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§29-3-12a. Responsibilities of insurance companies in fire loss investigation.

(a) The fire marshal, any assistant fire marshal or any investigator under the authority of the fire marshal may request any insurance company investigating a fire loss of real or personal property to release any information in its possession relative to that loss. The company shall release the information and cooperate with any official authorized to request such information pursuant to this section. The information shall include, but is not limited to:

(1) Any policy in force;

(2) Any application for a policy;

(3) Premium payment records;

(4) History of previous claims;

(5) Material relating to the investigation of the loss, including statements of any person, proof of loss and any other relevant evidence.

(b) Any insurance company shall notify the fire marshal, if it has reason to believe, based on its investigation of a fire loss to real or personal property, that the fire was caused by other than accidental means. The company shall furnish the fire marshal with pertinent information acquired during its investigation and cooperate with the courts and administrative agencies of the state, and any official mentioned, or referred to, in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) In the absence of fraud, no insurance company or person who furnishes information on its behalf, shall be liable for any oral or written statement or any other action necessary to supply information required pursuant to this section.

(d) Any information furnished pursuant to this section shall be held in confidence until such time as its release may be required pursuant to a criminal proceeding.

(e) Any official mentioned, or referred to, in subsection (a) of this section may be required to testify as to any information in his possession regarding the fire loss of real or personal property in any civil action in which any person seeks recovery under a policy against an insurance company for the fire loss.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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