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§33-6-8. Filing of forms.

(a) No insurance policy form, no group certificate form, no insurance application form where a written application is required and is to be made a part of the policy and no rider, endorsement or other form to be attached to any policy shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state by an insurer unless it has been filed with the Commissioner and, to the extent required by subdivision (1), subsection (b) of this section, approved by the Commissioner, except that as to group insurance policies delivered outside this state, only the group certificates to be delivered or issued for delivery in this state shall be filed for approval with the Commissioner. This section does not apply to policies, riders, endorsements or forms of unique character designed for and used with relation to insurance upon a particular subject, or which relate to the manner of distribution of benefits or to the reservation of rights and benefits under life or accident and sickness insurance policies, and are used at the request of the individual policyholder, contract holder or certificate holder, nor to the surety bond forms.(b)(1) Forms for noncommercial lines shall be filed by an insurer no less than sixty days in advance of any delivery. At the expiration of the sixty-day period, unless the period was extended by the commissioner to obtain additional information from the insurer, the form is deemed to be approved unless prior thereto it was affirmatively approved or disapproved by the commissioner. Approval of any form by the commissioner constitutes a waiver of any unexpired portion of the sixty-day period.

(2) Forms for: (A) Commercial lines property and casualty risks; and (B) any mass-marketed life and/or health insurance policy offered to members of any association by the association shall be filed with the Commissioner and need not be approved by the Commissioner prior to use. The Commissioner may, within the first thirty days after receipt of the form, request information to ensure compliance with applicable statutory provisions and may disapprove forms not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. If the Commissioner does not disapprove the form within the thirty-day period, the form is effective upon its first use after filing.

(c) When an insurer does not submit supporting information with the form filing that allows the Commissioner to determine whether the form meets all applicable statutory requirements, the Commissioner shall require the insurer to furnish supporting information. The sixty-day period for personal lines risks shall be suspended on the date the Commissioner requests additional information and shall recommence on the date the Commissioner receives the supporting information: Provided, That the Commissioner shall have no less than fifteen days from receipt of the supporting information to act. The Commissioner may request additional information after the initial sixty-day period with respect to noncommercial lines, or thirty-day period with respect to commercial lines and mass-marketed life and/or health insurance to associations, to ensure continuing compliance with applicable statutory provisions and may at any time, after notice and for cause shown, withdraw any approval or disapprove any form: Provided, however, That any disapproval by the Commissioner of any form or withdrawal of a previous approval shall state the grounds therefor and shall include a notice that the insurer may request a hearing on the denial or withdrawal of approval.

(d) The Commissioner may, by order, exempt from the requirements of this section for so long as he or she considers proper any insurance document or form or type specified in the order, to which, in his or her opinion, this section may not practicably be applied, or the filing and approval of which are, in his or her opinion, not desirable or necessary for the protection of the public.

(e) For purposes of this section:

(1) An association must have a minimum of sixty-one members at the outset of the issuance of the mass-marketed life and/or health insurance policy and shall have been organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than that of obtaining or providing insurance. The association shall also have been in active existence for at least two years and shall have a Constitution and bylaws which provide that: (A) The association holds annual meetings to further purposes of its members; (B) except in the case of credit unions, the association collects dues or solicits contributions from members; and C) the members have voting privileges and representation on the governing board and committees that exist under the authority of the association: Provided, That upon written application by an association and for good cause shown, the Commissioner may grant an exemption to the association from the minimum member requirements of this section.

(2) "Commercial lines" means insurance for business and professional interests, except that it does not include medical malpractice insurance.

(3) "Noncommercial lines" means all insurance other than commercial lines and includes medical malpractice and insurance for personal, family and household needs.

(f) This section also applies to any form used by domestic insurers for delivery in a jurisdiction outside West Virginia if the insurance supervisory official of the jurisdiction informs the Commissioner that the form is not subject to approval or disapproval by the official and upon the Commissioner's order requiring the form to be submitted to him or her for that purpose. The same standards applicable to forms for domestic use apply to forms used by domestic insurers for delivery in a jurisdiction outside West Virginia.

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