Insurance, Ethics and the Golden Rule

Cordell, David M.
May 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;May2004, Vol. 17 Issue 5, p32
Academic Journal
The article offers views on the ethics and standards that should be observed by financial planners, particularly with regards to insurance. The author believes that any violation of ethics by a financial professional is cause for concern, but an ethics violation relating to insurance is especially onerous. The purpose of insurance is to provide protection, and in this sense clients are in a vulnerable position when they place their faith in the financial planner. The planner who sells an insurance policy that is inappropriate or overpriced is analogous to a policeman who burglarized a house or a minister who steals from the collection plate or a nurse who intentionally administers the wrong medication. For many financial planners, operating according to the Golden Rule seems sufficient. The Golden Rule and its multiple variations are intensely personal. Although those who employ the Golden Rule implicitly apply a standard of behavior consistently to themselves and others, the standard differs from the standard applied by the next person. The solution is for all financial planners to maintain the same set of standards, standards that are clear, protective of the client's interests, published, and acknowledged and agreed to by financial planners.


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