2017 Delaware Code
Title 18 - Insurance Code
CHAPTER 27. THE INSURANCE CONTRACT
Subchapter I Insurance Contracts Generally
§ 2704. Insurable interest; personal insurance.

Universal Citation: 18 DE Code § 2704 (2017)

(a) Any individual of competent legal capacity may procure or effect an insurance contract upon his or her own life or body for the benefit of any person, but no person shall procure or cause to be procured any insurance contract upon the life or body of another individual unless the benefits under such contract are payable to the individual insured or his or her personal representatives or to a person having, at the time when such contract was made, an insurable interest in the individual insured.

(b) If the beneficiary, assignee or other payee under any contract made in violation of this section receives from the insurer any benefits thereunder accruing upon the death, disablement or injury of the individual insured, the individual insured or his or her executor or administrator, as the case may be, may maintain an action to recover such benefits from the person so receiving them.

(c) "Insurable interest" as to such personal insurance means that every individual has an insurable interest in the life, body and health of himself or herself and a person has an insurable interest in the life, body and health of other individuals as follows:

(1) In the case of individuals related closely by blood or by law, a substantial interest engendered by love and affection;

(2) In the case of other persons, a lawful and substantial economic interest in having the life, health or bodily safety of the individual insured continue, as distinguished from an interest which would arise only by, or would be enhanced in value by, the death, disablement or injury of the individual insured;

(3) An employer providing life, health, disability, retirement or similar benefits to some or all of its employees or the employees of its affiliates, or their dependents or beneficiaries, has an insurable interest in the lives of all of its employees or the employees of its affiliates. The trustee of a trust established by an employer substantially for the benefit of the employer, or for the benefit of some or all of the employees in which such employer has an insurable interest, or the dependents or beneficiaries of such employees, has the same insurable interest in the life of such employees as does the employer;

(4) An individual heretofore or hereafter party to a contract or option for the purchase or sale of an interest in a business partnership or firm or of shares of stock of a corporation or of an interest in such shares, has an insurable interest in the life of each individual party to such contract and for the purpose of such contract only, in addition to any insurable interest which may otherwise exist as to the life of such individual; and

(5) The trustee of a trust created and initially funded by an individual has an insurable interest in the life of that individual and the same insurable interest in the life of any other individual as does any person who is treated as the owner of such trust for federal income tax purposes without regard to:

a. The identity of the trust beneficiaries;

b. Whether the identity of the trust beneficiaries changes from time to time; and

c. The means by which any trust beneficiary acquires a beneficial interest in the trust.

The trustee of a trust has the same insurable interest in the life of any individual as does any person with respect to proceeds of insurance on the life of such individual (or any portion of such proceeds) that are allocable to such person's interest in such trust. If multiple beneficiaries of a trust have an insurable interest in the life of the same individual, the trustee of such trust has the same aggregate insurable interest in such life as such beneficiaries with respect to proceeds of insurance on the life of such individual (or any portion of such proceeds) that are allocable in the aggregate to such beneficiaries' interest in the trust;

(6) A person obligated to make a payment on the death of an individual to or for the benefit of a person who is designated by such individual has an insurable interest in the life of such individual. For purposes of this section, group insurance premiums paid on an experience-rated basis shall be treated as payments for the benefit of the beneficiary of such policy.

(d) An insurer shall be entitled to rely upon all statements, declarations and representations made by an applicant for insurance relative to the insurable interest of the applicant in the insured, and no insurer shall incur legal liability except as set forth in the policy by virtue of any untrue statements, declarations or representations so relied upon in good faith by the insurer.

(e) As used in this section and in § 2708(4) of this title, and § 702(c) of this title, except as provided in § 702(c)(3) of this title [sic]:

(1) The term "employee" shall include any and all directors, officers, partners, employees and retired employees and it shall include any other former employees but only for the purpose of replacing existing life insurance policies that will be surrendered in exchange for new life insurance policies in an amount not exceeding the insurance being surrendered, except that the amount of new life insurance may exceed the insurance being surrendered to the extent application of the cash surrender value from the old insurance as a premium under the new life insurance contract requires a larger amount of insurance to qualify as life insurance, and not be treated as a modified endowment contract, for federal income tax purposes.

(2) The term "employer" shall include corporations, limited liability companies or partnerships, statutory trusts, business trusts and other business entities, including associations of employers, and their affiliates.

(3) An "employer-owned life insurance policy" means an insurance contract for which an insurable interest exists under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, issued for delivery in this State and procured or effected by any employer, or a trust established by an employer, which employer as defined herein, is incorporated, registered or qualified to do business in this State and has at least 50 employees.

(4) A "trust-owned life insurance policy" means an insurance contract for which an insurable interest exists under paragraph (c)(3) or (c)(5) of this section, issued for delivery in this State to a trust established under the laws of this State and having a trustee with its principal place of business in this State.

(5) The term "trust" includes without limitation a business trust.

(6) The term "affiliate" shall have the same meaning as set forth in § 5001(1) of this title.

(f) The insurable interest of an employer or trustee under this section shall be conveyed automatically to another employer or to the trustee of a trust established by such other employer substantially for its benefit which has acquired by purchase, merger or otherwise all or part of the first employer's business. An employer or the trustee of a trust established by such employer substantially for its own benefit or substantially for the benefit of its employees or their dependents may exchange any policy of insurance issued to itself or to another employer or the trustee of a trust established by such other employer substantially for its own benefit from which the exchanging employer has acquired by purchase, merger or otherwise all or part of such other employer's business for a new policy of insurance issued to itself without establishing a new insurable interest at the time of such exchange.

(g) The insurable interests recognized in this section may exist cumulatively or concurrently as appropriate to the relationships between the individual insured and the person having the interest in such individual's life. The existence of an insurable interest with respect to an employer-owned life insurance policy or trust-owned life insurance policy shall be governed by this section without regard to an insured's state of residency or location. An employer-owned life insurance policy, if delivered to the employer's principal place of business in this State or to its registered agent in this State; or in the case of a policy issued to a trust established by an employer, if delivered to the place of business in Delaware of the trustee of said trust; and a trust-owned life insurance policy, if delivered to the place of business in Delaware of the trustee of said trust; shall be deemed to have been delivered in this State. The parties to an employer-owned life insurance policy may arrange for delivery in this State by means other than the method described in the preceding sentence. An employer-owned life insurance policy may be issued on an individual or group basis, and any group policy shall be exempt from Chapter 31 of this title. A group insurance policy issued to an employer for the benefit of persons other than the employer, as permitted by § 3102 of this title, shall not constitute an employer-owned life insurance policy.

18 Del. C. 1953, § 2704; 56 Del. Laws, c. 380, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 161, §§ 1, 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 462, §§ 1-3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 239, § 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 62, §§ 1, 2; 73 Del. Laws, c. 329, § 63; 78 Del. Laws, c. 117, § 17.;

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