CA and FL Reinforce Position Against Deceptive Opt-Out Sales Practices for Travel Insurance
The state insurance regulators for two major vacation rental markets, California and Florida, issued statements against using opt-out sales practices to sell travel insurance. On February 3, 2015, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued an informational memorandum stating that online travel agencies that sell travel insurance by using opt-out methods are in violation of the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act. The memorandum advises that the practice of automatically charging consumers for ancillary travel insurance, unless consumers take action to decline coverage, does not comply with Florida's requirement of "informed consent."
On March 9, 2015, the California Department of Insurance issued a notice stating that using opt-out sales practices to sell travel insurance on travel websites violates California law. Further, the Department notes that the California Insurance Commissioner can enforce pre-sale travel insurance disclosure requirements by imposing fines and suspending or revoking the license of any limited lines travel insurance agent.
"At CSA Travel Protection, we commend the Florida and California insurance regulators for defining the opt-out sales practice for the travel insurance industry within their states," said CSA CEO Chris Carnicelli. "As industry leaders, we have built a reputation for standing by our consumers. We see this as a good move not only for consumers but for our industry to better engage with consumers to educate them on the benefits of travel insurance."