Un­want­ed phone calls in the name of the SIA – who are they re­al­ly from?

News15 February 2021

Recently, the SIA has received an increasing number of reports that ‘insurance advisors’ claiming to be from the Swiss Insurance Association have contacted private individuals to sell them insurance solutions. As an industry association, the SIA does not sell any insurance products, and distances itself from these dishonest sales methods.

The Swiss Insurance Association (SIA) has become aware that self-professed insurance advisors are attempting to sell health insurance and other insurance solutions over the phone in its name – even calling people who have officially requested no marketing calls and, unfortunately, often doing so in a disrespectful, even aggressive manner. The industry association for Swiss private insurers represents the political interests of its members in Switzerland and abroad, but absolutely does not sell any insurance solutions.

The SIA expressly distances itself from ‘fake’ insurance advisors and from their dishonest sales methods, and also reserves the right to take legal action.

If you receive this kind of call, we recommend taking the following actions:

  • Ask the caller for their name and the company they are calling on behalf of.
  • Block the number on your phone or with your phone service provider.
  • Report the calls to the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). SECO has provided a notification form for such cases; on the basis of the complaints registered, SECO has the ability to intervene or to initiate legal proceedings.
  • From 1 July 2021 onwards, every telecom provider needs to offer its customers the option of filtering out advertising calls. This filter can be used to block unwanted calls, meaning that illegal advertising calls will presumably no longer be put through. Further information on this is available from your telecom provider.
     

Health insurers come together to combat disreputable brokers
The health insurers’ associations curafutura and santésuisse have signed a joint industry agreement that stipulates binding rules for the quality of advice and brokers’ fees within the health insurance sector. The industry agreement also bans cold calling, i.e. calls to potential customers with whom no customer relationship exists. It also encompasses sanction regulations and a code of procedure that regulates what happens if the agreement is breached. The industry agreement has been in force since 1 January 2021. Further information is available from the industry associations curafutura and santésuisse.
 

In addition, the following has also applied since 1 January 2021:

  • Call centres were previously at risk of prosecution if they made advertising calls to telephone numbers with an explicit request not to receive marketing calls. Now, this protection also applies to owners of telephone numbers who have not explicitly requested no marketing calls.
  • Companies who benefit from calls made by call centres that ignore the no-call list can now also be prosecuted.