The Compact Book on Ethics for the Insurance Professional

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1 year ago
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New Book from Barry Zalma

The Compact Book on Ethics

How Ethical Doctrines from the Beginning of the Written Word to the Present Resulted in the Incorporation of the Covenant of Good Faith
Every Person Involved in the Business of Insurance Must Act Ethically in the Business of Insurance

Insurance is, by definition, a business of the utmost good faith. This means that both parties to the contract of insurance must act fairly and in good faith to each other and do nothing that will deprive the other of the benefits the contract of insurance promised.

Without the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and ethical people who work in the insurance industry applying and fulfilling the covenant, effective insurance to spread the risk of loss to a large community of insurance professionals, is impossible. One cannot act fairly and in good faith without being a person with a well-formed ethical compass.

In 1776, Lord Mansfield acting as an appellate judge serving in the House of Lords of Britain (the predecessor of the United Kingdom) for the first time referred to the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In the case designated: Carter v. Boehm S.C. 1 Bl. Burr 1906, 11th May 1766. 593, 3 Lord Mansfield in the British House of Lords stated the rule of uberrimae fide (Latin for utmost good faith).

Ethics & Ethical Behavior are Essential to Every Insurance Professional

Good faith forbids either party by concealing what he privately knows, to draw the other into a bargain, from his ignorance of that fact, and his believing the contrary.

Insurers, when deciding to insure or not insure a risk, rely on the information provided to them by the insured. As Lord Mansfield instructed, the insured must provide the information requested thoroughly, honestly and in good faith.

The implied covenant is simply stated by explaining that no party to a contract of insurance should do anything to deprive the other of the benefits of the contract.

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing imposes obligations on all parties to the contract of insurance. It not only applied to claims by an insurer, a first party property insured, a third party liability policy insured, the insurer, the insurer’s employees, underwriters, and claims personnel.

Since at least 1766, the business of insurance is a business of the utmost good faith. Each party to a contract of insurance must deal with each other ethically. This book will consider and explain different ethical concepts from the Code of Hammurabi more than 3000 years ago to modern ethical philosophers.

The general duty of good faith and fair dealing incorporated by reference into every policy of insurance requires a complete understanding of ethics and ethical behavior. For Example, the California Supreme Court noted that: "In every insurance contract there is an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that neither party will do anything which will injure the right of the other to receive the benefits of the agreement." [Gruenberg v. Aetna Insurance Co., 9 Cal.3d. 566, 108 Cal. Rptr. 480 (1973)].

The covenant is mutual, and the principles of good faith and fair dealing impose an affirmative obligation on the insured to cooperate as much as it requires the insurer to treat the insured fairly with regard to every claim presented.
This is a duty imposed by tradition, by the need to deal fairly and by court precedent and statutory law, not one arising from the terms of the contract itself.

The duty to deal fairly and in good faith is nonconsensual in origin rather than consensual. It is an unwritten, but essential part of every insurance contract.

It is imposed to fulfill the spirit, as well as the letter, of the insurance relationship and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing is a statement of the ethical basis of the insurance business.

Without the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and ethical people who work in the insurance industry applying and fulfilling the covenant, effective insurance to spread the risk of loss to a large community of insurance professionals, is impossible. One cannot act fairly and in good faith without being a person with a well-formed ethical compass.
In 1776, Lord Mansfield acting as an appellate judge serving in the House of Lords of Britain (the predecessor of the United Kingdom) for the first time referred to the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In the case designated: Carter v. Boehm S.C. 1 Bl. Burr 1906, 11th May 1766. 593, 3 Lord Mansfield in the British House of Lords stated the rule of uberrimae fide (Latin for utmost good faith):

Good faith forbids either party by concealing what he privately knows, to draw the other into a bargain, from his ignorance of that fact, and his believing the contrary.

Insurers, when deciding to insure or not insure a risk, when deciding to honor or reject a claim, rely on the information provided to them by the insured. As Lord Mansfield instructed, the insured must provide the information requested thoroughly, honestly and in good faith.

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing imposes obligations on all parties to the contract of insurance. It not only applied to claims by an insurer, a first party property insured, a third party liability policy insured, the insurer, the insurer’s employees, underwriters, and claims personnel.Since at least 1766, the business of insurance is a business of the utmost good faith. Each party to a contract of insurance must deal with each other ethically.

What is The Purpose of the Book

This book considers and explains different ethical concepts from the Code of Hammurabi more than 3000 years ago to modern ethical philosophers.

The book covers, at least:

What is Insurance?
Ethics & Ethical Behavior.
Ethical Insurance
The Development of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith & Fair Dealing.
The Tort of Bad Faith
The Ethical Insurance Professional
Applying Ethics to the Work of the Insurance Professional
Sarbanes Oxley & the Ethical Insurance Professional
What Happens When a Cort Creates an Ethical Conflict When None Exists?
Ethics and Insurance Fraud
Ethics in the Insurance Industry
Case Studies of Ethical Breach

The general duty of good faith and fair dealing incorporated by reference into every policy of insurance requires a complete understanding of ethics and ethical behavior.

It is imposed to fulfill the spirit, as well as the letter, of the insurance relationship and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

The Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing is a statement of the ethical basis of the insurance business.

The book is available as a Kindle book, a Paperback or a Hardcover

Who Needs This Book?

If you employ people in the business of insurance your business will be improved if every one of your employees reads and applies the ethical concepts described in the book.

If you are an insurance claims professional, an adjuster, supervisor, claims manager, defense counsel, or insurance coverage counsel the book will provide the knowledge necessary to apply the ethical concepts described in this book.

If you are a person insured or about to be insured you need this book to understand your ethical obligations to the insurer and the insurer's ethical obligations to you.

The Author

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He practiced law in California for more than 44 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer and more than 54 years in the insurance business. He is available at http://www.zalma.com and zalma@zalma.com.Subscribe and receive videos limited to subscribers of Excellence in Claims Handling at locals.com https://zalmaoninsurance.locals.com/subscribe.Subscribe to Excellence in Claims Handling at https://barryzalma.substack.com/welcome.

Now available Barry Zalma’s newest book, The Tort of Bad Faith, available here. The new book is available as a Kindle book, a paperback or as a hard cover.

Write to Mr. Zalma at zalma@zalma.com; http://www.zalma.comhttp://zalma.com/blog; daily articles are published at https://zalma.substack.com. Go to the podcast Zalma On Insurance at https://anchor.fm/barry-zalma; Follow Mr. Zalma on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bzalma; Go to Barry Zalma videos at Rumble.com at https://rumble.com/c/c-262921; Go to Barry Zalma on YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCysiZklEtxZsSF9DfC0Expg; Go to the Insurance Claims Library – https://zalma.com/blog/insurance-claims-library

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