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Producer Advertising Session at IAdCA in March

Excerpt from Insurance Compliance Insight, Jan. 30, 2012 posting:

“Materials, Regulatory Impacts on Insurers, Fraud Management

It is one of the most critical areas of insurance advertising, yet one that not every company addresses properly.

We’re talking about the review of producer-generated advertising and marketing materials – an evergreen issue on regulator’s watch lists that can lead to sanctions if an insurance company doesn’t have a good compliance plan to monitor them.

If your company doesn’t have one, or it could be improved, consider attending the annual meeting of the Insurance Advertising Compliance Association. The IAdCA meeting is March 28-20 at the Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel in Seattle, and will feature a session about producer advertising from industry compliance expert Cailie Currin, president and CEO of Currin Compliance Services.

It is one of three industry meetings in the next few months that should be of interest to compliance professionals. Also coming are the annual meetings of the National School on Market Regulation and the Insurance Fraud Management Conference.

The IAdCA is ideal for those involved in the creation and compliance review of advertising and marketing materials. It’s the best place there is to find out how to meet legal, compliance and marketing requirements and still preserve the sizzle in your company’s marketing materials.

Knowing what producers are saying in the marketplace is one of those compliance requirements that can’t be ignored. “If a company doesn’t know what’s out there, they could have a liability issue,” warns Currin, whose company has a staff dedicated exclusively to advertising and producer compliance. It sees a lot.

“Regulators are looking at invitations to sales seminars, and companies should, too,” she said. Insurers should also watch to see how their producers are referring to their products.

“We look at ads that no one else is reviewing regularly and see producers not calling annuities what they are – annuities. Instead, we see them calling a fixed indexed annuity a ‘safe money account’ or a ‘smart money account,’ rather than what it is.” Currin says she and her team also have seen producers discussing guarantees that could be misleading as they pertain to what’s actually guaranteed in the insurance or annuity contract. One common problem: comparisons of insurance products to certificates of deposit.

Currin will be discussing ways to address such issues, and her presentation will be packed with examples of producer advertising, both good and bad. She said the presentation will be “on an advanced level,” so expect more than Producer Advertising 101.

Also on the IAdCA agenda are several sessions about social media, a regulator panel featuring Leslie Krier of Washington and Jim Mumford of Iowa, who will talk about advertising filing procedures, advertising violations, specific state advertising regulations and what is expected of companies doing business in those states.

The meeting will also feature discussions about:

  • fixed and variable life insurance and annuities;
  • health insurance;
  • long-term care insurance;
  • property & casualty lines;
  • state market conduct issues and developments;
  • variable product advertising;
  • Internet advertising compliance;
  • threats associated with today’s technologies and how to use them responsibly.

The meeting also features a keynote speech about leadership by Howard, Behar, one of the founders of Starbucks. Register by Feb. 8 and you’ll have a chance to win one of 10 copies of his book, It’s Not About the Coffee: Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks.

Registration information and the agenda are on the IAdCA website. Registration is $575 for first-time attendees and $475 when more than one person is attending from the same company (with a $50 discount for those who have attended previous IAdCA meetings).”