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Introduced Version House Bill 2850 History

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hb2850 intr
H. B. 2850


          (By Delegates Boggs, Moore, Hamilton and Azinger)
          [Introduced March 6, 2013; referred to the
          Committee on Banking and Insurance then the Judiciary.]




A BILL to amend and reenact §33-17A-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to preventing the cancellation and nonrenewal of property homeowners insurance based upon a claim arising from natural causes or upon an inquiry that does not result in a claim.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
     That §33-17A-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 17A. PROPERTY INSURANCE DECLINATION, TERMINATION AND DISCLOSURE.
§33-17A-4. Notification and reasons for a transfer, declination or termination.
                                            (a) Upon declining to insure any real or personal property, subject to this article, the insurer making a declination shall provide the insurance applicant with a written explanation of the specific reason or reasons for the declination at the time of the declination. The provision of such an insurance application form by an insurer shall create creates no right to coverage on the behalf of the insured to which the insured is not otherwise entitled.
                                            (b) A notice of cancellation of property insurance coverage by an insurer shall:
                                            (1) Be in writing; shall be
                                            
(2) Delivered to the named insured or sent by first class mail to the named insured at the last known address of the named insured; shall
                                            
(3) State the effective date of the cancellation; and shall be
                                            (4) Be accompanied by a written explanation of the specific reason or reasons for the cancellation.
                                            (c) At least thirty days before the end of a policy period, as described in subsection (c), section three of this article, an insurer shall deliver or send by first class mail to the named insured at the last known address of the named insured, notice of its intention regarding the renewal of the property insurance policy. Notice of an intention not to renew a property insurance policy shall be accompanied by an explanation of the specific reasons for the nonrenewal: Provided, That no insurer shall fail to renew an outstanding property insurance policy which has been in existence for four years or longer except for the reasons as set forth in section five of this article or for other valid underwriting reasons which involve a substantial increase in the risk.
____________________________________________(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this article, no property insurance coverage policy in force for at least three years may be denied renewal or canceled as a result of a single claim arising from natural causes within a three year period of time. For the purposes of this section, "natural causes in a three year period of time" means an act occasioned exclusively by the forces of nature in which direct human activity is excluded from being the primary cause.
____________________________________________(e) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article, an insurer may not cancel or fail to renew a property insurance coverage policy solely because the insured inquires about coverage for a potentially covered loss.



                                            NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prevent cancellation or nonrenewal of homeowners' insurance based upon a claim arising from natural causes or upon an inquiry that does not result in a claim.

                                            Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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