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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 14. Insurance
Agency 5. State Corporation Commission, Bureau of Insurance
Chapter 90. Rules Governing Advertisement of Accident and Sickness Insurance

14VAC5-90-150. Introductory, Initial or Special Offers.

A. 1. An advertisement of an individual policy shall not directly or by implication represent that a contract or combination of contracts is an introductory, initial or special offer, or that applicants will receive substantial advantages not available at a later date, or that the offer is available only to a specified group of individuals, unless that is the fact. An advertisement shall not contain phrases describing a "time-limited solicitation period" as "special," "limited," or similar words or phrases when the insurer uses the "time-limited solicitation periods" as the usual method of marketing accident and sickness insurance.

2. A "time-limited solicitation period" during which a particular insurance product may be purchased on an individual basis shall not be offered within this Commonwealth unless there has been a lapse of not less than four months between the close of the immediately preceding "time-limited solicitation period" for the same product and the opening of the new solicitation period; provided, a particular insurance product may not be offered on a "time-limited solicitation period" basis more than two times during any 12-month period. The advertisement shall indicate the date by which the applicant must mail the application, which shall be not less than 10 days and not more than 40 days from the date that the "time-limited solicitation period" is advertised for the first time. This section applies to all advertising media, i.e., mail, newspapers, the Internet, radio, television, magazines and periodicals, by any one insurer. It is inapplicable to solicitations of employees or members of a particular group or association that otherwise would be eligible under specific provisions of Title 38.2 of the Code of Virginia for group, blanket or franchise insurance. The phrase "any one insurer" includes all of the affiliated companies of a group of insurance companies under common management or control.

3. Use of the words "enrollment" or "enrollment period" in connection with a "time-limited solicitation period" is prohibited unless the insurance product offered will be issued automatically as advertised upon receipt of the application and premium by the insurer or its agent.

4. This section prohibits any statement or implication to the effect that only a specific number of policies will be sold, or that a time is fixed for the discontinuance of the sale of the particular policy advertised because of special advantages available in the policy, unless that is the fact.

5. The phrase "a particular insurance product" in subdivision 2 of this subsection means an insurance policy that provides substantially different benefits than those contained in any other policy. Different terms of renewability, an increase or decrease in the dollar amounts of benefits or an increase or decrease in any elimination period or waiting period from those available during a "time-limited solicitation period" for another policy shall not be sufficient to constitute the product being offered as a different product eligible for concurrent or overlapping "time-limited solicitation periods."

B. An advertisement shall not offer a policy that utilizes a reduced initial premium rate in a manner that overemphasizes the availability and the amount of the initial reduced premium. When an insurer charges an initial premium that differs in amount from the amount of the renewal premium payable on the same mode, the invitation to contract shall not display the amount of the reduced initial premium either more frequently or more prominently than the renewal premium, and both the initial reduced premium and the renewal premium must be stated in juxtaposition in each portion of the advertisement where the initial reduced premium appears.

C. Special awards, such as a "safe driver award," shall not be used in connection with advertisements of accident and sickness insurance.

Statutory Authority

§§ 12.1-13 and 38.2-223 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Regulation 8, Case No. 19498, § 15, eff. June 1, 1975; amended Order of July 25, 1975, eff. September 15, 1975; amended, Volume 20, Issue 25, eff. August 4, 2004.

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