As the industry keeps changing, it's important to know a company's "pedigree."
By Steven A. Morelli
Glenn Neasham took another step to getting his life back in order when California restored his life insurance license today following the overturning of his theft conviction.
His next hurdles are finding errors and omissions (E&O) liability coverage, getting appointed with companies to sell their products and waiting for final word from the state Supreme Court on whether they will review his overturned conviction. On Oct. 8, an appellate court threw out his 2011 felony theft conviction for selling an indexed annuity to an 83-year-old client who might have had dementia at the time. In November, the attorney general asked the state’s top court to review the appeal. A decision is expected by Feb. 11.
Neasham lost his license soon after the conviction and has not worked since. He lost his insurance business and his house. He lives with his wife and four children in a residence they rent from his in-laws.
Neasham said he is not expecting much difficulty finding E&O because he never had a claim against him. He is focused on getting past that, getting contracts with companies and prospecting for clients. He said a principal with his former marketing organization pledged that he would do business with him again. That is even though the agency still represents Allianz, which produced the indexed annuity that Neasham sold to the client in the criminal case. Another agency that sells Allianz products approached him also, so he said he expects he will have little difficulty getting back with the carrier.
Once he has the contracts, he will set up a seminar as soon as he can to prospect for clients. Neasham said he would pay for the session with $5,000 that he paid in a fine as part of his sentence, which included a 60-day jail sentence. He expects to get the money back if the Supreme Court passes on his case.
But he expects he will have to handle some skepticism once he gets back to selling.
“Nowadays, everybody Googles everybody, so I’m expecting to get a lot of questions,” Neasham said. “People will probably choose not to do business with me because of that but we’ll have to see.”
One of the things people would encounter online would be a complaint related to the theft case on the state’s insurance department website despite the appellate decision. “I would have assumed that it would not be on their website,” Neasham said. “So I’ll have to follow up with them to see if they will remove it.”
Neasham is still anxious about what the Supreme Court might do. They have three options: letting the reversal stand, throwing out the reversal and starting all over or “unpublishing” the appellate opinion in the reversal, Neasham said.
“Experts have said to me that they might go for unpublishing the opinion because the attorney general said it was a bad precedent. But It would not have anything to do with my guilt or innocence,” Neasham said. “As far as I was concerned from the very beginning is that I did nothing wrong. Now I can start fresh and build this up from the ground floor.”
Steven A. Morelli is editor-in-chief for InsuranceNewsNet. He has more than 25 years of experience as a reporter and editor for newspapers, magazines and insurance periodicals. He was also vice president of communications for an insurance agents’ association. Steve can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
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