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Life Insurance Awareness Month

September is Life Insurance Awareness Month

NAIFA members are facing significant challenges as clients and their families go through a serious health crisis. All over the United States NAIFA members are experiencing an acceleration of the COVID-19 virus, and the hopeful news as more and more people are vaccinated. In this difficult trying time, we might ask how NAIFA members can fulfill our Code of Ethics, and which obligations have important application?

To gain insight from our members, we might first view some of the activities in which our members have been involved. In the 2020 NAIFA Experience Survey, in which 90% of the responding agents and advisors were NAIFA members, nearly half of the advisors surveyed stated they helped clients with:

  • COVID related concerns.
  • Questions and concerns about insurance coverage (63.3%),
  • Retirement planning (55.4%),
  • Investments (56.1%).
  • Loss of employment (46.9%) or reduced income (48.6%).
  • The federal Paycheck Protection Program, long-term care, and health insurance.

In addition to these areas of service, participants noted that the number of face-to-face meetings dropped, with 84.1% of respondents saying COVID-19 health concerns and restrictions caused fewer client in-person meetings. We should now look to the Code of Ethics, and two applicable obligations. First, the second obligation:

  • To work diligently to satisfy the needs of my clients by acting in their best interest.

This obligation reminds us that we are to provide our professional services in the best interest of those we serve. This means any aspect of service should be viewed from the interests of the client. We also should consider the practical application of the fourth obligation with the second obligation:

  • To render timely and proper service to my clients and ultimately their beneficiaries.

This obligation brings us squarely to rendering timely and proper service to clients, and here we should consider the finding above from participants in the NAIFA Experience Survey, that face-to-face meetings have dropped due to COVID health concerns. What can we do to turn this trend to a positive direction and increase our contact with clients, to render timely and proper service?

As an appropriate activity, we can actively engage in the use of virtual meetings to improve our amount of face-to-face contact. As a person who has little intuitive skill with technology, I have learned the value of such meetings and now conduct them with ease. Acquiring the means to provide virtual service is inexpensive and not difficult to use. When clients have not had the experience of a virtual meeting, you can learn the process and introduce them to the steps to join a virtual meeting. This is an effective way we can be sure that our clients and beneficiaries are receiving our timely and proper service.

We can also stay informed about the useful resources our association provides regarding COVID-19, which may be of use to our families and those of our clients. These resources can be found on NAIFA's website. Additional trusted resources include:

            Coronavirus.gov

            Frequently Asked Questions

            Facts about COVID-19

            What You Need to Know

In Summary, What Can We Do?

We can work in the ways discussed above and other with activities carry out these two important obligations we accept in the Code of Ethics.

  • To render timely and proper service to my clients and ultimately their beneficiaries.
  • To work diligently to satisfy the needs of my client by acting in their best interest.

To clients with whom we’ve had little contact in the last six months, we should reach out by phone or email to let them know they are not forgotten. And if the opportunity arises for service, we should rise to the occasion. The Code of Ethics is not available to us solely when all is going well, but especially in the difficulty periods.

Frank C. Bearden, PhD, CLU, ChFC, has been a loyal NAIFA member since 1977.

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