WIAA Response to CDI Advisory Letter on Disclosure

October 5, 2005

Our Lawyers Are Reviewing Your Legal Opinion.
We Disagree With It.
We’re Glad There’s New Found Industry-wide Agreement on Disclosure

Rancho Cordova…The issue of full dollar disclosure has been the most contentious issue facing the California Broker-Agent community. Seeking clarity from the California Department of Insurance on the issue of disclosure, The Western Insurance Agents Association, a leader in the fight against requiring greater disclosure of commissions and income by brokers and agents, requested a formal opinion to define the legal and fiduciary duties of agents and brokers.

“We are appreciative that CDI honored our request by issuing a Private Advisory Letter to us regarding the issue of disclosure and fiduciary duties of brokers and independent agents. Although we completely disagree with the content of CDI’s letter, we believe the stakes are too high to simply reject every tenet of their conclusion without a full review. That’s why the WIAA and the American Agent’s Alliance are looking forward to delivering our joint legal response to the CDI by the end of the week. This is no time for equivocation,” said Michael J. D’Arelli, Vice President, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs for the Western Insurance Agents Association.

IBA West — the trade association that embraced the State Fund’s decision to disclose broker commission – appeared to return to the fold on fighting mandatory disclosure. In reporting their explicit opposition to disclosure requirements, The Insurance Journal quoted Stan Simpson, IBA West President, “We will continue to oppose the Commissioner’s attempts to illegally impose fiduciary duties; we will also continue to oppose any and all proposals to impose mandatory new disclosure requirements.”

Michael Golden, Chairman of the Western Insurance Agents Association said, “With unanimous agreement now among the broker agent community, we can send the strong message that we will not stand for illegally imposed regulations. The forced disclosure issue is a prime example of why agents need to speak with a united voice.”

WIAA requested a Private Advisory Letter on the issue of disclosure from the California Department of Insurance after a meeting with CDI and WIAA last September. The letter requesting the Private Advisory Letter is attached.

For more information regarding this news release please contact Alan Smith, Jr. (916) 443-4221

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