Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 60. Viatical Settlements Act

§ 38.2-6008. General rules.

A. A viatical settlement provider entering into a viatical settlement contract shall:

1. First obtain:

a. If the viator is the insured, a written statement from a licensed attending physician that the viator is of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence to enter into a viatical settlement contract; and

b. A document in which the insured consents to the release of his medical records to a viatical settlement provider, viatical settlement broker, and the insurance company that issued the life insurance policy covering the life of the insured. The consent for the release of medical records shall only be obtained for the insurance company if the life insurance policy covering the insured was issued within 48 months of the date of the viator's application for the viatical settlement contract.

2. Within 20 days after a viator executes documents necessary to transfer any rights under an insurance policy or within 20 days of entering any agreement, option, promise or any other form of understanding, expressed or implied, to viaticate the policy, the viatical settlement provider shall give written notice to the insurer that issued that insurance policy that the policy has or will become a viaticated policy. The notice shall be accompanied by the documents required by subdivision 3.

3. The viatical settlement provider shall deliver a copy of the medical release required under subdivision 1 b of this subsection, a copy of the viator's application for the viatical settlement contract, the notice required under subdivision 2, and a request for verification of coverage to the insurer that issued the life policy that is the subject of the viatical transaction. The verification form adopted by the NAIC shall be used unless standards for verification are developed by the Commission.

4. The insurer shall respond to a request for verification of coverage submitted on an approved form by a viatical settlement provider not later than 30 calendar days after the date the request is received. The insurer shall complete and issue the verification of coverage to the viatical settlement provider or, in its response, the insurer shall indicate whether, based on the medical evidence and documents provided, the insurer intends to pursue an investigation regarding possible fraud or the validity of the insurance contract.

5. Prior to or at the time of execution of the viatical settlement contract, the viatical settlement provider shall obtain a witnessed document in which the viator consents to the viatical settlement contract, represents that the viator has a full and complete understanding of the viatical settlement contract, that he has a full and complete understanding of the benefits of the life insurance policy, acknowledges that he is entering into the viatical settlement contract freely and voluntarily and, for persons who are chronically or terminally ill, acknowledges that the insured has a terminal or chronic illness and that the terminal or chronic illness or condition was diagnosed after the life insurance policy was issued.

6. If a viatical settlement broker performs any of these activities required of the viatical settlement provider, the provider is deemed to have fulfilled the requirements of this section.

B. All medical information solicited or obtained by any licensee shall be subject to the applicable provisions of state law relating to privacy or confidentiality of medical information.

C. All viatical settlement contracts entered into in this Commonwealth shall provide the viator with an unconditional right to rescind the contract for at least 15 calendar days from the receipt of the viatical settlement proceeds. If the insured dies during the rescission period, the viatical settlement contract shall be deemed to have been rescinded, subject to repayment to the viatical settlement provider or purchaser of all viatical settlement proceeds, and any premiums, loans, and loan interest that have been paid by the viatical settlement provider or purchaser.

D. The viatical settlement provider shall instruct the viator to send the executed documents required to effect the change in ownership, assignment or change in beneficiary directly to the independent escrow agent. Within three business days after the date the escrow agent receives the documents, or from the date the viatical settlement provider receives the documents, if the viator erroneously provides the documents directly to the provider, the provider shall pay or transfer the proceeds of the viatical settlement into an escrow or trust account maintained in a state or federally-chartered financial institution whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Upon payment of the settlement proceeds into the escrow account, the escrow agent shall deliver the original change in ownership, assignment, or change in beneficiary forms to the viatical settlement provider or related provider trust. Upon the escrow agent's receipt of the acknowledgment of the properly completed transfer of ownership, assignment, or designation of beneficiary from the insurance company, the escrow agent shall pay the settlement proceeds to the viator.

E. Failure to tender consideration to the viator for the viatical settlement contract within the time disclosed pursuant to subdivision A 6 of § 38.2-6007 renders the viatical settlement contract voidable by the viator for lack of consideration until the time consideration is tendered to and accepted by the viator.

F. Contacts with the insured for the purpose of determining the health status of the insured by the viatical settlement provider or viatical settlement broker after the viatical settlement has occurred shall only be made by the viatical settlement provider or broker licensed in this Commonwealth or its authorized representatives and shall be limited to once every three months for insureds with a life expectancy of more than one year, and to no more than once per month for insureds with a life expectancy of one year or less. The provider or broker shall explain the procedure for these contacts at the time the viatical settlement contract is entered into. The limitations set forth in this subsection shall not apply to any contacts with an insured for reasons other than determining the insured's health status. Viatical settlement providers and viatical settlement brokers shall be responsible for the actions of their authorized representatives.

2003, c. 717.

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.