Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 2. Provisions of a General Nature
5/11/2021

Chapter 2. Provisions of a General Nature.

§ 38.2-200. General powers of the Commission relative to insurance.

A. The Commission is charged with the execution of all laws relating to insurance and insurers. All companies, domestic, foreign, and alien, transacting or licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth are subject to inspection, supervision and regulation by the Commission.

B. All licenses granting the authority to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth shall be granted and issued by the Commission under its seal. The licenses shall be in addition to the certificates of authority required of foreign corporations under §§ 13.1-757 and 13.1-919.

Code 1950, § 38-2; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-29; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-201. Recommendations by Commission to General Assembly.

The Commission shall make any recommendations to the General Assembly necessary for legislation governing and regulating the classes of companies placed under its supervision by this title.

Code 1950, § 38-128; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-30; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-202. Regulation of solicitation of proxies, consents and authorizations.

The Commission may adopt any rules and regulations regarding the voting equity securities of any domestic stock insurer. These rules and regulations shall cover (i) the solicitation of proxies, (ii) consents, (iii) authorizations, and (iv) any related financial reports. However, these rules and regulations shall not apply to any domestic stock insurer whose equity securities are registered, or required to be registered, pursuant to § 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

1966, c. 262, § 38.1-30.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-203. Management and exclusive agency contracts subject to approval by Commission.

A. For the purpose of this section, an insurer shall mean a stock or mutual insurer, cooperative nonprofit life benefit company, mutual assessment life, accident and sickness insurer, burial society, fraternal benefit society, mutual assessment property and casualty insurer, home protection company, health maintenance organization, premium finance company or a person licensed under Chapter 42 (§ 38.2-4200 et seq.), 44 (§ 38.2-4400 et seq.) or 45 (§ 38.2-4500 et seq.) of this title, incorporated or organized under the laws of this Commonwealth.

B. No insurer shall make or enter into any contract that provides for the control and management of the insurer, or the controlling or preemptive right to produce substantially all insurance business for the insurer, unless the contract has been filed with and approved by the Commission and approval has not been withdrawn by the Commission. Any approval, disapproval, or withdrawal of approval shall be delivered to the insurer in writing. The notice of disapproval or withdrawal of approval shall state the grounds of such action and shall be delivered to the insurer at least fifteen days before the effective date.

C. The Commission may disapprove or withdraw approval of any contract referred to in this section that:

1. Subjects the insurer to excessive charges for expenses or commissions;

2. Does not contain fair and adequate standards of performance;

3. Extends for an unreasonable length of time; or

4. Contains other inequitable provisions or provisions that may jeopardize the security of policyholders.

D. The provisions of this section shall not affect contracts made before June 30, 1954, but shall apply to all renewals of those contracts made after that date.

E. Any insurer aggrieved by a disapproval or withdrawal of approval under this section may proceed under the provisions of § 38.2-222.

1954, c. 363, § 38.1-29.1; 1986, c. 562; 1998, c. 42.

§ 38.2-204. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 620.

§ 38.2-205.1. Temporary contracts of insurance permitted.

A lender engaged in making or servicing real estate mortgage or deed of trust loans on one to four family residences shall accept as evidence of insurance a temporary written contract of insurance meeting the requirements of § 38.2-2112 and issued by any duly licensed agent, broker, or insurance company. Nothing herein prohibits the lender from disapproving such insurer provided such disapproval is reasonable. Such lender need not accept a binder unless such binder (i) includes the name and address of the insured, name and address of the mortgagee, a description of the insured collateral, and a provision that it may not be cancelled within the term of the binder except upon ten days' written notice to the mortgagee; (ii) is accompanied by a paid receipt for one year's premium, except in the case of the renewal of a policy subsequent to the closing of a loan; and (iii) includes an undertaking of agent to use his best efforts to have the company issue a policy within forty-five days, unless the binder is cancelled. The Bureau of Insurance may by administrative letter require binders to contain such additional information as may be necessary to permit such binders to comply with the reasonable requirements of the Federal National Mortgage Association or Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation for purchase of mortgage loans.

1987, c. 10.

§ 38.2-206. Corporations as members of mutual insurers.

Any public or private corporation in this Commonwealth or elsewhere may apply and enter into agreements for, hold policies in, and be a member of any mutual insurer.

Code 1950, § 38-506; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-31.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-207. Enforcement of right of subrogation in name of insured.

Except for contracts or plans subject to § 38.2-3405 or § 38.2-2209, when any insurer pays an insured under a contract of insurance which provides that the insurer becomes subrogated to the rights of the insured against any other party the insurer may enforce the legal liability of the other party. This action may be brought in its own name or in the name of the insured or the insured's personal representative.

1952, c. 476, § 38.1-31.2; 1973, c. 28; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-208. Limitation of risks generally.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this title, no insurer transacting business in this Commonwealth shall expose itself to any loss on any one risk or hazard in an amount exceeding ten percent of its surplus to policyholders. Any risk or portion of any risk reinsured by an insurer meeting standards of solvency equal to those set forth in Article 3.1 (§ 38.2-1316.1 et seq.) of Chapter 13 shall be deducted in determining the limitation of risk prescribed in this section.

B. For the purpose of this section, the surplus to policyholders shall be determined from (i) the insurer's last sworn statement filed with the Commission or (ii) the Commission's last report of examination, whichever is more recent at the time the risk is assumed.

C. For the purpose of this section, any one risk or hazard (i) in the case of municipal bond insurance shall mean average annual debt service of insured obligations backed by a single revenue source, provided that the insurance policy does not require any accelerated payment of principal by the insurer upon the event of default and (ii) in the case of all other kinds of financial guaranty insurance shall mean the insured unpaid principal with respect to obligations for any one entity, except that any risk or hazard shall be defined by revenue source, if the insured risk or hazard is payable from a specified revenue source or adequately secured by loan obligations or other assets.

D. As used in subsection C above:

"Municipal bond insurance" means a kind of financial guaranty insurance providing insurance against loss by reason of nonpayment of principal, interest or other payment obligations pursuant to the terms of municipal bonds.

"Municipal bond" means any security, or other instrument under which a payment obligation is created, issued by or on behalf of, or payable or guaranteed by, the United States, Canada, a state, a province of Canada, a municipality or political subdivision of any of the foregoing, or any public agency or instrumentality thereof, or by any other entity provided that such security is eligible for issuance by one of the foregoing.

"Average annual debt service" means the amount of insured unpaid principal and interest on an obligation multiplied by the number of such insured obligations, assuming that each obligation represents a $1,000 par value, divided by the amount equal to the aggregate life of all such obligations.

"Financial guaranty insurance" means insurance against loss by reason of the failure of any obligor on any debt instrument or other monetary obligation, including common or preferred stock or capital leases, to pay when due principal, interest, premium, dividend, or purchase price of or on such instrument or obligation, or a fee in connection therewith, when such failure is the result of a financial default or insolvency, regardless of whether such obligation is incurred directly or as a guarantor by or on behalf of another obligor that has also defaulted.

For the purposes of subsection C of this section, the amount of insured unpaid principal shall be reduced by the amount of deposit of (i) cash, or (ii) the market value of obligations rated in the four highest major rating categories by a securities rating agency recognized by the Commission, or (iii) the stated amount of an unconditional, irrevocable letter of credit issued or confirmed by a bank or trust company that (a) is a member of the federal reserve system or chartered by any state or (b) is organized and existing under the laws of a foreign country, has been licensed as a branch or agency by any state or the federal government and is rated in the two highest major rating categories by a securities ratings agency recognized by the Commission or (c) is otherwise acceptable to the Commission or (iv) a conveyance or mortgage of real property, or (v) the scheduled cash flow from obligations rated in the four highest major rating categories by a securities rating agency recognized by the Commission if scheduled to be received on or prior to the date of scheduled debt service on the insured obligations. Such deposit shall be held by the insurer or held in trust for the benefit of the insurer or held in trust for the benefit of holders of the insured obligation whether in the form of debt service, sinking funds or other reserves pursuant to the bond indenture by a trustee acceptable to the Commission.

For the purpose of subsection C of this section, an insurer's surplus to policyholders shall include the amount of any contingency or similar reserve established and maintained by the insurer pursuant to applicable law for the protection of insureds covered by financial guaranty insurance policies against the effect of excessive losses usually occurring during adverse economic cycles.

E. The limitation of risk prescribed in this section for any alien insurer shall apply only to the exposure to risk and the trusteed surplus of the alien insurer's policyholders.

F. This section shall not apply to (i) life insurance, (ii) annuities, (iii) accident and sickness insurance, (iv) insurance of marine risks or marine protection and indemnity risks, (v) workers' compensation or employers' liability risks, or (vi) risks covered by title insurance.

Code 1950, §§ 38-167, 38-168; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-32; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 353; 1988, c. 554.

§ 38.2-209. Award of insured's attorney fees in certain cases.

A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in any civil case in which an insured individual sues his insurer to determine what coverage, if any, exists under his present policy or fidelity bond or the extent to which his insurer is liable for compensating a covered loss, the individual insured shall be entitled to recover from the insurer costs and such reasonable attorney fees as the court may award. However, these costs and attorney's fees shall not be awarded unless the court determines that the insurer, not acting in good faith, has either denied coverage or failed or refused to make payment to the insured under the policy. "Individual," as used in this section, shall mean and include any person, group, business, company, organization, receiver, trustee, security, corporation, partnership, association, or governmental body, and this definition is declaratory of existing policy.

B. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant a right to bring an action against an insurer by an insured who would otherwise lack standing to bring an action.

C. As used in this section, "insurer" shall include "self-insurer."

1982, c. 576, § 38.1-32.1; 1986, c. 562; 2006, c. 279.

§ 38.2-210. Loans to officers, directors, etc., prohibited.

A. Except as provided in § 38.2-212, no insurer, legal services plan, health services plan, dental or optometric services plan, health maintenance organization, or home protection company, transacting business in this Commonwealth shall make a loan, either directly or indirectly, to any of its officers or directors. No such company shall make a loan to any other corporation or business unit in which any of its officers or directors has a substantial interest. No such officer or director shall accept or receive any such loan directly or indirectly.

B. For the purposes of this section and of § 38.2-211, "a substantial interest" in any corporation or business unit means an interest equivalent to ownership or control of at least ten percent of its stock or its equivalent by an officer or director, or the aggregate ownership or control by all officers and directors of the same company.

Code 1950, § 38-4.1; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-33; 1978, c. 701; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-211. Other interests and payments to officers, directors, etc., prohibited.

Except as provided in § 38.2-212, no officer or director of any company listed in § 38.2-210 and transacting business in this Commonwealth shall receive, directly, indirectly or through any substantial interest in any other corporation, any compensation for negotiating, procuring, recommending, or aiding in the purchase or sale of property by such company, or in obtaining any loan from the company. No such officer or director shall be pecuniarily interested, either as principal, agent, or beneficiary, in any such purchase, sale or loan. No financial obligation of any such officer or director shall be guaranteed by the company.

Code 1950, § 38-4.2; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-34; 1978, c. 701; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-212. Certain compensation not prohibited.

A. Nothing contained in §§ 38.2-210 and 38.2-211 shall prohibit any officer or director of any company listed in § 38.2-210 from receiving usual compensation for services rendered in the ordinary course of his duties as an officer or director, if the compensation is authorized by vote of the board of directors or other governing body of the company. Nor shall the provisions of §§ 38.2-210 and 38.2-211 prohibit the payment to an officer or director of any such company who is a licensed attorney-at-law of a fee in connection with loans made by the company if and when those fees are paid by the borrower and do not constitute a charge against the company.

B. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit a life insurer from making a loan upon a policy of insurance issued by it and held by the borrower. This loan shall not exceed the net cash value of the policy. Nothing contained in this chapter shall prohibit any company from (i) making a loan on real property owned by the officer and improved with a dwelling that is to serve as his residence if the loan qualifies under subdivision 1 of § 38.2-1434 and under § 38.2-1437 or (ii) acquiring the residence of the officer in conformance with subsection D of § 38.2-1441 if the transaction is in connection with the relocation of the place of employment of an officer who is neither a director nor a trustee of the company.

C. Nothing contained in § 38.2-211 shall prohibit a director of any such company from receiving compensation that is usual and customary in the director's business with respect to transactions in the ordinary course of business of the company and of the director. Prior to payment of the compensation, written request for the Commission's approval shall be made. This written request shall set forth under oath complete details concerning the transactions that the company intends to conduct with a director. Any approval given by the Commission shall be in writing. No approval granted under this subsection shall imply that the Commission approves any investment of any company.

Code 1950, § 38-4.3; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-35; 1977, c. 261; 1978, c. 701; 1981, c. 272; 1983, c. 457; 1986, c. 562; 1992, c. 588.

§ 38.2-213. Violation of § 38.2-210 or § 38.2-211.

Any company, officer or director violating any provision of § 38.2-210 or § 38.2-211 shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any funds of any company invested or used in violation of either of § 38.2-210 or § 38.2-211 may not be reported as an admitted asset in accordance with guidance set forth in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners accounting practices and procedures manuals.

Code 1950, § 38-4.4; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-36; 1986, c. 562; 2000, c. 46.

§ 38.2-214. Restrictions upon purchase and sale of equity securities of domestic stock insurers.

A. Each person who is directly or indirectly the beneficial owner of more than ten percent of a class of any equity security of a domestic insurer, or who is a director or an officer of a domestic stock insurer, shall file a statement with the Commission within ten days after becoming a beneficial owner, director or officer. This statement shall be in a form prescribed by the Commission and shall show the amount of all the domestic insurer's equity securities of which he is the beneficial owner. Within ten days after the close of each calendar month, if there has been a change in his ownership during such month, the person shall file with the Commission a statement prescribed by the Commission indicating his ownership at the close of the calendar month and such changes in his ownership as have occurred during such calendar month.

B. To prevent the unfair use of information obtained by any beneficial owner, director or officer, any profit realized by such person within six months from the purchase and sale, or any sale and purchase, of any of the insurer's equity securities shall inure to and be recoverable by the insurer. This provision shall apply regardless of any intention of the beneficial owner, director or officer to hold the equity security purchased or not to repurchase any sold equity security for a period exceeding six months. However, this provision shall not apply if the security was acquired in good faith in connection with a debt previously contracted. The insurer may sue at law or in equity to recover the profit in any court of competent jurisdiction. The owner of any equity security of the insurer may sue in the name and in behalf of the insurer if the insurer fails or refuses to bring suit within sixty days after request or if the insurer fails to diligently prosecute after bringing suit. No suit under this subsection shall be brought more than two years after the date the profit was realized. This subsection shall not be construed to cover any transaction where the person was not the beneficial owner at the time of either the purchase or sale of the equity security involved. The Commission may by rules and regulations exempt from the provisions of this subsection any transaction that is not comprehended within the purpose of this subsection.

C. No beneficial owner, director or officer shall directly or indirectly sell any equity security of the insurer if the person selling the security or his principal (i) does not own the security sold, or (ii) owns the equity security but does not deliver it within twenty days after the sale or does not mail it within five days after the sale. No person shall be deemed to have violated this subsection if he proves that, notwithstanding the exercise of good faith, he was unable to deliver or mail the security within the required time, or that to do so would cause undue inconvenience or expense. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty upon conviction of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

D. Subsections B and C of this section shall not apply to the transactions of a dealer in an investment account that are conducted in the ordinary course of a dealer's business and incident to the establishment or maintenance of an equity security's primary or secondary market, other than on an exchange defined in the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Commission may, by rules and regulations, define and prescribe terms and conditions with respect to equity securities held in an investment account and transactions made in the ordinary course of business and incident to the establishment or maintenance of a primary or secondary market.

E. Subsections A, B, and C of this section shall not apply to foreign or domestic arbitrage transactions unless made in contravention of rules and regulations adopted by the Commission to carry out the purposes of this section.

F. The term "equity security" when used in this section means (i) any stock or similar security, (ii) any security that is convertible, with or without consideration, into another security, (iii) any security that carries any warrant or right to subscribe to or purchase a security, or (iv) any warrant, right or other security that the Commission, by rules and regulations, deems to be similar in nature to an equity security and considers the classification necessary or appropriate for protecting the public or an investor's interest.

G. Subsections A, B, and C of this section shall not apply to equity securities of a domestic stock insurer if (i) those equity securities are registered or are required to be registered pursuant to § 12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended; or (ii) the domestic stock insurer does not have any class of its equity securities held of record by 100 or more persons on the last business day of the year immediately preceding the year in which equity securities of the insurer would be subject to subsections A, B, and C of this section.

H. The Commission may adopt rules and regulations pursuant to § 38.2-223 for the execution of the functions vested in it by subsections A through G of this section. The Commission may classify for that purpose any domestic stock insurers, equity securities, and other persons or matters within its jurisdiction. The Commission may exempt from the provisions of this section any officer, director or beneficial owner of equity securities of any domestic stock insurer under the terms and conditions, and for the period of time the Commission considers necessary or appropriate if the Commission finds that the action is consistent with the public interest or the protection of investors. Any such exemption may be accomplished by (i) rules and regulations issued pursuant to § 38.2-223 or (ii) by order, upon application of any interested person, after due notice and an opportunity for hearing has been given. No provision of subsections A, B, and C of this section imposing any liability shall apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity with any rule or regulation of the Commission. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, such rule or regulation may be amended, rescinded or determined by judicial or other authority to be invalid for any reason after the act or omission has occurred.

1966, c. 265, § 38.1-36.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-215. Liability of president, chief executive officer or directors if insurance issued when insurer insolvent.

If any insurer is insolvent, and the president, chief executive officer or directors with knowledge of insolvency make or agree to further insurance, they shall be personally liable for any loss under that insurance.

Code 1950, § 38-176; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-37; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-216. Restrictions on removal or transfer of property and on reinsurance; penalty.

A. No domestic insurer shall remove from this Commonwealth either all or substantially all of its property or business without the written approval of the Commission.

B. No domestic insurer shall transfer or attempt to transfer substantially its entire property, or enter into any transaction the effect of which is to merge substantially its entire property or business into the property or business of any other company, without prior written approval of the Commission.

C. No domestic insurer shall reinsure with any other insurer all or substantially all of its risks without prior written approval of the Commission of the reinsurance and of the contract under which reinsurance is effected.

D. No domestic insurer shall enter into or modify a reinsurance treaty or risk-sharing arrangement without prior written approval of the Commission if for any twelve-month period the reinsurance premium or anticipated change in the ceding insurer's liabilities equals or exceeds fifty percent of the insurer's surplus to policyholders as of the immediately preceding December 31.

E. Any director or officer of the insurer consenting to and participating in any violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 38-6; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-38; 1986, c. 562; 2000, c. 51.

§ 38.2-217. When assets may not be distributed among stockholders.

No domestic insurer shall distribute its assets among its stockholders until all risks have expired or have been cancelled, or have been replaced by the policies of another solvent insurer licensed to transact the business of insurance in this Commonwealth, and until all claims against the insurer have been settled. No insurer shall contract to reinsure its risks for the purpose of distributing its assets without first obtaining the written approval of the Commission. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the lawful payment of dividends.

Code 1950, §§ 38-170, 38-171; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-39; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-218. Penalties and restitution payments.

A. Any person who knowingly or willfully violates any provision of this title or any regulation issued pursuant to this title shall be punished for each violation by a penalty of not more than $5,000.

B. Any person who violates without knowledge or intent any provision of this title or any rule, regulation, or order issued pursuant to this title may be punished for each violation by a penalty of not more than $1,000. For the purpose of this subsection, a series of similar violations resulting from the same act shall be limited to a penalty in the aggregate of not more than $10,000.

C. Any violation resulting solely from a malfunction of mechanical or electronic equipment shall not be subject to a penalty.

D. 1. The Commission may require a person to make restitution in the amount of the direct actual financial loss:

a. For charging a rate in excess of that provided by statute or by the rates filed with the Commission by the insurer;

b. For charging a premium that is determined by the Commission to be unfairly discriminatory, such restitution being limited to a period of one year from the date of determination;

c. For failing to pay amounts explicitly required by the terms of the insurance contract where no aspect of the claim is disputed by the insurer; and

d. For improperly withholding, misappropriating, or converting any money or property received in the course of doing business.

2. The Commission shall have no jurisdiction to adjudicate controversies growing out of this subsection regarding restitution among insurers, insureds, agents, claimants and beneficiaries.

E. The provisions provided under this section may be imposed in addition to or without imposing any other penalties or actions provided by law.

Code 1950, § 38-24; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-40; 1986, c. 562; 2010, c. 226.

§ 38.2-219. Violations; procedure; cease and desist orders.

A. Whenever the Commission has reason to believe that any person has committed a violation of this title or of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission under this title, it shall issue and serve an order upon that person by certified or registered mail or in any other manner permitted by law. The order shall include a statement of the charges and a notice of a hearing on the charges to be held at a fixed time and place which shall be at least ten days after the date of service of the notice. The order shall require that person to show cause why an order should not be made by the Commission directing the alleged offender to cease and desist from the violation or to show cause why the Commission should not issue any other appropriate order as the nature of the case and the interests of the policyholders, creditors, shareholders, or the public may require. At the hearing, that person shall have an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Commission's order. In all matters in connection with the charges or hearing, the Commission shall have the jurisdiction, power and authority granted or conferred upon it by Title 12.1 and, except as otherwise provided in this title, the procedure shall conform to and the right of appeal shall be the same as that provided in Title 12.1.

B. If the Commission finds in the hearing that there is about to be or has been a violation of this title, it may issue and serve upon any person committing the violation by certified or registered mail or in any other manner permitted by law (i) an order reciting its findings and directing the person to cease and desist from the violation or (ii) such other appropriate order as the nature of the case and the interests of the policyholders, creditors, shareholders, or the public requires.

C. Any person who violates any order issued under subsection B of this section may upon conviction be subject to one or both of the following:

1. Punishment as provided in § 38.2-218; or

2. The suspension or revocation of any license issued by the Commission.

1952, c. 317, §§ 38.1-54, 38.1-55, 38.1-60 through 38.1-62; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1973, c. 505, § 38.1-178.7; 1977, c. 414, § 38.1-178.17; 1977, c. 529; 1980, c. 404; 1982, c. 223, § 38.1-482.14:1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-220. Injunctions.

The Commission shall have the jurisdiction and powers of a court of equity to issue temporary and permanent injunctions restraining acts which violate or attempt to violate provisions of this title and to enforce the injunctions by civil penalty or imprisonment.

Code 1950, § 32-195.17; 1956, c. 268, § 38.1-830; 1978, c. 658, § 38.1-806; 1979, c. 721; 1980, c. 682, § 38.1-911; c. 720, § 38.1-884; 1981, c. 530, § 38.1-946; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-221. Enforcement of penalties.

The Commission may impose, enter judgment for, and enforce any civil penalty or other penalty pronounced against any person for violating any of the provisions of this title, subject to the hearing provisions of § 12.1-28. The power and authority conferred upon the Commission by this section shall be in addition to and not in substitution for the power and authority conferred upon the courts by general law to impose civil penalties for violations of the laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 38-26; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-41; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-221.1. Confidentiality of information.

Whenever, during the course of a market conduct examination pursuant to Article 4 (§ 38.2-1317 et seq.) of Chapter 13 or inspection request or inquiry pursuant to § 38.2-200, the Commission requests an insurer to furnish information which the insurer considers confidential proprietary information, such confidential proprietary information shall be submitted to the Commission but shall be excluded from, and the Commission shall not be subject to, subpoena or public inspection with respect to such information if the insurer (i) invokes such exclusion, in writing, upon submission of the data or other materials for which protection from disclosure is sought; (ii) identifies the data or other materials for which protection is sought; and (iii) states the reason why protection is necessary. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the Commission from (i) using such confidential proprietary information in furtherance of any regulatory or legal action; (ii) publishing any decisions, orders, findings, opinions, or judgments; or (iii) publishing any final market conduct report or any other report containing aggregated findings, provided that such report, decisions, orders, findings, opinions, or judgments shall not disclose such confidential proprietary information unless the Commission has found, after the insurer has been provided notice and opportunity to be heard, that such information is not confidential proprietary information. No waiver of an existing privilege or claim of confidentiality shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commission under this section.

2000, c. 527.

§ 38.2-221.2. Treatment of confidential information pursuant to federal law.

A. Any information denominated in writing as confidential by a federal regulator and received by the Commission pursuant to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 (Public Law §§ 106-102) (hereafter, the federal act) shall be excluded from, and the Commission shall not be subject to, subpoena or public inspection with respect to such information.

B. Pursuant to the federal act, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commission may provide to a federal regulator any examination or other report, record or information to which the Commission has access with respect to any person who is engaged in the business of insurance in this Commonwealth and is an affiliate or agent of a depository institution or financial holding company, as those terms are defined in the federal act, provided that the federal regulator has the legal authority, and shall agree in writing, as a condition precedent to its receipt of such information, to maintain such information in confidence as provided in the federal act and to take all reasonable steps to oppose any effort to secure disclosure of such information.

C. The provision by the Commission pursuant to this section, or the provision by a federal regulator pursuant to the federal act, of such information shall not constitute, operate as a waiver of, or otherwise affect any existing privilege or any claim of confidentiality to which the information is otherwise subject.

D. Nothing contained herein shall prohibit the Commission from (i) using such confidential information in furtherance of any regulatory or legal action; (ii) publishing any decisions, orders, findings, opinions or judgments; or (iii) publishing any final report or any other report containing aggregated findings, provided that such reports, decisions, orders, findings, opinions or judgments shall not disclose any such confidential information.

E. For purposes of this section, "federal regulator" means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

2001, c. 519.

§ 38.2-221.3. Confidentiality of applications and investigations.

A. For purposes of this section, "business entity" means a partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or other legal entity that is entitled to hold property in its own name and that is not a sole proprietorship.

B. This section applies to the Commission's authority to license, register, or authorize business entities pursuant to this title. This section shall not apply to any license issued under Chapter 18 (§ 38.2-1800 et seq.).

C. All applications, documents, materials, or other information produced by, obtained by, or disclosed to the Commission or any other person in the course of an investigation, or a review of an application, shall be given confidential treatment, is not subject to subpoena, and may not be made public by the Commission or any other person. The Commission may grant access to (i) a regulatory official of any state or country; (ii) the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliate, or its subsidiary; or (iii) a law-enforcement authority of any state or country, provided that those officials are required under their law to maintain its confidentiality. Any such disclosure by the Commission shall not constitute a waiver of confidentiality of such applications, documents, materials, or other information, or copies thereof. Any parties receiving such information shall agree in writing prior to receiving the information to provide to it the same confidential treatment as required by this section, unless the prior written consent of the business entity to which it pertains has been obtained.

D. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Commission from (i) using such confidential information in furtherance of any regulatory or legal action; (ii) publishing any decisions, orders, findings, opinions, or judgments; or (iii) publishing any final report or any other report containing aggregated findings, provided that such reports, decisions, orders, findings, opinions, or judgments shall not disclose any such confidential information.

2009, c. 352; 2016, c. 250.

§ 38.2-222. Appeals generally.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this title, § 12.1-39 shall apply to the appeal of any final (i) finding, (ii) decision settling the substantive law, (iii) order, or (iv) judgment of the Commission issued pursuant to this title.

1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-223. Rules and regulations; orders.

The Commission, after notice and opportunity for all interested parties to be heard, may issue any rules and regulations necessary or appropriate for the administration and enforcement of this title.

1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-224. Procedures.

Except as otherwise specifically provided in this title, Chapter 5 (§ 12.1-25 et seq.) of Title 12.1 shall apply to proceedings under this title.

1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-225. Disposition of fines and penalties.

A. All fines recovered for criminal violations of this title or for criminal violations of rules, regulations, or orders issued pursuant to this title shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the Literary Fund.

B. All penalties and compromise settlements recovered for civil violations of this title or civil violations of rules, regulations, or orders issued pursuant to this title shall be paid into the state treasury. Pursuant to §§ 38.2-1620 and 38.2-1718 these funds shall be credited to the Literary Fund or if the Commission determines a need, to either (i) the Virginia Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association established pursuant to Chapter 16 of this title or (ii) the Virginia Life, Accident and Sickness Insurance Guaranty Association established pursuant to Chapter 17 of this title.

Code 1950, § 38-25; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-42; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-226. Provisions of title not to apply to certain mutual aid associations.

This title shall not apply to beneficial, relief, or mutual aid societies, or partnerships, plans, associations, or corporations, established prior to 1935 and formed by churches for the purpose of aiding members who sustain property losses by fire, lightning, hail, storm, flood, explosion, power failure, theft, burglary, vandalism, civil commotion, airplane and vehicular damage, and in which the privileges and memberships in these societies, partnerships, plans, associations, or corporations are confined to members of the churches.

1981, c. 171, § 38.1-42.1; 1985, c. 361; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-226.1. Expired.

Expired.

§ 38.2-226.2. Provisions of title not applicable to certain long-term care health plans.

A. This title shall not apply to pre-PACE long-term care health plans (i) authorized by the United States Health Care Financing Administration pursuant to § 1903 (m) (2) (B) of Title XIX of the United States Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396b et seq.) and the state plan for medical assistance services as established pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 32.1-323 et seq.) of Title 32.1 and (ii) which have signed agreements with the Department of Medical Assistance Services as long-term care health plans.

B. This title shall not apply to PACE long-term care health plans (i) authorized as programs of all-inclusive care for the elderly by Subtitle I (§ 4801 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title IV of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 105-33, 111 Stat. 528 et seq., §§ 4801-4804, 1997, pursuant to Title XVIII and Title XIX of the United States Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. § 1395eee et seq.) and the state plan for medical assistance services as established pursuant to Chapter 10 (§ 32.1-323 et seq.) of Title 32.1 and (ii) which have signed agreements with the Department of Medical Assistance Services as long-term care health plans.

C. Enrollment in a pre-PACE or PACE plan shall be restricted to those individuals who participate in programs authorized pursuant to Title XIX or Title XVIII of the United States Social Security Act, respectively.

1998, c. 318.

§ 38.2-226.3. Expired.

Expired.

§ 38.2-227. Public policy regarding punitive damages.

It is not against the public policy of the Commonwealth for any person to purchase insurance providing coverage for punitive damages arising out of the death or injury of any person as the result of negligence, including willful and wanton negligence, but excluding intentional acts. This section declares existing policy.

1983, c. 353, § 38.1-42.2; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-228. Proof of future financial responsibility.

At the request of a named insured, a licensed property and casualty insurer shall provide without unreasonable delay to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles proof of future financial responsibility as required by the provisions of Title 46.2.

1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-229. Immunity from liability.

A. There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action against any person for furnishing in good faith to the Commission information relating to the investigation of any insurance or reinsurance transaction when such information is furnished under the requirements of law or at the request or direction of the Commission.

B. There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action against the Commission, the Commissioner of Insurance, or any of the Commission's employees or agents, acting in good faith, for investigating any insurance or reinsurance transaction or for the dissemination of any official report related to an official investigation of any insurance or reinsurance transaction.

1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-230. Distributions by nonstock corporation.

No dividend or distribution of income, as used in § 13.1-814, shall be made to a member corporation of a corporation licensed under the provisions of this title unless the corporation has received approval by the Commission prior to the distribution. In approving the distribution, the Commission shall give consideration to the subscribers' or policyholders' best interest.

1985, c. 380, § 38.1-39.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-231. Notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage or increase in premium of certain liability insurance policies.

A. 1. No cancellation or refusal to renew by an insurer of (i) a policy of insurance as defined in § 38.2-117 or 38.2-118 insuring a business entity; (ii) a policy of insurance that includes as a part thereof insurance as defined in § 38.2-117 or 38.2-118 insuring a business entity; (iii) a policy of motor vehicle insurance against legal liability of the insured as defined in § 38.2-124 insuring a business entity; or (iv) a policy of miscellaneous casualty insurance as defined in subsection B of § 38.2-111 insuring a business entity shall be effective unless the insurer delivers or mails to the first named insured at the address shown on the policy a written notice of cancellation or refusal to renew, or delivers such notice electronically to the address provided by the first named insured. Such notice shall:

a. Be in a type size authorized under § 38.2-311;

b. State the date, which shall not be less than 45 days after the delivery or mailing of the notice of cancellation or refusal to renew, on which such cancellation or refusal to renew shall become effective, except that such effective date may not be less than 15 days from the date of mailing or delivery when the policy is being cancelled or not renewed for failure of the insured to discharge when due any of its obligations in connection with the payment of premium for the policy;

c. State the specific reason or reasons of the insurer for cancellation or refusal to renew;

d. Advise the first named insured of its right to request in writing, within 15 days of the receipt of the notice, that the Commissioner of Insurance review the action of the insurer; and

e. In the case of a policy of motor vehicle insurance, inform the first named insured of the possible availability of other insurance which may be obtained through its agent, through another insurer, or through the Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan.

2. Nothing in this subsection shall apply to any policy of insurance if the named insured or his duly constituted attorney-in-fact has notified orally, or in writing, if the insurer requires such notification to be in writing, the insurer or its agent that he wishes the policy to be canceled or that he does not wish the policy to be renewed, or if, prior to the date of expiration, he fails to accept the offer of the insurer to renew the policy.

3. Nothing in this subsection shall apply if an affiliated insurer has manifested its willingness to provide coverage at a lower premium than would have been charged for the same exposures on the expiring policy. The affiliated insurer shall manifest its willingness to provide coverage by issuing a policy with the types and limits of coverage at least equal to those contained in the expiring policy unless the named insured has requested a change in coverage or limits. When such offer is made by an affiliated insurer, an offer of renewal shall not be required of the insurer of the expiring policy, and the policy issued by the affiliated insurer shall be deemed to be a renewal policy.

B. No insurer shall cancel or refuse to renew a policy of motor vehicle insurance against legal liability of the insured as defined in § 38.2-124 insuring a business entity solely because of lack of supporting business or lack of the potential for acquiring such business.

C. No reduction in coverage for personal injury or property damage liability initiated by an insurer and no insurer-initiated increase in the premium greater than 25 percent of (i) a policy of insurance defined in § 38.2-117 or 38.2-118 insuring a business entity; (ii) a policy of insurance that includes as a part thereof insurance defined in § 38.2-117 or 38.2-118 insuring a business entity; (iii) a policy of motor vehicle insurance against legal liability of the insured as defined in § 38.2-124 insuring a business entity; or (iv) a policy of miscellaneous casualty insurance as defined in subsection B of § 38.2-111 insuring a business entity, and which in the case of a reduction in coverage is subject to § 38.2-1912, shall be effective unless the insurer delivers or mails to the first named insured at the address shown on the policy, or delivers electronically to the address provided by the first named insured, a written notice of such reduction in coverage or premium increase not later than 45 days prior to the effective date of same. The increase in premium shall be the difference between the renewal premium and the premium charged by the insurer at the effective date of the expiring policy. Such notice shall:

1. Be in a type size authorized under § 38.2-311;

2. State the date, which shall not be less than 45 days after the delivery or mailing of the notice of reduction in coverage or increase in premium, on which such reduction in coverage or increase in premium shall become effective;

3. Advise the first named insured of the specific reason for the increase and the amount of the increase, or, if in the case of a reduction in coverage, the specific reason for the reduction and the manner in which coverage will be reduced, or that such information may be obtained from the agent or the insurer;

4. Advise the first named insured of its right to request in writing, within 15 days of receipt of the notice, that the Commissioner of Insurance review the action of the insurer.

D. If an insurer does not provide notice in the manner required in subsection C, coverage shall remain in effect until 45 days after written notice of reduction in coverage or increase in premium is mailed or delivered to the first named insured at the address shown on the policy, or delivered electronically to the address provided by the first named insured, unless the named insured obtains replacement coverage or elects to cancel sooner in either of which cases coverage under the prior policy shall cease on the effective date of the replacement coverage or the elected date of cancellation as the case may be. If the named insured fails to accept or rejects the changed policy, coverage for any period that extends beyond the expiration date will be under the prior policy's rates, terms and conditions as applied against the renewal policy's limits, rating exposures, and additional coverages. If the named insured accepts the changed policy, the reduction in coverage or increase in premium shall take effect upon the expiration of the prior policy.

E. Notice of reduction in coverage or increase in premium shall not be required if:

1. The insurer, after written demand, has not received, within 45 days after such demand has been mailed or delivered to the first named insured at the address shown on the policy, or delivered electronically to the address provided by the first named insured, sufficient information from the named insured to provide the required notice;

2. Such notice is waived in writing by the named insured;

3. The insurer delivers or mails to the first named insured a renewal policy or a renewal offer not less than 45 days prior to the effective date of the policy or, in the case of a medical malpractice insurance policy, not less than 90 days prior to the effective date of the policy;

4. The policy is issued to a large commercial risk as defined in subsection C of § 38.2-1903.1 but excluding policies of medical malpractice insurance; or

5. The policy is retrospectively rated, where the premium is adjusted at the end of the policy period to reflect the risk's actual loss experience.

F. No written notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium that is mailed or delivered electronically by an insurer to a first named insured in accordance with this section shall be effective unless the insurer complies with the applicable provisions of subdivisions 1 through 4:

1. If the notice is mailed, proof of mailing a notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium shall be obtained using one of the following methods that demonstrates the date that the notice was sent to the first named insured at the address stated in the policy or to such insured's last known address:

a. The notice is sent by:

(1) Registered mail;

(2) Certified mail; or

(3) Any other similar first-class mail tracking method used or approved by the United States Postal Service, including Intelligent Mail barcode Tracing (IMb Tracing); or

b. The notice is sent by another method of mailing for which a certificate of mailing is obtained from the United States Postal Service at the time the notice is accepted for mailing. A certificate of mailing from the United States Postal Service does not include a certificate of bulk mailing.

2. If the notice is delivered electronically, the insurer retains evidence of electronic transmittal or receipt of the notification for at least one year from the date of the transmittal.

3. If the notice is mailed, the insurer retains a copy of the notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium for at least one year from the date such action was effective. If the notice is mailed, proof of mailing from the United States Postal Service consistent with the mailing method utilized by the insurer shall be maintained for one year from the date the cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium is effective.

4. a. If the terms of a policy of motor vehicle insurance insuring a business entity require the notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium to be given to any lienholder, then the insurer shall mail such notice and retain a copy of the notice in the manner required by this subsection. If the notices sent to the first named insured and the lienholder are part of the same form, the insurer may retain a single copy of the notice. Proof of mailing from the United States Postal Service consistent with the mailing method utilized by the insurer shall be maintained for one year from the date the cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium is effective.

b. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 4 a, if the terms of the policy require the notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium to be given to any lienholder, the insurer and lienholder may agree by separate agreement that such notices may be transmitted electronically, provided that the insurer and lienholder agree upon the specifics for transmittal and acknowledgment of notification. Evidence of transmittal or receipt of the notification required by this subsection shall be retained by the insurer for at least one year from the date of termination.

"Copy," as used in this subsection, includes photographs, microphotographs, photostats, microfilm, microcard, printouts, or other reproductions of electronically stored data or copies from optical disks, electronically transmitted facsimiles, or any other reproduction of an original from a process that forms a durable medium for its recording, storing, and reproducing.

G. Nothing in this section shall prohibit any insurer or agent from including in a notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or premium increase any additional disclosure statements required by state or federal laws.

H. For the purpose of this section, the terms (i) "business entity" shall mean an entity as defined by subsection A of § 13.1-543, § 13.1-603 or 13.1-803 and shall include an individual, a partnership, an unincorporated association, the Commonwealth, a county, city, town, or an authority, board, commission, sanitation, soil and water, planning or other district, public service corporation owned, operated or controlled by the Commonwealth, a locality or other local governmental authority; (ii) "policy of motor vehicle insurance" shall mean a policy or contract for bodily injury or property damage liability insuring a business entity issued or delivered in this Commonwealth covering liability arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle, but does not include (a) any policy issued through the Virginia Automobile Insurance Plan, (b) any policy providing insurance only on an excess basis, or (c) any other contract providing insurance to the named insured even though the contract may incidentally provide insurance on motor vehicles; and (iii) "reduction in coverage" shall mean, but not be limited to, any diminution in scope of coverage, decrease in limits of liability, addition of exclusions, increase in deductibles, or reduction in the policy term or duration except a reduction in coverage filed with and approved by the Commission and applicable to an entire line, classification or subclassification of insurance.

I. Within 15 days of receipt of the notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or increase in premium, the named insured shall be entitled to request in writing to the Commissioner that he review the action of the insurer. Upon receipt of the request, the Commissioner shall promptly begin a review to determine whether the insurer's notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or premium increase complies with the requirements of this section. Where the Commissioner finds from the review that the notice of cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or premium increase does not comply with the requirements of this section, he shall immediately notify the insurer, the named insured and any other person to whom such notice was required to be given by the terms of the policy that such notice is not effective. Nothing in this section authorizes the Commissioner to substitute his judgment as to underwriting for that of the insurer. Pending review by the Commission, this section shall not operate to relieve an insured from the obligation to pay any premium when due; however, if the Commission finds that the notice required by this section was not proper, the Commission may order the insurer to pay to the insured any overpayment of premium made by the insured.

J. Every insurer shall maintain for at least one year records of cancellation, refusals to renew, reductions in coverage, and premium increases to which this section applies and copies of every notice or statement required by subsections A, C, F, and L that it sends to any of its insureds.

K. There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against (i) the Commissioner of Insurance or his subordinates; (ii) any insurer, its authorized representative, its agents, or its employees; or (iii) any firm, person, or corporation furnishing to the insurer information as to reasons for cancellation, refusal to renew, reduction in coverage, or premium increase, for any statement made by any of them in complying with this section or for providing information pertaining thereto.

L. Notwithstanding anything in this section to the contrary, if an insurer cancels or refuses to renew a policy of medical malpractice insurance as defined in § 38.2-2800, or if, as a result of an insurer-initiated increase in premium, the premium increases for a medical malpractice insurance policy by more than 25 percent of the previous policy's premium, the insurer shall provide no fewer than 90 days' notice prior to the renewal effective date, or, if such policy is being cancelled or non-renewed for failure of the insured to discharge when due any of its obligations in connection with the payment of premium for the policy, the effective date of cancellation or refusal to renew shall not be less than 15 days from the date of mailing or delivery of the notice. The increase in the premium shall be the difference between the renewal premium and the premium charged by the insurer at the effective date of the expiring policy.

M. As used in this section, an "insurer-initiated increase in premium" means an increase in premium other than one resulting from changes in (i) coverage requested by the insured, (ii) policy limits requested by the insured, (iii) the insured's operation or location that result in a change in the classification of the risk, or (iv) the rating exposures including, but not limited to, increases in payroll, receipts, square footage, number of automobiles insured, or number of employees.

1986, c. 376, § 38.1-43.01; 1987, c. 697; 1988, c. 189; 1989, c. 728; 1992, c. 160; 1996, c. 237; 1998, c. 142; 2000, c. 529; 2003, cc. 387, 678; 2005, cc. 290, 635; 2006, c. 554; 2008, cc. 58, 221; 2009, c. 215; 2013, cc. 13, 257; 2015, cc. 9, 443; 2016, cc. 4, 71.

§ 38.2-232. Notice of lapse or pending lapse of certain life and accident and sickness insurance policies.

A. Every insurer, health services plan, or health care plan that issues a policy, contract, or plan of insurance or annuity as defined in §§ 38.2-102 through 38.2-109 shall provide the policy owner, contract owner, or plan owner with a written notice prior to the date that the policy, contract, or plan will lapse for failure to pay premiums due.

B. The provisions of subsection A shall not apply (i) to group policies, contracts, or plans of insurance or (ii) to individual policies, contracts, or plans of insurance if the insurer, health services plan, or health care plan (a) as a general business practice provides its policy owners, contract owners, or plan owners with written notices of premiums due or (b) has furnished its policy owner, contract owner, or plan owner with written notice separate from that contained in the policy that the failure to pay premiums in a timely manner will result in a lapse of such policy, contract, or plan.

1991, c. 369; 2013, c. 93.

§ 38.2-233. Credit involuntary unemployment insurance; credit property insurance; disclosure and readability.

A. If a creditor makes available to the debtors more than one plan of credit involuntary unemployment insurance as defined in § 38.2-122.1, or more than one plan of credit property insurance as defined in § 38.2-122.2, all debtors must be informed of all such plans for which they are eligible.

B. When elective credit property insurance or elective credit involuntary unemployment insurance is offered, the borrower shall be given written disclosure that purchase of such insurance is not required and is not a factor in granting credit. The disclosure shall also include notice that the borrower has the right to use alternative coverage or to buy insurance elsewhere.

C. If the debtor is given a contract which includes a single premium payment to be charged for elective credit property insurance or elective credit involuntary unemployment insurance, the debtor shall be given:

1. A contract which does not include the elective insurance premiums; or

2. A disclosure form which shall clearly disclose the difference in premiums charged for a contract with the elective insurance and one without the elective insurance. This disclosure shall include the difference between the amount financed, the monthly payment and the charge for insurance. The form shall be signed and dated by the debtor and the agent, if any, soliciting the application or the creditor's representative, if any, soliciting the enrollment request. A copy of this disclosure shall be given to the debtor and a copy shall be made a part of the creditor's loan file.

Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the creditor from combining such disclosure, in order to avoid redundancy, with other forms of disclosure required under state or federal law.

D. If a creditor offers credit property insurance and requires evidence of insurance coverage on personal household property used as security for an indebtedness or credit involuntary unemployment insurance is required as security for any indebtedness, the debtor shall have the option of (i) furnishing the required amount of insurance through existing policies of insurance owned or controlled by him or (ii) procuring and furnishing the required coverage through any insurer authorized to transact insurance in this Commonwealth. The creditor shall inform the debtor of this option in writing and shall obtain the debtor's signature acknowledging that he understands this option. Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the creditor from combining such disclosure, in order to avoid redundancy, with other forms of disclosure required under state or federal law.

E. No contract of insurance upon a debtor paid by a single premium shall be made or effectuated unless, at the time of the contract, the debtor is provided with a notice prominently disclosing the right to a refund of premium in the event the insurance is terminated prior to its scheduled maturity date or the insured indebtedness is terminated or paid off early, and of the obligation of the debtor to provide notification to the insurer under subsection G. This notice shall be signed and dated by the debtor and the agent, if any, soliciting the application or the creditor's representative, if any, soliciting the enrollment request. A copy of the signed notice shall be given to the debtor and a copy shall be made part of the insurer's file.

F. The disclosure requirements set forth in subsections A, B, C, D, and E shall be disclosed separately from the loan or credit transaction papers in a form or forms approved by the Commission. When credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance is offered with credit life insurance or credit accident and sickness insurance, the disclosure requirements set forth in subsections A, B, C, D, and E of § 38.2-233 and the disclosure requirements set forth in subsections A, B, C, D, and E of § 38.2-3735 may be disclosed together in a form which shall be approved by the Commission.

G. The Commission shall not approve any form providing credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance unless the policy or certificate is written in nontechnical, readily understandable language, using words of common everyday usage. A form shall be deemed acceptable under this section if the insurer certifies that the form achieves a Flesch Readability Score of forty or more, using the Flesch Readability Formula as set forth in Rudolf Flesch, The Art of Readable Writing (1949, as revised 1974), and certifies compliance with the guidelines set forth in this section.

The Commission shall not approve any form providing credit property or credit involuntary unemployment insurance paid by single premium unless the form includes a provision, separately and prominently captioned, stating in substance the following:

"REFUND OF PREMIUM IN THE EVENT OF EARLY TERMINATION"

"In the event this insurance policy or certificate is terminated prior to its originally scheduled maturity date, or the insured indebtedness is terminated or paid off earlier than scheduled, the insurer shall, within 30 days of receipt of notification from the debtor of such termination or early payoff, refund or credit any amount paid by the debtor for the insurance beyond the actual date of termination or payoff. Early termination of debt includes termination by renewal or refinancing. The debtor's notification to the insurer shall include proof of termination or early payoff of the insured indebtedness."

The Commission shall not approve any form providing credit property or credit involuntary unemployment insurance unless the insurance policy or certificate states that the unearned premium refund will be calculated on a pro rata basis. No refund of five dollars or less need be made.

The Commission shall not approve any form providing credit property or credit involuntary unemployment insurance unless the form has printed on it a notice stating in substance that if, during a period of at least ten days from the date the policy or certificate is delivered to the policy owner or certificate holder the policy or certificate is surrendered to the insurer or its agent with a written request for cancellation, the policy or certificate shall be void from the beginning and the insurer shall refund any premium paid for the policy or certificate.

H. Premium calculations for credit property insurance involving closed end credit transactions shall not be based on amounts paid for finance charges, service fees, delivery charges, taxes, interest, or any other item not covered under the credit property insurance form. If the premium calculations for credit property insurance involving open end monthly outstanding balance credit transactions are based on amounts paid for finance charges, service fees, delivery charges, taxes, interest, meals, entertainment, or any other item not covered under the credit property insurance form, then at least twice per year the premium notice for such insurance shall be accompanied by a disclosure in no smaller than eight-point boldface type substantially similar to the following:

Your credit property insurance premium is based on the entire outstanding balance of this account. However, your insurance coverage applies only to certain tangible personal property. Finance charges, service fees, delivery charges, taxes, interest, meals, and entertainment are not covered under your policy. Therefore, you may be paying premiums on items not covered under your policy.

The disclosure described in this subsection, with the same type-size requirements, shall also be included in any written materials provided at the time of invitation to contract and in policies or certificates provided to insureds.

I. A credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance policy or certificate which provides truncated or critical period coverage, or any other type of similar coverage that does not provide benefits or coverage for the entire term or amount of the indebtedness, shall be subject to the following requirements:

1. The policy or certificate shall include a statement printed on the face of the policy or first page of the certificate which clearly describes the limited nature of the insurance. The statement shall be printed in capital letters and in bold twelve-point or larger type; and

2. The policy or certificate shall not include any benefits or coverage other than truncated or critical period coverage or any other type of similar coverage that does not provide benefits or coverage for the entire term or amount of the indebtedness.

J. A portion of the premium charged for credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance may be allowed by the insurer to the creditor for providing and furnishing such insurance, and no such allowance shall be deemed a rebate of premium or as interest charges or consideration or an amount in excess of permitted charges in connection with the loan or other credit transaction.

K. All of the acts necessary to provide and service credit property insurance and credit involuntary unemployment insurance may be performed within the same place of business in which is transacted the business giving rise to the loan or other credit transaction.

L. Subsections A, B, C, D, F, and M shall not apply to credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance that will insure open end monthly outstanding balance credit transactions if the following criteria are met:

1. The insurance is offered to the debtor after the loan or credit transaction it will insure has been approved by the creditor and has been effective at least seven days;

2. The solicitation for the insurance is by mail or telephone. The person making the solicitation shall not condition the future use or continuation of the open end credit upon the purchase of credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance;

3. The creditor makes available only one plan of credit property insurance and only one plan of credit involuntary unemployment insurance to the debtor;

4. The debtor is provided written confirmation of the insurance coverage within thirty days of the effective date of such coverage. The effective date of such coverage shall begin on the date the solicitation is accepted; and

5. The individual policy or certificate has printed on it a notice stating that if, during a period of at least thirty days from the date the policy or certificate is delivered to the policy owner or certificate holder, the policy or certificate is surrendered to the insurer or its agent with a written request for cancellation, the policy or certificate shall be void from the beginning and the insurer shall refund any premium paid for the policy or certificate. This statement shall be prominently located on the face page of the policy or certificate, and shall be printed in capital letters and in bold face twelve-point or larger type.

M. Subsections A, B, C, D, F, and L shall not apply to open end credit transactions by mail, telephone, or brochure solicitations that are not excluded from the requirements of subsections A, B, C, D, and F by subsection L where the insurer is offering only one plan of credit property insurance and only one plan of credit involuntary unemployment insurance and the following criteria are met:

1. The following disclosures shall be included in solicitations, whether as part of the application or enrollment request or separately:

a. The name and address of the insurer(s) and creditor; and

b. A description of the coverage offered, including the amount of coverage, the premium rate for the insurance coverage offered, and a description of any exceptions, limitations or restrictions applicable to such coverage.

2. The application or enrollment requests shall comply as follows:

a. Notwithstanding requirements set forth elsewhere, the application and enrollment request shall be printed in a type size of not less than eight-point type, one-point leaded;

b. The application or enrollment request shall contain a prominent statement that the insurance offered is optional, voluntary or not required;

c. The application or enrollment request shall contain no questions relating to insurability other than the debtor's age or date of birth and, if applicable, active employment status; and

d. If the disclosures required by subdivision 1 of this subsection are not included in the application or enrollment request, the application and enrollment request shall make reference to such disclosures with sufficient information to assist the reader in locating such disclosures within separate solicitation material.

3. Each insurer proposing to utilize an application or enrollment request in such transactions shall file such form for approval by the Commission. If the insurer anticipates utilizing such application or enrollment form in more than one solicitation, the insurer shall submit, as part of its filing of such form, a certification signed by an officer of the insurer, stating that any such subsequent use of the application or enrollment form will utilize the same form number and will not vary in substance from the wording and format in which the form is submitted for approval. Upon approval of such application or enrollment form by the Commission, the insurer shall be permitted to utilize such form in various solicitation materials provided that the application or enrollment form, when incorporated into such solicitation materials, has the same form number and wording substantially identical to that contained on the approved application or enrollment form. When credit property insurance or credit involuntary unemployment insurance is offered with credit life insurance or credit accident and sickness insurance, insurers may file one common form which shall be subject to prior approval by the Commission and shall incorporate the requirements of subsection M of this section and subsection F of § 38.2-3737, according to the requirements stated in this paragraph and in subdivision F 3 of § 38.2-3737.

1993, c. 774; 1994, c. 306; 1995, c. 167; 1999, c. 586; 2000, c. 526; 2009, c. 643.

§ 38.2-234. Release of information.

Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 5 of § 2.2-3802, the Commission may share information with databases developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for use by regulators.

1996, c. 32.

§ 38.2-235. Liability insurance; carbon monoxide exclusions.

No policy of insurance furnishing personal injury liability or property damage liability coverage as defined in §§ 38.2-117 and 38.2-118, including any endorsements thereto, shall be deemed to exclude coverage for the discharge, dispersal, seepage, migration, release, emission, leakage or escape of carbon monoxide from a residential or commercial heating system unless excluded in such policy by explicit reference thereto.

1997, c. 157.

§ 38.2-236. Notice of settlement payment.

A. Upon payment by any insurer of at least $5,000 in a single check to an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth, or other representative, in settlement or satisfaction by an insured or a third party of any claim arising out of an insurance policy issued or delivered in the Commonwealth, the insurer shall send to the claimant or judgment creditor on the underlying insurance or liability claim a notice of such payment as required by subsection B within five business days after the date payment is made or sent to the attorney or other representative of the claimant or judgment creditor. A copy of the notice shall be sent simultaneously to the attorney or representative of the claimant or judgment creditor.

B. The notice required pursuant to subsection A shall be sent to the physical address, or email or other electronic address, furnished by the claimant or judgment creditor to the insurance company, unless the claimant or judgment creditor has notified the insurance company in writing that he waives notice of payment. In the absence of any address or waiver furnished by the claimant or judgment creditor, the notice shall be sent to the last known physical address, or email or other electronic address, of the claimant or judgment creditor.

The notice shall be sent by the insurance company only after a settlement has been agreed to by the attorney or other representative of the claimant or judgment creditor, and shall contain only the following language:

"Pursuant to § 38.2-236 of the Code of Virginia, you are hereby notified that a payment was sent on (insert date on which payment was sent) by (insert name of insurer) to your attorney or other representative (insert name, address, and telephone number of attorney or other representative known to insurer), in satisfaction of your claim or judgment against (insert name of insurer, or insured, whichever is appropriate).

If you have any questions, please contact your attorney or other representative."

C. Nothing in subsection A or B shall (i) create any cause of action for monetary damages for any person against an insurer based upon a failure to provide notice as required by this section or the provision of a defective notice, (ii) establish a defense for any person to any cause of action based on a failure to provide notice as required by this section or the provision of a defective notice, or (iii) invalidate or in any way affect the settlement or satisfaction for which the payment was made by the insurer.

D. Except as provided and authorized by this section, no insurer shall otherwise communicate with a claimant or judgment creditor known to be represented by an attorney licensed in the Commonwealth, or other representative, regarding settlement of a claim or satisfaction of a judgment without the written consent of such attorney or other representative.

2013, c. 146.