A New Proposed Telemarketing Rule Could Include The Industry
The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a new rule on telemarketing that could include the life insurance industry.
The FCC says it is examining establishment of a national “do-not-call” list that would allow consumers to prohibit calls from any telemarketer by placing their telephone number in a central registry.
The FCC notes that the Federal Trade Commission is also proposing creation of a “do-not-call” list, but that that proposal is limited.
“Because the FTC lacks jurisdiction over banks, common carriers, insurance companies and certain other entities,” says the FCC, “these entities could continue to make telemarketing calls to individuals on the FTCs do-not-call list.”
FCC says it is seeking comment on whether it should use its own authority to extend national do-not-call requirements adopted by the FTC to those entities such as insurance companies that fall outside the FTCs jurisdiction.
In addition, FCC says, it is seeking input on what role it should play in the administration and enforcement of a national database.
David Winston, vice president of government affairs with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., says telemarketing is an important tool for NAIFA members to promote their products and services and increase their visibility in the community.
Unfortunately, he says, the credibility and usefulness of the practice is being threatened by certain “bad actors” who engage in deceptive, unwanted or late-night telemarketing calls.
Winston says NAIFA is studying the FCC proposal and will submit comments to the agency.
Essentially, Winston says, NAIFAs comments will make several points. First, he says, it is premature for the FCC to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking when the FTCs effort has not yet been completed.
Acting before the FTCs process is complete, Winston says, creates opportunities for inconsistent rules and unnecessary burdens on regulated entities.
In addition, he says, the FCCs rules ought not apply to the insurance industry or banks because there are no factual data that the insurance industry or banks are engaging in abusive practices.
Finally, Winston says, NAIFA will suggest certain exemptions from the proposed rules.
For example, he says, NAIFA believes telemarketing rules should not apply to situations in which no sale is final and no payment is authorized until there is a face-to-face meeting.
In addition, Winston says, there should be a “de minimis” rule that would exempt small businesses.