Professional Codes of Conduct
The ethical principles discussed in this course have been formalized in professional codes of conduct, similar to those adhered to by attorneys, accountants, etc. The development of these codes has occurred as part of the trend toward certification of insurance and financial services professionals, and many professional designations (such as CLU, ChFC, RHU, CPCU, and CFP) have their own code of conduct that holders of the designation agree to abide by. We offer two examples below.
The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)
The NAHU Code of Ethics includes the following pledges:
• To hold the selling, service, and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a professional and public trust and do all in my power to maintain its prestige.
• To keep paramount the needs of those whom I serve.
• To respect my clients' trust in me, and to never do anything, which would betray their trust or confidence.
• To give all service possible when service is needed.
• To present policies factually and accurately, providing all information necessary for the issuance of sound insurance coverage to the public I serve.
• To use no advertising, which I know, may be false or misleading.
• To consider the sale, service, and administration of health insurance and related products and services as a career; to know and abide by the laws of any jurisdiction, federal and state, in which I practice; and to seek constantly to increase my knowledge and improve my ability to meet the needs of my clients.
• To be fair and just to my competitors and to engage in no practices that may reflect unfavorably on myself or my industry.
• To treat prospects, clients, and companies fairly by submitting applications that reveal all available information pertinent to underwriting a policy.
• To extend honest and professional conduct to my clients, associates, fellow agents, and brokers, and the company or companies whose products I represent.
The Code of Ethics of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA)
Those engaged in offering insurance and other related financial services occupy the unique position of liaison between the purchasers and the suppliers of insurance and closely related financial products. Inherent in this role is the combination of professional duty to the client and to the company as well. Ethical balance is required to avoid any conflict between these two obligations. Therefore, I believe it to be my responsibility:
• To hold my profession in high esteem and strive to enhance its prestige.
• To fulfill the needs of my clients to the best of my ability.
• To maintain my clients' confidences.
• To render exemplary service to my clients and their beneficiaries.
• To adhere to professional standards of conduct in helping my clients to protect insurable obligations and attain their financial security objectives.
• To present accurately and honestly all facts essential to my clients' decisions.
• To perfect my skills and increase my knowledge through continuing education.
• To conduct my business In such a way that my example might help raise the professional standards of those in my profession.
• To keep informed with respect to applicable laws and regulations and to observe them in the practice of my profession.
• To cooperate with others whose services are constructively related to meeting the needs of my clients.