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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 3. Provisions Relating to Insurance Policies and Contracts
6/19/2021

Chapter 3. Provisions Relating to Insurance Policies and Contracts.

§ 38.2-300. Scope of chapter.

This chapter shall apply to all classes of insurance except:

1. Ocean marine insurance other than private pleasure vessels;

2. Life insurance policies and accident and sickness insurance policies not delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth;

3. Contracts of reinsurance; or

4. Annuities, except as provided for in §§ 38.2-305, 38.2-316 and 38.2-321.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-328; 1986, c. 562; 1988, cc. 333, 523.

§ 38.2-301. Insurable interest required; life, accident and sickness insurance.

A. Any individual of lawful age may take out an insurance contract upon himself for the benefit of any person. No person shall knowingly procure or cause to be procured any insurance contract upon another individual unless the benefits under the contract are payable to (i) the insured or his personal representative or (ii) a person having an insurable interest in the insured at the time when the contract was made.

B. As used in this section and § 38.2-302, "insurable interest" means:

1. In the case of individuals related closely by blood or by law, a substantial interest engendered by love and affection;

2. In the case of other persons, a lawful and substantial economic interest in the life, health, and bodily safety of the insured. "Insurable interest" shall not include an interest which arises only or is enhanced by the death, disability or injury of the insured;

3. In the case of employees of corporations, with respect to whom the corporate employer, a trust established by the corporate employer, or an employee benefit trust is the beneficiary under an insurance contract, the lawful and substantial economic interest required in subdivision 2 of this subsection shall be deemed to exist in (i) key employees and (ii) other employees who have been employed by the corporation for 12 consecutive months, provided that the amount of insurance coverage on such other employees shall be limited to an amount which is commensurate with employer-provided benefits to non-key employees as a group;

4. In the case of a party to a contract or option for the purchase or sale, including a redemption, of an interest in a business proprietorship, partnership or firm or of shares of stock of a corporation or of an interest in such shares, the lawful and substantial economic interest required in subdivision 2 shall be deemed to exist in each individual party to such contract or option and for the purpose of such contract or option only, in addition to any insurable interest that may otherwise exist as to the life of such individual;

5. In the case of a trustee, other than the trustee of a domestic business trust or foreign business trust, as defined in § 13.1-1201, the lawful and substantial economic interest required in subdivision 2 shall be deemed to exist, whether the life insurance policy is owned by a trustee before, on or after July 1, 2005, in (i) the individual insured who established the trust, (ii) each individual in whose life the owner of the trust for federal income tax purposes has an insurable interest, and (iii) each individual in whose life a beneficiary of the trust has an insurable interest; and

6. In the case of an organization described in § 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, the lawful and substantial economic interest required in subdivision 2 of this subsection shall be deemed to exist where (i) the insured or proposed insured has either assigned all or part of his ownership rights in a policy or contract to such an organization or has executed a written consent to the issuance of a policy or contract to such organization and (ii) such organization is named in the policy or contract as owner or as beneficiary.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-329; 1986, c. 562; 1988, c. 831; 1992, cc. 8, 50; 1993, c. 105; 2005, cc. 656, 698; 2007, c. 186.

§ 38.2-302. Life, accident, and sickness insurance; application required.

A. No contract of insurance upon a person shall be made or effectuated unless at the time of the making of the contract the individual insured, being of lawful age and competent to contract for the insurance contract, (i) applies for insurance or (ii) consents in writing to the insurance contract. However:

1. Either spouse may effect an insurance contract upon each other;

2. Any person having an insurable interest in the life of a minor, or any person upon whom a minor is dependent for support and maintenance, may effect an insurance contract upon the life of or pertaining to the minor; or

3. A corporate employer or an employee benefit trust having the insurable interest described in subdivision B 3 of § 38.2-301 may effect an insurance contract upon the lives of such employees, provided that the employer or trust provides the employee with notice in writing that such insurance has been purchased, the amount of such coverage, and to whom benefits are payable in the event of the employee's death.

B. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a minor from obtaining insurance on his own life as authorized in § 38.2-3105.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-330; 1986, c. 562; 1988, c. 831; 1993, c. 105; 2020, c. 900.

§ 38.2-303. Insurable interest required; property insurance.

A. No insurance contract on property or on any interest therein or arising therefrom shall be enforceable except for the benefit of persons having an insurable interest in the property insured.

B. As used in this section, "insurable interest" means any lawful and substantial economic interest in the safety or preservation of the subject of insurance free from loss, destruction or pecuniary damage.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-331; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-304. Contracts of temporary insurance; duration; what deemed to include.

A. Oral or written binders or other temporary insurance contracts may be made and used for a period not exceeding sixty days pending the issuance of the policy. Unless otherwise provided, oral or written binders or other temporary insurance contracts shall be deemed to include the usual provisions, stipulations and agreements which are commonly used in this Commonwealth in effecting the class of insurance being written.

B. This section shall not apply to:

1. Binders or other contracts referred to in §§ 38.2-2112 and 38.2-4605;

2. Conditional receipts issued by life insurers; or

3. Group insurance policies.

Code 1950, § 38-181; 1952, c. 317, § 38.2-332; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-305. Contents of policies.

A. Each insurance policy or contract shall specify:

1. The names of the parties to the contract;

2. The subject of the insurance;

3. The risks insured against;

4. The time the insurance takes effect and, except in the case of group insurance, title insurance, and insurance written under perpetual policies, the period during which the insurance is to continue;

5. A statement of the premium, except in the case of group insurance and title insurance; and

6. The conditions pertaining to the insurance.

In addition, each policy of property and casualty insurance shall contain a list of all policy forms and endorsements applicable to that policy, which shall display the respective form numbers and, if those form numbers are not unique identifiers of such forms, the applicable edition dates.

B. Each new or renewal insurance policy, contract, certificate, or evidence of coverage issued to a policyholder, covered person, or enrollee shall be accompanied by a notice stating substantially:

"IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR INSURANCE"

"In the event you need to contact someone about this insurance for any reason, please contact your agent. If no agent was involved in the sale of this insurance, or if you have additional questions, you may contact the insurance company issuing this insurance at the following address and telephone number: [Insert the appropriate address and telephone number, toll free number if available, for the company's home or regional office]."

"If you have been unable to contact or obtain satisfaction from the company or the agent, you may contact the Virginia State Corporation Commission's Bureau of Insurance at: [Insert the appropriate address, toll free phone number, and phone number for out-of-state calls for the Bureau of Insurance]."

"Written correspondence is preferable so that a record of your inquiry is maintained. When contacting your agent, company or the Bureau of Insurance, have your policy number available."

Health maintenance organizations shall add the following: "We recommend that you familiarize yourself with our grievance procedure and make use of it before taking any other action."

C. In any life insurance or annuity contract containing a beneficiary designation in which the designated beneficiary is the spouse of the policy owner, the following notice shall be included with the policy when issued, either attached to or incorporated into the front or first page of such contract:

"BENEFICIARY DESIGNATION MAY NOT APPLY IN THE EVENT OF ANNULMENT OR DIVORCE"

"Under Virginia law (Virginia Code § 20-111.1), a revocable beneficiary designation in a policy owned by one spouse that names the other spouse as beneficiary becomes void upon the entry of a decree of annulment or divorce, and the death benefit prevented from passing to a former spouse will be paid as if the former spouse had predeceased the decedent. In the event of annulment or divorce proceedings, and if it is the intent of the parties that the beneficiary designation of the former spouse is to continue, you are advised to make certain that one of the following courses of action is taken prior to the entry of a decree of annulment or divorce: (i) change the beneficiary designation to make it irrevocable; (ii) change the ownership of the policy or contract; (iii) execute a separate written agreement stating the intention of both parties that the beneficiary designation is to remain in effect beyond the date of entry of the decree of annulment or divorce; or (iv) make certain that the decree of annulment or divorce contains a provision stating that the beneficiary designation is not to be revoked pursuant to § 20-111.1."

D. If, under the contract, the exact amount of premiums is determinable only at the termination of the contract, a statement of the basis and rates upon which the final premium is to be determined and paid shall be furnished to any policy-examining bureau having jurisdiction or to the insured upon request.

E. This section shall not apply to surety insurance contracts.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-333; 1986, c. 562; 1987, c. 519; 1988, c. 333; 1997, c. 688; 2000, c. 193; 2012, c. 264; 2013, c. 27.

§ 38.2-306. Additional contents.

A policy or contract may contain additional provisions that are not substantially in conflict with this title and that:

1. Are required to be inserted by the laws of the insurer's state or country of domicile or of the state or country in which the policy is to be delivered or issued for delivery; or

2. Are necessary to state the rights and obligations of the parties to the contract because of the manner in which the insurer is constituted or operated.

Code 1950, § 38-513; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-334; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-307. Charter and bylaw provisions in policies.

No policy shall contain any provision purporting to make any portion of the charter, bylaws or other organic law of the insurer, however designated, a part of the contract unless that portion is set out in full in the policy. Any policy provision in violation of this section shall be invalid.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-335; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-308. Contingent liability provisions in policies issued by certain mutual insurers.

Except in the case of nonassessable policies, the contingent liability of each member of a mutual insurer, other than a life insurer, shall be clearly stated in the mutual insurer's policies. The contingent liability may be limited, but such limitation shall not be less than one additional annual premium on each policy held by the member.

Code 1950, § 38-508; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-335.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-309. When answers or statements of applicant do not bar recovery on policy.

All statements, declarations and descriptions in any application for an insurance policy or for the reinstatement of an insurance policy shall be deemed representations and not warranties. No statement in an application or in any affidavit made before or after loss under the policy shall bar a recovery upon a policy of insurance unless it is clearly proved that such answer or statement was material to the risk when assumed and was untrue.

Code 1950, § 38-7; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-336; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-310. All fees, charges, etc., to be stated in policy.

A. All fees, charges, premiums or other consideration charged for the insurance or for the procurement of insurance shall be stated in the policy except in the case of fidelity, surety, title, and group insurance, and except for consulting services as provided in Article 4 (§ 38.2-1837 et seq.) of Chapter 18 of this title. Except as provided in this subsection, no person shall charge or receive any fee, compensation, or consideration for insurance or for the procurement of insurance that is not included in the premium or stated in the policy.

B. Service charges for installment payments of insurance premiums do not need to be stated in the policy if the charges are provided to the insured in writing.

Code 1950, § 38-508; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-337; 1986, c. 562; 1990, c. 281.

§ 38.2-311. Type size in which conditions and restrictions to be printed.

Except as otherwise provided in this title, no restriction, condition or provision in or endorsed on any insurance policy shall be valid unless the condition or provision is printed in type as large as eight point type, or is written in ink or typewritten in or on the policy. This section shall not apply to a copy of an application or parts thereof, attached to or made part of an insurance policy.

Code 1950, § 38-9; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-338; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-312. Provisions limiting jurisdiction, or requiring construction of contracts by law of other states, prohibited.

No insurance contract delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth and covering subjects which are located or residing in this Commonwealth, or which are performed in this Commonwealth shall contain any condition, stipulation or agreement:

1. Requiring the contract to be construed according to the laws of any other state or country, except as may be necessary to meet the requirements of the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws of the other state or country; or

2. Depriving the courts of this Commonwealth of jurisdiction in actions against the insurer.

Any such condition, stipulation or agreement shall be void, but such voiding shall not affect the validity of the remainder of the contract.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-339; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-313. Where certain contracts deemed made.

All insurance contracts on or with respect to the ownership, maintenance or use of property in this Commonwealth shall be deemed to have been made in and shall be construed in accordance with the laws of this Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 38-162; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-340; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-314. Limitation of action and proof of loss.

No provision in any insurance policy shall be valid if it limits the time within which an action may be brought to less than one year after the loss occurs or the cause of action accrues.

If an insurance policy requires a proof of loss, damage or liability to be filed within a specified time, all time consumed in an effort to adjust the claim shall not be considered part of such time.

Code 1950, § 38-9; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-341; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-315. Intervening breach.

If any breach of warranty or condition in any insurance contract covering property located in this Commonwealth occurs prior to a loss under the contract, the breach shall not void the contract nor permit the insurer to avoid liability unless the breach existed at the time of the loss.

Code 1950, § 38-8; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-342; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-316. Policy forms to be filed with Commission; notice of approval or disapproval; exceptions.

A. No policy of life insurance, industrial life insurance, variable life insurance, modified guaranteed life insurance, group life insurance, accident and sickness insurance, or group accident and sickness insurance; no annuity, modified guaranteed annuity, pure endowment, variable annuity, group annuity, group modified guaranteed annuity, or group variable annuity contract; no health services plan, legal services plan, dental or optometric services plan, or health maintenance organization contract; no dental plan organization dental benefit contract; and no fraternal benefit certificate nor any certificate or evidence of coverage issued in connection with such policy, contract, or plan issued or issued for delivery in Virginia shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth unless a copy of the form has been filed with the Commission. In addition to the above requirement, no policy of accident and sickness insurance shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth unless the rate manual showing rates, rules, and classification of risks applicable thereto has been filed with the Commission.

B. Except as provided in this section, no application form shall be used with the policy or contract and no rider or endorsement shall be attached to or printed or stamped upon the policy or contract unless the form of such application, rider or endorsement has been filed with the Commission. No individual certificate and no enrollment form shall be used in connection with any group life insurance policy, group accident and sickness insurance policy, group annuity contract, or group variable annuity contract unless the form for the certificate and enrollment form have been filed with the Commission.

C. 1. None of the policies, contracts, and certificates specified in subsection A of this section shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth and no applications, enrollment forms, riders, and endorsements shall be used in connection with the policies, contracts, and certificates unless the forms thereof have been approved in writing by the Commission as conforming to the requirements of this title and not inconsistent with law.

2. In addition to the above requirement, no premium rate change applicable to individual accident and sickness insurance policies, subscriber contracts of health services plans, dental or optometric services plans, or fraternal benefit contracts providing individual accident and sickness coverage as authorized in § 38.2-4116 shall be used unless the premium rate change has been approved in writing by the Commission. No premium rate change applicable to individual or group Medicare supplement policies shall be used unless the premium rate change has been approved in writing by the Commission.

D. The Commission may disapprove or withdraw approval of the form of any policy, contract or certificate specified in subsection A of this section, or of any application, enrollment form, rider or endorsement, if the form:

1. Does not comply with the laws of this Commonwealth;

2. Has any title, heading, backing or other indication of the contents of any or all of its provisions that is likely to mislead the policyholder, contract holder or certificate holder; or

3. Contains any provisions that encourage misrepresentation or are misleading, deceptive or contrary to the public policy of this Commonwealth.

E. Within 30 days after the filing of any form requiring approval, the Commission shall notify the organization filing the form of its approval or disapproval of the form which has been filed, and, in the event of disapproval, its reason therefor. The Commission, at its discretion, may extend for up to an additional 30 days the period within which it shall approve or disapprove the form. Any form received but neither approved nor disapproved by the Commission shall be deemed approved at the expiration of the 30 days if the period is not extended, or at the expiration of the extended period, if any; however, no organization shall use a form deemed approved under the provisions of this section until the organization has filed with the Commission a written notice of its intent to use the form together with a copy of the form and the original transmittal letter thereof. The notice shall be filed in the offices of the Commission at least 10 days prior to the organization's use of the form.

F. If the Commission proposes to withdraw approval previously given or deemed given to the form of any policy, contract or certificate, or of any application, rider or endorsement, it shall notify the insurer in writing at least 15 days prior to the proposed effective date of withdrawal giving its reasons for withdrawal.

G. Any insurer or fraternal benefit society aggrieved by the disapproval or withdrawal of approval of any form may proceed as indicated in § 38.2-1926.

H. This section shall not apply to any special rider or endorsement on any policy, except an accident and sickness insurance policy that relates only to the manner of distribution of benefits or to the reservation of rights and benefits under such policy, and that is used at the request of the individual policyholder, contract holder or certificate holder.

I. The Commission may exempt any categories of such policies, contracts, and certificates and any applicable rate manuals from (i) the filing requirements, (ii) the approval requirements of this section, or (iii) both such requirements. The Commission may modify such requirements, subject to such limitations and conditions which the Commission finds appropriate. In promulgating an exemption, the Commission may consider the nature of the coverage, the person or persons to be insured or covered, the competence of the buyer or other parties to the contract, and other criteria the Commission considers relevant.

J. In lieu of complying with the requirements of subsections A, B, and C, any legal services organization operating, conducting, or administering a legal services plan may provide the Commission with an informational filing regarding a subscription contract, enrollment form, rider, or endorsement used by the legal services organization in connection with a legal services plan offered in the Commonwealth together with written notice of its intent to use the form. Upon providing such informational filing and notice, the legal services organization may use the subscription contract, enrollment form, rider, or endorsement without its prior approval by the Commission. This subsection shall not limit the authority of the Commission to review a legal services plan and any subscription contract, enrollment form, rider, or endorsement used in connection therewith and to disapprove the use of such form for any of the grounds set forth in subsection D.

K. Pursuant to the authority granted by § 38.2-223, the Commission may promulgate such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary to set standards for policy and other form submissions required by this section or § 38.2-3501.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-342.1; 1972, c. 836; 1973, c. 504; 1977, c. 325; 1986, c. 562; 1990, c. 332; 1994, c. 316; 1996, c. 12; 1998, c. 17; 2004, c. 668; 2020, c. 408.

§ 38.2-316.1. Premium rates.

A. As used in this section:

"Anticipated loss ratio" means the ratio of the present value of the future benefits to the present value of the future premiums of a policy form over the entire period for which rates are computed to provide coverage.

"Student health insurance coverage" means a type of individual health insurance coverage offered in the individual market that is provided pursuant to a written agreement between an institution of higher education, as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, P.L. 89-329, and a health carrier to students enrolled in that institution of higher education and their dependents; that does not make health insurance coverage available other than in connection with enrollment as a student or as a dependent of a student in the institution of higher education; and that does not condition eligibility for health insurance coverage on any health status-related factor related to a student or a dependent of the student.

B. The Commission shall review and approve accident and sickness insurance premium rates applicable to (i) health benefit plans issued in the Commonwealth in the individual and small group markets, as those terms are defined in § 38.2-3431, and (ii) health benefit plans providing health insurance coverage, as defined in § 38.2-3431, in the individual market to residents of the Commonwealth through a group trust, association, purchasing cooperative, or other group that is not an employer plan. In connection therewith, the Commission is authorized to establish minimum loss ratios to assure that the benefits provided by accident and sickness insurance policies are or are likely to be reasonable in relation to the premiums charged. The Commission shall promulgate regulations to establish standards applicable to such review and approval.

C. Premium rate filings for a health benefit plan issued in the Commonwealth in the individual and small group markets shall include a description of agent commissions and any limitations or exceptions as they relate to the payment of such commissions.

D. Every policy, rider, or endorsement form affecting benefits that is submitted for approval shall be accompanied by a rate filing, as required by § 38.2-316. Any subsequent addition to or change in rates applicable to such policy, rider, or endorsement form shall also be filed. Each rate submission shall comply with the requirements of 14VAC5-130.

E. Benefits shall be deemed reasonable in relation to premiums, provided that the anticipated loss ratio of the policy form, including riders and endorsements, is at least as great as provided in 14VAC5-130. The reasonableness of benefits with respect to filings of rate revisions for a previously approved form shall be determined as provided in 14VAC5-130.

F. A health insurance issuer shall consider the claims experience of all enrollees in all health benefit plans, other than grandfathered plans and student health insurance coverage, in the individual market to be members of a single risk pool. A health insurance issuer shall consider the claims experience of all enrollees in all health plans, other than grandfathered plans, in the small group market to be members of a single risk pool. Each plan year or policy year, as applicable, a health insurance issuer shall establish an index rate based on the total combined claims costs for providing essential health benefits within the single risk pool of the individual or small group market as provided in 14VAC5-130. A health insurance issuer may vary premium rates for a particular plan from its index rate for a relevant state market only on the basis of an actuarially justified plan-specific factor permitted under 14VAC5-130.

G. If the Commission finds that the premium rate filed in accordance with this section is not meeting or will not meet the originally filed and approved loss ratio, the Commission may require appropriate rate adjustments, premium refunds, or premium credits (i) as deemed necessary for the coverage to conform with the minimum loss ratio standards established pursuant to subsection B and (ii) that are expected to result in a loss ratio at least as great as that originally anticipated in the rates used to produce current rates by the health insurance issuer for the coverage. The Commission may take into consideration any previous or expected premium refunds or credits. The Commission may require the submission of detailed supporting documents as necessary to justify the adjustment.

H. The Commission may request information subsequent to approval of a policy form or rate revision so that it may determine whether premium rates are reasonable in relation to the benefits provided as specified in 14VAC5-130.

I. Except as otherwise provided, nothing contained in this section shall be construed to relieve a health insurance issuer from complying with other statutory requirements set forth in this title.

J. The Commission may prescribe procedures for the effective monitoring of actual experience under any form subject to 14VAC5-130.

2013, cc. 670, 679; 2018, c. 708; 2019, c. 607.

§ 38.2-317. Delivery and use of certain policies and endorsements.

A. No insurance policy or endorsement of the kind to which Chapter 19 (§ 38.2-1900 et seq.) of this title applies shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth unless the policy form or endorsement is filed with the Commission at least thirty days prior to its effective date. The provisions of this section shall not apply to statutory fire insurance policies, standard automobile policy forms and endorsements, workers' compensation and employers' liability insurance as defined in § 38.2-119, surety insurance as defined in § 38.2-121, or insurance of large commercial risks as defined in § 38.2-1903.1.

B. The Commission may disapprove or withdraw approval of the policy form or endorsement to which the section applies if the policy form or endorsement:

1. Is in violation of any provision of this title;

2. Contains provisions that are contrary to the public policy of this Commonwealth;

3. Contains or incorporates by reference, even where such incorporation is otherwise permissible, any inconsistent, ambiguous or misleading clauses or exceptions and conditions that deceptively affect the risk purported to be assumed in the general coverage of the policy;

4. Has any title, heading or other indication of its provisions that is misleading;

5. Contains provisions that are so unclear or deceptively worded that they encourage misrepresentation; or

6. Provides coverage of such a limited nature that it is contrary to the public interest of this Commonwealth.

C. Within thirty days after the filing of any policy form or endorsement requiring approval pursuant to this section, the Commission shall notify the insurer or rate service organization filing the policy form or endorsement of its approval or disapproval, and in the event of disapproval, its reason therefor. The Commission, at its discretion, may extend for up to an additional thirty days the period within which it shall approve or disapprove the policy form or endorsement. Any policy form or endorsement received but neither approved nor disapproved by the Commission shall be deemed approved at the expiration of the thirty days if the period is not extended, or at the expiration of the extended period, if any; however, no policy form or endorsement shall be deemed approved under the provisions of this section unless written notice of the intent to use the policy form or endorsement has been filed with the Commission.

D. If the Commission proposes to withdraw approval previously given or deemed given to the policy form or endorsement to which this section applies, it shall notify the insurer in writing at least ninety days prior to the proposed effective date of withdrawal giving its reasons for withdrawal.

E. The policy and endorsement forms referred to in subsection A of this section in use on October 1, 1976, may continue to be used, subject to disapproval by the Commission.

F. The Commission may by rule exempt any person, class of persons, or market segment from any or all of the provisions of this section. In promulgating an exemption, the Commission may consider the nature of the coverage, the person or persons to be insured or covered, the competence of the buyer or other parties to the contract, and other criteria the Commission considers relevant.

G. The policy and endorsement forms referred to in subsection A of this section shall be open to public inspection. Copies may be obtained by any person on request and upon payment of a reasonable charge for the copies.

H. Any insurer whose rate service organization files on behalf of such insurer shall notify the Commission prior to the effective date of any filing if the insurer is not going to accept the filing made on its behalf.

I. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in subsection A, the provisions of this section shall apply to policies and endorsements of credit involuntary unemployment insurance, as defined in § 38.2-122.1, and to policies and endorsements of credit property insurance, as defined in § 38.2-122.2, delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth, and to certificates of credit involuntary unemployment insurance and credit property insurance delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth where the group policy is delivered in another state.

1976, c. 278, § 38.1-279.48:1; 1986, c. 562; 1988, c. 523; 1993, c. 985; 1997, c. 26; 2000, cc. 526, 548.

§ 38.2-318. Validity of noncomplying forms.

A. Any insurance policy or form containing any condition or provision that is not in compliance with this title shall be valid, but shall be construed and applied in accordance with the conditions and provisions required by this title.

B. As used in this section, "form" means any contract, rider, endorsement, amendment, certificate, or application or other instrument providing, modifying, or eliminating insurance coverage.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-343; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-319. Validity of contracts in violation of law.

Any insurance contract made in violation of the laws of this Commonwealth may be enforced against the insurer.

Code 1950, §§ 38-32, 38-223; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-344; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-320. Insurer to furnish forms for proof of loss.

Whenever notice of any loss or damage has been given to the insurer or its agent, the insurer shall, upon written request, deliver to the insured or to the person to whom the benefits are payable the forms for such preliminary proof of loss or damage as may be required under the policy. Such forms shall be delivered within fifteen days after written request has been made or mailed to the insurer by the insured or person to whom benefits are payable. The failure or refusal of an insurer or its agent to deliver such forms within fifteen days of written request shall be deemed a waiver of any condition, stipulation or provision in the policy requiring preliminary proof.

Code 1950, § 38-11; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-345; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-321. Payment discharges insurer.

A. An insurer shall be fully discharged from all claims under a life insurance policy, accident and sickness insurance policy, or annuity contract:

1. When the proceeds of or payments under a policy or contract become payable in accordance with (i) the terms of the policy or contract or (ii) the exercise of any right or privilege under the contract; and

2. If the insurer makes payments in accordance with the terms of the policy or contract or any written assignment to the person designated in the policy or contract or by assignment as being entitled to the proceeds or payments.

B. An insurer may not be fully discharged from all claims under a life insurance policy, accident and sickness insurance policy, or annuity contract before payment is made and if the insurer has received, at its home office, written notice that some other person claims to be entitled to payment or some interest in the policy or contract.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-346.1; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-322. Standardized claims forms.

A. No accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, health services plan, or optometric services plan licensed in the Commonwealth shall refuse to accept, as a standard claims form for physician services or for services provided by chiropractors, optometrists, opticians, professional counselors, psychologists, clinical social workers, podiatrists, physical therapists, clinical nurse specialists who render mental health services, audiologists, and speech pathologists, the standardized HCFA-1500 health insurance claims form, or its successor as it may be amended from time to time. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit an insurer, health maintenance organization, health services plan, or optometric services plan from accepting any other claims form.

B. No accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, or health services plan licensed in the Commonwealth shall refuse to accept as a standard claims form for hospital services the standardized UB-82 claims form, or its successor as it may be amended from time to time. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit an accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, or health services plan from accepting any other claims form.

C. No accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, health services plan, or dental services plan licensed in the Commonwealth shall refuse to accept as a standard claims form for dental services the standardized ADA form prepared by the American Dental Association, or its successor as it may be amended from time to time. However, nothing in this section shall prohibit an accident and sickness insurer, health maintenance organization, health services plan, or dental services plan from accepting any other claims form.

D. The forms specified in this section may be modified as necessary to accommodate the transmission and administration of claims by electronic means.

E. After July 1, 1998, no health maintenance organization authorized to transact business in this Commonwealth and no health insurer, health services plan or preferred provider organization authorized to offer health benefits in this Commonwealth that requires the use of the Physicians' Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) identifying codes published by the American Medical Association for reporting claims for medical services and procedures, including any standardized form, shall refuse to accept and utilize these identifying codes and any appropriate modifiers listed therein when the same are appropriately used for processing such claims for provider services and procedures.

1993, c. 307; 1997, c. 531.

§ 38.2-323. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2010, c. 337, cl. 1.

§ 38.2-324. Disclosure of property damage information.

Nothing in this title shall prohibit an insurer or its agent from disclosing information obtained from policyholders or other persons regarding claims or reports of property damage resulting from a natural disaster, as defined in clause (ii) of the definition of "disaster" in § 44-146.16, to the Director of the Department of Emergency Management or his designees or other state officials, to federal officials, or to local government officials of the locality where the damage occurred; provided that the disclosures (i) do not identify persons whose property is damaged or the address thereof and (ii) include only aggregated data that relates to the assessment of damage from a natural disaster, including, but not limited to, the number of claims, estimates of the dollar amount of damage, and types of damage, for a specified geographic area, such as a census tract or zip code area.

2005, c. 192; 2008, cc. 121, 157.

§ 38.2-325. Electronic delivery.

A. If parties have agreed to conduct business by electronic means, and the agent of record, if applicable, has been so notified by the insurer, any information that is required to be delivered in writing may be delivered by (i) placing such information within the body of the electronic message; (ii) placing such information as an attachment to the electronic message that may be opened through the use of software that is readily available; (iii) displaying the information, or a clear and conspicuous link to the information, as an essential step to completing the transaction to which the information relates; or (iv) placing such information on the insurer's secured server and an electronic message is provided advising that insurance information or, when appropriate, time-sensitive insurance information has been placed on the insurer's secured server and is available for retrieval. This section should be construed to be consistent with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. § 7001 et seq.).

B. If parties have agreed to conduct business by electronic means, and notice is provided by the insurer to the named insured pursuant to § 38.2-231, 38.2-2113, 38.2-2114, 38.2-2208, or 38.2-2212, an electronic notification shall also be provided to the agent of record of the named insured, if the named insured has an agent of record. Such electronic notification shall be transmitted to the agent of record as soon as practicable, but in no case more than 72 hours after electronic notice is transmitted to the named insured.

C. The insurer shall retain evidence of electronic notification to the agent of record for at least one year from the date of transmittal. Failure to provide such notice to the agent of record shall not be deemed to invalidate any electronic notice otherwise properly provided to the named insured. For purposes of this section, an electronic notification to the agent of record shall mean a copy of the actual notice, as set forth herein, or in the alternative, shall include the named insured's name, policy number, and termination date. Electronic notice need not be given to the agent of record if the agent (i) is an employee of the insurer, (ii) is a non-employee exclusive agent of the insurer, or (iii) has waived the receipt of such notices in writing.

D. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any property and casualty insurance forms and endorsements that do not contain personally identifiable information may be posted to the insurer's publicly available website in lieu of any other method of delivery, provided that:

1. Such forms and endorsements are readily accessible on the insurer's website and that once such forms or endorsements are no longer used in the Commonwealth they are stored in a readily accessible archive portion of the insurer's website;

2. Such forms and endorsements are posted in such a manner that they may be readily printed and downloaded without charge and without the use of any special program or application that is not readily available to the public without charge;

3. The insurer provides written notice at time of the issuance of the initial policy forms and any renewal forms of a method by which policyholders may obtain, upon request and without charge, a paper or electronic copy of their policy or contract; and

4. The insurer gives notice, in the manner it customarily communicates with a policyholder, of any changes to the forms or endorsements, and of the policyholder's right to obtain, upon request and without charge, a paper or electronic copy of such forms or endorsements.

E. The notification to an insurer of any change of the electronic address for the named insured shall be the sole responsibility of the named insured. The giving to the agent of record by any person of notice of such change of the named insured's electronic address shall not be deemed to be notice to the insurer unless it is specifically identified as a change and receipt has been accepted by the agent of record.

F. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any evidence of coverage or other forms that do not contain personally identifiable information that a health carrier is required to provide to a policyholder, subscriber, or enrollee may be delivered electronically to the policyholder, subscriber, or enrollee or posted to the health carrier's publicly available website in lieu of any other method of delivery, provided that:

1. Such evidence of coverage and endorsements, riders, or amendments to it are readily accessible on the health carrier's website and that once such evidence of coverage and endorsements, riders, or amendments to it are no longer used in the Commonwealth they will be made available electronically upon request;

2. Such evidence of coverage and endorsements, riders, or amendments to it are posted in such a manner that they may be readily printed and downloaded without charge and without the use of any special program or application that is not readily available to the public without charge;

3. The health carrier provides written notice at the time of the issuance of the initial evidence of coverage and any renewals of a method by which the policyholder, subscriber, or enrollee may obtain, upon request and without charge, a paper or electronic copy of such person's evidence of coverage or endorsements, riders, or amendments to it; and

4. The health carrier gives notice, in the manner in which it customarily communicates with a policyholder, subscriber, or enrollee, of any changes to the evidence of coverage or endorsements, riders, or amendments to it and of the right of such policyholder, subscriber, or enrollee to obtain a paper or electronic copy of such evidence of coverage or endorsements, riders, or amendments to it.

2009, c. 215; 2012, c. 293; 2013, c. 257; 2016, c. 475.

§ 38.2-326. Plan management functions.

A. As used in this section:

"Exchange" means either the (i) federal health benefit exchange established by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to § 1321 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act codified as 42 U.S.C. § 18041(c) in the Commonwealth or (ii) state-based exchange established pursuant to Chapter 65 (§ 38.2-6500 et seq.) and § 1311(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act codified as 42 U.S.C. § 18031.

"Plan management functions" means analyses and reviews necessary to support the certification, decertification, and recertification of qualified health plans and stand-alone dental plans for the participation in an exchange and the collection of data necessary to perform the above functions.

B. The Commission's Bureau of Insurance, with the assistance of the Virginia Department of Health, shall perform plan management functions required to certify health benefit plans and stand-alone dental plans for participation in the exchange, provided that: (i) full funding is available; (ii) the technology infrastructure, including integration with federal, state, and other necessary entities, is made available to the Commission in order for it to carry out the plan management functions authorized in this section; and (iii) there are no other impediments that effectively prevent the Commission from performing any required plan management functions.

C. The Commission's Bureau of Insurance may contract and enter into memoranda of understanding to carry out its plan management functions.

D. The Commission shall not use any special fund revenues dedicated to its other functions and duties unrelated to exchange operations, including revenues from utility consumer taxes or fees from licensees or registrants regulated by the Commission or fees paid to the Clerk's Office, to fund the plan management functions.

E. Technology resources provided by the Commission in carrying out the plan management functions shall be limited to existing Commission technology support functions such as desktop support, network administration support, web services support, or other similar support functions.

F. The Commission shall make available to the public on its website a written report on the implementation and performance of its plan management functions during the preceding fiscal year, including, at a minimum, the manner in which all funds utilized for its plan management functions were expended.

2013, cc. 670, 679; 2020, cc. 916, 917.