Gifts, Trips and Gratuities

An insurance agent sent me an invitation today to an annual party-boat trip they sponsor for clients.  I’m sure it is a fine time and appreciated by many of their customers.  I declined, as I always do when offered gifts.

“I appreciate your offer but must decline.  It is my client’s expectation that I remain completely unbiased in my advice and actions.  Accepting trips, gifts, meals and the like is, in my opinion, a violation of that trust.” was my reply.
This happens about once a month.  I’m offered tickets to sporting events, gift cards, booze, and meals. I once received a dozen live-lobsters from an agent. All were declined (the lobsters were donated to the local fire department).
My work is unbiased. I never accept fees or commissions from agents or insurers.  I will drink their coffee when I visit their offices.  It’s usually not very good coffee though.