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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 18. Insurance Agents
12/6/2022

Article 1. Definitions and General Provisions.

§ 38.2-1800. Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

"Agent," "insurance agent," "producer," or "insurance producer," when used without qualification, means an individual or business entity that sells, solicits, or negotiates contracts of insurance or annuity in the Commonwealth.

"Appointed agent," "appointed insurance agent," "appointed producer," or "appointed insurance producer," when used without qualification, means an individual or business entity licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate contracts of insurance or annuity of the classes authorized within the scope of such license and who is appointed by a company licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate on its behalf contracts of insurance of the classes authorized within the scope of such license and, if authorized by the company, may collect premiums on those contracts.

"Business entity" means a partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or other legal entity other than a sole proprietorship.

"Dental plan organization authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate dental benefit contracts on behalf of dental plan organizations licensed under Chapter 61 (§ 38.2-6100 et seq.).

"Dental services authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate dental services plan contracts on behalf of dental services plans licensed under Chapter 45 (§ 38.2-4500 et seq.).

"Filed" means received by the Commission.

"Health agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance as defined in §§ 38.2-108 and 38.2-109, and including contracts issued by insurers, health services plans, health maintenance organizations, dental services plans, optometric services plans, and dental plan organizations licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Home protection insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate home protection insurance as defined in § 38.2-129 on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Home state" means the District of Columbia and any state or territory of the United States, except Virginia, or any province of Canada, in which an insurance producer maintains such person's principal place of residence or principal place of business and is licensed by that jurisdiction to act as a resident insurance producer.

"Legal services insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate legal services insurance as defined in § 38.2-127 on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"License" means a document issued by the Commission authorizing an individual or business entity to act as an insurance producer for the lines of authority specified in the document. Except as provided in § 38.2-1833, the license itself does not create any authority, actual, apparent or inherent, in the licensee to represent, commit, or bind an insurer.

"Licensed agent," "licensed insurance agent," "licensed producer," or "licensed insurance producer," when used without qualification, means an individual or business entity licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate contracts of insurance or annuity of the classes authorized within the scope of such license.

"Life and annuities insurance agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate life insurance and annuity contracts as defined in §§ 38.2-102, 38.2-103, 38.2-104, 38.2-105.1, 38.2-106, and 38.2-107.1, respectively, and family leave insurance as defined in § 38.2-107.2, on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Limited burial insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate burial insurance society membership where the certificates of membership are used solely to fund preneed funeral contracts on any individual, on behalf of insurers licensed under Chapter 40 (§ 38.2-4000 et seq.); or to represent an association referred to in § 38.2-3318.1, limited to soliciting members of that association for association group life insurance certificates where the funds are used solely to fund preneed funeral contracts.

"Limited lines credit insurance agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth whose authority is restricted to selling, soliciting, or negotiating, on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth, one or more of the following coverages to individuals through a master, corporate, group or individual policy: (i) credit life insurance and credit accident and sickness insurance, but only to the extent authorized in Chapter 37.1 (§ 38.2-3717 et seq.); (ii) credit involuntary unemployment insurance as defined in § 38.2-122.1; (iii) credit property insurance, as defined in § 38.2-122.2; (iv) mortgage accident and sickness insurance; (v) mortgage redemption insurance; (vi) mortgage guaranty insurance; and (vii) any other form of insurance offered in connection with an extension of credit that is limited to partially or wholly extinguishing that credit obligation and that the Commission specifically determines may be sold, solicited, or negotiated by those holding a limited lines credit insurance agent license. Each insurer that sells, solicits or negotiates any of the coverages set forth in this definition shall provide to each individual whose duties will include selling, soliciting or negotiating such coverages a program of instruction that may, at the discretion of the Commission, be submitted for approval by the Commission or reviewed by the Commission subsequent to its implementation.

"Limited lines life and health agent" means an individual or business entity authorized by the Commission whose license authority to sell, solicit, or negotiate is limited to the following, or any other type of authority that the Commission may deem it necessary to recognize for the purposes of complying with § 38.2-1836: dental services authority; limited burial insurance authority; mutual assessment life and health insurance authority; optometric services authority; and dental plan organization authority. Limited lines life and health insurance shall not include life insurance, health insurance, property insurance, casualty insurance, and title insurance.

"Limited lines property and casualty agent" means an individual or business entity authorized by the Commission whose license authority to sell, solicit, or negotiate is limited to the following, or any other type of authority that the Commission may deem it necessary to recognize for the purposes of complying with § 38.2-1836: home protection insurance authority; legal services insurance authority; mutual assessment property and casualty insurance authority; ocean marine insurance authority; pet accident, sickness and hospitalization insurance authority; portable electronics insurance authority; self storage insurance authority; and travel insurance. Unless otherwise defined, "limited lines property and casualty insurance" shall not include life insurance, health insurance, property insurance, casualty insurance, and title insurance.

"Mortgage accident and sickness insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate mortgage accident and sickness insurance on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Mortgage guaranty insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate mortgage guaranty insurance on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Mortgage redemption insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate mortgage redemption insurance on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth. As used in this chapter, "mortgage redemption insurance" means a nonrenewable, nonconvertible, decreasing term life insurance policy written in connection with a mortgage transaction for a period of time coinciding with the term of the mortgage. The initial sum shall not exceed the amount of the indebtedness outstanding at the time the insurance becomes effective, rounded up to the next $1,000.

"Motor vehicle rental contract enroller" means an unlicensed hourly or salaried employee of a motor vehicle rental company that is in the business of providing primarily private motor vehicles to the public under a rental agreement for a period of less than six months, and receives no direct or indirect commission from the insurer, the renter or the vehicle rental company.

"Motor vehicle rental contract insurance agent" means a person who (i) is a selling agent of a motor vehicle rental company that is in the business of providing primarily private passenger motor vehicles to the public under a rental agreement for a period of less than six months and (ii) whose license in the Commonwealth is restricted to selling, soliciting, or negotiating only the following insurance coverages, and solely in connection with and incidental to the rental contract:

1. Personal accident insurance that provides benefits in the event of accidental death or injury occurring during the rental period;

2. Liability coverage sold to the renter in excess of the rental company's obligations under § 38.2-2204, 38.2-2205, or Title 46.2, as applicable;

3. Personal effects insurance that provides coverages for the loss of or damage to the personal effects of the renter and other vehicle occupants while such personal effects are in or upon the rental vehicle during the rental period;

4. Roadside assistance and emergency sickness protection programs; and

5. Other travel-related or vehicle-related insurance coverage that a motor vehicle rental company offers in connection with and incidental to the rental of vehicles.

The term "motor vehicle rental contract insurance agent" does not include motor vehicle rental contract enrollers.

"Mutual assessment life and health insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate mutual assessment life and accident and sickness insurance on behalf of insurers licensed under Chapter 39 (§ 38.2-3900 et seq.), but only to the extent permitted under § 38.2-3919.

"Mutual assessment property and casualty insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate mutual assessment property and casualty insurance on behalf of insurers licensed under Chapter 25 (§ 38.2-2500 et seq.), but only to the extent permitted under § 38.2-2525.

"NAIC" means the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

"Negotiate" means the act of conferring directly with or offering advice directly to a purchaser or prospective purchaser of a particular contract of insurance concerning any of the substantive benefits, terms or conditions of the contract, provided that the person engaged in that act either sells insurance or obtains insurance from insurers for purchasers.

"Ocean marine insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate those classes of insurance classified in § 38.2-126, except those classes specifically classified as inland marine insurance, on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Optometric services authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate optometric services plan contracts on behalf of optometric services plans licensed under Chapter 45 (§ 38.2-4500 et seq.).

"Personal lines agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance as defined in §§ 38.2-110 through 38.2-114, 38.2-116, 38.2-117, 38.2-118, 38.2-124, 38.2-125, 38.2-126, 38.2-129, 38.2-130, and 38.2-131 for transactions involving insurance primarily for personal, family, or household needs rather than for business or professional needs.

"Pet accident, sickness and hospitalization insurance authority" means the authority in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate pet accident, sickness and hospitalization insurance on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Property and casualty insurance agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate both personal and commercial lines of insurance as defined in §§ 38.2-110 through 38.2-122.2, and §§ 38.2-124 through 38.2-134 on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Resident" means (i) an individual residing in Virginia; (ii) an individual residing outside of Virginia whose principal place of business is in Virginia, who is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the laws of his home state prevent him from obtaining a resident agent license in that state, and who affirmatively chooses to qualify as and be treated as a resident of Virginia for purposes of licensing and continuing education, both in Virginia and in the state in which the individual resides, if applicable; (iii) a partnership duly formed and recorded in Virginia; (iv) a corporation incorporated and existing under the laws of Virginia; (v) a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of Virginia; or (vi) a foreign business entity that is not licensed as a resident agent in any other jurisdiction, and that demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commission that its principal place of business is within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"Restricted nonresident health agent" means a nonresident agent whose license authority in his home state does not include all of the authority granted under a health agent license in Virginia. The license issued to such agent shall authorize the agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate in Virginia, on behalf of insurers licensed in Virginia, only those kinds or classes of insurance for which the agent is authorized in his home state.

"Restricted nonresident life and annuities agent" means a nonresident agent whose license authority in his home state does not include all of the authority granted under a life and annuities agent license in Virginia. The license issued to such agent shall authorize the agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate in Virginia, on behalf of insurers licensed in Virginia, only those kinds or classes of insurance for which the agent is authorized in his home state.

"Restricted nonresident personal lines agent" means a nonresident agent whose license authority in his home state does not include all of the authority granted under a personal lines agent license in Virginia. The license issued to such agent shall authorize the agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate in Virginia, on behalf of insurers licensed in Virginia, only those kinds or classes of insurance for which the agent is authorized in his home state.

"Restricted nonresident property and casualty agent" means a nonresident agent whose license authority in his home state does not include all of the authority granted under a property and casualty agent license in Virginia. The license issued to such agent shall authorize the agent to sell, solicit, or negotiate in Virginia, on behalf of insurers licensed in Virginia, only those kinds or classes of insurance for which the agent is authorized in his home state.

"Sell" means to exchange a contract of insurance by any means, for money or its equivalent, on behalf of an insurer.

"Settlement agent" means a person licensed as a title insurance agent and registered with the Virginia State Bar pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 55.1-1000 et seq.) of Title 55.1.

"Solicit" means attempting to sell insurance or asking or urging a person to apply for a particular class of insurance from one or more insurers.

"Surety bail bondsman" means a person licensed as a surety bail bondsman pursuant to Article 11 (§ 9.1-185 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1.

"Surplus lines broker" means a person licensed pursuant to Article 5.1 (§ 38.2-1857.1 et seq.) of this chapter, and who is thereby authorized to engage in the activities set forth in Chapter 48 (§ 38.2-4805.1 et seq.).

"Terminate" means the cancellation of the relationship between an insurance producer and the insurer, or the termination of an insurance producer's authority to transact insurance.

"Title insurance agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate title insurance, and performing all of the services set forth in § 38.2-4601.1, on behalf of title insurance companies licensed under Chapter 46 (§ 38.2-4600 et seq.).

"Uniform Application" means the current version of the NAIC Uniform Application for resident and nonresident producer licensing.

"Uniform Business Entity Application" means the current version of the NAIC Uniform Business Entity Application for resident and nonresident business entities.

"Variable contract agent" means an agent licensed in the Commonwealth to sell, solicit, or negotiate variable life insurance and variable annuity contracts on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth.

"Viatical settlement broker" means a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 60 (§ 38.2-6000 et seq.), in accordance with Article 6.1 (§ 38.2-1865.1 et seq.) of this chapter, and who is thereby authorized to engage in the activities set forth in Chapter 60 (§ 38.2-6000 et seq.).

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.1; 1981, c. 604; 1983, c. 480; 1984, c. 719; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 520, 521; 1992, c. 586; 1994, cc. 106, 316; 1995, c. 167; 1998, cc. 16, 47, 164; 1999, cc. 86, 490, 493, 586; 2000, c. 526; 2001, c. 706; 2003, cc. 412, 717, 979; 2004, cc. 460, 668, 784; 2006, c. 410; 2011, c. 222; 2012, c. 447; 2013, cc. 203, 497; 2016, c. 250; 2022, cc. 131, 132.

§ 38.2-1800.1. Proof of residency.

A. For purposes of this chapter, an individual shall be deemed to be a resident of this Commonwealth provided such individual (i) maintains his principal place of residence within this Commonwealth, or satisfies the requirements set forth in subsection B of § 38.2-1836; (ii) declares himself to be a Virginia resident on his federal tax return; and (iii) declares himself to be a Virginia resident for purposes of paying Virginia income tax and personal property taxes; and provided that such individual is able to document the above to the satisfaction of the Commission. The Commission may also consider other documentation furnished by the individual, including, but not limited to, a valid current Virginia driver's license or voter registration card, as additional proof of residency. An individual applying for or holding a license issued pursuant to this chapter who is unable to document his residency as set forth above shall be deemed not to be a resident of Virginia for purposes of this chapter, except that an individual residing outside of Virginia whose principal place of business is in Virginia, who is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that the laws of his home state prevent him from obtaining a resident agent license in that state, and who affirmatively chooses to qualify as and be treated as a resident of Virginia for purposes of licensing and continuing education, both in Virginia and in the state in which the individual resides, if applicable, may be considered a resident for purposes of issuance of a license pursuant to this chapter.

B. For purposes of this chapter, a business entity shall be deemed to be a resident of this Commonwealth provided such business entity:

1. If a domestic corporation, has filed its articles of incorporation with the clerk of the Commission, and has been issued a charter by the Commission;

2. If a domestic limited liability company, has filed its articles of organization with the clerk of the Commission, and has been issued a certificate of organization by the Commission;

3. If a domestic limited partnership, has applied for and received a certificate of limited partnership from the clerk of the Commission;

4. If a domestic partnership, has filed its partnership agreement with the clerk of the appropriate court; or

5. If a foreign business entity that is not licensed as a resident agent in any other jurisdiction, demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commission that its principal place of business is within the Commonwealth of Virginia.

1997, c. 583; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1801. Person soliciting insurance deemed agent of insurer; prohibition against misrepresenting agency relationship.

A. A licensed agent shall be held to be the agent of the insurer that issued the insurance sold, solicited, or negotiated by such agent in any controversy between the insured or his beneficiary and the insurer. No licensed agent or any other person shall claim to be a representative of, authorized agent of, agent of, or other term implying an appointed relationship with a particular insurer unless such agent has become an appointed agent of that insurer. For the purpose of notice of claim or suit, the agent or producer of record shall be deemed to be the agent of the insurer. In the case of policies of life insurance, accident and sickness insurance, annuities and variable annuities, such notice shall be given to the insurer at its home office as shown in the policy of insurance.

B. A premium payment made by an insured to an agent, whether appointed by an insurer or not, or to a surplus lines broker, where the insurer or its appointed agent acknowledged specific insurance for a specific policy period by the issuance of a policy, written binder, or other contract of temporary insurance, whether new or renewal, shall be considered payment to the insurer, and such insurer shall be liable to the insured for (i) any covered losses under the insurance and (ii) the return to the insured of any unearned premium amount due the insured except as provided in subsection D of § 38.2-1806.

C. Except as provided in subsection D of § 38.2-1806, where premiums for the issuance of a policy or endorsement have been financed by an insurance premium finance company and payment and evidence of financing for such policy or endorsement have been received by the insurer or its appointed agent, the insurer shall be liable for the return to the insurance premium finance company of any unearned premium due the insurance premium finance company.

Code 1950, § 38.1-292; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.2; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1988, c. 229; 1989, c. 543; 1993, c. 145; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1802. Acting as agent for unlicensed insurer prohibited; penalties.

A. No person other than a licensed surplus lines broker shall sell, solicit, or negotiate contracts of insurance in this Commonwealth on behalf of any insurer which is not licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any person from obtaining insurance upon his own life or property from an unlicensed insurer.

B. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor and punished for each offense. In addition, any person violating this section shall be (i) liable on any claim against any unlicensed insurer that arises out of a contract or policy sold, solicited, or negotiated by the person or which the person assisted in selling, soliciting, or negotiating, or (ii) punished as provided in §§ 38.2-218 and 38.2-1831, or (iii) subject to both (i) and (ii).

C. Nothing in this section shall apply to the selling, soliciting, or negotiating of contracts of insurance on:

1. Vessels or craft, their cargo, freight, marine builder's risk, maritime protection and indemnity, ship repairer's legal liability, tower's liability or other risks commonly insured under ocean marine insurance policies as distinguished from inland marine insurance policies, provided that a property and casualty or limited lines property and casualty agent licensed in this Commonwealth sells, solicits, or negotiates these classes of insurance on behalf of any insurer not licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth; or

2. The rolling stock and operating properties of railroads used in interstate commerce or of any liability or other risks incidental to their ownership, maintenance or operation.

D. A property and casualty or limited lines property and casualty agent licensed in this Commonwealth who, pursuant to the provisions of subdivision C 1, sells, solicits, or negotiates ocean marine insurance on behalf of any insurer not licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth shall provide a notice to the insured stating that the insurance policy is to be placed with an insurer not licensed to transact the business of insurance in the Commonwealth and stating that (i) in the event of the insolvency of the insurer, there is no protection under the Virginia Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association against financial loss to claimants or policyholders because of the insolvency of an unlicensed insurer, and (ii) the insured may not be protected under the insurance laws of this Commonwealth. The notice required by this subsection shall be in a form prescribed by the Commission and shall be signed and dated by the agent and the insured. The signatures required by this subsection may be in electronic form. The agent shall keep a copy of the notice for at least three years after the effective date of the policy to which the notice pertains. A copy of the notice shall be given to the insured prior to placement of the insurance.

Code 1950, § 38.1-281; 1952, c. 317; 1956, c. 173; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.3; 1982, c. 264; 1983, c. 480; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 519, 521; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1803. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2001, c. 706, cl. 2, effective September 1, 2002.

§ 38.2-1804. Blank forms.

No agent shall sign or allow an applicant or insured to sign any incomplete or blank form pertaining to insurance in this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 38.1-288; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.5; 1986, c. 562; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1805. Acceptance by insurance agents of premiums in arrears; how advance premiums recorded.

A. No agent of a home service insurer shall accept, and no insurer or licensed agent shall knowingly permit an agent to accept, payment of premiums in arrears on any policy of life insurance or accident and sickness insurance on which the premiums are collected at least monthly that has lapsed and that the insured seeks to reinstate, unless the payment (i) at least equals the total of all premiums in arrears and (ii) entitles the policyholder to make immediate application for reinstatement of the policy. As used in this chapter, "home service insurer" means an insurer selling industrial or ordinary life insurance or accident and sickness insurance on a debit, where the premiums are payable at least monthly directly by the owner of the policy or a person representing the owner to a representative of the insurer.

B. Every advance premium paid to an agent on a life insurance policy or accident and sickness insurance policy on which the premiums are collected at least monthly shall be recorded in the receipt book of the insured and in the record book of the agent in exactly the same manner as current premiums are recorded. However, the failure to do so shall not invalidate the policy.

Code 1950, § 38.1-293; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.6; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1990, c. 464; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1806. Interest with respect to credit extended or money lent for premiums on certain policies.

A. Any agent licensed in this Commonwealth to sell, solicit or negotiate property and casualty insurance, mutual assessment property and casualty insurance, or ocean marine insurance may charge interest on credit extended by the agent to the holder of any fire, casualty, surety or marine insurance policy, written or being serviced by or through such agent, for the premium due on such policy. The rate of interest shall not exceed one and one-half percent per month of the unpaid balance. However, the extension of credit or the making of the loan shall not be in conflict with the contract between the agent and the insurer that issues the policy.

B. A licensed insurance agent extending credit as authorized in this section shall not be required to comply with the provisions of Chapter 47 (§ 38.2-4700 et seq.) of this title with respect to the licensing of premium finance companies.

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 38.2-2114 and 38.2-2212, if any insured fails to discharge any of his obligations to a licensed insurance agent when due in connection with the payment of any premium for a policy of insurance, that agent may request in writing that the insurer cancel such policy for nonpayment of premium. Within ten business days of the receipt of such written request, which shall also state the amount owed the agent by the policyholder, the insurer shall deliver or mail a written notice of cancellation to the named insured at the address shown in the policy and to any mortgagee or lienholder. This notice shall state the date on which the cancellation shall become effective. That date shall be established by giving at least the number of days notice prior to cancellation that are required by statute or the terms of the policy. Except for statutory requirements and contractual obligations, there shall be no liability on the part of the insurer for improper cancellation under this section if the insurer (i) in good faith relies upon the request of the agent and (ii) gives notice of cancellation in compliance with the provisions of this section.

D. The insurance agent shall have a lien on any return premium for the policy to the extent of the amount owed by the policyholder. Within thirty calendar days of the mailing of the notice of cancellation, the insurer shall forward that amount to the agent and shall forward the remainder, if any, of the return premium to the policyholder.

Code 1950, § 38.1-293.1; 1970, c. 370; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.7; 1980, c. 581; 1985, c. 33; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1807. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 222, cl. 1.

§ 38.2-1808. All agreements to be expressed in contract.

No agent shall make any contract of insurance or agreement with respect to the insurance that is not plainly expressed in the policy or contract issued.

Code 1950, § 38.1-294; 1952, c. 317; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.8; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521.

§ 38.2-1809. Power of Commission to investigate affairs of persons engaged in insurance business; penalties for refusal to permit investigation.

A. The Commission shall have power to examine and investigate the business affairs of any person engaged or alleged to be engaged in the business of insurance in this Commonwealth, including all agents, to determine whether the person has engaged or is engaging in any violation of this title. The Commission shall have the right to examine all records relating to the writing or alleged writing of insurance by any such person in this Commonwealth to determine whether the person is now or has been violating any of the provisions of this title. Any licensee under this title, or any person purporting to be a licensee under this title, or any person whose actions have led any person to believe that he is a licensee under this title, who refuses to permit the Commission or any of its employees or agents, including employees of the Bureau of Insurance, to make an examination or who fails or refuses to comply with the provisions of this section may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, be subject to any of the penalties relating to licensees under this title, as provided in this title, including the denial, suspension or revocation of his license.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this title, every licensee shall retain all of his records relative to insurance transactions for the three previous calendar years except that records of premium quotations which are not accepted by the insured or prospective insured need not be kept. These records shall be made available promptly upon request for examination by the Commission or its employees without notice during normal business hours.

Code 1950, § 38.1-295.1; 1968, c. 238; 1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.9; 1985, c. 3; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1990, c. 464; 1991, c. 417; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1810. Report of acts deemed larceny under § 18.2-111; privileged communications; attorney for the Commonwealth to be informed.

A. Whenever any insurer licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth knows or has reasonable cause to believe that any licensee under this title has committed any act of larceny as prescribed in § 18.2-111 with respect to any money, bill, note, check, order, draft or other property either belonging to the insurer or received by the licensee on behalf of the insurer, it shall be the duty of the insurer within sixty calendar days after acquiring the knowledge to file with the Commission a complete statement of the relevant facts and circumstances. Each statement shall be a privileged communication, and when made and filed shall not subject the insurer, or any individual representative of it that is making or filing the statement, to any liability whatsoever.

B. Whenever any insurer licensed to transact the business of title insurance in this Commonwealth knows or has reasonable cause to believe that any title insurance agent appointed by such insurer has committed any act of larceny as prescribed in § 18.2-111 with respect to any money, bill, note, check, order, draft or other property either belonging to the insured or prospective insured or received by the agent on behalf of the insured or prospective insured related to that agent's provision of escrow, closing or settlement services as defined in § 55.1-1000, it shall be the duty of the insurer within sixty calendar days after acquiring such knowledge to file with the Commission a complete statement of the relevant facts and circumstances. Each statement shall be a privileged communication, and when made and filed shall not subject the insurer, or any individual representative of it that is making or filing the statement, to any liability whatsoever.

C. The Commission shall inform the attorney for the Commonwealth of the appropriate county or city of each statement filed pursuant to subsection A or B of this section.

1962, c. 263, § 38.1-165.1; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 2000, c. 549; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1811. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 620.

§ 38.2-1812. Payment and sharing of commissions.

A. No insurer shall pay directly or indirectly any commission or other valuable consideration to any person for services as an agent or a surplus lines broker within this Commonwealth unless the person is then a duly appointed agent of such insurer and, at the time of the transaction out of which arose the right to such commission or other valuable consideration, held a valid license as an agent, or valid license as a surplus lines broker, for the class of insurance involved.

B. No person other than a duly licensed and appointed agent or a surplus lines broker may accept any such commission or other valuable consideration unless such person, at the time of the transaction out of which arose the right to such commission or other valuable consideration, held a valid license as an agent or surplus lines broker for the class of insurance involved.

C. An agent of a home service insurer who is assigned a debit may receive, and the insurer may pay, commissions on business written on the debit prior to the agent's becoming licensed and appointed, provided that the insurance was sold by a duly licensed and appointed agent, and further provided that the agent receiving the commission is duly licensed and, if appropriate, appointed on the day such commissions are paid to and received by him.

D. This provision shall not prevent the payment or receipt of renewal or other deferred commissions or compensation to or by any person if the person was duly licensed and appointed, where the appointment was necessary, at the time of the transactions out of which arose the right to such renewals or deferred commissions or compensation.

E. This provision shall not prevent the payment of commissions to a trade name which has been filed with the Bureau of Insurance pursuant to subsection E of § 38.2-1822.

F. Except as provided in subdivision B 8 of § 38.2-1821.1, no agent or surplus lines broker shall directly or indirectly share his commissions or other compensation received or to be received by him on account of a transaction under his license with any person not also then licensed under this chapter, for the class of insurance involved in the transactions. No agent or surplus lines broker not then licensed and qualified for the same class of insurance shall receive any commission or other compensation. This provision shall not affect payment of the regular salaries due employees of the licensee.

G. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, each insurer shall accept and honor each request by a policyholder for a change of insurance agent of record, which change shall be effective on the date of the next renewal of the policy, unless the policyholder withdraws the request in writing, provided that the change of insurance agent of record shall not be effective unless the proposed new insurance agent of record is a duly appointed agent of the insurer. Prior to the effective date of the change, the insurer shall provide written notice of the change to the current insurance agent of record. The new insurance agent of record shall be paid all commissions payable on the policy effective not later than the next renewal date of the policy following the policyholder's requested change, excluding any commissions or other compensation payable under an insurer's retirement or deferred compensation plan with the insurance agent. A request for a change of insurance agent of record shall be in writing and shall include (a) the policyholder's name and address; (b) the insurer's name and address; (c) the policy number; (d) the name and address of the new insurance agent of record; (e) the date of the request; (f) the signature of the policyholder; and (g) the signature of acceptance by the new insurance agent. This subsection shall not require an insurer to appoint an insurance agent of record, alter an insurer's existing contract with an insurance agent that provides for direct compensation in lieu of commission, or require the payment of full commissions to a new insurance agent where the original writing insurance agent or current insurance agent continues to have responsibility for processing and matters relating to the policyholder. For the purposes of this subsection, "insurance agent" and "insurance agent of record" shall mean only a limited lines property and casualty agent, a property and casualty insurance agent, a personal lines agent, a restricted nonresident property and casualty agent, or a restricted nonresident personal lines agent, as such terms are defined in § 38.2-1800. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to insurers who provide a process that (i) permits the insured to change the insurance agent of record under terms that are at least as favorable to the insured as the provisions of this subsection and (ii) equitably allocates commissions between the current and new insurance agents.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.11; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 521; 1999, c. 97; 2001, c. 706; 2002, c. 323.

§ 38.2-1812.1. Placement of insurance for public bodies.

No insurance agent may provide or offer to provide, directly or indirectly, insurance products to a public body while concurrently and on its behalf (i) evaluating proposals from other insurance agents and (ii) recommending the placement of insurance.

1996, c. 989.

§ 38.2-1812.2. Administrative charges in excess of premium prohibited; exceptions.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 38.2-310 and Article 4 (§ 38.2-1837 et seq.) of this chapter, no agent shall charge, or demand or receive from, an applicant for insurance or a policyholder any consideration in return for rendering services associated with a contract of insurance, when the consideration is in addition to the premium for such contract, unless:

1. The applicant or policyholder consents in writing before any services are rendered. Consent shall be provided on a form that includes the applicant's or policyholder's signature, the duration of services and amount of fees to be charged, the services for which the fees are charged, and a statement that the agent is entitled to receive a commission from the insurer for selling, soliciting, or negotiating the insurance; and

2. A schedule of fees and documentation for services rendered is maintained in the agent's office and is made available to applicants or policyholders upon request.

B. This section shall not apply to charges for services described in subsection C of § 38.2-4608 when provided by title insurance agents.

C. This section shall apply to new and renewal policies issued or renewed on or after July 1, 1999.

1999, c. 2; 2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1813. Reporting and accounting for premiums.

A. All premiums, return premiums, or other funds received in any manner by an agent or a surplus lines broker shall be held in a fiduciary capacity and shall be accounted for by such agent or surplus lines broker. The agent or surplus lines broker shall, in the ordinary course of business, pay the funds to the insured or his assignee, insurer, insurance premium finance company or agent entitled to the payment.

B. With the exception of premium funds made payable to insurers or insureds for remittance and funds referred to in subsection D of this section, on and after January 1, 1993, all funds referred to in subsection A of this section shall be maintained in a fiduciary account separate from all other business and personal funds. Funds deposited into the separate fiduciary account may not be commingled or combined with other funds except for the purpose of advancing premiums, establishing reserves for the payment of return premiums, or establishing funds to maintain a minimum balance or to guarantee the adequacy of the account. The agent or surplus lines broker shall maintain an accurate record and itemization of the funds deposited into this account. The commission portion of any premiums deposited to this separate account may be withdrawn at the discretion of the agent or surplus lines broker.

C. For the purposes of this section, the separate fiduciary account of a licensed business entity shall be considered the fiduciary account of an individual agent or surplus lines broker acting on behalf of the licensed business entity.

D. This section shall not require any agent who is a duly appointed agent of an insurer and who has a written contractual relationship with such insurer which includes provisions regarding remittance of funds to maintain a separate fiduciary account for the funds. Such funds shall be held separately from any personal or nonbusiness funds and shall be reasonably ascertainable from the books of accounts and records of the agent.

1979, c. 513, § 38.1-327.12; 1986, c. 562; 1992, c. 49; 1993, c. 145; 2001, c. 706.