WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2993
By Delegate Westfall
[Introduced February 12,
to the Committee on Banking and Insurance then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §33-17A-3 of the Code of West Virginia,1931, as amended, relating to defining a reduction in coverage and clarifying what is a termination for property insurance purposes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 17A. PROPERTY INSURANCE DECLINATION, TERMINATION AND DISCLOSURE.
(a) “Declination” is the refusal of an insurer to issue a property insurance policy on a written application or written request for coverage. For the purposes of this article, the offering of insurance coverage with a company within an insurance group which is different from the company requested on the application or written request for coverage or the offering of insurance upon different terms than requested in the application or written request for coverage is not considered a declination if such offering of such insurance is based upon any valid underwriting reason which involves a substantial increase in the risk. Each company or groups of companies instituting such transfer shall give notice in the manner provided in subsection (c), section four of this article, to the insured as to the reasons for such transfer.
(b) “Nonpayment of premium” means the failure of the named insured to discharge any obligation in connection with the payment of premiums on policies of property insurance, subject to this article, whether the payments are directly payable to the insurer or its agent or indirectly payable to the insurer or its agent or indirectly payable under a premium finance plan or extension of credit. “Nonpayment of premium” includes the failure to pay dues or fees where payment of dues or fees is a prerequisite to obtaining or continuing property insurance coverage.
(c) “Renewal” or “to renew” means the issuance and delivery by an insurer at the end of a policy period of a policy superseding a policy previously issued and delivered by the same insurer, or the issuance and delivery of a certificate or notice extending the term of an existing policy beyond its policy period or term. For the purpose of this article, any policy period or term of less than six months is considered a policy period or term of six months, and any policy period or term of more than one year or any policy with no fixed expiration date is considered a policy period or term of one year.
(d) “Termination” means
either a cancellation or nonrenewal of property insurance coverage in whole or
in part. A cancellation occurs during the policy term. A nonrenewal occurs at
the end of the policy term as set forth in subsection (c) of this section. For
purposes of this article, the transfer of a policyholder between companies
within the same insurance group is not considered a termination, if such
transfer is based upon any valid underwriting reason which involves a
substantial increase in the risk. Each company or group of companies
instituting such transfer shall give notice in the manner provided in
subsection (c), section four of this article, to the insured as to the reasons
for such transfer. Requiring a reduction in coverage
deductible, reasonable changes in the amount of insurance or reasonable reductions
in policy limits or coverage is not considered a termination: if the
requirements are directly related to the hazard involved and are made on the
renewal date of the policy Provided, That the insurer has
manifest its willingness to renew by issuing or offering to issue a renewal
policy, certificate or other evidence of renewal by mailing a renewal notice,
including a notice of reduction in coverage, if any, to the insured not less
than 30 days in advance of the expiration date of the policy.
(e) “Reduction in coverage” means a change made by the insurer which results in a removal of coverage, diminution in the scope, or less, coverage, a change in deductible , or the addition of an exclusion.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to define reduction in coverage and to clarify what a termination means in regard to property insurance.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.