NU Online News Service, May 7, 2004, 1:32 p.m. EDT – Actuaries should put the interests of consumers first.[@@]

Gary Eisenbarth, chairman of the Insurance Marketplace Standards Association, Washington, delivered that message today at the spring meeting of the American Academy of Actuaries, Washington.

Although “an actuary has an obligation to the company or client to make sure the promises made with a product can be met,” an actuary also should make sure that a complex product is technically fair, ethically correct and “transparently fair to the consumer,” Eisenbarth said, according to a prepared version of his remarks.

“If there is a possibility of misunderstanding, it’s prudent for the professional, ethical actuary to raise these questions as early as possible,” Eisenbarth said.

Actuaries also should promote full disclosure of surrender charges and other penalties associated with life insurance and annuity products, Eisenbarth added.