Online Discussion Forums
NAMIC Anti-Trust Policy
Please keep in mind that numerous state and Federal laws absolutely prohibit the exchange of information among competitors regarding price, refusals to deal, or agreements to proceed in certain anti-competitive respects, and that no such exchange of this information is either sanctioned by NAMIC or will be permitted during NAMIC meetings or in electronic discussion forums. This is a very serious matter and your cooperation will be appreciated.
Although Congress has given a limited exemption to the insurance industry from certain otherwise prohibited activities, by enactment of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, members should realize: 1) that NAMIC itself, as a trade association, has no such exemption; and 2) that the exemption provided companies has definite limits. Insurance company practices (your activities included) are exempt only if they: a) involve the business of insurance; b) are regulated by state law; and c) do not constitute an agreement to boycott, coerce and/or intimidate or an act to further any of the three. Please note that legislative activities are protected by the 1st Amendment and are generally not subject to anti-trust laws.
Conviction upon violation of the anti-trust laws (Sherman Act, Clayton Act, FTC Act and Robinson-Patman Act) will result in mandatory jail sentences, fines or both, even for first offenders who are otherwise leaders in their communities.
Beside discussions involving any possible insurance market boycott, coercion and/or intimidation, which are never protected under any circumstances, here are some practices which you should not initiate nor participate in as they may expose you, your company, and NAMIC to possible anti-trust investigation and/or prosecution by the FTC or Justice Department.
- Discussing price, profits, commission or any other cost components and elements.
- Discussing rates or the stabilizing of rates or other terms or conditions of any products to be offered for sale.
- Discussing underwriting criteria with an eye toward standardizing.
- Discussing a market division plan without a state law covering the plan, including discussions of type or products to be offered, customers to whom insurance products may be sold or the territories in which they may be sold.
- Discussing matters that would adversely affect availability of insurance or services to the public.
- Discussing future rate plans including actuarial projections.
- Discussing "fair" profit levels.
- Keeping access to NAMIC membership unduly restrictive or denying unique services of NAMIC to nonmembers.
- Developing "standards" for company operations.
- Trading information on bidding for office equipment and supplies or agreeing to collectively refrain from purchasing any equipment, services or supplies from any supplier.
- Suggesting a certain credit policy.
- Referring to any insurance company or agency by specific name in any example you may give as an illustration during our discussions.
If any discussion forum thread is found to be in violation of this policy, it will not be approved for submission to the exchange.