OIA has learned that insurance agencies in several other states are receiving demand letters from plaintiffs’ attorneys alleging that their agency websites are not accessible to sight-impaired consumers and violate federal law accessibility requirements. While several law firms nationally have been sending these letters to businesses in various industries for years, lately more independent insurance agencies have received them.
The alleged violations are typically based on accessibility requirements in the American Disabilities Act (ADA) or Fair House Act (FHA), or both. The law firms are interested in reaching quick settlements and, so far, have not been actively filing lawsuits against agents. These demand letters, which often appear to be cut-and-paste versions of other attorney letters, typically follow the same format of demanding compliance with the ADA and/or FHA and seeking a settlement in exchange for a conditional release.
The general counsel at our national association, the Big “I”, and the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), have worked together to create resources to help agencies make sure their websites are ADA compliant. These resources can be accessed here.
If you receive a letter from a law firm regarding your agency’s website, contact Carolyn Mangas at (800) 555-1742.