Keating On The Challenge Do Not Call Represents

To The Editor:

Despite the fine reporting during the year by National Underwriter on the “Do Not Call” national registry, its implications to the insurance industry are not entirely understood. And it is no wonder.

The Federal Trade Commission registry has been on, off and on again. The FTC rule doesnt govern the life industry, but the Federal Communications Commission states that its rule does. It has been a bewildering process indeed. Both the FTC and the FCC rules are now effective and being enforced. The national “Do Not Call” registry is here to stay, and it has important implications for the life insurance industry.

The FCC rule prohibits life insurers from soliciting by telephone those residential subscribers who register their telephone numbers on the national registry. The FCC rule, however, includes exceptions permitting calls to be made to consumers with whom there are established business relationships or personal relationships. Yet, under the FCC rule, a companys established business relationship does not permit it to make calls based on referrals from existing customers.

The FCC rule also requires companies to maintain company-specific do-not-call lists composed of names of customers who ask not to be called by the companyeven if the company has an established business relationship and continues to do business with the customer and the customers name is not on the national do-not-call list.

The FCC rules constitute a “floor” and, as such, will provide the minimum rules applicable to both interstate and intrastate calls. Stricter state laws governing intrastate calls will apply. The preemption of stricter state laws governing interstate calls will be considered by the FCC on a case-by-case basis.

This all represents a challenge to the way many in our industry have operated for years. At the same time, the rule addresses consumer annoyance with unsolicited sales calls while still ensuring responsible business customer relationships between insurers, licensed life insurance professionals and their customers.

Frank Keating President and Chief Executive Officer
American Council of Life Insurers
Washington, D.C.

LTC Article Appreciated

To The Editor:

Just a short note to let you know how much I appreciated the article by Jonathan Neal in the Oct. 13 issue of National Underwriter. His perspective about the Long Term Care market, particularly his concerns regarding premium funding, is right on target.

I found it refreshing to read an article based on a professional evaluation, supported by specific examples, of the LTC market. To me as well as other professionals in our business, it is important that an individual with Jonathan Neals integrity is President of the Society of Certified Long-Term Care Advisors.

John McCandless
McCandless & Associates
Omaha, Neb.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, November 21, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.