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I am an insurance industry brat. I grew up in the industry, occasionally working in my father’s agency on school vacations or when I needed extra spending money. After graduating college, I thought it would be a great idea to pursue the American Dream and go to work for my father. However, my father refused to hire me, saying insurance was a poor career choice for a young person to pursue. (He actually used stronger language than that.)

Fortunately, I did not take my father’s advice and went into the business about 10 years after my father’s refusal to hire me. My father was wrong; the insurance industry has been incredibly kind to me, my family and my former employees.However, our profession is much more complex and technical than when I entered the business. Although we all like to be thought of as professionals, the privilege of being considered a “professional” carries considerable responsibility. As we continue to enhance our professionalism, our ethical and professional responsibilities become more complex and demanding. This article will outline some of the professional responsibility issues that members of our industry face every day.The paramount duties of an insurance producerAn insurance producer’s highest duty is to follow the client’s insurance instructions. If you don’t, you can be liable to the customer for any damages resulting from the failure to follow instructions.The insurance producer also has a duty to procure insurance as instructed by their client. There is a developing trend in determining the legal responsibility of insurance producers who, despite an attempt, are not able to obtain the requested amount or type of coverage. Many insurance professionals, if asked what their duty is to their clients in the event they were not able to procure requested coverage would reply that they have an obligation to notify the client in a timely manner to give them the opportunity to seek coverage elsewhere.Does this sound familiar?Case study: Consider the facts of a case in which I am involved. A high-asset individual approached his agent requesting high limits of personal and automobile liability.

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