Mailers Lead to Problems Again

In every presentation we give on producer-generated advertising, we talk about postcard mailers. There are so many that are clear sources of exposure and they are very prevalent in the industry. At the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals (AICP) New England Chapter E-day in May of this year, we asked Jennifer Sourk and Jason Lapham of the Kansas Insurance Department to join us because they had a recent Bulletin on this issue of lead generation materials.

One thing we warn against in our prepared talks and in our individual reviews of advertising is the use of scare tactics. We make that comment so many times we lose count. The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance may be the latest regulator to fine a producer for the scare tactics used in a mailer – a mailer likely obtained from a lead generating company unaffiliated with any licensee. That is most often the case.

Lead generation mailers can be trouble for producers like the one fined $2,500 in NJ. But they can also be trouble for the insurance company who ultimately sells an annuity contract or life insurance policy, even if it is many sales steps removed from the postcard. Some violations in the sales process simply may not be able to be cured, even if everything after that initial mailer improves. Regulatory attention is clearly focused on lead generation and all parties in the process would be wise to make sure that sales result from clean leads too.