Meet Bob Percival. He’s not real, but he could be, since he’s in the same industry as you and does many of the things you do. Bob has been in the senior market for 30 years. Over that time, he’s served thousands of seniors and their families. But he’s never been sued and never had a complaint filed with a regulator. Bob chalks that up to being a stickler for details. Although that sounds as if Bob might be a bit of a stuffed shirt, nothing could be further from the truth.
Bob admits he works hard to stay in compliance. He says not having to worry about regulators knocking at his door is liberating. “I know where the minefields are, so I just don’t go there,” he says. “But I do pursue legitimate client needs and provide suitable products that address those needs. I love solving client problems.”
So how exactly has Bob stayed out of hot water for so long? Here are some of the main entries in his compliance playbook.
Know the product training, carrier appointment, and continuing-education requirements in my state.
Familiarize myself with NAIC and FINRA (if appropriate) advertising standards.
When promoting myself, do it in a way that’s fair, accurate, and truthful. To save time, use company-approved materials. If I create my own, be sure to run them by my carrier.
In writing or conversation, avoid prohibited terms like “account” and “deposits” when referring to life insurance or annuities.
In the rare times I do cold calling, be sure to search the national Do Not Call Registry and any relevant state registry.
When I buy leads from a marketing company, ask about the practices that generated the leads. Don’t buy from a company that uses deceitful or non-compliant practices.
When I create my own lead generation materials, make sure to disclose that I will be contacting the respondent.
At my seminars, always clearly identify the product to be sold and identify myself as an insurance agent.
Avoid all professional designations that lack substantial educational content and that appear to be just marketing gimmicks.
When I meet with a prospect, always present complete and accurate information about the product or products I’m selling.