OK, you ask. Why should I go to a NAIFA meeting? Better yet, why should I belong to NAIFA? Here is why you should belong and why I’ve been a member for 44 years.

NAIFA is the original association representing the career agents in our industry. It has expanded beyond life insurance agents to include all the practitioners in the insurance-based financial services industry, and NAIFA has become a critical part of our industry’s survival.

Look at the attempts by the state and federal government to attack our products and services. These attacks include new legislation on Split Dollar; a proposed new tax on the inside buildup of cash values; a potential tax on death benefits; new legislation on COLI, BOLI, and deferred compensation; the creation and passing of Obama Care. And these are just a few examples. During each of these attempts, NAIFA, was in the forefront of the industry action to prevent or limit the potential damage to our clients, careers and industry.

Why NAIFA needs members
But we have a problem. Too few of our members are contributing too few dollars to the Insurance and Financial Advisors Political Action Committee (IFAPAC), our political action committee, which lobbies on our behalf.

Lobbying is expensive. Politics is expensive. Just look at how much the political parties spent on the 2008 presidential campaign.

The reality of today’s world is that NAIFA’s political action committee needs money, serious amounts of money in order to grease the political wheels of progress to protect our industry. I’m not talking about pork barrel legislation. I’m talking about the life blood of our industry: protecting inside cash value buildup and tax free death benefits; providing insight and guidance to legislators and their staff on how our products work, how they should work and, even more importantly, what our products do for the consumer.

Your NAIFA leadership volunteers countless hours of time for our benefit to fight potential harmful legislation on both a state and national level. Most of our membership has not been involved in advocacy and does not appreciate this effort. Several hundred thousand non-NAIFA agents have no clue as to what NAIFA does for their benefit, although they still benefit from the organization’s actions.


Spreading awareness

One agent at a time, we can change their awareness. Go to your general agents and managing partners and tell them why they should encourage their agents, financial advisors, financial consultants and financial planners to join NAIFA and support the IFAPAC. Encourage non-members to attend your local NAIFA meetings and learn what our organization can do for them and what they can do for our industry.

Our membership is growing, but it can grow so much faster if you become actively involved. The more you volunteer, the more the organization will mean to you and the agents you influence. NAIFA can provide so much more as its membership grows.

Alongside AALU and NAILBA, NAIFA is the guardian of our industry, and this is one of those times when size does matter. The more members we have and the more contributions IFAPAC receives, the better the attention and influence we can exert in Washington and on a state level to protect our industry and ourselves.

Yes, the companies lobby also, but we represent the grass roots. We have the pulse of our clients. We know what our clients want and what they need to protect their families and businesses. Our products and services provide security, dignity and peace of mind. No one in any other industry can do what we do.

Insurance products are magic because they create money where none existed before. That’s what insurance does, and we need to protect our products, our industry and our careers.

Get a friend to join NAIFA. Send a check to IFAPAC. You can make a difference.

Marvin H. Feldman is the president and chief executive officer of the LIFE Foundation. He can be reached at mfeldman@lifehappens.org.

For more exclusive life insurance coverage, visit ASJ’s Life Insurance Resource Center.

Past life insurance stories from ASJ:

2011 Life Insurance Market Study

2011 Life Insurance Carrier Report Card

Hollywood Discovers Life Insurance – with Mixed Results

Variable and Indexed Life Insurance: Dual Products for Dual Problems

Life Insurance Agents: Return to Tradition