AN ACT TO CREATE A COMPREHENSIVE FRAMEWORK FOR THE SALE OF TRAVEL INSURANCE IN NORTH CAROLINA. SL 2019-128. Enacted July 19, 2019. Effective January 1, 2020.
Summary date: Jul 22 2019 - View Summary
Summary date: May 2 2019 - View Summary
House committee substitute to the 1st edition makes the following changes.
Modifies the proposed changes to the definition of travel insurance set forth in GS 58-33-19 to specify that the term may include coverage of the specified personal risks incident to planned travel rather than includes but is not limited to those personal risks specified. Makes technical and clarifying changes.
Makes a clarifying change to the scope of proposed Article 44B set forth in GS 58-44B-1. Modifies and adds to the definition of the proposed Article. Modifies the definition of eligible group to specify that the term can include any of the entities specified rather than includes but is not limited to the entities specified. Makes similar changes to the term's inclusive lists and the inclusive lists set out for travel assistance services. Adds the term travel insurer and travel retailer.
Modifies proposed GS 58-44B-5 which sets out requirements concerning travel insurance marketing. Now requires all documents, sales materials, advertising materials, and marketing materials to consumers (previously an inclusive list of types of documents) provided to customers prior to purchasing travel insurance to be consistent with the travel policy itself, including (was, included but not limited to) forms, endorsements, policies, rate filing, and certificates of insurance.
Makes the language of proposed GS 58-44B-6 gender-neutral.
Modifies proposed GS 58-44B-7 to specify that travel insurance can be provided in the form of an individual, group, or blanket policy.
Summary date: Apr 15 2019 - View Summary
Amends GS 58-33-19, concerning limited lines travel insurance. Modifies the scope of the definitions provided to make them applicable to the statute only rather than Article 33, Licensing of Agents, Brokers, Limited Representatives, and Adjusters. Adds travel administrators to the definition of limited lines travel insurance producer. Amends travel insurance to include emergency evacuation coverage, repatriation of remains coverage, and coverage for any other contractual obligations to indemnify or pay a specified amount to the traveler upon determinable contingencies related to travel as approved by the Commissioner of Insurance (Commissioner); excludes major medical plans that provide comprehensive medical protection for travelers with trips lasting longer than six months, including those working or residing overseas as an expatriate, or any other product that requires another specific insurance producer license (previously excluded those deployed military personnel and did not specifically exclude any other product requiring another specific insurance producer license). Amends travel retailer to refer to planned travel rather than travel services.
Now provides that the grounds for disciplinary action applicable to resident insurance producers are applicable to the limited lines travel insurance producers and travel retailers. Now requires brochures and other written materials which travel retailers offering or disseminating travel insurance must make available to prospective purchasers to be approved by the travel insurer. Concerning authorization for travel retailers to offer and disseminate travel insurance, specifies that a travel retailer's insurance-related activities must be limited to offering and disseminating (rather than offering or disseminating) travel insurance on behalf of or at the direction of a limited lines travel insurance producer meeting the statute's criteria, notwithstanding any other provision of law (previously the authorization did not have a qualifier). Allows travel insurance to be provided in the form of an individual, group, or blanket policy (was permitted under an individual or under a group or master policy). Authorizes any person licensed in a major line of authority as an insurance producer to sell, solicit, and negotiate travel insurance. Specifies that a property and casualty insurance producer is not required to become appointed by an insurer in order to sell, solicit, or negotiate travel insurance.
Enacts Article 44B, Travel Insurance, to GS Chapter 58. Describes the purpose of the Article as to create a comprehensive legal framework for travel insurance to be sold in the state. Defines the scope of the Article to include travel insurance that covers any residents sold, solicited, negotiated, or offered in the state where policies and certificates are delivered or issued for delivery in the state. Excludes from the Article's scope cancellation fee waivers and travel assistance services, except as provided. Specifies that all other applicable provisions of the Chapter apply to travel insurance; however, the Article's provisions govern if there is conflict. Sets forth 11 defined terms applicable to the Article.
Requires premium tax under GS 105-228.5 be paid by a travel insurer on all insurance premiums paid by a resident who is an individual primary policyholder; a resident who is a primary certificate holder and elects coverage under a group travel insurance policy, as defined; or a resident, as specified, who is a blanket travel insurance policyholder for eligible blanket group members. Requires a travel insurer to (1) document the state of residence or principal place of business of the policyholder or certificate holder and (2) report as premium only the amount allocable to travel insurance and not any amounts received for travel assistance services or cancellation fee waivers. Sets criteria for travel protection plans, defined as plans that provide travel insurance; travel assistance services, as defined; and/or cancellation fee waivers. Requires the travel protection plans to be offered at one price and include specified disclosures and fulfillment materials.
Subjects all persons offering travel insurance to residents to the provisions of Article 63 regarding unfair trade practices, except as provided. Deems an unfair trade practice offering or selling a travel insurance policy that could never result in payment of any claims for any insured under the policy. Details five requirements applicable to marketing travel insurance, including providing consistent documentation to consumers prior to and after purchasing travel insurance, providing an opportunity to learn more about any preexisting condition exclusions prior to purchase and in the fulfillment materials, accepting cancellations for a specified time and giving a full refund, and disclosing whether the travel insurance is primary or secondary to other applicable coverage. Describes permitted online marketing. Prohibits offering, soliciting, or negotiating travel insurance or travel protection plans on an individual or group basis by using negative option or opt-out features. Deems an unfair trade practice marketing blanket travel insurance coverage as free. Permits requiring a consumer to purchase insurance coverage as specified as a condition of purchasing a trip or travel package where the destination jurisdiction requires insurance coverage.
Requires a travel administrator for travel insurance to be a licensed property and casualty insurance producer, hold a valid managing general agent license, and hold a valid third-party administrator license. Exempts a travel administrator and its employees from the licensing requirements of GS 58-33-70 (Special provisions for adjusters and motor vehicle damage appraisers) for travel insurance. Deems an insurer responsible for the acts of a travel administrator administering insurance underwritten by the insurer, ensuring the travel administrator maintains all relevant records to the insurer and make them available to the Commissioner upon request.
Establishes it is state policy for travel insurance to be classified under an inland marine line of insurance, except that certain coverage including coverage for sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel can be filed under either an accident and health line of insurance or an inland marine line of insurance. Provides for the development and provision of eligibility and underwriting standards of travel insurance so long as they meet inland marine underwriting standards.
Authorizes the Commissioner to issue rules to implement the Article.
Effective January 1, 2020.