No more fees when opting out of SMS insurance spam

The Financial Services Board (FSB) has passed new rules which allow users to opt out of insurance marketing SMSs at no cost.

The board has implemented changes to its Policyholder Protection Rules (PPRs), which come into effect later this year.

According to the revised rules, recipients of insurance spam via a call, SMS, or voice messages must be able to opt out of future direct marketing from the company in question.

The rules specify that an insurer may not charge the user any fee for “opt-out of advertising” requests.

The FSB told MyBroadband the new rules would affect insurance SMS marketing, and will be implemented from 1 July 2018.

No more fees

The FSB said the new rules will take effect from 1 July, due to a six-month transitional period – following their implementation at the beginning of the year.

As of 1 July, users will not have to pay a fee to opt out of insurance spam via SMS or other electronic channels.

“The implication of the rule is that insurers may not charge policyholders any fee for demanding to opt out of receiving any advertisement through a telephone or mobile call, voice or text message, or other electronic communication,” said the board.

The PPRs are not prescriptive as to which entity must carry the cost of an opt-out SMS, but they prohibit the service provider or insurer from charging it to policyholders.

“The insurer and service provider will therefore have to come to an agreement as to how these SMSs are paid for, without charging any cost to the recipients,” said the FSB.

The PPRs were published in Government Gazette no. 41329 on 15 December 2017.

Now read: Spam call-blocking service a hit in South Africa

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No more fees when opting out of SMS insurance spam