When is an Insurer's Advertising Required?

Insurers are obligated to disclose their name in all advertisements related to them or their products. This applies to life insurance policies, health insurance announcements, and any other type of advertisement that could be considered an “invitation to hire”. Even if the information in an ad is accurate, it can still be considered misleading if it omits any important details. Any website that is not licensed, even if it leads the consumer to a website where they can apply for insurance, must not include any recommendations, endorsements, or promotions regarding insurance products or services.

State insurance regulators enforce these advertising regulations regardless of where the ad appears. Any statement in an ad must be supported by evidence and must be clearly defined by way of a disclaimer. Certain types of insurance, such as life insurance and annuity contracts, Medicare supplement insurance, and long-term care insurance are subject to particularly strict regulations in addition to the general principles outlined below. State regulators will assess the overall impression that the ad is likely to create on a person of average education or intelligence within the target audience, taking into account their level of education, race, and primary language.

An insurer cannot deliver a policy or contract unless the summary document is delivered to the policy or contract owner at the time of delivery. It is good practice for all actors in the insurance sector to follow these general principles of “best practices” for all types of advertising materials. For example, an insurer's advertisement cannot be misleading when comparing their policy to a competitor's policy if the conditions are substantially different. All advertisements are subject to unfair or deceptive business practices laws which prohibit the dissemination of false or misleading information.

Patti Goldenman
Patti Goldenman

General bacon lover. Hipster-friendly travel guru. Proud bacon ninja. Incurable zombie trailblazer. Professional bacon fanatic.

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