More On Bobo’s IMSA Column

To The Editor:

Jack Bobo raises some good concerns about the audit approach to the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association in his June 10 column. But the IMSA process is made up of “assessments,” not audits. Jack is right that some companies choose their auditors to do their independent assessments, but so far only a third of IMSA’s 211 members have taken this route.

The choice of an independent assessor is up to the companies, not IMSA. IMSA’s Web site lists 54 independent assessors from a wide range of backgrounds–auditing, management consulting, law and actuarial studies.

Some companies like the prestige of having their assessment done by a “big name” firm. But independent assessors with insurance marketing backgrounds are available. I happen to be one, building my career in the marketing area of one of the nation’s largest insurers. Our IMSA team has worked with more than 30 IMSA companies, sharing best practices and highlighting the important synergies between marketing and compliance.

Indeed, IMSA was founded not as a compliance effort, but by a panel of CEOs whose main interest was to restore consumer trust so that companies marketing efforts would improve. I outlined some of IMSA’s marketing goals in a National Underwriter article of Nov. 5, 1999. These goals are still very much a part of IMSA, and they are having an impact. Sixty-seven percent of the public would be more likely to buy from an IMSA company, according to the 2000 ACLI MAP study.

Let’s hope IMSA doesn’t “fade away.” Its loss would be tragic for our industry.

Kenneth J. Kalis, CLU
President
Kenneth J. Kalis Company
Gainesville, Fla.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, July 15, 2002. Copyright 2002 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.