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 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 and should refrain from discussing or exchanging information about their organization's business operations with any participant from another organization concerning the following topics:
- Your organization's past, current or future prices, rates, discounts, contract terms or contracting strategies;
- Information regarding employee salaries, wages, benefits or other compensation paid or offered to your organization's employees, or contractors;
- Specific elements of past, present or future costs of the organization or any of its facilities or services;
- Non-public elements of your organization's marketing strategies, competitive strategies, and/or future marketing plans, including any plans to add or delete any services; and “secret" without first obtaining prior approval for such a disclosure.
- Raising, lowering or stabilizing rates.
- Matters that would adversely affect availability of insurance or services to the public.
- Information concerning current and future underwriting rules that deal with the eligibility for insurance.
- Discussing "fair" profit levels.
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 General Counsel who will operate as the compliance officer for antitrust matters.