Code of Ethics
Always place the best interests of your clients above your own direct or indirect interests.
- Conduct a thorough and appropriate fact finding.
- Strive to achieve the client’s personal and financial goals.
- Recommend only the products and features best suited to your client’s needs.
- Do not select the product with an eye to the compensation earned.
- Recommend no more premium than the client is reasonably able to pay based on a complete fact finding.
- When the recommended product is part of an overall business or personal plan, persist to assure implementation and completion of the plan.
Maintain the highest standards of professional competence and give the best possible advice to clients by seeking to maintain and improve professional knowledge, skills, and competence.
- Be mindful that quality is a process, not an achievement.
- Pursue continuing education, both formally and through private study.
- Know all of the features of the products you recommend.
- Comment on competitors’ products only if well-versed in those products.
- Learn to listen and communicate effectively.
- Keep your promises. Deliver what you promise in a timely manner.
- Prepare applications and new account forms honestly and completely.
- Be aware of industry issues, trends, and standards.
- Be aware of pending legislation and its possible effects on the products you recommend and your clients’ financial plans.
- Be aware of tax and legal issues affecting the products you recommend.
Hold in strictest confidence, and consider as privileged, all business and personal information pertaining to your clients’ affairs.
- Never reveal a client’s name or a personal situation without permission from the client.
- Protect client files and client records with regard to confidentiality.
- Assure that your staff maintains client confidentiality.
Make full and adequate disclosure of all facts necessary to enable clients to make informed decisions.
- Complete a thorough and appropriate fact finding.
- When making recommendations, explain the reasons for the recommendations and avoid exaggeration or oversimplification.
- Provide prospects with the facts about the products and strategies available to them so they can make an informed decision. Clients must always have full understanding of recommendations. Simple disclosure is not enough.
- Make every effort to determine the prospect’s risk tolerance and tailor your recommendations accordingly.
- Make every effort to communicate to the prospect the potential for loss, as well as the potential for gain, in any product or strategy employed.
- Disclose and explain the footnotes and explanations on all illustration materials. Only use materials that are understandable and meet compliance regulations.
- Keep your client informed of changing circumstances that bear upon the product or plan.
Maintain personal conduct that will reflect favorably on the insurance and financial services profession and the Million Dollar Round Table.
- Speak only the truth regarding persons, products, and companies. If you can’t say something positive, say nothing.
- Avoid bashing companies and agents.
- Do not engage in illegal or unethical behavior inside or outside of the business practice.
- Avoid the appearance of impropriety.
- Avoid adverse publicity.
- Do not attack a person’s character.
Determine that any replacement of an insurance or financial product must be beneficial for the client.
- Conduct a thorough and appropriate fact finding.
- Be mindful that a “beneficial” replacement is more than equal to what is being replaced.
- Make a complete comparison between the to-be-replaced product and the proposed product.
- Be aware of and adequately disclose the existence and effect of surrender charges and sales loads, including contingent deferred and back-end loads.
- Compare guarantees with the client.
- Never cancel the original policy until the new policy is issued and accepted.
- Inform the client of the significance of the suicide and incontestability clauses.
- Always consider the client’s need for additional, as opposed to replacement, coverage.
- Consider all alternatives to policy replacement.
- Central to ethical replacement is thorough disclosure and client understanding of the nature of the transaction and the reasons for it.
- Comply scrupulously with disclosure and filing requirements of all jurisdictions.
- Know and comply with the laws and regulations of all applicable jurisdictions regarding replacement.
- Consider the effect of replacement on the client’s overall business or personal financial and estate plan.
Abide by and conform to all provisions of the laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which you do business.
- Make every effort to know the laws and regulations and keep abreast of their changes in the various jurisdictions in which you do business.
- Maintain proper licensing.
- Recommend only approved products and have written confirmation of such approval. Verbal approval will not protect you if there is an inaccuracy.
- Do not sign anyone else’s name or initials.
- Be conscious of premium taxes and anti-rebate laws, conforming to governmental regulations with regard to each.
- Sign and date applications honestly and accurately.
- Honor contractual and moral obligations with all insurance and financial companies.
Members of the Million Dollar Round Table should be ever mindful that complete compliance with and observance of the Code of Ethics of the Million Dollar Round Table shall serve to promote the highest quality standards of membership. These standards will be beneficial to the public and the insurance and financial services profession.