In a landmark ruling, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Monday he had fined California-based Farmers Insurance Exchange, Truck Insurance Exchange and Fire Insurance Exchange $575,000 for violating state telemarketing and No-Call laws.
This is the largest amount ever paid by a telemarketer for Missouri No-Call and telemarketing violations.
The settlement agreement filed in St. Charles County Circuit Court also requires Farmers to adopt policies and procedures to prevent future telemarketing and No-Call violations, and to embark on a program of training and annual audits of its agents, which sell home, life and auto insurance.
Koster said the Attorney General’s Office received more than 275 No-Call complaints over a four-year period about Farmers’s “harassing telemarketing practices”. Many consumers complained that they continued to be contacted by Farmers agents after instructing them not to call. Koster said unwanted telemarketing calls annually rank highest on the list of complaints received by the Attorney General’s Office.
“Farmers Insurance simply looked the other way while its agents were flouting Missouri’s no-call law, illegally bombarding Missouri consumers with unwanted telemarketing calls,” Koster said. “This historic settlement combined with new training requirements should ensure Farmers reforms its practices to protect Missouri consumers.”
Koster is known to be a vigorous campaigner against harassing telemarketing practices. Also Monday, he announced his office has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Charter Communications for violating federal and state telemarketing and No-Call laws.