Before you dial that first number make sure you’ve mastered the rules and regulations of selling insurance over the phone.
The word “compliance” isn’t as scary as its made out to be. Yes, failure to maintain compliance can get you into trouble. But compliance is to cold calling what food safety rules are to a restaurant or what game rules are to a football team. Once you know (and follow) those rules, it’s not anything to be afraid of. Better yet, following those regulations when you’re selling insurance over the phone might even help you increase your sales. But first, you do need to know the rules.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 to address consumer privacy concerns and to regulate how telemarketing calls are conducted. In 1995, the Federal Trade Commission established the Telemarketing and Consumer Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act (TCFPA), which put into place the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), further regulating telemarketing practices.
Before you start selling insurance over the phone, get familiar with these regulations so you can avoid hefty fines.
Use call center software that keeps you in compliance. Learn how Call Logic can work for your business. Sign up for a free demo today.
Selling insurance over the phone: How to get (and stay) compliant
Both the TCPA and the TCFPA were introduced with similar purposes: To reduce the number of unwanted or fraudulent telemarketing calls placed to consumers. The TCPA went into effect in 1991 and established the National Do-Not-Call Registry, which prohibits telemarketers from contacting consumers who’ve submitted their phone numbers to the registry (some exceptions apply).
Under the TCPA, telemarketers may only call consumers between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm. The law also addresses the use of auto-dialing software and prerecorded messages, most recently requiring that a consumer must give written consent to receive a telemarketing call on their mobile phones. Some of the additional regulations are:
- Someone selling insurance over the phone must wait at least 15 seconds or 4 rings before hanging up.
- A telemarketer may not abandon more than 3% of placed calls within a 30-day period.
- Any prerecorded call must clearly identify the entity making the call and provide a phone number.
- Prerecorded calls must also offer some opt-out mechanism, either through key-press activation or voice activation.
When the TCFPA became law in 1995, it supported the same National Do-Not-Call Registry as the TCPA as well as other regulations, which include:
- Telemarketers must immediately disclose the identity of the seller.
- They must also disclose all material and financial details of the product they are offering.
- Restrictions on how telemarketers get paid.
- Restrictions on unauthorized billing.
Staying compliant helps your business grow
Violations of these laws can add up, which can hinder the success of your telemarketing business. The smallest infraction is a $500 fine, but fines may get as expensive as $40,000 or more if you’re found out of compliance on more than a single count. As you can see, non-compliance can lead to serious financial concerns for your business. Staying compliant isn’t hard, though.
First, make sure that you understand all of the laws. If you have questions about anything, you might want to consult with an expert in the field, such as an attorney. Next, have regular access to the do-not-call list for your company as well as the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Calling a do-not-call number is one of the biggest mistakes that people selling insurance over the phone make, yet it remains one of the simplest to avoid, especially with the help of modern technology and auto-dialer CRMs.
If you use an auto-dialer CRM like Call Logic’s call management system, you’ll find that most of them are already designed to be TCPA and TSR compliant. These can be especially useful for avoiding do-not-call numbers, reducing abandoned calls, and creating prerecorded messages. You can also add notes to a contact’s profile if they request to be placed on a do-not-call list so that if for some reason they don’t end up on the list, you’ll have backup info as a reminder.
Another great feature of most auto-dialer CRMs is the ability to “scrub” mobile phones numbers from your call list. These programs are designed to differentiate between landlines and mobile numbers and will clean up your call list to keep you compliant. You can also use software that will compare your call list with the Do-Not-Call Registry and remove any numbers from your list that appear on the registry.
With or without technology, if you’re going to be selling insurance over the phone, make sure you employ a best-practices model that protects you and your business from lawsuits. Staying compliant and practicing proper cold calling procedures will not only save you a lot of headaches, but it will allow you to focus on making calls and closing deals without having to worry as much about whether you’re acting within the law. Remember, best practices almost always translate to better revenue, and that’s what all your calls are about in the first place.
Stay TCPA compliant with Call Logic’s auto-dialing call management software. Learn more about the great features by scheduling a free demo today!