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§33-17A-4a. Alternative method for nonrenewal for property insurance.

(a) On or after July 1, 2005, an insurer may nonrenew a property insurance policy for any reason that is consistent with its underwriting standards.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this section, race, religion, nationality, ethnic group, age, sex, marital status or other reason prohibited by the provisions of this chapter may not be considered as a reason for nonrenewal.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c), section four of this article, a nonrenewal may only be issued pursuant to the provisions of this section upon notice to the named insured at least thirty days before the end of the policy period of the insurer's election not to renew the policy.

(d) Commencing July 1, 2005, the total number of nonrenewal notices issued by the insurer each year pursuant to this section that result in nonrenewals may not exceed one percent per year of the total number of the policies of the insurer in force at the end of the previous calendar year in this state: Provided, That the total number of such nonrenewal notices issued each year to insureds within any given county in this state that result in nonrenewals may not exceed one percent per year of the total number of policies in force in that county at the end of the previous calendar year: Provided, however, That an insurer may nonrenew one policy per year in any county if the applicable percentage limitation results in less than one policy.

(e) A notice issued pursuant to this section shall state the specific reason or reasons for refusal to renew and shall advise the named insured that nonrenewal of the policy for any reason is subject to a hearing and review as provided in section seven of this article: Provided, That the hearing shall relate to whether the nonrenewal of the policy was issued for a discriminatory reason, was based upon inadequate notice, was based on an underwriting standard found by the Commissioner to be in violation of this chapter or causes the insurer to exceed the percentage limitations, or percentage limitations by county, of nonrenewal notices set forth in this section. The notice shall also advise the insured of possible eligibility for coverage through the West Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association.

(f) Each insurer licensed to write property insurance policies in this state shall file with the Commissioner a copy of its underwriting standards, including any amendments or supplements. The Commissioner shall review and examine the underwriting standards to ensure that they are consistent with generally accepted underwriting principles. The underwriting standards filed with the Commissioner shall be considered confidential by law and privileged, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, are not open to public inspection, are not subject to subpoena, are not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any criminal, civil or administrative action and are not subject to production pursuant to court order. The Commissioner may promulgate legislative rules pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this section.

(g) Each insurer that has elected to issue nonrenewal notices pursuant to the percentage limitations provided in this section shall report to the Commissioner, on or before September 30, of each year, the total number of nonrenewal notices issued in this state and in each county of this state for the preceding year and the specific reason or reasons for the nonrenewals by county.

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