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What insurers should know about 'sliding.'

Truth in advertising spans a great deal of services and products offered by Louisiana businesses. Essentially, if you advertise to the marketplace certain things about your offerings, it cannot be done with the intent to conceal or deceive. This mandate undoubtedly applies to insurance products, but many not know how it works when it comes to the sale of policies.

The term of art is called "sliding" and it refers to the practice of rolling in the cost of additional products into a policy without the customer's knowledge. The cost of such products may be nominal or even complimentary in some instances, but it is improper nonetheless given the lack of consent.

Customers may not always understand or know about sliding, but the following are examples of what insurance companies should be mindful of, because they can give rise to potential legal claims.

-          Advising a consumer that roadside assistance is a required portion of the policy when it is not.

-          Failing to fully disclose and explain what an auto club membership entails and how it relates to the insurance product.

-          Encouraging customers to purchase insurance coverage without explaining the different coverages available and the prices of each.

-          Indicating that a separate, ancillary portion of coverage is part of the product purchased when it is not.

It is not uncommon for insurers to face these types of questions and for them to eventually lead to lawsuits. If you have questions about the legal protections available, an experienced insurance defense attorney can advise you.

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