Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 18. Insurance Agents

§ 38.2-1887. Application of article; definitions.

A. This article applies to travel insurance that covers any resident of the Commonwealth, any travel insurance sold, solicited, negotiated, or offered in the Commonwealth, and any travel insurance policies or certificates delivered or issued for delivery in the Commonwealth. This article shall not apply to cancellation fee waivers or travel assistance services except as expressly provided in this article. In the event of conflict between the provisions in this article and other provisions of this title, the provisions of this article shall control.

B. As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Aggregator site" means a website that provides access to information, including product and insurer information, regarding insurance products from more than one insurer for use in comparison shopping.

"Blanket travel insurance" means a policy of travel insurance issued to any eligible group providing coverage for specific classes of persons defined in the policy with coverage provided to all members of the eligible group without a separate charge to individual members of the eligible group.

"Cancellation fee waiver" means a contractual agreement between a supplier of travel services and its customer to waive some or all of the nonrefundable cancellation fee provisions of the supplier's underlying travel contract with or without regard to the reason for the cancellation or form of reimbursement. A cancellation fee waiver is not insurance.

"Designated licensed producer" or "DLP" means an employee, officer, director, manager, member, or partner of a limited lines travel insurance agent who (i) is a licensed property and casualty insurance agent, a personal lines insurance agent, or an individual limited lines property and casualty insurance agent and (ii) has been designated by the limited lines travel insurance agent as the person responsible for the limited lines travel insurance agent's compliance with the travel insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth.

"Eligible group" means two or more persons who are engaged in a common enterprise or have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship, including:

1. Any entity engaged in the business of providing travel or travel services, including (i) tour operators, (ii) lodging providers, (iii) vacation property owners, (iv) hotels and resorts, (v) travel clubs, (vi) travel agencies, (vii) property managers, (viii) cultural exchange programs, and (ix) common carriers or the operator, owner, or lessor of a means of transportation of passengers, including cruise lines, railroads, steamship companies, and public bus carriers. All members or customers of any group must have a common exposure to risk attendant to such travel;

2. Any public or private school or institution of higher education covering students, teachers, employees, or volunteers;

3. Any employer covering any group of employees, volunteers, contractors, boards of directors, dependents, or guests;

4. Any sports team or camp, or sponsor of such team or camp, covering participants, members, campers, employees, officials, supervisors, or volunteers;

5. Any religious, charitable, recreational, educational, or civic organization or branch thereof covering any group of members, participants, or volunteers;

6. Any financial institution or financial institution vendor, or parent holding company, trustee, or agent designated by one or more financial institutions or financial institution vendors, including accountholders, credit card holders, debtors, guarantors, or purchasers;

7. Any incorporated or unincorporated association, including labor unions, having a common interest, constitution, and bylaws, and organized and maintained in good faith for purposes other than obtaining insurance for members or participants of such association, covering its members;

8. Any trust or the trustees of a fund established, created, or maintained for the benefit of and covering members, employees, or customers, subject to the Commission's permitting the use of a trust and the premium tax provisions in § 58.1-2501.1 of any incorporated or unincorporated association;

9. Any entertainment production company covering any group of participants, volunteers, audience members, contestants, or workers;

10. Any volunteer fire department, emergency medical services department, police department, or court or any first aid, civil defense, or similar volunteer group covering any group of members, participants, or volunteers;

11. Any preschools or daycare institutions covering children or adults and senior citizen clubs;

12. Any automobile or truck rental or leasing company covering a group of individuals who may become renters, lessees, or passengers defined by their travel status in the rented or leased vehicles. The common carrier, the operator, owner, or lessor of a means of transportation, or the automobile or truck rental or leasing company is the policyholder under a policy to which this definition applies; or

13. Any other group where the members are engaged in a common enterprise, or have an economic, educational, or social affinity or relationship, and that issuance of the policy would not be contrary to the public interest.

"Fulfillment materials" means documentation sent to the purchaser of a travel protection plan confirming the purchase and providing the travel protection plan's coverage and assistance details.

"Group travel insurance" means travel insurance issued to an eligible group.

"Limited lines travel insurance agent" means a licensed property and casualty insurance agent, a personal lines insurance agent, or a limited lines property and casualty agent.

"Offer and disseminate" means providing general information, including a description of the coverage and price, as well as processing the application, collecting premiums, and performing other non-licensable activities permitted by the Commonwealth.

"Primary certificate holder" means a person who elects and purchases travel insurance under a group policy.

"Primary policyholder" means a person who elects and purchases individual travel insurance.

"Travel administrator" means a person who directly or indirectly underwrites, collects, charges collateral or premiums from, or adjusts or settles claims on residents of the Commonwealth, in connection with travel insurance. A person shall not be considered a travel administrator if his only actions that would otherwise cause him to be considered a travel administrator are among the following:

1. A person working for a travel administrator to the extent that his activities are subject to the supervision and control of the travel administrator;

2. An insurance agent selling insurance or engaged in administrative and claims-related activities within the scope of the agent's license;

3. A travel retailer offering and disseminating travel insurance and registered under the license of a limited lines travel insurance agent in accordance with this article; or

4. An individual adjusting or settling claims in the normal course of his practice or employment as an attorney at law and who does not collect charges or premiums in connection with insurance coverage.

"Travel assistance services" means noninsurance services for which the consumer is not indemnified based on a fortuitous event, and where providing the service does not result in the transfer or shifting of risk that would constitute the business of insurance. "Travel assistance services" includes (i) security advisories; (ii) destination information; (iii) vaccination and immunization information services; (iv) travel reservation services; (v) entertainment; (vi) activity and event planning; (vii) translation assistance; (viii) emergency messaging; (ix) international legal and medical referrals; (x) medical case monitoring; (xi) coordination of transportation arrangements; (xii) emergency cash transfer assistance; (xiii) medical prescription replacement assistance; (xiv) passport and travel document replacement assistance; (xv) lost luggage assistance; (xvi) concierge services; and (xvii) any other service that is furnished in connection with planned travel. Travel assistance services are not insurance.

"Travel insurance" means insurance coverage for personal risks incident to planned travel, including (i) interruption or cancellation of trip or event; (ii) loss of baggage or personal effects; (iii) damages to accommodations or rental vehicles; (iv) emergency evacuation; (v) repatriation of remains; or (vi) any other contractual obligations to indemnify or pay a specified amount to the traveler upon determinable contingencies related to travel as approved by the Commission. "Travel insurance" may include appropriate provisions obligating the insurer to pay medical, hospital, surgical, and funeral expenses arising out of the death, dismemberment, sickness, or injury of any person, and death and dismemberment benefits in the event of death or dismemberment, if the death, dismemberment, sickness, or injury is caused by or is incidental to a cause of loss insured under the policy. "Travel insurance" does not include major medical plans that provide comprehensive medical protection for travelers with trips lasting longer than six months, including those working or residing overseas as an expatriate.

"Travel protection plan" means any plan that provides travel insurance, travel assistance services, or cancellation fee waivers.

"Travel retailer" means a business entity that offers and disseminates travel insurance on behalf of and under the direction and license of a travel insurance agent.

2013, c. 497; 2019, cc. 266, 346.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.