An old-fashioned Code of Ethics for the modern world

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18204462_MAmid all the jargon in the modern business world, it’s easy to lose sight of the one code that should guide all our interactions: a Code of Ethics. Does your business have one?

A Code of Ethics outlines the mission and values of the business and the principles underlying them. It describes —in broad strokes or fine detail —how professionals are supposed to behave in their dealings with other people, their property and their trust. It is meant to communicate to employees, clients and other stakeholders what they can expect of your organization.

Here are a few topics an MGA, program administrator, carrier or a coverholder might consider including in a Code of Ethics:

Integrity and honesty. These principles undergird the entire insurance enterprise, so they must be underscored. No insurance professional should ever knowingly provide false information.

Respect and fairness. Your clients may or may not have the same depth of experience with insurance as you do, but they expect and deserve to be treated with respect and fairness, knowing that you have their interests at heart.

Diligence. Insureds and agents have the right to prompt, accurate and attentive service.

Confidentiality. Your clients must know that you will keep their business private. Your code might even touch on the any specific measure you’ll take to protect clients’ information from appearing on social media.

No conflicts of interest. Transactions must be free of hidden motives and measures taken to provide transparency.

Law-abiding. The code should spell out your commitment to comply with both the spirit and the letter of all pertinent state laws.

The Target Markets Program Administrators Association has a Code of Ethics. While it’s considerably shorter than those most businesses adopt, it can be helpful to know what one of our industry’s leading organizations considers important.

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