Broker Check

The Spam Exclusion

September 10, 2021
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Spam - unwanted emails, not the food of dubious nutritional value - is excluded from General Liability policies. The exclusion specifically references the CAN-SPAM Act and other laws against unwanted solicitation, whether by telephone, fax or email. We're all subject to them and while we may just ignore or delete them, there are penalties for the sender.

Consultant Richard Faber has a post on the Underwriter's Resource blog (https://www.underwritersresource.net/post/canspam-laws-how-easy-it-is-to-violate-them) explaining the law and its penalties.

The CAN-SPAM Act addresses all commercial emails, not just bulk messages. A single unsolicited email promoting a website is a violation subject to fines up to $42,530 per communication. Transactional and relationship content where the parties are in a business relationship is not affected. This includes information about a product or service, or changes in conditions of an existing relationship. Other commercial content must comply with CAN-SPAM.

Faber's guidelines for compliance:

  1.  Don't use a false or misleading header.
  2. Don't use a deceptive or misleading subject line.
  3. Identify the message as an advertisement - this may be required by state law. 
  4. Tell recipients your location, including a valid  physical postal address.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out such as by a toll-free phone number or email link to "unsubscribe".
  6. Honor opt-out requests within ten business days.
  7. If someone is sending emails on your behalf, monitor their activity.

For more information about CAN-SPAM and state laws, contact the Federal Trade Commission or https://spamlaws.com/state/index/shtml.