“OK,” you ask, “why should I go to a NAIFA meeting, or even belong to NAIFA?”
I’ll tell you why. NAIFA is the original association representing the career agents in our industry. In its long history, NAIFA has expanded beyond the life insurance career agent to include all practitioners in the insurance-based financial services industry, and it has become a critical part of our industry’s survival.
Reflect on the attempts by the state and federal government to attack our products and services—split dollar, tax on the inside buildup of cash values, tax on death benefits, potential legislation on COLI, BOLI and deferred compensation—the list goes on. At every attempt, NAIFA was on the front lines of industry action to prevent or limit the potential damage to our clients, careers and industry.
But today we have a problem. Too few of our members are contributing too few dollars to IFAPAC, our political action committee, which lobbies on our behalf. Lobbying is expensive, and politics is expensive. Just look at how much the political parties are spending during this year’s presidential campaign. The reality of today’s world is that NAIFA’s political action committee needs money—serious amounts of money—to grease the political wheels and protect our industry.
We must provide insight and guidance to legislators and their staff on how our products work and how they should work. Your NAIFA leadership volunteers untold hours of time for our benefit to fight potential harmful legislation on both the state and national level. Unfortunately, some of our members have not been involved in advocacy and do not appreciate this effort. Furthermore, I know that several hundred thousand non-NAIFA agents have no clue what NAIFA does for their careers.
OUR PRODUCTS ARE MAGIC BECAUSE THEY CREATE MONEY WHERE NONE EXISTED BEFORE.
A time for change
But we can change that. Go to your general agents and managing partners and tell them why they should encourage their agents, financial advisors, financial consultants and financial planners to join NAIFA and support IFAPAC. Encourage nonmembers to attend your local NAIFA meetings and learn what our organization can do for them and what they can do for the insurance and financial services industry.
Our membership can grow if you become actively involved. The more you volunteer, the more the organization will mean to you and the agents you influence. NAIFA can be so much more and provide so much more as its membership grows.
NAIFA, along with the Association for Advanced Life Underwriting, is the guardian of our industry and this is one of those times when size does matter. The more members we have and the more contributions IFAPAC receives, the more influence we can exert in Washington, D.C., and on state legislatures, and the better we can protect our industry and ourselves.
Yes, the companies also lobby, but we represent the grassroots. We have the pulse of our clients. We know what they want and what they need to protect their families and businesses. Our products and services provide security, peace of mind and dignity. Our products are magic because they create money where none existed before. That’s what insurance does, and we need to protect our products and industry.
Marvin H. Feldman, CLU, ChFC, served as the 2002 President of MDRT and has been the chairman of the Top of the Table. A member of the Mahoning Valley AIFA, his address is The Feldman Agency, Fremar Building, P.O. Box 30, East Liverpool, OH 43920.