To The Editor:

Jack Bobos article, “Seeds of Growth,” in the June 28 issue of National Underwriter, is absolutely on target! The future of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors is very much linked to the development of a strong local leadership.

Having served in leadership capacities in our local association, Ive experienced many of the frustrations Mr. Bobo speaks of: declining membership, apathy and low turnout at meetings. Fortunately, we were able to reverse these trends when we committed to developing strong local leaders.

The challenge with leaders at the local level is that they are a “volunteer army.” It requires exceptional people to serve as leaders. And until recently, there was little, if any, training for these roles.

NAIFA answered the call with the creation of The Leadership in Life Institute (LILI). Developed by some of the best minds at NAIFA, LILI offers an intense six-month leadership development experience. It is specially designed for local leaders and leaders-to-be.

As a recent graduate of the first Michigan LILI class, my conviction is the future of NAIFA resides in leaders developed through LILI. My class enabled the participants to develop themselves as leaders utilizing materials from Stephen Covey and John Maxwell along with a wealth of class discussion. This can only translate into strong local leaders that will translate into a strong NAIFA.

My hope is that the leadership at NAIFA will see LILI as their “seeds of growth” that Mr. Bobo spoke of. I challenge them to continue to support the program and further refine and develop it.

The leadership at the state and local levels needs to support LILI by identifying and encouraging potential leaders to take part.

Mr. Bobo is correct when he says there is a need for leadership training of the highest quality. That training is here today. It is called LILI.

John Allen, CLU, ChFC, LUTCF

Lansing, Mich.

The Rationale Behind NAICs Vote On Viatical Licensing

To The Editor:

I write regarding a June 21 article, “NAIC Viatical Model Passes Without Licensing Requirement.” The headline to this story is somewhat misleading and I wanted to set the record straight about an important issue.

The NAIC adopted a new Viatical Settlements Model Regulation on June 13. The model regulation, when combined with the existing Viatical Settlements Model Act, creates a web of consumer protection for the secondary market for life insurance, including thorough licensing requirements for viatical settlement brokers.

There was significant debate at the NAIC Plenary, as there had been at the Life “A” Committee in March, regarding whether those already licensed as life insurance agents should be required to pass a test and obtain a separate license in order to be able to broker settlements. Because licensed life insurance agents already are trained and certified to be able to assist policyholders with the exercise of the assignment clause of their policies (the action required of a person assisting a consumer with a viatication), both the “A” Committee and the Plenary overwhelmingly rejected the extra licensing concept as duplicative, unnecessary and protectionist. We do not make life producers get a separate license for cash surrendersand should not for settlements, either.

The NAIC has worked tirelessly with Congress and state legislatures to streamline producer licensing laws and processes on a national basis. The recent vote at the NAIC on viatical broker licensing requirements sends a strong signal that NARAB compliance is just the start of our commitment to pursuing uniform, streamlined consumer protection efforts in a way that does not hamper professionals ability to counsel their clients properly. We look forward to working with the states to fully implement the NAIC Viatical Settlements Model Act and Model Regulation nationwide, so that we can properly and aggressively protect consumers from the problems that have at times hampered the growth of an essential secondary market which provides more value to policyholders.

Ernst N. Csiszar

President

National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Director

South Carolina Department of Insurance


Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, August 5, 2004. Copyright 2004 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.