Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.’s use of the slogan “On Your Side” constitutes false and deceptive advertising because the insurer does not represent insureds as the slogan implies, according to the Tennessee adjuster who is in a trademark battle with the giant insurer over the slogan.
Jeremy Snyder, owner of On Your Side Adjusters Inc., says that his firm, unlike Nationwide, represents the insured policyholder in a claim and his firm’s name, license and contracts reflect this.
However, he says Nationwide’s standard contract shows there are “two sides” —the carrier and the insured — and Nationwide is on its own side, not the insured’s side.
‘[W]hat Nationwide is doing here is false and deceptive advertising based on the fact that they are misrepresenting themselves and deceiving the public in an attempt to confuse and persuade people into a false trust before getting them to sign a legally binding contract,” Snyder wrote in an email in which he says he will be filing for a court injunction to stop Nationwide from using the slogan.
Nationwide, which has used the “On Your Side” slogan in its marketing and advertising since 1966, is suing the Gallatin, Tenn. public adjusting firm for trademark infringement and wants Snyder to stop using the “On Your Side” name.
The adjusting firm claims Nationwide is harassing it and retaliating after it questioned how the insurer handled certain claims.
Nationwide said it has attempted several times to no avail resolve the trademark infringement issue with Snyder.
“While we do not speculate on hypothetical lawsuits, we take delivering on our brand promise seriously. The root issue in this situation remains the protection of Nationwide’s intellectual property and avoiding consumer confusion. Our famous “On Your Side” slogan is a valuable asset and we have to protect this unique brand component,” the company said in a statement to Insurance Journal.
Snyder says the insurer has engaged in “massive, multi-million dollar marketing campaigns” to get people to sign an insurance contract that puts Nationwide “on the opposite side of the person who signs such contract.”
He says that as a public adjuster he has a state license to work for the insured. But, he argues, Nationwide is not licensed to represent the insured’s interest, nor does it work “on the side” of the insured.
Snyder says he is interviewing law firms to pursue his legal claims against the insurer and does not yet know when or where he will file for the injunction.
“Several firms have contacted us and offered to take our case on a contingency after reviewing the facts and our plans for the case,” he told Insurance Journal.
Adjuster, Nationwide Mutual Take Sides Over ‘On Your Side’ Slogan