Pants on Fire

I don’t lie … generally.

I do try not to share certain facts (and my interpretation of those facts) when it helps smooth a relationship for me to keep quiet; but even this restraint of pen and tongue is difficult for me.

Despite my forthrightness, I found myself feeling (almost) guilty upon reading Delaware’s Universally Applicable Bulletin #1. (That’s a broad net to cast, no?)

In essence, the bulletin reminded everyone that telling lies is illegal and we all can be fined up to $10,000 every time we utter an untruth about insurance in Delaware.

Do I need to be reminded of this? Actually, I think not. Will it help to remind the liars that their lies could have consequences? Maybe, but a bulletin may not be the most effective way to get the point across.

When an insurer gets a hefty fine for something or other, and a state DOI issues a press release announcing the punitive action, our office phone invariably starts to ring. It seems to me that DOIs get the attention of insurers and agents when a fine, or revocation of license, or some other type of punishment is handed down. This is perhaps not the way it should be, but it seems to be the way it works.

The bulletin stated that Delaware had been made aware that “various members of the insurance industry” have responded to complaints about premium rate increases by telling consumers that the Department forced the rates up. The bulletin went on to warn that anyone caught suggesting that the Department is responsible for rate increases would be prosecuted.

I’m thinking that this bulletin would have had more teeth if it ended with a short list of recent prosecutions. Perhaps that announcement is coming soon.