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Every Day Ethics


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Every Day Ethics

  1. 1. Every Day Ethics<br />Craig Mitchell, Esq.<br />Mitchell & Associates, APLC<br />New Orleans, Louisiana<br /><br />
  2. 2. Why Ethics Every Day?<br /> “The poor reputation of the insurance industry reinforces the need for unyielding dedication to integrity and ethics in insurance organizations. Those organizations that successfully build these traits into their corporate cultures are likely to be more successful than those that fail to do so. Ultimately, an industry-wide commitment of this type is probably the only way to overcome the poor reputation the industry faces.”<br />Ethics Considerations for Property & Casualty Insurance Professionals<br />
  3. 3. OVERVIEW<br />Ethics 101<br />Organizational Ethics<br />Ethical Discussions - Scenarios<br />
  4. 4. Ethics<br /> The etymological basis of the word “ethics” is the Greek word ethos, meaning habitual or customary conduct.<br />
  5. 5. Ethics Defined<br />A set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values;<br />The principles of conduct governing an individual or group;<br />A guiding philosophy;<br />A consciousness of moral importance.<br />
  6. 6. Ethics: An Explanation<br />Ethics are a personal set of values used by an individual to guide his or her actions. <br />Ethics are not objective, but are subjective to the individual.<br />Ethics are a continuing evolving code of conduct dependent upon circumstances and the life experiences of the individual.<br />
  7. 7. “When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”<br />Abraham Lincoln<br />
  8. 8. “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”<br />General H. Norman Schwarzkopf<br />
  9. 9. “I consider ethics, as well as religion, as supplements to law in the government of man.”<br />Thomas Jefferson<br />
  10. 10. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”<br />The Golden Rule<br />
  11. 11. Ethical Conundrums<br />Is abortion wrong?<br />When, if ever, is it proper to take another’s life?<br />Is it wrong to steal to feed your children?<br />
  12. 12. Socrates<br />Believed people will do what’s good if they know what’s right and that evil or bad acts are due to ignorance.<br />
  13. 13. Hedonist<br />Follow the ethical premises that pleasure should be maximized and pain minimized.<br />
  14. 14. Consequentialism<br />Follows the idea that “the ends justify the means” meaning a morally right action is one that results in a good outcome.<br />
  15. 15. Deontology<br />Looks at the act itself and the end result does not matter, even if it is bad.<br />
  16. 16. Ethical Qualities<br />Responsibility<br />Integrity<br />Courage<br />Honesty<br />Respect<br />
  17. 17. ORGANIZATIONAL ETHICS<br />Code of Ethics – business or corporate ethics<br />Code of Conduct – employee ethics<br />Code of Practice – professional ethics<br />
  18. 18. Why Organizational Ethics?<br />Ethical codes are often developed by an entity to help provide direction between right and wrong within the context of that organization<br />Ethical codes exist to guide all types of organizations, from those religious in nature to criminal enterprises.<br />
  19. 19. Why Organizational Ethics?<br />To define accepted/acceptable behaviors.<br />To promote high standards of practice. <br />To provide a benchmark for members to use for self evaluation. <br />To establish a framework for professional behavior and responsibilities.<br />As a vehicle for occupational identity. <br />As a mark of occupational maturity.<br />
  20. 20. The Code of Ethics<br />Guidelines that govern the behavior of a company and its members.<br />Often focuses on social issues – “Corporate Responsibility”<br />Adopted to establish responsibility, integrity and credibility. <br />
  21. 21. Goals of a Code of Ethics<br />To protect and enhance an organization’s reputation by detailing expectation for behavior of its members when dealing with third parties.<br />To protect the organization’s assets by setting clear expectations for behaviors that avoid conflicts of interest, questionable conduct, and illegal acts<br />
  22. 22. A Word From the Wise<br /> If you lose dollars for the firm by bad decisions, I will be understanding. If you lose reputation for the firm, I will be ruthless.<br />
  23. 23. The Code of Conduct<br />Designed to influence the behavior of employees<br />Defines the platform of the acceptable set of employee behavior.<br />The main objective is to further promote a higher standard of practice within the organization<br />Is often binding<br />
  24. 24. The Code of Practice<br />Codes of Professional Responsibility<br />Adopted by a profession or by a governmental or non-governmental organization to regulate that profession<br />
  25. 25. Insurance Related Codes of Practice<br />AICPCU Code of Professional Ethics<br />CPCU Society<br />
  26. 26. Cannons of the AICPCU Code of Professional Ethics<br />Canon 1 – CPCUs should endeavor at all times to place the public interest above there own.<br />Canon 2 – CPCUs should seek continually to maintain and improve their professional knowledge, skills, and competence.<br />
  27. 27. Canon 3 – CPCUs should obey all laws and regulations, and should avoid any conduct or activity which would cause harm to others.<br />Canon 4 – CPCUs should be diligent in the performance of their occupational duties and should continually strive to improve the functioning of the insurance mechanism.<br />
  28. 28. Canon 5 – CPCUs should assist in maintaining and raising professional standards in the insurance business.<br />Canon 6 – CPCUs should strive to establish and maintain dignified and honorable relationships with those they serve, with fellow insurance practitioners, and with members of other professions.<br />
  29. 29. Canon 7 – CPCUs should assist in improving the public understanding of insurance and risk management<br />Canon 8 CPCUs should honor the integrity of the CPCU designation and respect the limitations placed on its use.<br />
  30. 30. CPCUs should assist in maintaining the integrity of the Code of Professional Ethics.<br />
  31. 31. ETHICS DISCUSSIONS<br />Define the issue<br />Identify the alternatives<br />Evaluate the alternatives<br />Determine who makes the decision<br />Implement the decision<br />Ethics Considerations for Property & Casualty Insurance Professionals<br />
  32. 32. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 1 - Sue Who?<br /> You’ve worked at Acme Agency for 13 years with no complaints from management. A more recent hire, Charlie, has been promoted ahead of you although you’re more qualified. One day Charlie comments that he feels discriminated against and is going to sue Acme. You let it go, but over the next few months you overhear him making the same comments to other co-workers. One time you even hear him on the phone telling someone he needs a lawyer to sue Acme.<br />What do you do?<br />
  33. 33. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 2 – Copy Time<br /> Acme Insurance Brokerage subscribes to a number of insurance industry newsletters. When a newsletter arrives the receptionist makes 100 copies. Each Acme account executive gets a copy to read and a copy is sent to each of Acme’s clients. Management thinks this is an invaluable service to Acme’s clients.<br />Ethical?<br /> Ethics Considerations for Property & Casualty Insurance Professionals<br />
  34. 34. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 3 - Gratuities<br /> A customer has a yacht that your company will be discharging. The customer is present and watching the off-loading operation. The five stevedores you manage pull off a tricky maneuver transferring the yacht to the trailer. The customer is pleased and reaches into his pocket, pulling out a big wad of $20 bills as if to tip them.<br />What if anything do you do?<br />
  35. 35. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 4 - Receiving a Holiday Gift<br /> A supplier sends a basket of expensive wine and cheese to your home at Christmas with a card: "We hope you and your family enjoy the goodies.”<br />What action(s) might you want to take?<br />
  36. 36. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 5 - Sales Expense<br /> The purchasing manager for a large company agrees to give you an order (their first), expecting you agree to make a $200 donation to his favorite charity, a local youth sports team.<br />How do you respond? <br />
  37. 37. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 6 – To Jail or not to Jail<br /> Six physicians are discovered by the IRS to have understated their taxable income. As legal advisers to the IRS Jerry and Paul agree that all six must pay back taxes and penalties but disagree about criminal prosecution. <br />(cont.)<br />
  38. 38. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 6 (continued)<br />Paul believes that only two of the doctors should be charged because the community cannot afford to lose any more than four doctors. Jerry believes that this is irrelevant and that they all should be prosecuted based on the evidence.<br />Who is right?<br />
  39. 39. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 7 – Jaywalking<br />While vacationing in a small, sleepy, quiet coastal town in Maine, you take your dog for an early walk on a Sunday morning. You come to an intersection with a stop light. Looking carefully in all directions you don’t see any cars. You notice a sign next to the stoplight that says: “JAYWALKING FORBIDDEN --violators subject to fine.”You look up and see that the stop light has turned red. <br />Would it be wrong of you to cross the street against the stoplight?<br />
  40. 40. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 8 -- References<br /> A large, prospective client calls you and asks about a competitor's reputation. One of your long time customers had a very bad experience with this competitor. <br />How do you respond to the prospect call?<br />
  41. 41. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 9 – For the Children<br /> You run an orphanage and have had a hard time making ends meet. A car dealership offers you a new van worth $15,000 for free if you will falsely report to the government that the dealership donated a van worth $30,000. You really need the van and it will give you an opportunity to make the children happy. Do you agree to take the van?<br />
  42. 42. Ethics Discussions<br />Scenario 10 – Pig Rights<br /> Would it be justifiable to whip pigs to death if more succulent pork resulted from this process, giving the consumers of pork more pleasure?<br />
  43. 43. Be a Saint!<br />