NU Online News Service, Oct. 28, 2004, 3:30 p.m. EDT

Many legitimate business practices of insurance agents are being unfairly criticized in the wake of New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s investigation into alleged illegal bid-rigging, an industry group says.[@@]

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Washington, says insurance agents’ incentive compensation is among the valid practices being mischaracterized.

IIABA notes that incentive compensation programs are used widely in many industries, including insurance, to reward outstanding sales performance.

“To suggest that incentive compensation should be ended because a few bad actors abuse it is like saying we should ban college athletics because some programs may cheat,” says IIABA chief executive officer Robert A. Rusbuldt.