Unfair Discrimination Against Subjects of Abuse in Life Insurance Act

SECTION 27-61-4

§ 27-61-4. Unfair discriminatory acts relating to life insurance.

(a) The following acts are prohibited as unfairly discriminatory:

(1) Denying, refusing to issue, renew or reissue, canceling or otherwise terminating, restricting or excluding insurance coverage on or adding a premium differential to a life insurance policy for an applicant or insured on the basis of the applicant's or insured's abuse status;

(2) Excluding, limiting or denying benefits on a life insurance policy on the basis of an insured's abuse status except as permitted or required by the laws of this state relating to acts of abuse committed by a life insurance beneficiary;

(3)(i) When the insurer has information in its possession that clearly indicates that the insured or applicant is a subject of abuse, disclosure or transfer by a person employed by or contracting with an insurer of confidential abuse information, which is information about acts of abuse or abuse status of a subject of abuse, the address and telephone number (home and work) of a subject of abuse, or the status of an applicant or insured as a family member, employer or associate of, or a person in a relationship with, a subject of abuse, for any purpose or to any person, except:

(A) To a subject of abuse or an individual specifically designated in writing by the subject of abuse;

(B) To a health care provider for the direct provision of health care services;

(C) To a licensed physician identified and designated by the subject of abuse;

(D) When ordered by the commissioner or a court of competent jurisdiction or required by law;

(E) When necessary for a valid business purpose to transfer information that includes confidential abuse information that cannot reasonably be segregated, confidential abuse information may be disclosed only to the following persons:

(I) A reinsurer that seeks to indemnify or indemnifies all or any part of a policy covering a subject of abuse and that cannot underwrite or satisfy its obligations under the reinsurance agreement without that disclosure;

(II) A party to a proposed or consummated sale, transfer, merger or consolidation of all or part of the business of the insurer;

(III) Medical or claims personnel contracting with the insurer, only where necessary to process an application or perform the insurer's duties under the policy or to protect the safety or privacy of a subject of abuse (also includes parent or affiliate companies of the insurer that have service agreements with the insurer); or

(IV) With respect to address and telephone number, to entities with whom the insurer transacts business when the business cannot be transacted without the address and telephone number;

(F) An attorney who needs the information to represent the insurer effectively, provided the insurer notifies the attorney of its obligations under this chapter and requests that the attorney exercise due diligence to protect the confidential abuse information consistent with the attorney's obligation to represent the insurer;

(G) To the policyowner or assignee, in the course of delivery of the policy, if the policy contains information about abuse status; and

(H) To any other entities deemed appropriate by the commissioner.

(ii) This subsection does not preclude a subject of abuse from obtaining his or her insurance records.

(4) Requesting information about abuse status, or making use of this information, however obtained.

(b) This section does not prohibit a life insurer from declining to issue a life insurance policy if:

(1) The applicant or prospective owner of the policy lacks an insurable interest in the insured;

(2) The applicant or prospective owner of the policy is known, on the basis of medical, police or court records, to have committed an act of abuse against the proposed insured; or

(3) The insured or prospective insured is a subject of abuse, and that person, or a person who has assumed the care of that person if a minor or incapacitated, has objected to the issuance of the policy on the ground that the policy would be issued to or for the direct or indirect benefit of the abuser.

(c) This section does not prohibit a life insurer from asking about a medical condition or from using medical information to underwrite or to carry out its duties under the policy, even if the medical information is related to a medical condition that the insurer knows or has reason to know is abuse-related, to the extent otherwise permitted under this chapter and other applicable law.

(d) A life insurer shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for the death of or injury to an insured resulting from any action taken in a good faith effort to comply with the requirements of this chapter. This subsection does not prevent an action to investigate or enforce a violation of this chapter or to assert any other claims authorized by law.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1997, ch. 163, § 1.)