Telephone solicitations are an important aspect of insurance marketing. Unfortunately, this has become a high-risk endeavor. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, better known as the TCPA, was enacted to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls and faxes. It imposes liability in the form of regulatory fines and incentivizes private plaintiffs to pursue claims with statutory damages of $500 to $1,500 per call, with no limit. Attorneys’ fees for defending TCPA actions can easily reach hundreds of thousands of dollars and multi-million dollar settlements are, unfortunately, a common occurrence.
Agents and brokers are expected, and contractually required, to act in full compliance with the law. Mutual of Omaha may recover any costs incurred in investigating, settling or litigating TCPA claims from agents, brokers, and their uplines.
Helpful tips to mitigate exposure:
- Ensure that appropriate consent for solicitation is obtained as required by the TCPA;
- Utilize leads from reputable companies that contractually commit to complying with the TCPA and scrubbing against the do-not-call lists;
- Use lead vendors who utilize third party verification sources such as Jornaya;
- Maintain lead information, documentation of call logs, and call recordings for no less than 5 years;
- Utilize a third-party compliance vendor, such as CompliancePoint;
- Immediately remove individuals from your calling lists if they request you to do so;
- Always represent that you are calling on behalf of your agency and not on behalf of Mutual of Omaha; and
- Regularly train your producers on TCPA obligations.
Resources and References:
- DNC.com: https://www.dnc.com/tcpa-dnc-faq
- FTC.gov: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/qa-telemarketers-sellers-about-dnc-provisions-tsr
- FCC.gov: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwanted-robocalls-and-texts
- Sales Professional Access (SPA) has additional TCPA/DNC content, however it is not intended to be a one-stop-shop for all regulatory requirements.