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No General Consent for Multiple Sellers: What You Should Know

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Disclaimer:The following content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Please consult your legal counsel for advice regarding your specific situation and compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Consumer protection and privacy is continuing to be a hot topic of discussion in the world of marketing and ecommerce. So let’s face facts, as consumers are given more privacy rights, the regulations governing how businesses interact with consumers are in turn becoming stricter. One significant change on the forefront is the prohibition of businesses using single consent forms for multiple sellers. Once enacted (likely late 2024 or early 2025), the change brought about by the FCC will make it so every single seller will need their own separate approval from consumers. Ultimately, the rule aims to prevent companies from sharing one consent for among multiple entities. To ensure that you and your business are following the best practices for success, while also staying compliant with regulations, we’ve put together a brief guide discussing everything you’ll need to know. 

Understanding the Rule 

What Does it Mean & Why Was it Implemented? 

The new rule requires that every seller must obtain their own explicit consent before processing any consumer’s personal data. This consent must be specific to the services that they provide and not bundled with other sellers’ consent requirements. Previous regulations allowed multiple sellers within the same partnership or network to use a single, general consent form. This is no longer the case. The ruling aims to give consumers clearer purchasing choices and more control over their information. On a broader level, the change will also reduce unwanted solicited calls that interested consumers might receive. 

Impact on Insurance Agents 

Operational Changes

Operationally speaking, the change will result in extra steps when it comes to gaining consumer consent. In the past, obtaining a single consumer’s consent to cover multiple services, products or agents made things easy and streamlined. Now to ensure that each consent is specific to your offerings and your offerings only, you may notice the process become more drawn out.

Consent Form Changes 

Insurance agents and advertisers alike will need to update their consent forms in order to meet the new requirements. Now, every form should be unique to the agent at hand and should never imply that consent is shared with other organizations or partners. The language used should be as clear as day. 

Challenges

The two biggest obstacles will probably be the rise in administrative work and the requirement for improved consumer communication clarity. With consent forms being separate from one another, there may be some added complexity and work on the backend to ensure compliance. Also in time, consumers will come to expect a higher level of customer service as they will know exactly who has their information, and who will be contacting them.   

Compliance Strategies 

Clear Communication

Effective and detailed communication is extremely important when it comes to explaining these changes to consumers. Take the time to explain why they are receiving various separate consent forms. Drive the point home by teaching them that the change benefits them by providing more privacy and more control of their personal information. 

Digital Tools & Record Keeping

Use digital tools, resources and software to quickly record, organize and manage consent forms. It’s important that forms are kept separate from one another and can easily be located. This will make things easy in the event of an audit or consumer dispute. Remember that as long as consent is obtained for a single seller only, you can use online consent forms as well. In fact, there are many systems that automate parts of the consent collection process, which ultimately reduces workload and errors.   

Benefits of the New Rule 

Increased Level of Trust 

By complying with the new guidelines, consumers’ trust will exponentially increase. Generally speaking, customers value transparency and control. Additionally, with single consent forms, the number of sellers a consumer is communicating with will dwindle. This creates opportunities to form lasting relationships, and establish yourself as a “go-to” expert. 

Less Complaints

Consumer complaints and legal problems relating to data misuse or privacy violations may decrease as a result of compliance. Staying compliant will help you and your company avoid potential fines, penalties and reputational damage. 

Competitive Advantage

Unfortunately, in the world of insurance and advertising, not everyone is on the up and up when it comes to abiding by new rules and regulations. While unlawful practices are obviously not a good thing, this could play to your advantage. In an ultra-competitive market, showcasing your commitment to ethical practices and consumer rights, can make you stand out from the crowd and entice more interested consumers. 

Final Thoughts

For insurance agents and the insurance sector as a whole, the “No General Consent for Multiple Sellers” law is a game changer. By understanding and complying with the changes, your client relationships will improve as the average consumer will be more trusting. Additionally, while you may be forced to make some operational changes, complying with the new rule will help you to avoid pitfalls, fines and penalties. To stay ahead of the curve it’s important to review and update your consent process as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to review your consent language on a regular basis to ensure that everything is up to date.

 

 We understand that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to compliance and this change in particular. With that said, our lead insurance generation company is here to help in any way possible. If you find yourself in need of support, assistance or our lead generation services, simply fill out a form or call us at 888-684-3121

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Kyle Mehlman
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