Your Online Insurance Sales Can Land You In Court

Law360, New York (May 5, 2016, 12:44 PM EDT) -- Like it or not, insurers now need to market and sell consumer products online, but recent cases show that the legal framework for those activities is still being assembled. Some courts are distinctly bullish: in April, in Traynum v. Scavens, No. 2013-002797 (S. Car. April 20, 2016), South Carolina's Supreme Court refused to encumber online sales with new legal requirements, it declined to second-guess the design of an insurer's website and it even praised the Internet option as one that "benefits consumers." In March, though, Negron v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-577 (D.N.J. March 1, 2016), showed that automated sales can lead insurers into unexpected sources of exposure, and, more basically, that paternalism still has a heavy influence over insurance law. Courts have been disapproving of what auto insurers say to consumers, at least since the early days of no-fault.  As insurers increasingly enter the electronic marketplace, they will find that courts already have ample resources to sustain lawsuits over online practices....

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