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§33-23-23. Approval of certificates; standard and prohibited provisions.

(a) No life benefit certificate shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless a copy of the form shall have been filed with the commissioner and approved by him as conforming to the requirements of this section and not inconsistent with any other provisions of law applicable thereto. A certificate shall be deemed approved unless disapproved by the commissioner within sixty days of the date of such filing.

(b) The certificate shall contain in substance the following standard provisions or, in lieu thereof, provisions which are more favorable to the member:

(1) Title on the face and filing page of the certificate clearly and correctly describing its form;

(2) A provision stating the amount of rates, premiums or other required contributions, by whatever name known, which are payable by the insured under the certificate;

(3) A provision that the member is entitled to a grace period of not less than a full month (or thirty days at the option of the society) in which the payment of any premium after the first, may be made. During such grace period the certificate shall continue in full force, but in case the certificate becomes a claim during the grace period before the overdue payment is made, the amount of such overdue payment or payments may be deducted in any settlement under the certificate;

(4) A provision that the member shall be entitled to have the certificate reinstated at any time within three years from the due date of the premium in default, unless the certificate has been completely terminated through the application of a nonforfeiture benefit, cash surrender value or certificate loan, upon the production of evidence of insurability satisfactory to the society and the payment of all overdue premiums and any other indebtedness to the society upon the certificate, together with interest on such premiums and such indebtedness, if any, at a rate not exceeding six percent per annum compounded annually;

(5) Except in the case of pure endowment, annuity or reversionary annuity contracts, reducing term insurance contracts, or contracts of term insurance of uniform amount of fifteen years or less expiring before age sixty-six, a provision that, in the event of default in payment of any premium after three full years' premiums have been paid or after premiums for a lesser period have been paid if the contract so provides, the society will grant, upon proper request not later than sixty days after the due date of the premium in default, a paid-up nonforfeiture benefit on the plan stipulated in the certificate, effective as of such due date, of such value as specified in this article. The certificate may provide, if the society's laws so specify or if the member shall so elect prior to the expiration of the grace period of any overdue premium, that default shall not occur so long as premiums can be paid under the provisions of an arrangement for automatic premium loan as may be set forth in the certificate;

(6) A provision that one paid-up nonforfeiture benefit as specified in the certificate shall become effective automatically unless the member elects another available paid-up nonforfeiture benefit, not later than sixty days after the due date of the premium in default;

(7) A statement of the mortality table and rate of interest used in determining all paid-up nonforfeiture benefits and cash surrender options available under the certificate, and a brief general statement of the method used in calculating such benefits;

(8) A table showing in figures the value of every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and cash surrender option available under the certificate for each certificate anniversary either during the first twenty certificate years or during the term of the certificate whichever is shorter;

(9) A provision that the certificate shall be incontestable after it has been in force during the lifetime of the member for a period of two years from its date of issue except for nonpayment of premiums, violation of the provisions of the certificate relating to military, aviation, or naval service and violation of the provisions relating to suspension or expulsion as substantially set forth in the certificate. At the option of the society, supplemental provisions relating to benefits in the event of temporary or permanent disability or hospitalization and provisions which grant additional insurance specifically against death by accident or accidental means, may also be excepted. The certificate shall be incontestable on the ground of suicide after it has been in force during the lifetime of the member for a period of two years from date of issue. The certificate may provide, as to statements made to procure reinstatement, that the society shall have the right to contest a reinstated certificate within a period of two years from date of reinstatement with the same exceptions as herein provided;

(10) A provision that in case the age of the member or of the beneficiary is considered in determining the premium and it is found at any time before final settlement under the certificate that the age has been misstated, and the discrepancy and premium involved have not been adjusted, the amount payable shall be such as the premium would have purchased at the correct age; but if the correct age was not an insurable age under the society's charter or laws, only the premium paid to the society, less any payments previously made to the member, shall be returned or, at the option of the society, the amount payable under the certificate shall be such as the premium would have purchased at the correct age according to the society's promulgated rates and any extension thereof based on actuarial principles;

(11) A provision or provisions which recite fully, or which set forth the substance of, all sections of the charter, Constitution, laws, rules or regulations of the society, in force at the time of issuance of the certificate, the violation of which will result in the termination of, or in the reduction of, the benefit or benefits payable under the certificate;

(12) If the Constitution or laws of the society provide for expulsion or suspension of a member, any member so expelled or suspended, except for nonpayment of a premium or within the contestable period for material misrepresentations in such member's application for membership shall have the privilege of maintaining his insurance in force by continuing payment of the required premium; and

(13) In the case of a certificate issued by a foreign or alien society, a provision that the rights or obligations of the member or of any person rightfully claiming under the certificate shall be governed by the laws of this state.

(c) Any of the foregoing provisions set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or portions thereof, not applicable by reason of the plan of insurance or because the certificate is an annuity certificate may, to the extent inapplicable, be omitted from the certificate.

(d) No life benefit certificate shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state containing in substance any of the following provisions:

(1) Any provision limiting the time within which any action at law or in equity may be commenced to less than two years after the cause of action shall accrue;

(2) Any provision by which the certificate shall purport to be issued or to take effect more than six months before the original application for the certificate was made, except in case of transfer from one form of certificate to another in connection with which the member is to receive credit for any reserve accumulation under the form of certificate from which the transfer is made; or

(3) Any provision for forfeiture of the certificate for failure to repay any loan thereon or to pay interest on such loan while the total indebtedness, including interest, is less than the loan value of the certificate.

(e) The word "premiums" as used in this article means premiums, rates, or other required contributions by whatever name known.

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