, there IS NO actual conflict between ethics and profit because profit without ethics is not only wrong, but will eventually result in loss of profit and loss of credibility within the sphere the company depends on for its existence.
Consider conducting a formal assessment of your office / hierarchy cultures from the perspective of attitudes, perceptions, values, standards of conduct, pressures to commit misconduct, communications, risks and vulnerabilities. Pay particular attention to your corporate values and how well they have been internalized by your senior leadership, employees and agents. Ethical lapses at the upper echelons of management tend to be perceived as tacit permission to choose the "path of least resistance" at lower levels. Senior management needs to hold itself to the highest standards of conduct before it can demand similar integrity from those at lower levels.
Supervisors and managers- Communicate your ethical expectations and requirements in informal meetings with employees. Unless leaders clearly and consistently communicate their values, employees will assume they are neutral on the subject. (YES, THIS APPLIES TO YOUR KIDS, TOO)
Provide agents with a written ethical pledge (see samples at end).
Tie corporate goals and rewards to the written code of ethics.
Insure that agents understand what kind of conduct you expect.
Supervise with ethics in mind -- let your people know that, just as you watch the quality of their paperwork and public relations, you are watching their ethics. Assure that the promotion / reward system does not benefit those who are unethical.
Install an anonymous ethics “Hotline” so individuals can report possible ethical lapses within the organization as well as to seek information regarding personal ethical questions without concern for negative repercussions.
Individuals - Publish your own, personal IES: “Individual Ethical Standard.” Let everyone know that you will hold yourself to the highest ethical standard, put it in writing and do it.
Possible Areas of Conflict of Interest for Insurance Professionals
* Multiple insurer appointments.
* Client’s best interest is contrary to agent’s / broker’s best interest. (i.e., Reward for sales without consideration of appropriateness.)
* Company’s best interest is contrary to agent’s / broker’s best interest.
* Making an inappropriate sale in order to pay a chargeback or other financial obligation.
Common Ethical Violations by Insurance Professionals
Twisting / Churning: Creative financing - using money from an old policy to finance a new policy without telling the client or while minimizing the ramifications of such a procedure.
Misrepresentation: Untrue, deceptive or misleading statements whether verbal or written, whether outright lie or not. (Well, I didn’t saaaay that, exactly)
Fraud: Any deliberate deception to secure an unfair advantage or illegal gain.
Approaches to Ethical Decision Making
I. Law as an Ethical Foundation (MAN’S LAW OR GOD’S LAW? IS EITHER SUFFICIENT?)
Formal - Written, stated or otherwise made plain. When making a decision,
Does it violate corporate policy? Is there an applicable corporate policy?
Does it violate a professional code of ethics?
Does it violate the Golden Rule?
Luke 6:31 - “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
Pledge of Designees of The American College - The Huebner School
"In all my professional relationships, I pledge myself to the following rule of ethical conduct: I shall, in light of all conditions surrounding those I serve, which I shall make every conscientious effort to ascertain and understand, render that service which, in the same circumstances, I would apply to myself."
Informal - Understood from “common law” within the organization / entity
Personal Duties - Do The Following Reside Within You?
Not What You Do, but What You Are
Trust- Fulfilling the expectations of others that a stated outcome will actually occur.
Integrity - Morally complete (“as one” in our personal beliefs, thoughts and actions)
Truthfulness - A lack of falsehood / deceit, whether actual or inferred.
Gratitude / Reparation -
Gratitude -.“Thank you”
Reparation - “I’m sorry” plus compensation in an attempt to achieve...
Justice - “Balancing the books” between people through the use of gratitude and reparation. “Iniquity” (“inequality”/”injustice”) is a lack of such balance.
Beneficence - The state or quality of being kind, charitable, or beneficial.
Non-maleficence - The state or quality of not being harmful in nature or quality.
Peace of Mind - Not putting your affections on decisions which belong to another.
Self-Improvement - An ongoing realization that personal improvement is possible coupled to a willingness to pursue it.
Principle of Respect - Are people treated as worthy of dignity and the right to decide what they believe to be best for themselves or as a means to an end? Includes protection of privacy.
Principle of Consistency - What if universal law forced everyone to act in this manner? Would the world be an improved place?
Professional Duties - Do You Maintain The Following In Your Work?
Appropriate and necessary professional relationships
* The insurance professional as teacher -- as ethical example -- as guide to clients, peers and general public.
* Know your limitations and where to refer clients whose needs exceed them.
The future springs from the present. The greatest evidence of effectiveness is when tomorrow’s sale consistently and naturally results from today’s sale. (i.e., me - 4 key man and 3 personal policies from one client referral)
Insurance professionals are given information not normally shared with anyone. Do you really understand the depth of the importance of this client trust?
The agent’s / broker’s interests are of zero value in making determinations as to how to treat the client.
Products and laws constantly change. Do you accept the responsibility to stay current and to notify your clients of changes which affect them? (No, you’re not paid - EXCEPT in increased trust and referrals)
BOTTOM LINE - DON’T BE SHORT-SIGHTED. SEE THE END.
Outline Your Personal Ethical Code:
1) Conduct toward and regarding co-workers
2) Conduct toward and regarding managers
3) Conduct toward and regarding potential clients
4) Conduct toward and regarding existing clients
5) Conduct toward and regarding my insurers
6) Conduct regarding competitors
7) Conduct regarding regulators
8) Responsibilities to myself and my loved ones
THE PROFESSIONAL ETHICAL CODE OF
As a person who holds the financial future of individuals, families and businesses in my hands, I do hereby create and adopt the following Personal Ethical Code and do dedicate myself to living according to it.
Date ______ / ______ / ______
“Our lives will happen to us whether or not we ever sit down to articulate our personal code of ethics. A ship without a rudder will stay afloat as well as one with a rudder. But the one with a rudder will head in a purposeful direction, negotiating rough waters to stay on a chosen course. The other will react to waves and toss and turn, dependent upon the will of those waves. Creating a personal code of ethics is one way to craft a rudder for our life as an insurance professional.”
-Dr. Jay Martinson
For assistance with the creation of your Code, click here.
Examples of organizational codes of conduct:
Society of Financial Services Professionals
National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors
Global Association of Investment Professionals
The following published personal codes of conduct, listed by Roman numerals, have been adapted to the purposes of this course for your consideration and use:
I will always exercise the utmost integrity, honesty, and diligence in carrying out my professional duties and responsibilities.
I will always safeguard the interests of my clients, and never knowingly be a party to any illegal or unethical activity.
I will never enter into any agreement or undertake any activity which may be in conflict, or give the appearance of conflict, with the legitimate interest of my clients, or that would prejudice my capacity to satisfactorily perform my professional duties.
I will absolutely and unequivocally protect any confidential information obtained in the performance of my duties, and will never use such information for personal gain or in any manner that would be detrimental to my clients or any other party.
I will continually ensure that my knowledge and skills are current as required to perform my professional activities.
I will be mindful at all times of my responsibilities as a professional toward the community at large.
I will conduct myself as an ethical person in my private life, and as an ethical professional in my dealings with colleagues, clients and others which I may encounter in all my undertakings.
I will offer to each person I encounter the insight of my combined knowledge and developed skills in a manner that is offered without prejudice, judgment, or predetermined notions of any person’s ability, disability, religious beliefs, learning style, age, socioeconomic status, social or professional standing, gender, race, or ethnicity.
I will conduct myself in a supportive, but professional, manner in all my dealings with clients and colleagues, setting the standard and putting forth the highest respect in my professional relationships with others.
I will refrain from any and all activities which may be accurately construed as unethical, or which may violate written or unwritten codes of professional and personal conduct, rules, regulations and similar standards of my profession and/or the laws of jurisdictions in which I work.
I will encourage clients to participate in the planning and development of their financial plans to the extent of challenging them to fully aware of their potential, and provide necessary support to such self-directed success.
I will maintain a whole-hearted commitment to providing quality products, information, and resources, making changes as necessary.
I will continue my development as a student of financial concepts and products and as a professional in the field by seeking personal knowledge and skills.
I will promote ethical thinking and living among those whom I encounter in all walks of life, by conducting myself in such a manner as to set the example.
I will in good faith respectfully negotiate with insurers, insureds, legislators and others involved in creating rules, codes, laws, expenditures, environments, programs and policies which affect the profession I have chosen.
I will actively request feedback from clients, colleagues, friends and others on whom my actions may bear consequences in regard to my moral, value and ethical beliefs and practices, and I will make myself accountable for all my actions.
I will remain conscious that I represent a profession which holds the financial futures of individuals, families and businesses, both large and small, in its hands and I will conduct all my affairs in such a manner as to remain true to my morals and values as a person and as an insurance professional.
I will, with great care, consideration, and dedication to my values and morals, seek resolutions to problematic situations and ethical dilemmas, always considering the consequences of my actions in regard to all my dealings and those who may be affected.
I will review my personal code of ethics periodically, and reflect on my practice as a professional, striving to make improvements wherever and whenever necessary to the benefit of the profession, the practice, and my clients.
My Responsibilities to My Clients
Section 1.I will at all times think in terms of "clients first," always determining things in the light of how they affect the client in his/her desire to improve his/her financial situation.
Section 2.I will seek to provide equal services for all clients regardless of race, nationality, religion, personal interest, age, sexual preference or gender.
Section 3.I will endeavor to appraise objectively both the present and future needs of my clients.
I will make decisions only after all facts bearing on a question have been presented and discussed.
Section 4.I will respect the privacy of my clients.
My Responsibilities to My Insurer(s)
Section 1.While representing my insurer(s) on official business, I will do so in a manner reflective of each insurer’s desires
Section 2I will continually seek new experiences and opportunities which will improve my knowledge, leadership skills and representation of my insurer(s).
Section 3.I will act in a trustworthy manner and will honor all contracts, agreements and promises, written and verbal.
My Responsibilities to My Manager(s)
Section 1.I will recognize the administrative authority of my manager(s) and not hinder their ability to properly discharge their professional duties. I will yield to their leadership in times of conflict.
Section 2.I will diligently convey all messages from management downward in the organization, as appropriate.
My Responsibilities to Myself
Section 1.I will take advantage of opportunities for improvement. I will make a great effort to understand my duties and responsibilities and be truly informed.
Section 2.I will respect and follow this Code of Ethics.
1. Proficiency and knowledge have top priority in my task as an insurance professional.
2. My major motivation is building my client's self-confidence to make financial decisions.
3. My client deserves and will receive my total attention.
4. The language my client and I share must be mutually understandable at all times.
5. I must be able to admit my own weaknesses and seek assistance whenever I need it.
6. Respect for my client's personal dignity means that I must accept that individual without judgment.
7. I will strive for a mutual relationship of openness and honesty as an insurance professional.
8. I will not impose my personal value system or lifestyle on my client.
9. Both the client and I will understand that my role is never to make the client’s decisions
10. I count on my client to teach me ways to do a better job.
11. I will do my best to be punctual and keep appointments.
12. I will maintain records as expected and required.
13. I will help my client learn how to succeed by helping him/her improve his/her knowledge.
14. I will remember that I may be a role model for someone; therefore, I should conduct myself in an appropriate manner at all times.
15. I will keep confidential any information that my client decides to share with me or that I have access to in the helping process.
16. My ultimate goal is my client's financial independence.
1. I am committed to developing the highest quality of life for all individuals with whom I come into contact as an insurance professional.
2. I will attempt to exercise objective and non-partial judgment as I practice my profession.
3. I will constantly strive to advance my knowledge and skill regarding my profession.
4. I am committed to sharing such knowledge, skill, and corresponding experiences with others through all means available to me.
5. I will always strive to work within the accepted standards and policies of the insurance industry.
6. I will seek to uphold and improve where necessary any laws, regulations, and policies governing the delivery of insurance to all persons regardless of their background, current situation, economic status, age, gender, sexual preference, religious beliefs, or racial derivation.
7. I will not condone or participate in any unethical or illegal acts.
8. I will constantly strive to be the best possible insurance professional.
9. I will seek to treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, dignity, and good faith.
10. I will look forward to and accept any evaluative feedback provided to me by others and constantly attempt to incorporate appropriate changes into my professional work.
11. I will strive to learn throughout my life so that I can be everything that I can be.
“We Earn a Living with Our Words;
We Earn Respect with Our Character.”