According to a 2016 report from Gallup, Inc., only 11% of surveyed individuals believe insurance salespeople to have a very high/high honesty and ethical standards of business. In fact, historically, insurance producers have been ranked as one of the lowest trusted by those surveyed.
While perception is not always reality, the responsibility is on agents to demonstrate their adherence to ethical standards in order to win the trust of their clients. One easy way to do this? Develop a Code of Ethics.
A code of ethics serves as an internal guideline for individual agents to adhere to and also helps function as an external statement of company values and beliefs. A well-written code of conduct clarifies an organization’s mission, values, and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. The code articulates the values the organization wishes to foster in leaders and employees. In doing so, it defines desired behavior. As a result, written codes of conduct or ethics can become benchmarks against which individual and organizational performance can be measured.
Some key benefits to a Code of Ethics:
- It can prevent lawsuits and legal challenges
- It develops a positive public image
- It protects employees’ rights
- It makes difficult decisions easier
If you want more information on developing a code of ethics, InternetCE is here to help with all your online North Carolina insurance continuing education needs! Click here to check out our newest ethics course, “Cracking the Code… of Ethics” to learn more about standards of conduct for insurance professionals.