Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 41. Fraternal Benefit Societies
8/7/2022

Article 4. Contractual Benefits.

§ 38.2-4116. Benefits.

A. A society may apply to the Commission to provide the following contractual benefits in any form:

1. Death benefits;

2. Endowment benefits;

3. Annuity benefits;

4. Temporary or permanent disability benefits;

5. Hospital, medical or nursing benefits;

6. Monument or tombstone benefits to the memory of deceased members; and

7. Such other benefits as authorized for life insurers and which are not inconsistent with this chapter.

B. A society shall specify in its rules those persons who may be issued, or covered by, the contractual benefits in subsection A, consistent with providing benefits to members and their dependents. A society may provide benefits on the lives of children under the minimum age for adult membership upon application of an adult person.

Code 1950, §§ 38-283, 38.1-599; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-638.31; 1968, c. 654; 1972, c. 530; 1975, c. 262; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-4117. Beneficiaries.

A. The owner of a benefit contract shall have the right at all times to change the beneficiary or beneficiaries in accordance with the laws or rules of the society unless the owner waives this right by specifically requesting in writing that the beneficiary designation be irrevocable. A society may, through its laws or rules, limit the scope of beneficiary designations and shall provide that no revocable beneficiary shall have or obtain any vested interest in the proceeds of any certificate until the certificate has become due and payable in conformity with the provisions of the benefit contract.

B. A society may provide for the payment of funeral benefits from the proceeds of a certificate of no more than $2,000 to any person equitably entitled to them because of expenses incurred by the burial of the member.

C. If, at the death of any person insured under a benefit contract, there is no lawful beneficiary to whom the proceeds are payable, the amount of such benefit, except to the extent that funeral benefits may be paid as previously provided, shall be payable to the personal representative of the deceased insured; however, if the owner of the certificate is other than the insured, the proceeds shall be payable to such owner.

Code 1950, §§ 38-284, 38.1-600; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-638.32; 1968, c. 654; 1972, c. 530; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-4118. Benefits not attachable.

No money or other benefit, charity, relief or aid to be paid, provided or rendered by any society, shall be liable to attachment, garnishment or other process, or to be seized, taken, appropriated or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of a member or beneficiary, or any other person who may have a right thereunder, either before or after payment by the society.

Code 1950, §§ 38-285, 38.1-601; 1952, c. 317, § 38.1-638.33; 1968, c. 654; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-4119. The benefit contract.

A. Every society authorized to do business in this Commonwealth shall issue to each owner of a benefit contract a certificate specifying the amount of benefits provided thereby. The certificate, together with any attached riders or endorsements, the laws of the society, the application for membership, the application for insurance and declaration of insurability, if any, signed by the applicant, and all amendments to each, shall constitute the benefit contract, as of the date of issuance, between the society and the owner, and the certificate shall so state. A copy of the application for insurance and declaration of insurability, if any, shall be endorsed upon or attached to the certificate. All statements on the application shall be representations and not warranties. Any waiver of this provision shall be void.

B. Any changes, additions or amendments to the laws of the society duly made or enacted subsequent to the issuance of the certificate, shall bind the owner and the beneficiaries, and shall govern and control the benefit contract in all respects the same as though such changes, additions or amendments had been made prior to and were in force at the time of the application for insurance, except that no change, addition or amendment shall destroy or diminish benefits which the society contracted to give the owner as of the date of issuance.

C. Any person upon whose life a benefit contract is issued prior to attaining the age of majority shall be bound by the terms of the application and certificate and by all the laws and rules of the society to the same extent as though the age of majority had been attained at the time of application.

D. A society shall provide in its laws that if its reserves as to all or any class of certificates become impaired, its board of directors or corresponding body may require that the owner shall pay to the society his equitable proportion of such deficiency as ascertained by its board, and that if the payment is not made, either (i) it shall stand as an indebtedness against the certificate and draw interest not to exceed the rate specified for certificate loans under the certificates; or (ii) in lieu of or in combination with (i), the owner may accept a proportionate reduction in benefits under the certificate. The society may specify the manner of the election and which alternative is to be presumed if no election is made.

E. Copies of any documents mentioned in this section, certified by the secretary or corresponding officer of the society, shall be received in evidence of the terms and conditions thereof.

F. No certificate shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this Commonwealth unless a copy of the form has been filed with and approved by the Commission in the manner provided for in § 38.2-316. Every life, accident, health, or disability insurance certificate and every annuity certificate issued on or after July 1, 1986, shall meet the standard contract provision requirements not inconsistent with this chapter for like policies issued by life insurers in this Commonwealth, except that a society may provide for a grace period for payment of premiums of one full month in its certificates. The certificate shall also contain a provision stating the amount of premiums which are payable under the certificate and a provision reciting or setting forth the substance of any sections of the society's laws or rules in force at the time of issuance of the certificate which, if violated, will result in the termination or reduction of benefits payable under the certificate. If the laws of the society provide for expulsion or suspension of a member, the certificate shall also contain a provision that any member so expelled or suspended, except for nonpayment of a premium or within the contestable period for material misrepresentation in the application for membership or insurance, shall have the privilege of maintaining the certificate in force by continuing payment of the required premium.

G. Benefit contracts issued on the lives of persons below the society's minimum age for adult membership may provide for transfer of control or ownership to the insured at an age specified in the certificate. A society may require approval of an application for membership in order to effect this transfer, and may provide in all other respects for the regulation, government and control of such certificates and all rights, obligations and liabilities incident thereto. Ownership rights prior to such transfer shall be specified in the certificate.

H. A society may specify the terms and conditions on which benefit contracts may be assigned.

Code 1950, §§ 38-280, 38-282, 38-286, 38-293, 38.1-596, 38.1-598, 38.1-602, 38.1-609; 1952, c. 317, §§ 38.1-638.28 through 38.1-638.30, 38.1-638.35; 1964, c. 355; 1968, c. 654; 1972, cc. 530, 825; 1986, c. 562.

§ 38.2-4120. Nonforfeiture benefits, cash surrender values, certificate loans and other options.

A. A society may grant paid-up nonforfeiture benefits, cash surrender values, certificate loans, and any other options its laws permit. Certificates issued on and after June 28, 1968, must contain at least one paid-up nonforfeiture benefit, except in the case of pure endowment, annuity or reversionary annuity contracts, reducing term insurance contracts or contracts of level term insurance for fifteen years or less expiring before age sixty-six.

B. For certificates, other than those for which reserves are computed on the Commissioners 1941 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, the Commissioners 1941 Standard Industrial Table or the Commissioners 1958 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, or any more recent table made applicable to life insurance companies, the value of every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and the amount of any cash surrender value, loan or other option granted shall not be less than any excess of (1) over (2) as follows:

(1) The reserve under the certificate determined on the basis specified in the certificate; and

(2) The sum of any indebtedness to the society on the certificate, including interest due and accrued, and a surrender charge equal to 2 1/2% of the face amount of the certificate, which, in the case of insurance on the lives of persons under the minimum age for adult membership, shall be the ultimate face amount of the certificate, if death benefits provided in the certificate are graded.

C. For certificates issued on a substandard basis or for certificates with reserves computed upon the American Men Ultimate Table of Mortality, the term of any extended insurance benefit granted, including any accompanying pure endowment, may be computed upon the rates of mortality not greater than 130 percent of those shown by the mortality table specified in the certificate for the computation of the reserve.

D. For certificates with reserves computed on the Commissioners 1941 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, the Commissioners 1941 Standard Industrial Table or the Commissioners 1958 Standard Ordinary Mortality Table, or any more recent table made applicable to life insurance companies, every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and the amount of any cash surrender value, loan or other option granted shall not be less than the corresponding amount ascertained in accordance with the provisions of the laws of this Commonwealth applicable to life insurers issuing policies containing like insurance benefits based upon such tables.

1968, c. 654, § 38.1-638.34; 1975, c. 262; 1986, c. 562.