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§33-44-4. Unlawful transaction of insurance.

(a) It is unlawful for any person to engage in any act which constitutes the transaction of insurance under the provisions of this article unless authorized by a license in force pursuant to the laws of this state, or unless exempted by the insurance laws of this state. Any person or insurer engaged in any act which constitutes the unauthorized transaction of insurance shall be subject to the provisions contained in chapter thirty-three of the code and the provisions and penalties set forth in this article.

(b) It is unlawful for any person to, directly or indirectly, represent, aid, counsel, opine, administer, assist in any manner or capacity or otherwise act as an agent for or on behalf of an unauthorized insurer in the unauthorized transaction of insurance. Any person who represents, aids or assists, in any manner or capacity, an unauthorized insurer in violation of this article shall be subject to the provisions and penalties set forth in this article.

(c) An unauthorized insurer shall be bound by the terms of the insurance contract, certificate or agreement as if the contract, certificate or agreement were legally procured under the insurance laws of this state.

(d) This article does not apply to: (i) Any transaction for which a license is not required pursuant to section one, article three of this chapter, including the lawful transaction of surplus lines insurance and reinsurance by insurers; (ii) transactions in this state relative to a policy issued or to be issued outside this state involving insurance on cargo vessels, their craft or hulls, their cargoes, marine builder's risk, commercial marine protection and indemnity or other risk, including strikes and war risks commonly insured under ocean marine forms of policy; (iii) transactions in this state involving group life insurance, group accident and sickness insurance or group annuities providing coverage under policies that are recognized under articles fourteen and sixteen, respectively, of this chapter where: (1) The master policy of such groups was lawfully issued and delivered in and pursuant to the laws of a state in which the insurer was authorized to do an insurance business, to a group organized for purposes other than the procurement of insurance, and where the policyholder is domiciled or otherwise has a bona fide situs; and (2) except for group annuities, the insurer complies with section thirty-five, article six of this chapter. The commissioner may require the insurer which has issued such master policy to submit such information as the commissioner requires in order to determine if probable cause exists to convene a hearing to determine whether the total charges for the insurance to the persons insured are reasonable in relation to the benefits provided under such policy.

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