Why Insurance Adjusters Need Ethics Courses
In nearly every state, when it comes time to renew your Adjuster License, a certain number of your continuing education hours will have to be dedicated to the subject of ethics. This can amount to as many as 2 to 4 hours of ethics courses every two years, depending on your state. Does it seem repetitive? Are you wondering why there is so much ethics training?
While there is room for a difference of opinion on this issue, most people agree on the importance of maintaining a high ethical standard in a society that is to survive and prosper. Just as the need for high ethical standards exists for society in general, it is just as important to maintain a high ethical standard in the insurance industry. What is it about the insurance transaction that makes a high ethical standard so important? There are several unique aspects of the insurance industry that combine to create this necessity.
INSURANCE IS AN ESSENTIAL PRODUCT
In our society, individuals and businesses depend on insurance to provide essential services and protect them from financial disaster:
- Health insurance provides access to quality medical care.
- Life insurance proceeds support families, educate children, and assist in the perpetuation of a business.
- Property coverage is an integral part of every mortgage contract.
- Some insurance (automobile, work comp, etc.) is required by law.
In modern society, insurance has become a necessity.
INSURANCE IS A FINANCIAL PRODUCT
If an insurance adjuster does not do a professional job, the claimant may never recover financially.
INSURANCE IS A PRODUCT BASED ON TRUST
Although modern insurance contracts are easy-to-read, it does not follow that they are easy-to-understand. Few policyholders read their policies; those who do, seldom understand what they are reading.
Trust is an important factor in the purchase of insurance, and most people buy their coverage based on trust. They trust the agent to recommend and procure appropriate coverage. They trust the insurance company to follow through and pay a claim. And the insurer’s claims practices are the ultimate gauge of how that trust is repaid.
Perhaps this is why Florida’s Adjuster Code of Ethics leads the nation in making such an ethical obligation perfectly clear. Florida’s Administrative Code, Rule 69B-220.201(4), starts with the declaration, “The work of adjusting insurance claims engages the public trust.”
INSURANCE IS A PROMISE OF PEACE OF MIND AND FINANCIAL PROTECTION
When people buy insurance, what they’re really buying is peace of mind…peace of mind that if the insured event does occur, the insurance company will keep the promise it has made and provide the financial protection that has been purchased.
Unfortunately, there is often quite a gap between what the purchasers of insurance believe has been promised and the coverage promises they have purchased.
Because of these unique aspects of the insurance industry, adjusters constantly face various ethical decisions. On every claim, an adjuster’s job is to balance the interests of helping those who have suffered loss with the financial protection of the insured, the policyholder, or the employer. Adjusters, caught between two often competing interests, must do “the right thing”.
Yet, what is “the right thing”?
AE21’s CE course A Matter of Ethics will equip you to know. Not only will this course fulfill your CE requirement for ethics, it will provide you with the knowledge and perspective you need when you are confronted with decisions on what the right thing is.
This course is all about an adjuster’s responsibility for ethical behavior in claims handling. In this course, you will learn various definitions and perspectives on ethics, actions that constitute ethical behavior, and actions that do not. You will learn practical dilemmas that one may face throughout a claims career and the issues to consider when making decisions that guide your actions in dealing with those dilemmas.
When you complete this course, you will:
- Understand various perspectives governing behavior, what is considered proper ethical behavior, and some of the moral requirements of claim handling.
- Identify professional standards of conduct.
- Understand the requirements of good, and poor, claim handling as prohibited by the various Unfair Claims Practices Acts of Texas, Florida, North Carolina and others.
- Understand issues presented in trying to ethically balance the sometimes-diverging interests of policyholders, claimants, and insurance carriers.
You’ll gain all these objectives while working your way through our user-friendly and engaging online course. You can enroll in A Matter of Ethics at our eLearning platform HERE.If you already have an account with us, simply log in and select the course from the course catalog. If you do not already have an account, begin by creating an account and selecting your licensing state. You will then have access to our full course catalog for your state of licensure. For more assistance with creating an account and purchasing courses, please watch THIS VIDEO.
For additional Ethics CE credits, you may also want to check out our CE course The Ethical Practices of an Adjuster.