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One insurance commissioner in the Northeast recently denied an insurer a rate increase that would have anticipated a 3 percent underwriting gain. The commissioner’s justification: Given the state of the economy, the insurer should not profit at all. 

Naturally, there was no shortage of criticism of the insurance commissioner’s actions. Yet the commissioner’s personal ethics are not at issue here. Rather, the issue is how insurers and their employees should respond to the decision—on an ethical level.

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