So Billy Bush gets sidelined from a TV gig for aiding and abetting the crude and the lewd.
That brings me to the in-the-office and the out-of-office behavior exhibited by the insurance industry … which I’m happy to report has been way aboveboard.
I don’t claim to be a private eye or a behavior sleuth, and far be it for me to regulate how other people should act.
But I've spent 13 years covering property/casualty, life and annuity insurers. During that time, I've attended dozens of trade shows and dinners across the country, and accepted invitations to generous parties in high places stateside and abroad. I’ve never once witnessed behavior that was unbecoming of the professionals who populate the insurance world.
Oh, I may have witnessed one or two incidents that might have been considered slightly excessive in terms of drinking. But I’ve never seen any consumption of hard and soft drugs. I never witnessed groping of any kind and I never overhead any overt sexist commentary or gratuitously foul language, or witnessed cringe-worthy behavior.
Not being a locker room type myself, perhaps I’m hanging out in the wrong places. Or maybe what happens among members of the insurance industry is far more subdued than what happens among broker/dealers or what happens behind closed doors among the providers of back-office services.
If I were swigging beers on the golf carts, perhaps I’d be spilling beans of a different sort in this post.Or maybe if I were an IT vendor with a generous expense account I’d be familiar with the names of strip clubs.
Inappropriate behavior happens, of course, and it takes place even among card-carrying members of the insurance industry.
The industry offers us dribs and drabs every time legal proceedings leak out into the public. There's no question some members of the financial services sector, a notoriously closed boys club itching for excess, abuse their privilege.
I remember a case several years ago in which a property/casualty insurance executive was caught racking up thousands of dollars in expenses at a New York gentleman’s club and heaven only knows what kind of conversations take place in the dim light of night in the VIP suites.
These cases are very rare in the insurance community.
For my money, we’re better off policing insurance contract terms, annuity surrender charges and 401(k) fees than we are losing sleep over the behavior displayed by overwhelmingly tame insurance agents and financial advisors.
I’ll drink (but no more) to that.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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