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Antitrust Policy

The purpose of Federal and State antitrust laws is to preserve fair and honest competition. These laws prohibit the exchange of information among competitors regarding price, refusals to deal, or agreements to proceed in certain anti-competitive respects. The McCarran-Ferguson Act allows limited exemptions in the insurance industry (specifically around the collection of premium and loss data).

As an advisory organization, we derive specific benefit from some of the exemptions under McCarran-Ferguson around the collection of statistical data and development of loss cost, however, under no circumstances should AAIS employees entertain any discussion in any forum involving fixing prices or restricting competition.

Officers, directors, members, affiliates and staff of AAIS should be alert to conduct that might fall into areas of particular antitrust concerns. In analyzing whether information to be exchanged at any meeting is acceptable, two critical questions should be considered:

    1. How does the information relate to the competitive behavior of the companies or firms represented?
    2. How does the information affect the independent business decisions of the companies or firms represented?

Here are some practices about which you should be cautious and neither initiate nor participate in between member companies, as they may expose AAIS to possible antitrust investigation and/or prosecution by the FTC, Justice Department and/or states attorneys general.

  • Discussing price, profits, commission or any other cost components and elements specific to a company.
  • Discussing raising, lowering or stabilizing rates. (Remember, we produce loss costs.)
  • Discussing matters that would adversely affect availability of insurance or services to the public.
  • Discussing information concerning current and future underwriting rules that deal with the eligibility for insurance with a particular company.
  • Discussing individual company results, or current or future marketing or pricing strategies or business plans.
  • Discussing “fair” profit levels.
  • Developing “standards” for company operations.
  • Referring to any insurance company or agency by specific name in any example you may give as an illustration during our discussions.

In particular, AAIS committees, directors, officers, employees and members SHALL NOT:

  • Engage in discussions or communications that might be construed as an agreement or understanding to refuse or refrain from using any certain vendors, companies, agents, brokers, suppliers or products, or from dealing with any company, business, individual or customer.
  • Engage or facilitate any activity that could be construed as an effort to fix prices or coordinate market activities among the members of AAIS.

Any meetings with representatives from two more affiliate/members companies should always begin with the following antitrust statement: 

As members or affiliates of AAIS, a national advisory organization, we need to be mindful of the constraints of the antitrust law. There shall be no discussion of agreements of concerted actions that may restrain competition, such as price fixing, boycotts, refusals to deal or allocations of markets. Exchange of information between members concerning individual company rates, coverages, market practices, claims, settlement practices, or any other competitive aspect of an individual company’s operation is PROHIBITED.

Any questions, concerns, or meeting agenda materials that have implication regarding the above stated policy should be brought to the Chief Financial Officer who will operate as the compliance officer for antitrust matters.