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CPCU Code of Professional Conduct

CPCU Code of Professional Conduct

CPCU Society Adopts The Institutes' CPCU Code of Professional Conduct

On September 23, 2010, the CPCU Society Board of Directors voted to approve an Ethics Committee recommendation to adopt The Institutes' CPCU Code of Professional Conduct in place of the Society's Code of Ethics. Society members benefit by the action in two major ways:

First, an element of confusion will be eliminated as to which code, and indeed to which organization, a complaint should be addressed. While the two codes are similar, the Ethics Committee deemed The Institutes' Code to be more rigorous. Also, the respective procedures or potential sanctions are not exactly the same. This has presented complainants with difficult and complicated threshold choices even before the merits of the action can be considered.  Now that the Society has adopted The Institutes' code, it is clear that nearly all ethical complaints must be lodged with The Institutes and no one will have to choose between codes. This change has the additional advantage of there now being, in every case, a greater variety of potential sanctions for violators than heretofore. For example, only The Institutes have, or have ever had, the authority to revoke a CPCU® designation. 

Second, the change will result in the more efficient disposition of cases. When ethics complaints have been lodged with the Society, as many as two committees of volunteers are required to resolve the case. This process can take months to complete. By contrast, complaints lodged with The Institutes initially go to its Ethics Counsel, who has authority to dismiss cases deemed frivolous and who is authorized to determine swiftly whether the alleged offending conduct violates The Institutes' code and merits further inquiry. 

It should be noted that the Society Board's action does not mean Society influence will wane in the disposition of ethics complaints. Cases passing beyond the screening of The Institutes' Ethics Counsel go to its eight-member Board of Ethical Inquiry, most or all of whom are CPCU Society members. Furthermore, The Institutes' Ethics Policy Committee of its Board of Trustees, which establishes the disciplinary procedures and sanctions for code violations, maintains a liaison function with the CPCU Society on all ethics policy considerations. Also, The Society's Ethics Committee, will remain as an advisor to the Society Board of Directors on ethical matters.

Another beneficial effect of the Board's action is that all Society members will now be bound by the same single ethics code by virtue of their Society membership. The Board considers this an important step forward in further solidifying the Society's standing as a strong and unwavering supporter of strict ethical conduct in the insurance industry. 

Any questions or comments, please contact Everett Randall, Chair of Ethics Committee, or click here to learn about using the CPCU Code of Professional Conduct.

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