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§33-6A-4a. Alternative method for nonrenewal for automobile liability and physical damage insurance.

(a) On or after July 1, 2004, an insurer may nonrenew an automobile liability or physical damage insurance policy for any reason which 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 section four of this article, a nonrenewal may only be issued pursuant to the provisions of this section upon forty-five days advance notice to the named insured of the insurer's election not to renew the policy.

(d) The total number of nonrenewal notices issued each year, commencing on July 1, 2004, by the insurer, resulting in nonrenewal, pursuant to this section 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 nonrenewal notices issued each year to insureds within any given county in this state resulting in nonrenewal may not exceed one percent per year of the total number of the policies of the insurer 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 for in section five 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, an underwriting standard by the commissioner found 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. Cost of the hearing shall be assessed against the losing party but shall not exceed $75. The notice shall also advise the insured of possible eligibility for insurance through the West Virginia assigned risk plan.

(f) Each insurer licensed to write automobile liability and physical damage 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, and are not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any criminal, private civil or administrative action and are not subject to production pursuant to court order. The commissioner shall 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 a form prescribed by 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. The insurer shall also report to the commissioner the specific reason or reasons for the nonrenewals by county which have been issued pursuant to this section.

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