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June 9, 2015

The State of Ethics in Insurance

Summary:

Since 1977, no more than 15% of respondents have said our ethics standards are high, while no fewer than 25% have ranked us below average.

Photo Courtesy of Nathan Borror

Ethical behavior is crucial to preserving not only the trust on which insurance transactions are based, but also the public’s trust in our industry as a whole. Unfortunately, the public has a relatively low opinion of our ethical standards.

For about 40 years, the Gallup Poll has asked Americans how they view the honesty and ethics of certain professions. Since 1977, no more than 15%  of respondents have said the ethics of insurance professionals are high, while no fewer than 25% have ranked us below average. Meanwhile, the ethics of accountants, bankers and lawyers have consistently rated higher.

The Institutes, a non-profit provider of professional education for the risk management and property-casualty insurance industry, has worked to educate current professionals about the importance of ethics, and to do so it provides free courses on ethical best practices. Earlier this year, the Institutes also polled members of its online community to understand their perspective on the current state of ethics in our industry, and created this infographic to summarize the results.

More than 3,000 members of the Institutes Community, an online network of insurance professionals, responded. Here are the results:

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About the Author

Peter L. Miller is president and chief executive officer of the Institutes and leads the CPCU Society and the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation as a result of the affiliation of these organizations with the Institutes in 2012. Before he was named president and CEO in 2006, Miller served as the interim and acting president and CEO.

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