Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 18. Insurance Agents
11/28/2022

Article 6.1. Licensing of Viatical Settlement Brokers.

§ 38.2-1865.1. License required for viatical settlement brokers; Commission's authority; conditions; renewal application and fee; reinstatement; waiver; fingerprinting.

A. No person shall act as a viatical settlement broker, or solicit a viatical settlement contract while acting as a viatical settlement broker without first obtaining a license from the Commission.

B. A resident or nonresident life and annuities insurance agent shall not be prohibited from obtaining a license, and subsequently acting as, a viatical settlement broker. Such licensed life and annuities agent applying for a license as a viatical settlement broker shall comply with all provisions of this chapter.

C. Application for a viatical settlement broker license shall be made to the Commission in the manner, in the form, and accompanied by the nonrefundable license processing fee prescribed by the Commission.

D. Each individual applicant for a viatical settlement broker license shall, at the time of applying for a new license, be fingerprinted in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission and shall provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant's fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining criminal history record information regarding such applicant. The results of the state and national records search shall be forwarded to the Commissioner or the Commissioner's designee, who shall be an employee of the Commission. The cost of fingerprinting and the criminal history record check shall be paid by the applicant. If an applicant's application for a license is denied, the Commission shall provide a copy of the information obtained from the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the applicant upon request. The information provided to the Commission shall not be disseminated except as provided in this subsection.

E. A business entity acting as a viatical settlement broker is required to obtain a viatical settlement broker license. In addition to the other requirements in this section, and before approving the application, the Commission shall find that:

1. The business entity has paid the fee set forth in this section; and

2. The business entity has designated an employee, officer, director, manager, member, or partner who is a licensed viatical settlement broker as the individual responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance and other laws of this title, and related rules and regulations of the Commonwealth.

F. The Commission may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in an application.

G. Except where prohibited by state or federal law, by submitting an application for license, the applicant shall be deemed to have appointed the clerk of the Commission as the agent for service of process on the applicant in any action or proceeding arising in the Commonwealth out of or in connection with the exercise of the license. Such appointment of the clerk of the Commission as agent for service of process shall be irrevocable during the period within which a cause of action against the applicant may arise out of transactions with respect to subjects of insurance in the Commonwealth. Service of process on the clerk of the Commission shall conform to the provisions of Chapter 8 (§ 38.2-800 et seq.).

H. The license processing fee required by this section shall be collected by the Commission, paid directly into the state treasury, and credited to the "Bureau of Insurance Special Fund — State Corporation Commission" for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

I. Beginning January 1, 2021, each individual settlement broker shall submit biennially to the Commission a renewal application in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission, along with a nonrefundable renewal application processing fee prescribed by the Commission, for the renewal of the license. Licenses shall be renewed biennially based on the viatical settlement broker's month and year of birth. The license for a viatical settlement broker born in an even-numbered year shall expire at the end of the broker's birth month in even-numbered years. The license for a viatical settlement broker born in an odd-numbered year shall expire at the end of the broker's birth month in odd-numbered years. Any viatical settlement broker license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have been received by the Commission and all other applicable licensing and renewal provisions in this chapter have been met shall, unless the license has been terminated, suspended, or revoked, be renewed for a two-year period. Any viatical settlement broker license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

J. On or before May 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, each business entity licensed as a viatical settlement broker shall submit to the Commission a renewal application, along with a nonrefundable renewal application processing fee prescribed by the Commission, for the renewal of the license. Any viatical settlement broker license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have been received by the Commission and all other applicable licensing and renewal provisions in this chapter have been met shall, unless the license has been terminated, suspended, or revoked, be renewed for a two-year period. Any viatical settlement broker license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

K. The nonrefundable renewal application processing fee shall be paid in a manner and in an amount prescribed by the Commission. The nonrefundable renewal application processing fee shall be collected by the Commission and paid directly into the state treasury and credited to the fund for the maintenance of the Bureau of Insurance as provided in subsection B of § 38.2-400.

L. An individual viatical settlement broker whose license terminates due to failure to renew may, within 12 months from the renewal date, reinstate the same license by submitting the renewal application and a nonrefundable reinstatement processing fee equivalent to double the nonrefundable renewal application processing fee.

M. An individual viatical settlement broker who is unable to comply with the license renewal requirements due to military service or another extenuating circumstance such as a long-term illness or incapacity may request a waiver of those requirements. Requests for waivers of renewal requirements shall be made in a form and manner prescribed by the Commission. Viatical settlement brokers seeking a waiver of renewal requirements shall submit all documentation specified by the Commission so as to be received by the Commission no later than the last day of the renewal period. After the renewal period, viatical settlement brokers who have failed to complete the renewal waiver requirements may request a waiver from the reinstatement requirements set forth in subsection L within the 12-month reinstatement period. The Commission shall approve or disapprove the waiver request within 30 calendar days of receipt thereof, and shall provide written notice of its decision to the applicant for waiver within five calendar days of rendering its decision. Any waiver granted pursuant to this section shall be valid only for the renewal period or reinstatement period for which the waiver request was made.

N. Each applicant for a viatical settlement broker license shall provide satisfactory evidence that no disciplinary action has resulted in the suspension or revocation of any federal or state license pertaining to the business of viatical settlements or to the insurance or other financial services business.

O. In the absence of a written agreement making the broker the viator's agent, viatical settlement brokers are presumed to be agents of viatical settlement providers.

P. A viatical settlement broker shall not, without the written agreement of the viator obtained before performing any services in connection with a viatical settlement, seek or obtain any compensation from the viator.

2001, c. 706; 2003, c. 717; 2008, c. 213; 2016, c. 552; 2018, c. 131; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1865.2. Grounds for placing on probation, refusal to issue or renew, revocation, or suspension of license.

The Commission may, in addition to or in lieu of a penalty imposed under § 38.2-218, place on probation, suspend, revoke or refuse to issue or renew any person's license for any one or more of the following causes:

1. Providing materially incorrect, misleading, incomplete or untrue information in the license application or any other document filed with the Commission;

2. Violating any insurance laws, or violating any regulation, subpoena or order of the Commission or of another state's insurance regulatory authority;

3. Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license through misrepresentation or fraud;

4. Improperly withholding, misappropriating or converting any moneys or properties received in the course of doing business;

5. Engaging in the practice of rebating;

6. Engaging in twisting or any form thereof, where "twisting" means inducing an insured to terminate an existing policy and purchase a new policy through misrepresentation;

7. Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an actual or proposed insurance or viatical settlement contract or application therefor;

8. Having been convicted of a felony;

9. Having admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud;

10. Using fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, or untrustworthiness in the conduct of business in this Commonwealth or elsewhere, or demonstrating financial irresponsibility in the handling of applicant, policyholder, agency, or insurance company funds;

11. Having an insurance producer, viatical settlement broker, or consultant license, or its equivalent, denied, suspended or revoked in any other state, province, district or territory;

12. Forging another's name to an application for insurance or to any document related to an insurance or viatical settlement transaction;

13. Improperly using notes or any other reference material to complete an examination for an insurance license;

14. Knowingly accepting insurance business from an individual who is not licensed;

15. Placing or attempting to place a viatical settlement with a viatical settlement provider not licensed in this Commonwealth;

16. Failing to comply with an administrative or court order imposing a child support obligation; or

17. Failing to pay state income tax or comply with any administrative or court order directing payment of state income tax.

2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1865.3. Refusal to issue and revocation of license; hearing; new application.

A. If the Commission is of the opinion that any applicant for a viatical settlement broker's license is not of good character or does not have a good reputation for honesty, it may refuse to issue the license, subject to the right of the applicant to demand a hearing on the application. The Commission shall not revoke or suspend an existing license until the licensee is given an opportunity to be heard before the Commission. If the Commission refuses to issue a new license or proposes to revoke or suspend an existing license, it shall give the applicant or licensee at least ten calendar days' notice in writing of the time and place of the hearing, if a hearing is requested. The notice shall contain a statement of the objections to the issuance of the license, or the reason for its proposed revocation or suspension as the case may be. The notice may be given to the applicant or licensee by registered or certified mail, sent to the last known address of record pursuant to § 38.2-1865.5, the last known business address if the address of record is incorrect, or in any other lawful manner the Commission prescribes. The Commission may summon witnesses to testify with respect to the applicant or licensee, and the applicant or licensee may introduce evidence in his or its behalf. No applicant to whom a license is refused after a hearing, nor any licensee whose license is revoked, shall again apply for a license until the expiration of a period of five years from the date of the Commission's order, or such other period of time as the Commission prescribes in its order.

B. The license of a business entity may be suspended, revoked or refused if the Commission finds, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, that a violation by an individual licensee acting at the direction of, on behalf of, or with the permission of the business entity was known to be a violation by one or more of the partners, officers or managers acting on behalf of the business entity, and the violation was neither reported to the Commission nor corrective action taken.

C. In addition to or in lieu of any applicable denial, suspension or revocation of a license, a person may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, be subject to a penalty pursuant to § 38.2-218.

D. The Commission shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this title against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this title, even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered, terminated, suspended, revoked, or has lapsed by operation of law.

2001, c. 706.

§ 38.2-1865.4. Licensing nonresidents; reciprocal agreements with other states and Canadian provinces.

A. An individual or business entity who is not a resident as defined in § 38.2-1800, but who is a resident of another state or a province of Canada, shall receive a viatical settlement broker license if:

1. The applicant presents proof in a form acceptable to the Commission that the applicant is currently licensed or otherwise authorized as a resident viatical settlement broker and is in good standing in his home state or province;

2. The applicant has submitted the proper application for licensure and has paid the fees required by § 38.2-1865.1; and

3. The applicant's home state or province issues nonresident viatical settlement broker licenses to residents of this Commonwealth on the same basis, or will permit a resident of this Commonwealth to act as a viatical settlement broker in such state or province without requiring a license.

B. For the purposes of this chapter, any individual whose place of residence and place of business are in a city or town located partly within the Commonwealth and partly within another state may be considered as meeting the requirements as a resident of this Commonwealth, provided the other state has established by law or regulation similar requirements as to residence of such individuals.

C. The Commission may enter into a reciprocal agreement with an appropriate official of any other state or province of Canada if such an agreement is required in order for a Virginia resident to be similarly licensed as a nonresident in that state or province.

D. The Commission may verify the viatical settlement broker's licensing status through the Producer Database maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates or subsidiaries.

E. A nonresident viatical settlement broker who moves from one state or province to another state shall file a change of address and provide a certification from the new home state or province within thirty calendar days of the change of legal residence. No fee or license application is required.

F. Any licenses issued to nonresidents pursuant to this section shall be terminated at any time that the nonresident's equivalent authority in his home state or province is terminated, suspended, or revoked.

2001, c. 706; 2008, c. 213.

§ 38.2-1865.5. Requirement to report to Commission.

A. Each licensed viatical settlement broker shall report, in writing, any change in business or residence address, email address, or name within 30 calendar days to the Commission.

B. In addition to the requirements of §§ 59.1-69 and 59.1-70, any individual or business entity licensed as a viatical settlement broker in the Commonwealth and operating under an assumed or fictitious name shall notify the Commission, at the earlier of the time the application for a viatical settlement broker license is filed or within 30 calendar days from the date the assumed or fictitious name is adopted, setting forth the name under which the viatical settlement broker intends to operate in Virginia. The Commission shall also be notified within 30 calendar days from the date of cessation of the use of such assumed or fictitious name.

C. Each licensed viatical settlement broker convicted of a felony shall report within 30 calendar days to the Commission the facts and circumstances regarding the criminal conviction.

D. Each licensed viatical settlement broker shall report to the Commission within 30 calendar days of the final disposition of the matter any administrative action taken against him in another jurisdiction or by another governmental agency in the Commonwealth. Such report shall include a copy of the order, consent to order, or other relevant legal documents.

E. The license authority of any licensed resident viatical settlement broker shall terminate immediately when such viatical settlement broker has moved his residence from the Commonwealth, whether or not the Commission has been notified of such move.

F. The license authority of any business entity licensed as a viatical settlement broker shall terminate immediately if the designated licensed viatical settlement broker responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth pursuant to subdivision E 2 of § 38.2-1865.1 is removed for any reason and a new responsible viatical settlement broker has not been designated and the Commission notified within 30 calendar days of such removal and of the new designated responsible viatical settlement broker.

2001, c. 706; 2016, c. 552; 2019, c. 675.