Monday, February 24, 2014

ALWAYS Know The Rules Of The Game You're Playing Before You Pay To Play

As you can see if you read the post directly under this one I’ve said my piece on speaking in absolutes or making statements about insurance products (or any products for that matter) sold using words such as “always” or “never” or “total” or “absolute…” but don’t just take my word for it, take a look at what Florida Statutes say about it.

Florida Statute 817.4(5) states:
The phrase “misleading advertising” includes any statements made, or disseminated, in oral, written, or printed form or otherwise, to or before the public, or any portion thereof, which are known, or through the exercise of reasonable care or investigation could or might have been ascertained, to be untrue or misleading, and which are or were so made or disseminated with the intent or purpose, either directly or indirectly, of selling or disposing of real or personal property, services of any nature whatever, professional or otherwise, or to induce the public to enter into any obligation relating to such property or services.

626.9541 Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices defined.—
(1) UNFAIR METHODS OF COMPETITION AND UNFAIR OR DECEPTIVE ACTS.—The following are defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices:
(a) Misrepresentations and false advertising of insurance policies.—Knowingly making, issuing, circulating, or causing to be made, issued, or circulated, any estimate, illustration, circular, statement, sales presentation, omission, comparison, or property and casualty certificate of insurance altered after being issued, which:
4. In any other way, an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing any assertion, representation, or statement with respect to the business of insurance, which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading.
(e) False statements and entries.—
1. Knowingly:
a. Filing with any supervisory or other public official,
b. Making, publishing, disseminating, circulating,
c. Delivering to any person,
d. Placing before the public,
e. Causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public… any false material statement.

Again, I am not making a specific legal determination here but I am suggesting that using certain words in advertising could lead to a reasonable person expecting something that a product cannot deliver. And in insurance, saying a policy will “always” pay is not "always" true – and saying as much could be misleading, at best.