In today’s Law360, reporter Bibeka Shrestha writes on Insurance agents taking Jacoby & Meyers LLP to task over advertising relating to Hurricane Sandy. In her article, she interviews me about my take on the complaint filed with the state court disciplinary committee by the Professional Insurance Agents of New York.
The PIA’s complaint stems from an ad that says, “If your business lost business due to the storm your insurance policy should cover it. If it doesn’t, your agent made an error. We’ll work to correct it.” The complaint cites 7.1(a)(2) of the NY RPC…the all-purpose “false, deceptive or misleading”…in regard to the advertisement’s content and message.
While I’m far from an expert on insurance law, I have trouble believing that every policy covers business interruption. I can see where agents might take offense to the suggestion that they are at fault, acting improperly or erroneous in every instance where a claim for such coverage is denied. I suggest in the article that a slight tweak from “your agent made an error” to “your agent might have made an error” would likely rectify the situation and not dilute the ad’s impact. Of course, I’ve had my fair share of fights over the years with insurance agents over what is and is not covered in a policy–so I’m not going to be a staunch defender of the industry. I’m talking to you buddy–the guy that claimed I could continue to sleep on a mattress in which a squirrel died and decomposed. “You don’t need a new one. We can just get it steam cleaned.” Yes, I got a new mattress. And, yes, I utilized my law degree in doing so. I totally get retaining counsel if you feel provisions of a policy are not being carried out.