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NEW ORLEANS–Brokerage representatives at a meeting of risk managers here were eager to answer their questions about contingency fees, but skittish about addressing their practice of delaying premium payments to insurers to gain an investment “float.”

Talk about broker compensation dominated the discussion for the third consecutive annual conference of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. But for the first time, questions were also raised about why many brokers collect premiums from policyholders, only to hold onto them for 60 days or more before passing the money along to insurers, earning investment income in the interim.

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