Policing the ethical conduct of its members and providing continuing
educational opportunities are just two of the activities of the
Oklahoma City Association of Life Underwriters, said Ed Roberts,
association president for 1990-91.
In addition, he said the group will continue its public service
The Oklahoma City association has 500 members, with a fair mix
of independent and ``career shop'' agents, as Roberts termed those
who work almost exclusively for one company.
In a recent issue of the association's newsletter, Roberts told
members he has been impressed with the quality of the individuals of
the group since he first joined in 1952.
He later said most members would ``pass on commission than
submit something wrong. You don't find that type of person in the
One of the benefits of membership is more earning power for
agents, he said, because the information provided at the regular
meetings and special continuing education events allows agents to
stay on top of changes in the life insurance industry.
Roberts said most of the life insurance agents in Oklahoma City
are not members of the association. ``But even though they are not
members, they enjoy the benefits, like the lobbying we do. They are
getting a free ride.''
He said the local, state and national associations all have
lobbying and legislative committees.
``We are always looking at proposed legislation for those things
pertinent to our business,'' he said.
The national association has 138,000 members and one of the
strongest lobbying forces in Washington D.C., with the sixth largest
political action committee in the nation, he said.
``Congress is very much aware of us. And our lobbying force is
very well respected in the Senate and U.S. House of
Roberts said annual dues for the association are $177, of which
$50 goes to the state organization and $50 to the national group to
provide the backbone of the lobbying efforts. The remaining $77
combines with other fund-raising activities for a local budget of
about $100,000. This money funds the nine meals served during
meetings, provides a subscription to Life Association News, pays one
full-time executive secretary and provides transportation and other
expenses for speakers which are brought in to educate members.
Part of the policing job of the association means having to
confront members about the ethics of their behavior.
Roberts said he recently had to speak with association members
and attorneys from a large company because of an advertisement which
``It was not fair because it did not provide full disclosure,''
he said. ``It was not comparing apples to apples. Even though that
advertisement might have been approved by that company - which is
based overseas - it did not comply with Oklahoma law. As a result
of our efforts, the company withdrew the advertisement.
``We do what we can do with the authority we have.
Advertisements have to be fair. They have to tell the whole truth.
The beauty of life insurance is that you don't have to fib. …