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I have read with interest as National Underwriter has published numerous articles related to the back and forth between groups which, on the one hand, disavow contingent fee arrangements and, on the other, defend the practice of brokers and agents accepting this form of compensation.

As 2010 president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, I feel obligated to weigh in with the perspective of risk managers who buy commercial insurance from these brokers and agents on behalf of their employers–whether they be industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable or government entities, large or small.

For years, RIMS has staked out the position that contingent commissions represent an inherent conflict of interest for the broker whose duty of loyalty is to the consumer. Recognizing that contingent commissions are legal, we have vigorously fought for full transparency and disclosure at a meaningful time in the insurance purchase transaction, as the New York Insurance Department has put forth regulations trying to balance the interests of commerce with their mission of protecting consumers.

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