Agent as a fiduciary
Another legal concept that governs the activity of a life insurance agent is that of fiduciary. As discussed earlier in this study, the word fiduciary involves a trust between two parties. A fiduciary is a person who holds a position of special trust and confidence. Agents act in a fiduciary capacity when they accept premiums on behalf of the insurer or offer advice that affects people’s financial security. Agents have fiduciary responsibilities to both their clients and the insurance companies they represent. Acting as a fiduciary requires that an agent be fit and proper, honest and trustworthy; have a good business reputation; be qualified to perform insurance functions; understand and follow state laws; and act in good faith.
Activities of the covenant, including witnessing the gospel and caring for Christ’s church, involve a much more profound fiduciary responsibility. Apostolic teaching lists the qualifications for elders and teachers, which sets a high standard for those who would steward the “trustworthy word” (I Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).
We find throughout apostolic teaching the concept of fiduciary in the role of leading God’s people, such as, (I Timothy 1:12) “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,” and (II Timothy 1:13-14) “Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you,” as well as, (II Timothy 2:2) “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
Paul said to the elders of the Ephesian church, (Acts 20:28) “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers [Greek episkopous: bishops, superintendents], to care for [Greek poimainein: to act as a shepherd] the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.”