A New York State law enacted last year prohibits businesses from making unsolicited telemarketing phone calls during a state of emergency. Consequently, insurance agents and brokers should avoid making these calls during the present COVID-19 state of emergency. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
declared a statewide state of emergency on March 7, 2020. It remains in effect until September 7, 2020.
The law passed both chambers of the New York State Legislature unanimously last June and was signed by Gov. Cuomo on December 18.
It amended the existing general business law pertaining to telemarketing.
The law prohibits a business or its employees (supervisors are responsible for employees’ acts) during a state of emergency, from, in order to induce an individual or business in New York to buy goods or services, making a phone call to them when they didn’t ask for the call or aren’t a current customer. This applies to a plan to sell goods and services that involves the business making more than one telephone call. However:
- It doesn’t apply to contacts made through other media; and
- It doesn’t apply to calls made to finish a transaction the individual or business already agreed to.
Big I New York encourages all agencies and brokerages to be aware of and follow these rules.