Abbott: Don't believe insurance ad

Keith Loria Jul. 12, 2010, 7:00am


AUSTIN(Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a company behind a television ad that he says claims Texans can lose their home without adequate auto insurance.

Travelers Insurance, a division of The Travelers Companies Inc., is being accused of inaccurately implying that homeowners in Texas need more auto insurance or risk losing their homes if they are involved in a car accident.

"Texans are protected by robust homestead laws that insulate homeowners from the losses depicted in Travelers' advertisements," Abbott said.

"Because the state already protects homeowners, it is improper for Travelers to scare Texans into buying insurance they may not need. The letter we sent today instructs Travelers to pull down this misleading advertisement immediately or face legal action by the state."

In the ad, entitled "Driving Your House," a man is shown driving his house through a desert and has an accident, resulting in damage to the home and its contents. A voiceover implies that a driver's home could be at risk from uncovered liability after such an accident.

The commercial says, "Without the right auto insurance, a crash might impact more than your car. Make sure you're properly covered, so when you're driving your car, you're not risking your house. Travelers, take the scary out of life."

In addition to demanding that all of the company's ads be removed from all media markets, including television, print, radio and computer-generated ads, Abbott has warned that Travelers could be liable for civil penalties under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act that could result in as much as $20,000 per violation.

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