NAIC Seniors Consumer Insurance Fraud Alert – An Area Of Board Oversight?

The following is a link to something interesting that I came across – an alert by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners about insurance fraud scams against seniors. http://www.naic.org/documents/legal_bulletin_seniors_beware.pdf. The alert contains interesting statistics about the amount of possible fraud, such as “free lunch” seminars. Not to say that a “free lunch” seminar is necessarily a fraud scheme. But as we all know, the purpose of a “free” seminar is to find buyers. For me, however, the alert points to a different problem. The alert assumes that a senior who goes to a “free” seminar, for example, is mentally competent to follow the steps indicated to critically evaluate and resist the fraud. That assumption begs the question or issue: does the senior have the mental competency and fortitude to critically evaluate and resist the sales pitch? In my experience, it’s not uncommon that a senior does not have that mental capacity. Thus, in that circumstance the senior does not have the mental capacity to follow the recommendations provided by the NAIC in its alert, in which case the alert is useless, which also is the intent of the insurance sales person who is trying to sell a senior an insurance product that is not appropriate for the senior. At least policies and procedures, and board oversight of those policies and procedures, are needed so that the insurance entity and broker have in place detailed policies and procedures to determine that only appropriate policies are sold, through appropriate marketing means, with special attention to and oversight of marketing and policies sold to seniors, with the ability of the senior to rescind the policy, without having to hire legal counsel to fight it out with the insurance entity. Where is this requirement, how is it implemented, and where is the board’s active oversight?

Dave Tate, Esq. (San Francisco / California), http://californiaestatetrust.com, http://directorofficernews.com

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