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ADVERTISING INFORMATION FOR INSURANCE PRODUCERS/AGENTS
Producers Please Note: OFIR no longer reviews and approves advertising prior to use. However, the administrative rules that apply to Accident & Sickness, Life Insurance and Annuities advertisements have long been followed as the standard for acceptable advertising in all lines of insurance regulated by OFIR. Therefore, agents (producers) should review the complete Accident and Sickness Insurance Advertising administrative rules and the Advertisement of Life Insurance and Annuities administrative rules for further guidance.
These are the main elements of acceptable and unacceptable advertising:
- Ad must include the name of the insurer. R 500.1379, R 500.664
- Any slogan cannot be more prominent than the name of the insurer. R 500.1379
- Ad cannot be misleading. R 500.1379, R 500.652, R 500.654, R 500.655
- Ad must be truthful and clearly identify the product being sold. R 500.1375, R 500.654
- Any statistics quoted in the ad must also include the source of those statistics. For example, if the ad announces, "Newsweek has rated ABC the strongest long term care insurer," then this statement must include a reference noting issue and date of the Newsweek article that contains that statistic and/or made that statement. R 500.1377, R 500.653
- If the ad includes a rating, such as AM Best, it must also include the timeframe when the rating was issued. R 500.1383, R 500.653
- The ad cannot create the impression that it is either endorsed or approved by the state or federal government. R 500.664
- The ad cannot create the impression or imply (through envelopes, stationery, postcards, etc.) that the insurer or agent is connected with a state or federal governmental agency such as the Social Security Administration or the Veterans Administration. R 500.1379, R 500.654
- The ad cannot include the word "Medicare" in the title of the plan or policy being advertised without clearly differentiating it from Medicare. R 500.664
- The ad cannot use the terms: investment, investment plan, expansion plan, profit, profits, profit sharing, interest plan, savings, savings plan or other similar terms which may mislead a consumer into believing an insurance policy is an investment. R 500.1375, R 500.655
All advertising must be "truthful and not misleading." If you take a common sense approach to advertising, you should be in compliance with the Insurance Code, and your consumers will be happy to do business with an honest, trustworthy agent. See also MCL 500.2026; MCL 500.2027; MCL 500.2057; MCL 500.2080.