§ 33-24-47. [Effective 7/1/2019] Notice required of termination or nonrenewal, increase in premium rates, or change restricting or reducing coverage; failure of insurer to comply.

CODE OF GEORGIA

Title 33. INSURANCE

Chapter 24. INSURANCE GENERALLY

Article 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS

Current through 2019 Chapter 321

§ 33-24-47. [Effective 7/1/2019] Notice required of termination or nonrenewal, increase in premium rates, or change restricting or reducing coverage; failure of insurer to comply

(a) Each insurer licensed to transact business in this state which issues or issues for delivery in this state policies or contracts of insurance insuring risks or residents in this state and insuring against liability for loss of, damage to, or injury to persons or property shall comply with the provisions of this Code section. This Code section shall not apply to personal automobile or personal property and casualty insurance policies. Cancellation of a policy for failure of the named insured to discharge when due any obligations in connection with the payment of premiums or cancellation for any reason of a policy that has been in effect for less than 60 days shall be governed by the provisions of Code Section 33-24-44.
(b) A notice of termination, including a notice of cancellation or nonrenewal, by the insurer or a notice of an increase in premiums, other than an increase in premiums due to a change in risk or exposure, including a change in experience modification or resulting from an audit of auditable coverages, which exceeds 15 percent of the current policy's premium, shall be delivered to the insured as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 33-24-14, in person, or by depositing the notice in the United States mail, to be dispatched by at least first-class mail to the last address of record of the insured, at least 45 days prior to the termination date of such policy; provided, however, that a notice of cancellation or nonrenewal of a policy of workers' compensation insurance shall be controlled by the provisions of subsection (f) of this Code section. In those instances where an increase in premium exceeds 15 percent, the notice to the insured shall indicate the dollar amount of the increase. The insurer may obtain a receipt provided by the United States Postal Service as evidence of mailing such notice or such other evidence of mailing as prescribed or accepted by the United States Postal Service.
(c) The failure of an insurer to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section shall entitle the policyholder to purchase, under the same premiums and policy terms and conditions, an additional 30 day period of insurance coverage beyond the termination date of such policy; provided, however, that the policyholder shall tender the premium amount, computed on a pro rata basis, to the insurer on or before the termination date. No provision of this Code section shall be construed as requiring the insurance coverage under a policy to be extended for more than 30 days from the termination date stated in such policy. An insurer shall not be subject to any other penalty for the failure to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this Code section unless the Commissioner finds, after a hearing, that such noncompliance by the insurer has occurred with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice by the insurer of noncompliance with subsection (b) of this Code section. There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against the Commissioner or the Commissioner's employees or against any insurer, its authorized representatives, its agents, its employees, or any firm, person, or corporation furnishing to the insurer information as to reasons for cancellation or nonrenewal for any statement made by any of them and in written notice of cancellation or nonrenewal or in any other communication, oral or written, specifying the reasons for cancellation or nonrenewal or providing information pertaining thereto or for statements made or evidence submitted at any formal or informal hearing conducted in connection therewith.
(d) This Code section shall not apply to policies canceled in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22 of this title.
(e) Cancellation by the insured shall be accomplished in accordance with Code Section 33-24-44.1.
(f) A notice of cancellation or nonrenewal of a policy of workers' compensation insurance shall be dispatched to the insured as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 33-24-14 or by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the last address of record of the insured at least 75 days prior to the termination date of such policy. The workers' compensation insurer shall retain the receipt of mailing provided by the United States Postal Service as evidence of mailing unless such mailing was accomplished as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 33-24-14.
(g) An insurer shall provide a written notice of a reduction in coverage to the named insured no less than 45 days prior to the effective date of the proposed reduction in coverage; provided that such notice shall be in a separate document with the words 'NOTICE OF REDUCTION IN COVERAGE ' written in all capital letters in at least 12 point type. Such notice shall be delivered to the insured as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 33-24-14, in person, or by depositing the notice in the United States mail, to be dispatched by at least first-class mail to the last address of record of the insured. A reduction in coverage shall mean a change made by the insurer which results in a removal of coverage, diminution in scope or less coverage, or the addition of an exclusion. Reduction in coverage shall not include any change, reduction, or elimination of coverage made at the request of the insured. The correction of typographical or scrivener's errors or the application of mandated legislative changes shall not be considered a reduction in coverage.

Cite as OCGA § 33-24-47

History. Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 147, §7, eff. 7/1/2019.

Amended by 2018 Ga. Laws 336, §3, eff. 7/1/2018.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 9, §33, eff. 3/13/2015.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 659, §11 and §12, eff. 7/1/2014.

Note: This section is set out twice. See also § 33-24-47, effective until 7/1/2019.