A TV commercial about auto insurance had been pulled out because it gives a wrong idea about the dangers of being uninsured.
The commercial shows a desert setting where a man drives his living room and gets into a crash. Then, a voiceover explains the risks of having no auto insurance could affect not only one’s car but could also result in the loss of the driver’s home. The message being delivered in this commercial is that without the protection of auto insurance, the driver could be sued and might even have to sell his or her house to pay up the debts. This was the commercial aired by Travellers Insurance which is part of the Travel Companies Inc., the largest insurance company in America in terms of market value.
The Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot, the Texas Department of Insurance, and the Texas Watch consumer group demanded that the commercial ad be withdrawn. It was latter most group who have alerted the other two about the commercial ad and have asked them to remove it.
The parties expressed similar views about the commercial after they have watched and reviewed it. Abbot stated that the commercial conflicts with the homestead law in their county that states that a consumer’s home is guarded from the circumstances as shown in the commercial. He also added that it wasn’t right for the company to instil fear into Texas citizens about the risk of losing their homes just because of not being insured.
Executive director of Texas Watch, Alex Winslow, said that the way insurance companies take advantage of consumers’ fear and insecurities of losing their home due to lack of auto insurance is shameful.
Then, it was the Attorney General and the Insurance Department that sent a cease-and-desist letter to Travel Companies to remember the ad, otherwise the company would be fined $20, 000 each time the commercial is aired as applied by the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The letter also demands that other similar media in the Texas county be removed, and these include print ads, radio ads, computer generated and multi-media ads.
Travellers sent a reply letter to the Office of the Attorney General last July 8, and it indicated that the company has complied with the demands to remove the commercial ad. This was indicated by the Executive Vide President and General Counsel of the company, Kenneth F. Spence III.
This was not the first time a misleading commercial about auto insurance had been demanded to be removed in the Texas county. Back in September 2005, Allstate was forced to remove an advertisement of theirs showing a family moving out of their home just because they do not have sufficient auto-collision insurance after there were demands to remove it.