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The World Insurance Partnership: Ethics Program Essay

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Updated: Jun 20th, 2020

Ethics and compliance programs are important for any company in order to develop the ethical culture in the organization and contribute to preventing and eliminating the unethical conduct. Stakeholders should be provided with significant information regarding the business purpose, values, standards, and principles of the professional and ethical conduct followed in the organization (Anghel-Ilcu, 2014, p. 113; Brecher, 2014, p. 242). This proposal provides the information on the World Insurance Partnership’s business purpose, statement of values and their explanation, definition, and explanation of the idea of social responsibility, the overview of the procedures of regulatory compliance, discussion of the training programs, and the overview of the monitoring and enforcement systems.

Explanation of the Business Purpose

World Insurance Partnership is a company that provides insurance services of different types for more than 20,000 households in five Western states of the United States. The business purpose of the company that is associated with the corporate mission is to provide the near perfect insurance services to clients in a timely and accurate manner and guarantee complete protection at the lowest possible cost with the focus on the clients’ needs and interests. As a result, World Insurance Partnership works to improve the quality of human life while focusing on guaranteeing the complete protection for clients. World Insurance Partnership develops the high-performance culture and focuses on conducting business in an ethical manner and in compliance with regulations, laws, and norms followed in the industry.

Explanation of the Ethics Program’s Purpose

The Ethics Program for the World Insurance Partnership is designed to declare the company’s core values, to promote the ethical principles and standards among the stakeholders with the focus on principles of transparency, integrity, and accountability.

Statement of Core Values

The World Insurance Partnership’s code of conduct is presented in the form of the statement of core values. This code of conduct includes the definitions of values, guiding principles, and standards followed by the company’s stakeholders. The employees of the company are expected to act in accordance with the values and principles stated in the code of conduct, and the corrective action is developed for the employees who do not follow the principles, values, and standards.

Core Values

Transparency. World Insurance Partnership focuses on making rules and principles followed in the company transparent, and the company accentuates the transparency of the decision-making process in the organization.

Respect. The employees are expected to treat the clients and each other in an ethical and respectful manner, with the focus on stakeholders’ needs and interests (Schwartz, 2002, p. 29-30).

Integrity. World Insurance Partnership promotes the value of integrity while providing services for clients and developing relations between employees because of the necessity, to be honest, and focused on providing high-quality results.

Diversity. Diversity is supported in the company in all its forms because of the necessity to create an effective multinational team and address the needs of the diverse clients that need the assistance of the company.

Accountability. The employees of the World Insurance Partnership are responsible for following the principle of accountability while providing insurance services, and they also should focus on accountability for breaches the standards and principles mentioned in the Ethics Program (Schwartz, 2002, p. 29-30).

Guiding Principles and Standards

Compliance with laws and regulations. The employees of the World Insurance Partnership should work in compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations used in the industry and with the focus on the state insurance laws and federal insurance laws.

Confidentiality. The employees should focus on the confidentiality of information related to the customers and the organization. Employees, directors, and officers of the World Insurance Partnership are responsible for keeping the organization’s information and information about customers confidential. Thus, the protection of customers’ personal data is required.

Trustworthiness. In World Insurance Partnership, the focus on trustworthiness is essential because the employees should promote the image of the insurance company as the organization which clients can trust as safeguards. Employees are also expected to build positive relations with clients according to the principles of reliability (Schwartz, 2002, p. 29-30).

Communication and reporting unethical behavior. The employees are expected to communicate actively with each other in order to avoid the conflict of interests, and they are encouraged to report the unethical behavior and violations of laws regarding the manipulation of the clients’ personal information. The focus should also be on trustworthy communication with clients in order to address their needs and interests.

Fair dealing. World Insurance Partnership guarantees that each employee and director are treated equally; they cannot take the unfair advantage of the other person or their position. Furthermore, the discretionary authority should not be given to persons who are at risk to focus on the misconduct (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, 2010, p. 212).

The employees of World Insurance Partnership should adhere to the following ethical standards:

  • The staff should avoid conflicts of interest.
  • The staff should conduct the business fairly.
  • The staff should provide high-quality professional services with references to the customers’ needs.
  • The staff should prevent corruption and unfair dealing.
  • The staff should promote a healthy working environment.
  • The staff should promote diversity.
  • The staff should understand the risks of discrimination and harassment and avoid behaving unethically.

Social Responsibility

The idea of social responsibility is important for World Insurance Partnership as the framework within which the company is obliged to act ethically in relation to the society and environment (Blodgett, 2011, p. 46). World Insurance Partnership is oriented to meeting the interests of the society while providing high-quality services to regular clients while addressing the needs of the society in hazardous situations while supporting disaster victims, and while participating in social healthcare and education programs to make insurance services more available for the public.

World Insurance Partnership refers to the idea of social responsibility while treating all the stakeholders equally. The company promotes diversity while focusing on the needs of the workforce and proposing various types of services for different categories of clients.

World Insurance Partnership is also oriented to a socially responsible business while contributing to the protection of the environment. The services of the company can be discussed as environmentally efficient because World Insurance Partnership has developed the program of re-using the paper and other types of waste in order to promote the environmental protection program (Blodgett, 2011, p. 46). World Insurance Partnership also works to reduce energy consumption.

Responsible Persons

Directors, managers, and employees of the World Insurance Partnership are expected to act ethically and follow the stated rules, standards, and principles. Furthermore, the Board of Directors and Ethics and Compliance Officers are responsible for developing an ethics and compliance program and for overseeing the compliance with principles, values, and standards, and laws.

The Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for developing the regulatory compliance program and for making judgments regarding the persons who violated the ethical norms promoted within the company (Bernardi & LaCross, 2005, p. 34). The Board of Directors guarantees that the business of the insurance company is operated in accordance with the principles of social responsibility, industry standards, and state and federal laws.

Ethics and Compliance Officers

Ethics and Compliance Officers are responsible for assessing the needs and risks related to the operations of the insurance company within the set social environment; for developing the ethics program including the code of conduct in the form of the statement of values and the guiding principles; for communicating standards and ethical principles to the employees; for conducting training programs developed to educate the employees on ethical standards and principles followed in the company (Helin & Sandström, 2008, p. 282).

Ethics and Compliance Officers in World Insurance Partnership are persons who monitor employees’ actions according to the ethical principles, review the employees’ complaints, consult on the employees’ ethical concerns, ensure compliance with the insurance industry standards, and take actions on different types of ethical violations (Helin & Sandström, 2008, p. 282). Ethics and Compliance Officers report directly to the Board of Directors on ethical violations.

Plans for Regulatory Compliance

Ethics and Compliance Officers supervised by the representatives of the Board of Directors in the company are also responsible for the development and further implementation of the organizational plans for regulatory compliance in the World Insurance Partnership. The organizational programs associated with regulatory compliance include the program of compliance with industry standards, the privacy and security plan, the education and training program, the monitoring, auditing, and reporting misconduct program, the plan for the enforcement of standards and punishment, and the plan for improvement of the ethics and compliance program (Ferrell et al., 2010, p. 218).

Program of Compliance with Industry Standards

The insurance industry standards and laws are reflected in the World Insurance Partnership’s Quality Management Plan. Ethics and Compliance Officers control the employees’ behavior and actions in order to state compliance with industry standards. The control is realized on a regular basis.

Privacy and Security Plan

Ethics and Compliance Officers monitor the employees’ success in keeping the clients’ records accurately and safeguarding the company’s information, following the principles of privacy, and guaranteeing security. The compliance with the privacy and security principles is monitored monthly.

Education and Training Program

World Insurance Partnership has developed the education and training programs supervised and conducted by Ethics and Compliance Officers in order to make sure that all the company’s employees understand the code of conduct, know the ethical behavior standards, and comply with the industry’s standards and state and federal laws (Ferrell et al., 2010, p. 218-220). The first stage of the program includes the initial orientation for the new employees regarding ethical standards, requirements, and norms. The second stage includes the annual training for all the company’s employees regarding the revised standards.

The staff is taught how to follow the ethical standards appropriately, how to address ethical dilemmas, prevent conflicts, and report the ethical misconduct in relation to the employees, clients, and other stakeholders. The additional training is provided for the employees who work directly with clients and disaster victims.

Monitoring, Auditing, and Reporting Misconduct

Ethics and Compliance Officers are responsible for monitoring the employees’ behavior for compliance not only with ethical standards but also with regulatory norms and laws. The monitoring is realized with the help of the observations on a regular basis. The monitoring reports are provided to the Board of Directors weekly.

Auditing is the complex process that includes auditing procedures regarding the investigation of issues identified as a result of monitoring (Schwartz, 2002, p. 31). Ethics and Compliance Officers in World Insurance Partnership choose the appropriate audit tool such as the observation or survey and conduct initial investigations on a regular basis and the complex auditing procedures during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year during 15 days. During the auditing process, Ethics and Compliance Officers collect, analyze, and report findings to the Board of Directors in order to add necessary revisions to the Ethics and Compliance Program.

The employees are encouraged to report the ethical misconduct before the conflict and problem develop. The report should include the description of situations and cases when employees breached the code of conduct and violated ethical standards (Anghel-Ilcu, 2014, p. 116). The reports of the employees are directed to Ethics and Compliance Officers. Monitoring and auditing of compliance with ethical standards and reporting of the misconduct are realized according to such areas as communication with clients, communication with employees, violation of confidentiality and privacy, quality of the services, social responsibility, and environmental responsibility among others.

Enforcement of Standards and Punishment

Ethics and Compliance Officers and the company’s managers are responsible for encouraging employees to seek guidance of managers when the ethical dilemmas are observed. They are also responsible for educating the staff on the aspects of the code of conduct regularly. The investigated cases of misconduct are openly communicated to the employees in order to guarantee the enforcement of standards. Ethics and Compliance Officers take initial steps to correct the observed ethical misconduct. The Board of Directors decides on corrective measures and disciplinary actions necessary to be implemented in relation to employees depending on the severity of violations (Ferrell et al., 2010, p. 245). The variants of punishment include a range of corrective actions and the employment termination.

Improvement of the Ethics and Compliance Program

Ethics and Compliance Officers evaluate the effectiveness of the Ethics Program depending on the results of the auditing procedures. The Ethics Program is revised or modified as a result of auditing in order to improve the overall quality of the program (Anghel-Ilcu, 2014, p. 116). The evaluation of the effectiveness is realized according to such aspects as the appropriateness of the program to track the standards and laws, the accuracy and understandability of the standards and norms’ descriptions, effectiveness of communicating the standards’ significance, and the appropriateness of the program to promote the ethical behavior in the company.

Conclusion

The Ethics Program developed for World Insurance Partnership includes the discussion of the business’s purpose, core values, standards necessary to follow, and ethical guidelines important to be followed by the employees. Additionally, the Ethics Program presents the detailed discussion of social responsibility aspects, identification of persons responsible for monitoring the compliance with standards and laws, and the discussion of programs and plans implemented to guarantee the ethical conduct within the organization and effectiveness of the proposed program.

References

Anghel-Ilcu, E. (2014). A theoretical model of code of ethics conceptualized from companies’ public disclosures on ethics. Accounting and Management Information Systems, 13(1), 111-158.

Bernardi, R., & LaCross, C. (2005). Corporate transparency: Code of ethics disclosures. The CPA Journal, 75(4), 34-37.

Blodgett, M. (2011). Substantive ethics: Integrating law and ethics in corporate ethics programs. Journal of Business Ethics, 99(S1), 39-48.

Brecher, B. (2014). What is professional ethics? Nursing Ethics, 21(2), 239-244.

Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2010). Business ethics, ethical decision making and cases. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Helin, S., & Sandström, J. (2008). Codes, ethics and cross-cultural differences: Stories from the implementation of a corporate code of ethics in a MNC subsidiary. Journal of Business Ethics, 82(2), 281-291.

Schwartz, M. (2002). A code of ethics for corporate code of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(1/2), 27-43.

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