Staying Informed About Child Toy Recalls: What Your Customers Must Know
The holidays are over, but with any luck your customers’ children are likely still beaming over the gift haul they made between Santa, Mom, Dad, and extended family. While children should be able to get several months or more of enjoyment out of the experience, not every toy is a keeper. In fact, some can be recalled due to dangerous vulnerabilities that manufacturers didn’t plan for when heading to market. So what’s a parent to do?
As an insurance agent, you can help your customers who have children with helpful recall tips. This not only will ingratiate you to the parents by keeping their children safe, it could also prevent future claims from arising.
If you’re not sure where to start in explaining this to your customers, here is a helpful tip sheet.
Start with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
This organization’s website is a one-stop shop for all things recall. When a company detects that its product is faulty, it must notify the CPSC at once. A notice is then ran on the website that provides all details regarding the defect and what actions to take next. Just looking at an example, here’s an entry from December 18, 2014.
Giggles International Recalls Animated Monkey Toy Due To Burn Hazard: Sold Exclusively At Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores
The information that comes next is invaluable for confused parents. It starts with a recall summary that gives the name of the product, the hazard, the remedy, and the consumer contact.
In this case, we have an animated toy which features a battery compartment that can reach temperatures up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit. Obviously, this is too hot for a child and can pose a significant burn hazard. The prescribed remedy is a straight-up refund, and if there are any further questions, a parent may contact the company at the number given. There is also a link to the website.
Underneath the description, parents can learn more information, like how many units are affected (in this case 13,000), how many incidents and/or injuries have been reported (two incidents where the battery compartments were melted but no injuries), and how to go about getting the refund (take the animated monkey away from children, remove the batteries and return the toy to any Cracker Barrel Old Country Store or contact Giggles International for a full refund).
Click here for more specific information.
How can you, the agent, make sure that your customers get this valuable information?
If you’re an agent struggling with how to use the web to bring extra value to your customers, then this is a great opportunity. The chances are very poor that your customers have the CPSC website bookmarked for their day-to-day browsing. When it comes to cheaper toys, very few register with the company for ongoing updates and information. It’s usually a point-of-sale transaction and that’s the end of it. But as an agent, your clients’ safety is a priority, and you have closer contact with them than the companies that make the toys they purchased. By turning to your website or social media channel, you can post frequent updates regarding what toys or products in general have been recalled throughout the year along with blow-by-blow details on how customers can take action and avoid the hazards.
While it’s not your responsibility to notify insurance customers or insurance leads of recalls to their children’s toys and other consumer products, taking it on as such is just one more way to show that you care and to keep your customers safe and clear from costly and potentially fatal hazards. Think of it as a value-added service and a great way for retaining long-term clients.