Key takeaways from the 2016 IAdCA Conference

IAdCA (the Insurance Advertising Compliance Association) held their 15th annual conference last week in Miami, and I had the pleasure of attending the event. It certainly did not hurt that the event was held at the very beautiful EPIC hotel in downtown Miami. It was an excellent choice, and as usual, the organizers of the event did a fantastic job of planning, coordinating, and hosting the event.

The conference featured a number of key advertising topics, most prominently, of course, being the DOL Fiduciary rule, which came out just a week prior to the event. We heard numerous speakers discuss different components of the new rule, and though the information was hot off the DOL press, the presenters were able to outline key aspects of it and offer their initial interpretations. For example, Rod Perkins of the ACLI spoke about this, provided background and current status of AG 49, and offered an update on the renewed state focus on the Annuity Disclosure Model regulations.

Gary Frank from Global Atlantic Life and Annuity outlined key compliance differences issues when marketing life insurance for retirement income instead of an annuity. With life insurance often being positioned purely as a retirement income vehicle, Gary’s presentation highlighted the risks in this strategy and when life insurance may, in fact, be the right choice for income.

Some of my favorite sessions tend to involve the opportunity to interact with state insurance regulators, and IAdCA did not disappoint. I particularly appreciated the Regulator Panel discussion with David Bolton from the Oregon Insurance Division, Tom Carsell from the GA Department of Insurance, and John Reilly from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. They were posed a number of questions specific about on-line advertising and the use of social media, and were fairly consistent in their feedback. For example, one question around the need for disclosures on small website advertisements, (a.k.a. “banner ads”) arose. While they each confirmed that each ad is case-specific, their unified position appeared to suggest that if the content requires disclosure and there is insufficient room for disclosure, the ad just shouldn’t be used. In other words, there is not a “carve out” that allows materials to omit key information or disclosure merely due to space constraints.

In all, this year’s conference was a huge success in my view. There were so many relevant sessions that I struggled to decide which ones to attend so that I didn’t miss anything! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event, slated to be held April 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ. Count me in!