dcsimg

Life insurance industry standards association calls for ethics guidelines

 

In the wake of massive corporate scandals rocking the country, the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association has petitioned the federal government for a uniform system of market conduct oversight to protect consumers while enabling companies to hold down prices.

IMSA Member Companies as of June 2003
Acacia Life Insurance Company
Acacia National Life Insurance Co.
All American Life Insurance Co.
Allstate Life Insurance Co.
Allstate Life Insurance Co. of New York
American Centurion Life Assurance Co.
American Enterprise Life Insurance Co.
American Family Life Insurance Co.
American Fidelity Assurance Co.
American Franklin Life Insurance Co.
American General Life and Accident Insurance Co.
American General Life Insurance Co.
American Heritage Life Insurance Co.
American Home Life Insurance Co.
American Mayflower Life Insurance Co. of New York
American National Insurance Co.
American Partners Life Insurance Co.
American United Life Insurance Co.
Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.
Ameritas Variable Life Insurance Co.
AmerUs Life Insurance Co.
Annuity Investors Life Insurance Co.
Baltimore Life Insurance Co.
Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Co.
Bankers Life & Casualty Co.
Bankers Life Insurance Co. of New York
Beneficial Life Insurance Co.
Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Canada Life Assurance Co.
Canada Life Insurance Co. of America
Canada Life Insurance Co. of New York
Capitol Life Insurance Co.
Clarica Life Insurance Co. - U.S.
C.M. Life Insurance Co.
Columbian Life Insurance Co.
Columbian Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Companion Life Insurance Co.
Conseco Annuity Assurance Co.
Conseco Life Insurance Co.
Conseco Variable Insurance Co.
Country Investors Life Assurance Co.
Country Life Insurance Co.
Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States
Equitable Life Insurance Co. of Iowa
Equitable of Colorado, Inc.
EquiTrust Life Insurance Co.
Farm Bureau Life Insurance Co.
Farm Family Life Insurance Co.
Federal Home Life Insurance Co.
Federal Kemper Life Assurance Co.
Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance Co.
Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance Co. of New York
First Colony Life Insurance Co.
First MetLife Investors Insurance Co.
First Penn-Pacific Life Insurance Co.
First Security Benefit Life Insurance and Annuity Co. of New York
Franklin Life Insurance Co.
Garden State Life Insurance Co.
GE Capital Life Assurance Co. of New York
GE Life and Annuity Assurance Co.
General American Life Insurance Co.
General Electric Capital Assurance Co.
Glenbrook Life and Annuity Co.
Government Personnel Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Great American Life Insurance Co.
Guarantee Reserve Life Insurance Co.
Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance Co.
Hartford Life Insurance Co.
Horace Mann Life Insurance Co.
IDS Life Insurance Co.
IDS Life Insurance Co. of New York
Independence Life and Annuity Co.
Indianapolis Life Insurance Co.
Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Co.
Jefferson Pilot LifeAmerica Insurance Co.
Jefferson-Pilot Life Insurance Co.
John Hancock Life Insurance Co.
John Hancock Variable Life Insurance Co.
Kanawha Insurance Co.
Kansas City Life Insurance Co.
Kempers Investors Life Insurance Co.
Keyport Life Insurance Co.
Knights of Columbus
Lafayette Life Insurance Co.
Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston
Liberty Life Insurance Co.
Life Insurance Co. of Boston & New York
Life Insurance Co. of Georgia
Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest
Life Investors Insurance Co. of America
Lincoln Benefit Life Co.
Lincoln Life & Annuity of New York
Lincoln National Life Insurance Co.
Loyal American Life Insurance Co.
Lutheran Brotherhood Variable Insurance Products Co.
MML Baystate Life Insurance Co.
Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. (USA)
Manufacturers Life Insurance Co. of America
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Merit Life Insurance Co.
MetLife Investors Insurance Co.
MetLife Investors Insurance Co. of California
MetLife Investors USA Insurance Co.
MetLife Security Insurance Co. of Louisiana
Metropolitan Insurance and Annuity Co.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Co.
Midland National Life Insurance Co.
Minnesota Life Insurance Co.
Monumental Life Insurance Co.
MONY Life Insurance Co.
MONY Life Insurance Co. of America
MTL Insurance Co.
Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co.
Mutual Service Life Insurance Co.
National Benefit Life Insurance Co.
National Farm Life Insurance Co.
National Health Insurance Co.
National Life Insurance Co.
National Travelers Life Co.
Nationwide Life and Annuity Co. of America
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Co.
Nationwide Life Insurance Co.
Nationwide Life Insurance Co. of America
New England Life Insurance Co.
New York Life Insurance and Annuity Corporation
New York Life Insurance Co.
North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance
North American Co. for Life and Health Insurance of New York
Northbrook Life Insurance Co.
Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Co.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Old Line Life Insurance Co. of America
Old Standard Life Insurance Co.
Old West Annuity & Life Insurance Co.
Pacific Life & Annuity Co.
Pacific Life Insurance Co.
Pan-American Assurance Co.
Pan-American Life Insurance Co.
Penn Insurance and Annuity Co.
Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Peoples Benefit Life Insurance Co.
PHL Variable Insurance Co.
Phoenix Life and Annuity Co.
Phoenix Life Insurance Co.
Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Primerica Life Insurance Co.
Principal Life Insurance Co.
Professional Insurance Co.
Protective Life Insurance Co.
PRUCO Life Insurance Co.
PRUCO Life Insurance Co. of New Jersey
Prudential Insurance Co. of America
Reliable Life Insurance Co.
ReliaStar Life Insurance Co.
ReliaStar Life Insurance Co. of New York
SAFECO Life Insurance Co.
Security Benefit Life Insurance Co.
Security Equity Life Insurance Co.
Security Financial Life Insurance Co.
Security Life of Denver Insurance Co.
Security Mutual Life Insurance Co. of New York
Shelter Life Insurance Co.
Southland Life Insurance Co.
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Co.
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Co.
State Farm Life Insurance Co.
State Life Insurance Co.
Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada
Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada (U.S.)
Sun Life Insurance and Annuity Co. of New York
Sunset Life Insurance Co. of America
Texas Life Insurance Co.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Transamerica Assurance Co.
Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co.
Transamerica Life Insurance and Annuity Co.
Transamerica Life Insurance Co.
Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co.
Trustmark Insurance Co.
Union Central Life Insurance Co.
Union Fidelity Life Insurance Co.
Union National Life Insurance Co.
United Heritage Life Insurance Co.
United Insurance Co. of America
United of Omaha Life Insurance Co.
United States Life Insurance Co. in the City of New York
United World Life Insurance Co.
USAA Life Insurance Co.
USAA Life Insurance Co. of New York
USG Annuity & Life Co.
Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co.
Veterans Life Insurance Co.
West Coast Life Insurance Co.
Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio
Western United Life Assurance Co.
Zurich Life Insurance Co. of America

The Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, was launched in April 1998, after several well-publicized investigations and class-action lawsuits revolving around sales tactics pushed industry officials to do something about the ethics of the industry. Companies which have successfully completed independent assessments of their sales practices, and have pledged to uphold IMSA's code of ethics, are allowed to display the IMSA logo.

The association's principles of ethical market conduct require companies:

  • To conduct business according to high standards of honesty and fairness and to render that service to its customers which, in the same circumstances, it would apply to or demand for itself.
  • To provide competent and customer-focused sales and service.
  • To engage in active and fair competition.
  • To provide advertising and sales materials that are clear as to purpose and honest and fair as to content.
  • To provide for fair and expeditious handling of customer complaints and disputes.
  • To maintain a system of supervision and review that is designed to achieve compliance with the Principles of Ethical Market Conduct.

In order to become IMSA members, insurers must first undergo a rigorous evaluation by an independent assessor. IMSA maintains a list of qualified assessors from a variety of backgrounds, including accountants, lawyers and consultants with a background in the industry.

The assessment can cost a Co. anywhere from $10,000 to $250,000, depending on the size of the Co.. The self-evaluation that precedes the assessment often costs even more.

State market exams too often focus on technical violations rather than marketplace practices that impact consumers, IMSA Executive Director Brian Atchinson told the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. Consumers would be well served if regulators looked into a Co.'s commitment to maintain a system of policies and procedures that meet customer needs, he said.

"IMSA offers a blueprint for solutions to ensure consumers honesty, fairness and integrity in their insurance transactions that neither regulators nor companies alone can provide," Atchinson said.

For consumers, the IMSA designation is somewhat of a Catch 22. Officials from the Consumer Federation of America have said the designation doesn't mean much without enforcement power. IMSA membership must be renewed every three years, requiring another full-blown assessment. However, the association doesn't have the power to withdraw the designation.

IMSA has information available to consumers on their website regarding buying life insurance, long-term care insurance, and annuity products. Check with them at imsaethics.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to get a quote?

Get quick and easy life insurance quotes.

Insure.com Redesign Survey