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Few threats are scarier to the average independent life insurance producer than the potential banning of commission-based compensation for insurance product sales. And the prospect of adapting from a suitability standard of care to a fiduciary standard opens up another can of worms.

Insurance producers traditionally have been subject to a suitability standard under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which requires sellers to verify that their products appear to suit customers’ needs. Investment advisors are regulated as fiduciaries under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, which requires sellers to put clients’ needs and interests ahead of their own.

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