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Bureau of Insurance

Know Your Rights Regarding Life and Health Insurance

The General Assembly of Virginia has enacted laws to protect consumers by regulating insurance company practices.

  • Insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate unfairly as to the rates or kinds of coverage available to consumers.
  • Insurance companies are required to pay life and health insurance claims promptly and fairly.
  • Insurance companies may not refuse to issue or refuse to continue a life insurance policy on the life of any member of the United States Armed Forces, the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces or the National Guard due to his or her status as a member of any such military organization or his or her duty assignment while a member of any such military organization.
  • Consumers have a right of access to certain information collected by insurance companies, including information on adverse underwriting decisions.
    • An Adverse Underwriting Decision is an action taken by a company or agent to:
      • Refuse your coverage,
      • Terminate your coverage,
      • Offer you coverage that differs from what you applied for, or
      • Offer you the coverage you applied for at a higher premium rate than was quoted to you when you applied.
  • For example, if you apply for insurance and you are refused coverage, the insurance company must tell you why or tell you that upon written request you may receive an explanation.

There are exceptions to consumer rights, such as when fraud might be involved.