Code of Virginia

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

Article 8.1. Self Storage Insurance.

§ 38.2-1881. Definitions.

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

"Covered customer" means a customer who elects coverage under a self storage insurance policy issued to a lessor of self storage units.

"Customer" means a person who leases a self storage unit.

"Lessor" means a person in the business of engaging in self storage unit transactions directly or indirectly.

"Self storage insurance" means insurance providing coverage against loss of or damage to items of personal property stored in a self storage unit in accordance with the terms of the self storage unit rental agreement. Self storage insurance may cover the items of personal property against any one or more of the following causes of loss: fire, hurricane, tornado, wind, earthquake, vandalism, lightning, smoke, hail, building collapse, explosion, leaking water, and burglary. "Self storage insurance" does not include a homeowners, renter's, private passenger automobile, commercial multi-peril, or similar policy.

"Self storage unit" means a unit in a building, part of a building, or place used only for storage of personal property by the customer leasing the unit.

"Self storage unit transaction" means the lease of a self storage unit by a lessor to a customer.

2013, c. 203.

§ 38.2-1882. Licensure of lessors.

A. A lessor is required to hold a limited lines property and casualty insurance agent license to sell or offer coverage under a policy of self storage insurance.

B. On or before May 1, 2021, and biennially thereafter, each lessor licensed as a limited lines property and casualty insurance agent 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 limited lines property and casualty insurance agent 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 limited lines property and casualty insurance agent license for which the renewal application and nonrefundable renewal application processing fee have not been received by the Commission shall automatically be terminated.

C. A license issued under this article shall authorize any employee or authorized representative of a licensed lessor to sell or offer self storage insurance coverage under a policy of self storage insurance to a customer at each location at which the lessor engages in self storage unit transactions.

D. The acts of a licensed lessor's employee or authorized representative offering to sell coverage under a policy of self storage insurance shall be deemed to be the acts of the lessor and the insurer for purposes of this article.

E. Every licensed lessor shall maintain a list of all locations in the Commonwealth where the lessor offers coverage under a policy of self storage insurance and shall make the list available to the Commissioner for inspection upon request.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a license issued pursuant to this article shall authorize the licensed lessor's employees and authorized representatives to engage only in those activities that are expressly permitted in this article.

2013, c. 203; 2019, c. 675.

§ 38.2-1883. Requirements for sale of self storage insurance.

A. At every location where self storage insurance is offered to customers, the lessor shall make available to a prospective customer brochures or other written materials that:

1. Disclose that self storage insurance may provide a duplication of coverage already provided by a customer's homeowners insurance policy, renter's insurance policy, or other source of coverage;

2. State that the purchase of coverage by a customer of self storage insurance is not required in order to lease a self storage unit;

3. Summarize the material terms of the insurance coverage, including (i) the identity of the insurer; (ii) the amount of any applicable deductible and how it is to be paid; (iii) benefits of the coverage; and (iv) key terms and conditions of coverage; and

4. Summarize the process for filing a claim, including proof of loss requirements.

B. Self storage insurance may be offered on a month-to-month or other periodic basis as an individual policy or a group or master policy issued to a lessor under which the individual customer may elect to purchase coverage.

2013, c. 203.

§ 38.2-1884. Authority of lessors of self storage units.

A. The employees and authorized representatives of lessors may sell or offer self storage insurance to customers and shall not be subject to licensure as an insurance producer under this chapter provided that:

1. The lessor obtains a limited lines property and casualty insurance agent license;

2. The lessor selling the self storage insurance provides a training program for all employees and authorized representatives of the lessor. The training program shall consist of instruction about the self storage insurance offered to customers, the disclosures required by this article, and the conduct prohibited by § 38.2-512. The training required by this subdivision may be delivered in person or in an electronic form. The licensed producer designated by the lessor as being responsible for its compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth, as required by § 38.2-1820, shall hold a property and casualty insurance agent license and shall supervise the administration of the training program required by this subdivision;

3. No employee or authorized representative of a lessor of self storage units is compensated based primarily on the number of customers who purchase self storage insurance coverage; however, such an employee or authorized representative may receive compensation for activities under the limited lines license that is incidental to their overall compensation; and

4. The employee or authorized representative of the lessor of self storage insurance does not represent or otherwise hold himself out as a licensed insurance producer.

B. No employee or authorized representative of a lessor of a self storage unit may:

1. Evaluate or interpret the technical terms, benefits, and conditions of the offered self storage unit insurance;

2. Evaluate or provide advice concerning a prospective purchaser's existing insurance coverage; or

3. Hold himself out as a licensed insurer, licensed agent, or insurance expert.

C. The license authority of any lessor licensed as a limited lines property and casualty producer selling self storage insurance shall terminate immediately if the sole licensed responsible producer designated for the lessor's compliance with the insurance laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth is removed for any reason, and a new responsible producer has not been appointed. The Commission shall be notified within 30 calendar days of such removal and of the newly designated responsible producer.

D. A lessor shall report any violation of this article to the Commissioner within 30 days of discovery of the violation by the lessor.

E. Any charge to the customer for self storage insurance that is not included in the cost associated with the lease of a self storage unit shall be separately itemized on the customer's rental agreement. If the charge for self storage insurance is included in the cost associated with the lease of the self storage unit, the lessor shall clearly and conspicuously disclose to the customer that the charge for the self storage unit covers the cost of the insurance.

F. The charges for self storage insurance coverage may be billed and collected by the lessor. Lessors billing and collecting premiums for self storage insurance shall be required to comply with the provisions of § 38.2-1813. Lessors may receive compensation for billing and collection services.

G. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, applicants for licensure pursuant to this article whose home state does not issue a producer license with a similar line of authority as the license authorized by this article shall be issued a limited lines property and casualty license for self storage insurance. Any licensee whose home state does not have property and casualty limited lines for self storage insurance or similar line of authority in its home state after July 1, 2017, or such later date as may be determined by the Commission, shall obtain a full property and casualty license or its license shall terminate in Virginia. For purposes of this subsection, "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 applicant maintains such person's principal place of residence or principal place of business.

2013, c. 203; 2015, c. 334.

§ 38.2-1885. Suspension or revocation of license.

If a lessor or its employee or authorized representative violates any provision of this article, the Commission may do any of the following:

1. After notice and hearing, impose fines and penalties in accordance with § 38.2-218; and

2. After notice and hearing, impose any such other penalties that the Commission deems necessary and reasonable to carry out the purpose of this article, including (i) suspending the privilege of transacting self storage insurance pursuant to this article at specific business locations where violations have occurred; (ii) suspending or revoking the ability of individual employees or authorized representatives to act under the license; and (iii) imposing a penalty in accordance with § 38.2-218 on the licensed producer designated by the lessor pursuant to § 38.2-1820.

2013, c. 203.

§ 38.2-1886. What laws applicable; rulemaking authority.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this article and except where the context otherwise requires, all of the provisions of this title apply to this article.

B. Pursuant to the authority granted by § 38.2-223, the Commission may promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary or appropriate for the administration and enforcement of this article.

2013, c. 203.