Here’s a question to ponder: What grade would you give the ethics of society as whole?
According to ethics expert Michael Josephson, a lawyer and professor with the Josephson Institute of Ethics, hardly anyone gives society an A—most people give it a C or D. What about the ethics of the insurance industry in particular? Maybe a C?
What about the ethics of your own practice? Can you honestly give it an A or a B?
“If you are not giving it an A or B, you have to ask yourself what more do we have to do to get an A or B because it should be an A or B,” said Josephson, whose organization’s mission is to improve the ethical quality of society by changing personal and organizational decision making and behavior.
While Josephson was telling this to a University of California compliance employee and faculty audience during an ethics webinar earlier this year, the message certainly translates to the insurance industry in general and to insurance producers in particular.
You may be humming along in your practice, doing things right and staying out of trouble. But are there things you could be doing better? Sure. Because you don’t have to be sick to get better, as Josephson said.
Ethics is about more than not only not lying, cheating, stealing and breaking rules and laws, it’s about doing the right thing and living up to your values. An important part of your job is to ensure the protection of the reputation and resources of your agency. That extends not only to yourself, but to those who work for you.