Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson is paramount educator of Insurance. His latest book, When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes, is an excellent resource all insurance claims experts and professionals should have in their library. I thought so much of it I have ordered the book for each Merlin Law Group attorney.

Wilson makes these remarks regarding duties and ethical obligations of insurance professionals which everybody in the insurance business should strive to follow and many would suggest must follow:

1. Always remember the overriding mission of our industry… to protect individuals, families, and organizations from serious and potentially catastrophic loss. Always place the public interest above your own interests. Always.

2. Seek to become a life-long learner by continually maintaining and improving your professional knowledge at every opportunity. Continuing education is more than accumulating hours prescribed by regulators. Become a selfdirected learner. Ask questions. Challenge dogma. Dig deeper.

3. Make sure that every decision you reach is legal, moral and ethical. It goes without saying that we must strive to obey all laws and regulations, not only to the letter but also within the spirit of the law. Our conduct should always be gauged to avoid any unjust harm to others.

4. Remain open minded about means and methods of improving the insurance mechanism while being diligent in the performance of your occupational duties. But, in your effort to improve industry efficiency and effectiveness, NEVER forget Habits #1-3 above… always weigh the virtue and value of seemingly innovative approaches and their congruence with our mission to serve the public justly.

5. More specifically, in conjunction with Habit #3, aspire to go far beyond the minimal legal constraints of our industry by raising the professional and ethical standards of the industry and industries with which we associate. Lead by example. Inculcate Habit #1 into every decision you make. As Mark Twain said, “Always do right; this will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

6. Involve yourself in local and national insurance society and association activities and in the activities of other industries through your professional efforts. Your goal should be to establish and foster productive and honorable relationships among fellow insurance professionals, members of other professions and industries, and the public.

7. Whenever possible, assist in every effort and take every opportunity you possibly can to improve the public understanding of insurance and risk management. Combat the deleterious consumer impression that insurance is a commodity and advocate for the value of the counsel of insurance and risk management professionals.

(Emphasis added)

His blog and commentary has been cited at least twice by us:

I thought about Bill Wilson’s book yesterday while reading Christina Phillips’ post, Policy Conditions “Conformity to State Law” May Extend the Period Time to File Suit. I sent her post to our eleven-attorney office in Puerto Rico as we are trying to determine legal ways Puerto Rico policyholders may avoid the one-year statute of limitations which many will face if they do not file suit this September.

Bill’s book noted that the late insurance educator Don Malecki always demanded those interpreting insurance coverage read the entire Insurance policy and not just the section of the policy they were focusing upon. I agree with Bill Wilson’s statement and dedication about Don Malecki:

I’d also like to recognize the late, great Don Malecki, CPCU, ARM, who was one of the most brilliant insurance writers, consultants, and expert witnesses in my memory. My website at is dedicated to his memory and legacy. Don’s attention to detail when reviewing, analyzing, and interpreting insurance policies was an inspiration to me and thousands of other insurance professionals who knew his work.

Thought For The Day

“If we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that sometimes our assumptions and preconceived notions are wrong, and therefore, our interpretation of events is incorrect. This causes us to overreact, to take things personally, or to judge people unfairly.”
—Elizabeth Thornton

Summertime Song For They Day:

What is better than the trumpet of Louis Armstrong and the blues of Ella Fitzgerald?