Insurance Commissioner Warns of High Pressure Phone Sales
Montana’s State Auditor and Insurance Commissioner Troy Downing continues to reach out to Montana consumers with tips to keep from becoming victims of scams, especially that deal with insurance.
Downing recently released a public service announcement dealing with this subject.
“Something has come to our attention,” said Downing. “One problem that is somewhat growing, is there are these unlicensed agencies or agents that kind of act like a boiler room. They go through these scripted calls, as they get lists from these insurance companies that aren't generally up to snuff and they use high pressure sales techniques with these scripts, to get people to basically enroll in these programs.”
Downing provided this example.
“Somebody will get a call from the salesperson, they'll refer to this agency and they'll book this insurance,” he said. “That may not be what that consumer is expecting. One of the problems is there's a reason that we regulate and register licensed insurance agents is because we need to make sure that they understand the industry and the products that they're selling to consumers. However, when you have somebody that's just 100% salesperson who doesn't understand, they may make all kinds of promises that just aren't true.”
Downing said identifying such a scam is relatively easy.
“One of the easiest ways to identify this is if you get a cold call from somebody trying to get you to buy insurance and they're using high pressure techniques,” he said. “You should already be raising a red flag. Some of the things that you should ask them for is what their producer number is, what their callback number is, because if they are just essentially boiler rooms they won't have a callback number and so that's a big red flag.”
Downing said he has an entire team of attorneys ready to tackle problems like these on behalf of consumers.
“Because as far as it goes within our jurisdiction in the state of Montana, because insurance is regulated on the state level, we've got a crackerjack team of lawyers and prosecutors that will go after bad actors and hold them accountable.”
Downing said his team can be contacted at 406-444-2040 or by visiting CSIMT.gov.
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