Cedric Stephens | Verifying real expertise in insurance | Business

Today’s article is inspired by two advertisements.

Someone occupied a full page in the business section of Sunday Gliner Published November 21, sponsored by a life insurance company, it featured photographs of 18 people – eight men and 10 women. They were wearing work clothes. Their names and phone numbers are listed. These people were described as “your health insurance experts” who were offering to do free “financial advice”.

What struck me immediately was that the ad lacked information to prove that these individuals were indeed health insurance experts – other than the advertiser’s assertion to that effect. By the way, when I appeared before the court a few years ago as an expert witness, I had to show in writing and orally before the judge why my testimony was accepted as an expert on the subject of insurance.

Section 146 of the Insurance Act 2001 states: “The insurance company or insurance broker shall not intentionally: (a) make or permit any declaration; or (b) make or permit the making of any declaration, statement, circular or pamphlet that is descriptive or any other document that is misleading or likely to mislead the public in connection with the insurance business.”

I checked an online resource to find an expert definition. My gut instincts aren’t always right. The source said an expert is “a person with a broad, deep understanding and competence in terms of knowledge, skill and experience through practice and education in a particular field.” The first volume of my The shortest Oxford English Dictionary It offers the following meanings: ‘Trained by practice, skilled; one whose knowledge or skill makes him (or is) an authority; specialist’.

book author The turning point And eyelashMalcolm Gladwell, in his other highly acclaimed novels, Success story outliersA theory about experience that has since been debunked: the 10,000-hour rule. This is the number of hours of training required to become an expert in one’s craft. The insurance company’s announcement did not include any information indicating that the 18 people whose photos appeared met any of the criteria described in my randomly selected sources.

The second motivator for this article was a full page advertisement published in luck, an American magazine. It was about the importance that trust plays in all kinds of businesses. By the way, an advertising advertisement is an advertisement that presents information about a “product or service in the style of an editorial or topical journalistic article”. The advertising sponsor is a global company with local offices that provides services to both public and private clients. Trust is important in insurance transactions. In my article, “Insurance Risks and Trust Lessons from the Pandemic” published September 25-26, I argue that the anti-vaccine segment of our population has highlighted, among other things, a trust deficit in local institutions. So insurers must take more effective steps to bolster their reputation if they are to build trust.

The opening paragraph of the ad was music to my ears. It reads: “The only thing we’re seeing now is how important trust is — to running a business, doing good business, staying in business. Customers, employees, and other stakeholders buy more than a product or service. They want to support purpose-driven companies that stand for something — And it’s something meaningful that transcends reputation, transcends brand building, and leaves empty promises in the dust.”

Although these words are written for North American consumption, I strongly believe that the expectations of domestic consumers are no different from those of consumers abroad when it comes to confidence.

My research found that there are no local institutions that offer specific or accredited courses in health insurance. Although professional qualifications are the first item in the list of requirements outlined in Section 73 of the Insurance Act that applicants for a license must meet, the law, in my opinion, does not pay enough attention to training and development which helps enhance experience. Regulation 112 talks about the educational qualifications and experience of applicants for licenses from several categories of workers “as prescribed by the regulator” but does not specify the criteria.

Financial Services Commission 2019 Revised Market Conduct Guidelines, which has no force of law, imposes a duty on insurers and brokers “to develop, implement and maintain appropriate and up-to-date policies, procedures and training manuals for employees approved by the Board of Directors.” However, the Guidelines do not impose penalties or penalties for non-compliance.

In the United States, if you sell health insurance, you need to obtain a health insurance license. Explaining products to potential customers, processing orders, and registering customers with insurance policies are actions that fall under the definition of selling insurance. Obtaining a license generally requires completing a prior licensing education and exam and successfully passing a criminal background check.

In California, the Department of Insurance will issue an accident and health agent licensing if you are at least 18 years old and have at least 20 hours of prior licensing education. Maintaining a license means completing the minimum number of state-approved continuing education hours during the license period.

Confidence is fragile. It can take a lifetime to gain it and a heartbeat to lose. Consumer and stakeholder expectations about trust have never been higher,” argues the advertisement. Advertisements about knowledge and experience that do not provide information that people on the streets can understand and raise questions about skills, education, and competence do not enhance trust. The 147-year-old, to which I belong, holds a photo that reads “Strengthening Confidence in Our Profession”.

Cedric E. Stephens provides independent information and advice on risk management and insurance. For information or a free consultation, write to: aegis@flowja.com or business@gleanerjm.com

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