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Salespeople often are advised not to talk about politics or religion, and for good reason. People have strong opinions about these two issues, and being too open about our views is a good way to run off potential customers. Brokers seem to take the “mum’s the word” approach on two other subjects as well: COBRA and taxes. The difference is that, in this case, it’s our silence that could cost us the business.

So why would an advisor steer clear of these topics in particular? The reason we give our clients is that they fall under the category of employer or tax law, not insurance law, and any advice we provide is not covered by our errors & omissions insurance. The real reason, of course, is that we sometimes don’t know the correct answer. If we did, we wouldn’t be so worried about misadvising them. Unfortunately, health reform is a game changer that’s forcing brokers to redefine themselves as consultants.

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