Although the McCarran-Ferguson Act grants the insurance industry a limited exemption from anti-trust prohibitions, there are a number of activities in which participants in this program are restricted by the provisions of, and subject to the penalties prescribed by, anti-trust laws including the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Robinson-Patman Act, and Fair Trade Commission (FTC) Act. Violation of the following guidelines may expose you, your employer, and the Society of Insurance Research to investigation, prosecution, incarceration, and/or fines:
- While specific companies' or their operations or historical results may be cited as examples to enhance understanding of discussion points, it is essential that participants share only their knowledge and opinions based on publicly available information. “Publicly available information” includes information a carrier has shared with regulators, the general or industry media, investors, consumers, insurance agents, or its general employee population. “Publicly available information” does not include, for example, information available to only specific employees or contractors subject to a nondisclosure agreement, or information available only in filings not yet available to the public.
- To enhance understanding of discussion points, participants may share their opinions of likely future industry trends and actions by carriers, but those opinions are speculative based on each participant’s interpretation of publicly available information. Participants are advised not to share information about their own company, though a participant’s company may be mentioned in their presence. Any information the participant chooses to share about his or her own company must be “publicly available information” as described above.
- No participant may discuss or suggest any future action or position to be undertaken jointly by two or more carriers. Such prohibited joint action might include, but is not limited to: any market boycott, coercion, or intimidation, including agreements by carriers to favor or avoid a specific supplier; standardization or coordination of different carriers' underwriting criteria or pricing; allocation of markets, territories, or products between carriers.
Standard rules of business etiquette should apply. If you observe any behavior you believe may violate these guidelines, please bring it to the attention of any of the individuals facilitating this program for the SIR. If it occurs during the open meeting discussion, you are encouraged to immediately express your concern to the group.