WVC 33 -
CHAPTER 33. INSURANCE.
WVC 33 - 12 A-
ARTICLE 12A. CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INSURANCE
COMPANIES AND AGENTS.
WVC 33 - 12 A- 1
§33-12A-1. Declaration of purpose.
It is hereby found and determined by the Legislature that it
is essential to the best interests of the citizens of this state
that the contractual relationship between insurance agents and
insurance companies be established; and that this article is
enacted for the purpose of prohibiting arbitrary and capricious
cancellation of such contractual relationships.
WVC 33 - 12 A- 2
As used in this article:
(a) "Insurance company" means any individual, firm or
corporation engaged in the business of selling insurance in this
state, excepting only: (1) Clubs or associations organized under
the laws of this state which sell insurance to their members and
(2) companies engaged exclusively in the sale of life or accident
and sickness insurance.
(b) "Insurance agent" means any individual, firm or
corporation appointed by an insurance company, as defined herein,
whose exclusive activity in this field is in behalf of a single
insurance company and who is authorized by that company to
solicit insurance or to negotiate insurance on its behalf, and
who is authorized by the insurance company to effectuate and
countersign insurance contracts on its behalf.
WVC 33 - 12 A- 3
§33-12A-3. Termination of contractual relationship; notice;
No insurance company may cancel, refuse to renew or
otherwise terminate a written contractual relationship with any
insurance agent who has been employed or appointed pursuant to
that written contract by such insurance company for a period of
more than five years, except for "good cause," as prescribed
herein. If an insurance company proposes to cancel, fail to
renew or otherwise terminate a contractual relationship with the
agent, the company shall so notify the agent by certified mail at
least ninety days prior to the date upon which the company
proposed to cancel, fail to renew or terminate the contractual
relationship. Such notice shall include a statement of the
grounds upon which the insurance company bases its decision to
cancel, refuse to renew or terminate any contractual
The following matters are "good cause" for an insurance
company to terminate the contractual relationship with its agent:
(a) Criminal misconduct or gross negligence relating to the
business or premises of the insurance agency;
(b) Fraud or moral turpitude;
(c) Abandonment or unattendance of the business or premises
of the insurance agency for such period of time as may
unreasonably interfere with the transacting of business;
(d) The failure by the agent to pay moneys over to the
company for insurance contracts sold by the agency;
(e) The death or disability of the agent; and
(f) Upon the company becoming insolvent or discontinuing any
line of insurance for any business purpose: Provided, That the
insurance commissioner shall notify or cause to be notified in
writing all agents of such insolvent insurance company that they
are no longer entitled to any benefit under their contract with
the insolvent company.
WVC 33 - 12 A- 4
§33-12A-4. Notice of cancellation void in certain cases.
If, upon receipt by the insurance agent of the notice of
proposed cancellation provided by the preceding section, the
insurance agent prior to the established cancellation date as
stated in the notice rectifies or eliminates the stated ground
constituting "good cause" for cancellation of the contract, the
notice shall be void.
WVC 33 - 12 A- 5
§33-12A-5. Violation of provisions of this article; statute of
If any insurance company cancels, refuses to renew or
otherwise terminates the contractual relationship with any agent
in violation of the provisions of this article, the agent who has
been damaged thereby has a cause of action against the insurance
company for specific performance, injunctive relief or for
damages sustained by the plaintiff as a result of the termination
of the relationship, including ascertainable loss of goodwill as
a result of the termination of the relationship: Provided,
any action brought by an insurance agent against an insurance
company for wrongful termination of the contractual relationship
shall be commenced within two years after such wrongful
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.