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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 14. Insurance
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance
Chapter 41. Rules Governing Advertisement of Life Insurance and Annuities
1/22/2020

14VAC5-41-90. Insurer Identity and Representations.

A. An advertisement shall not contain statements, pictures, comparative financial ratios, or illustrations that are false, misleading, or irrelevant in fact or by implication, with respect to the assets, liabilities, insurance in force, corporate structure, financial condition, age, or relative position of the insurer in the insurance business or with regard to affiliates or subsidiaries of the insurer. An advertisement shall not contain a recommendation by any commercial rating service unless it clearly defines the scope and extent of the recommendation.

B. An advertisement shall not state or imply that a purchaser of a policy will share in or receive a stated percentage or portion of the earnings on the general account assets of the insurer unless that is a fact.

C. The name of the insurer shall be clearly identified in all advertisements about the insurer or its products, and if any specific policy is advertised it shall be identified either by its form number or other appropriate description. If an application is a part of the advertisement, the name of the insurer shall be shown on the application.

D. An advertisement shall not use a trade name, an insurance group designation, name of the parent company of the insurer, name of a particular division of the insurer, a reinsurer of the insurer, service mark, slogan, symbol, or other device or reference without disclosing the name of the insurer if the advertisement would have the capacity or tendency to mislead or deceive as to the true identity of the insurer, or create the impression that a company other than the insurer would have any responsibility for the financial obligations under a policy.

E. An advertisement shall not use any combination of words, symbols, or physical materials that by their content, phraseology, shape, color, or other characteristics are so similar to a combination of words, symbols, or physical materials used by a governmental program or agency or otherwise appear to be of a nature that they tend to mislead prospective insureds into believing that the solicitation is in some manner connected with a governmental program or agency.

F. An advertisement shall not use any combination of words, symbols, or physical materials that by their content, phraseology, shape, color, or other characteristics are so similar to a combination of words, symbols, or physical materials used by a noninsurance company with whom the prospective insured has a financial relationship or otherwise appear to be of a nature that it tends to mislead or deceive the prospective insured into believing that the purchase of insurance is required by the company.

G. An advertisement shall not represent that the mere size of an insurer or its total insurance in force necessarily affects either the solvency of the insurer or the reliability of the policies issued by the insurer.

H. An advertisement shall not contain any statement that would lead a prospective buyer or policyholder of life insurance or annuity to believe that he is acquiring stock in an insurer by purchasing the life insurance or annuity.

I. An advertisement shall not contain any statement that creates an inference that policyholders are entitled to benefits or profits on the same basis as stockholders.

J. An insurer or agent shall not use the terms "financial planner," "investment advisor," "financial consultant," "financial counseling" or other similar terms in a way that implies that the person who is engaged in the business of insurance, is generally engaged in an advisory business in which compensation is unrelated to sales unless that is actually a fact. No person engaged in the business of insurance shall hold himself out, directly or indirectly, to the public as a "financial planner," "investment advisor," "financial consultant," "financial counselor" or any other specialist engaged in the business of giving complete financial planning advice relating to investments, insurance, real estate, tax matters, and trust and estate matters unless that person in fact is engaged in that business and renders those services. Not included in "services" is the presentation of computer printouts that fall into the category of advanced programming for the purpose of selling a policy.

K. An advertisement of a policy marketed by direct response techniques shall not state or imply that because there is no insurance agent or commission involved there will be a cost savings to prospective purchasers unless that is the fact.

L. An insurer or agent shall not use materials, statements, or communications of any kind that when used alone are not misleading, but become deceptive or misleading when combined.

M. An insurer or agent shall not offer or provide to a proposed insured or other person a gift of substantial value if an application, inquiry card, or reinstatement application is returned within a specified period of time. For purposes of this subsection, a nonmonetary gift valued at $25 or less shall not be considered a gift of substantial value.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 38.2-223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 27, Issue 14, eff. July 1, 2011.

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