When I was a young boy I had a dormitory matron named Sister Lucette. She was known for her pithy platitudes and one liners. One such quip that was indelibly inscribed into my mind was, “if you don’t discipline yourself, someone else will do it for you.” So, if the insurance industry doesn’t discipline its own, you can be sure some legislators looking for a consumer cause to defend will do it for you.
There will always be bad apples in every industry, who have no regard for best practices and client engagement protocols. But when you put everyone in the insurance industry into the same basket of rotten fruit, it becomes just as immoral as the bad behavior of a few bad apples. The vast majority of insurance agents, registered representatives and registered investment advisers are honest. (Keep in mind that honesty in and of itself doesn’t exonerate you for being inept or uneducated in arbitration or in court.)
I dread suggesting that our industry move to a more aggressive posture of sales and marketing oversight, since compliance is already infringing on our basic communication with prospects and clients. I don’t want to sound self-righteous or that I’m interviewing for the job of policing our industry. I mean who wants to be a rat? But in the end, scoundrels need to be ratted out because they hurt our industry’s reputation and ultimately harm consumers.