2018 Louisiana Laws
TITLE 22 - Insurance
RS 22:1266 - Automobile, property, casualty, and liability insurance policies; cancellations
§1266. Automobile, property, casualty, and liability insurance policies; cancellations
A. As used in this Part:
(1) "Policy" means an automobile liability, automobile physical damage, or automobile collision policy, or any combination thereof, delivered or issued for delivery in this state, or any binder based on such a policy, insuring a single individual or husband and wife resident of the same household, as named insured, and under which the insured vehicles therein designated are of the following types only:
(a) A private passenger vehicle that is not used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers, nor rented to others.
(b) Any other four-wheel motor vehicle with a load capacity of sixteen hundred pounds or less which is not used in the occupation, profession or business of the insured; however, this shall not apply to:
(i) Any policy issued under an automobile assigned risk plan.
(ii) Any policy insuring more than four automobiles.
(iii) Any policy covering garage, automobile sales agency, repair shop, service station, or public parking place operation hazards.
(2) "Automobile liability coverage" includes only coverages of bodily injury and property damage liability, medical payments and uninsured motorists coverage.
(3) "Automobile physical damage coverage" includes all coverage of loss or damage to an automobile insured under the policy except loss or damage resulting from collision or upset.
(4) "Automobile collision coverage" includes all coverage of loss or damage to an automobile insured under the policy resulting from collision or upset.
(5) "Renewal" or "to renew" means the issuance and delivery by an insurer of a policy replacing at the end of the policy period a policy previously issued and delivered by the same insurer, or the issuance and delivery of a certificate or notice extending the term of a policy beyond its policy period or term. However, no policy of insurance for a period of less than six months shall be issued by an insurer to any person who has been issued two or more citations for violations of R.S. 32:851 et seq. or R.S. 32:861 et seq., and any policy issued to a person receiving two or more citations shall be considered as if written for a policy period or term of six months. Any policy which is written for a term longer than one year or any policy which is renewed by an insurer shall be for the same term as the original or expired policy, or any policy with no fixed expiration date shall for the purpose of this Subpart be considered as if written for successive policy periods or terms of one year. Such a policy may be terminated at the expiration of any annual period upon giving twenty days notice of cancellation prior to such anniversary date. This cancellation shall not be subject to any other provisions of this Subpart.
(6) "Nonpayment of premium" means failure of the named insured to discharge when due any of his obligations in connection with the payment of premiums on a policy, or any installment of such premium, whether the premium is payable directly to the insurer or its agent or indirectly under any premium finance plan or extension of credit.
B.(1) A notice of cancellation of a policy shall be effective only if it is based on one or more of the following reasons:
(a) Nonpayment of premium.
(b) The driver's license or motor vehicle registration of the named insured or of any other operator who either resides in the same household or customarily operates an automobile insured under the policy has been under suspension or revocation during the policy period, or, if the policy is a renewal, during its policy period or the one hundred eighty days immediately preceding its effective date.
(c) Fraud or material misrepresentation in the presentation of a claim.
(d) Nonreceipt by the insurer of an application for insurance in which a valid binder has been issued.
(2) This Subsection shall not apply to nonrenewal or to any policy or coverage which has been in effect less than sixty days at the time notice of cancellation is mailed or delivered by the insurer unless it is a renewal policy. After an insurer has paid and satisfied an insured's third physical damage claim within a period of five years, the modification of such insured's automobile physical damage coverage by the inclusion of or a change in a deductible not exceeding five hundred dollars shall not be deemed a cancellation of the coverage or of the policy.
C. No insurer shall cancel or fail to renew a policy purely because of age. Some legitimate reason, such as physical or mental infirmity, must be specified before an insurer may cancel or refuse to renew a policy.
D.(1) No notice of cancellation of a policy to which Subsection B or C of this Section applies shall be effective unless mailed by certified mail or delivered by the insurer to the named insured at least thirty days prior to the effective date of cancellation; however, when cancellation is for nonpayment of premium at least ten days notice of cancellation accompanied by the reason shall be given. In the event of nonpayment of premiums for a binder, a ten-day notice of cancellation shall be required before the cancellation shall be effective. Notice of cancellation for nonpayment of premiums shall not be required to be sent by certified mail. Unless the reason accompanies the notice of cancellation, the notice of cancellation shall state or be accompanied by a statement that upon written request of the named insured, mailed or delivered to the insurer within six months after the effective date of cancellation, the insurer will specify the reason for such cancellation. This Subsection shall not apply to nonrenewal.
(2) There shall be no liability and no cause of action of any nature against any insurer or its producers, employees, or representatives for any action taken by them to provide the reasons for cancellation as required by this Subsection.
(3)(a)(i) Payment of an initial, renewal, or installment insurance premium by the insured to an insurer or a producer with a check or other negotiable instrument which is returned to the payee by the institution upon which it is drawn for insufficient funds available in the account, for lack of credit, for the reason the account is closed, for stopped payment, or for any other reason shall be deemed grounds for the insurer to cancel the binder or policy from the date the premium payment was due for the initial or renewal term, whichever is applicable.
(ii) The provisions of this Paragraph shall apply to automobile liability policies and to property, casualty, and liability policies.
(b)(i) The producer shall immediately, and in no case later than ten days after the producer or premium finance company has received notice of the returned check or negotiable instrument, notify the insurer of the receipt of the returned check or negotiable instrument.
(ii) The insurer shall immediately, and in no case later than ten days after the producer or premium finance company has notified the insurer, notify the named insured, by certified mail or delivering to the named insured a written notice that the policy is canceled from the date the premium payment was due. The insurer shall advise the named insured that the policy shall be reinstated effective from the date the premium payment was due for the term of the policy only if the named insured or his legal representative presents to the insurer a cashier's check or money order for the full amount of the returned check or other negotiable instrument within ten days of the date that the notice of cancellation was mailed.
(c) Upon expiration of the ten-day period, either:
(i) The insurer shall reinstate the insured's policy, from the date that the premium was due, and shall pay directly to the producer all funds paid to the insurer by the insured or his legal representative to replace the dishonored check or other negotiable instrument.
(ii) Cancellation of the policy shall remain effective, when the insured or his legal representative has failed to redeem the dishonored check or other negotiable instrument before expiration of the ten-day period.
(d)(i) Within ten days of the expiration of the ten-day notice, the insurer shall return all funds paid by the producer to the insurer on behalf of the insured, except that when an insurance premium finance company has funded an insured's policy the insurer shall return those funds directly to the insurance premium finance company. These funds shall be returned by check or other negotiable instrument and shall not be placed on the producer's or premium finance company's account currents unless the producer or premium finance company and the insurer have agreed to other methods for handling these funds. Funds received by the insurance premium finance company in excess of the amount funded by the insurance premium finance company shall be forwarded to the producer. When funds are returned to the premium finance company by an insurer, the insurer shall also mail a copy of the check or other negotiable instrument to the insured at the insured's last-known address.
(ii) The original or a copy of the returned dishonored check or negotiable instrument, front and back, mailed or faxed, to the insurance company shall be proof of the returned dishonored check or negotiable instrument by the financial institution and shall be considered sufficient evidence in any future litigation.
(iii) When an insured pays the dishonored check by delivery to the producer of cash or a certified check, the producer shall notify the insurer within ten days of the payment of the dishonored check.
(e) In the event the policy has been canceled back to the date of inception or premium payment due in accordance with this Paragraph, the sixty-day periods referred to in R.S. 9:3550(H) and R.S. 22:887(F) shall not apply. The funds shall be returned by the insurer by check within ten days of the expiration of the ten-day notice of cancellation.
(4)(a) In the event that a producer incorrectly states the premium amount for the automobile liability policy, the insured may cancel the policy and shall be returned the initial payment of premium, including fees and costs, less the prorated cost for the period of time of coverage at the initial stated premium, including fees and costs, and may cancel the insurance coverage, without penalty or loss of coverage, for the period of time that the premium, including fees and costs, was paid.
(b) When an insurance premium finance company has funded an insured's policy and the policy is cancelled, the insurer shall return the funds directly to the insurance premium finance company. Any funds received by the insurance premium finance company in excess of the amount owed to the insurance premium finance company by the insured shall be forwarded to the producer to be returned to the insured, and the insurance premium finance company shall also mail to the insured a copy of the check or other negotiable instrument representing the amount of the payment. The insurer shall not withhold any more funds from the insurance premium finance company than would otherwise be withheld from the insured. No insurer shall assess a service charge for this transaction.
E.(1) No insurer shall fail to renew a policy unless it shall mail or deliver to the named insured, at the address shown in the policy, at least twenty days advance notice of its intention not to renew. This Subsection shall not apply:
(a) If the insurer has manifested its willingness to renew.
(b) In case of nonpayment of premium; however, notwithstanding the failure of an insurer to comply with this Subsection, the policy shall terminate on the effective date of any other insurance policy with respect to any automobile designated in both policies.
(c) If the insurer or a company within the same group as the insurer has offered to issue a renewal policy to the named insured.
(d) If the named insured has provided written notification to the insurer of the insured's intention not to renew the policy.
(2) Renewal of a policy shall not constitute a waiver or estoppel with respect to grounds for cancellation which existed before the effective date of such renewal.
(3) Upon the written request of the named insured, the insurer shall provide to the insured in writing the reasons for nonrenewal of the policy. There shall be no liability and no cause of action of any nature against any insurer or its producers, employees, or representatives for any action taken by them to provide the reasons for nonrenewal as required by this Paragraph.
F. Proof of mailing of notice of cancellation, or of intention not to renew or of reasons for cancellation, to the named insured at the address shown in the policy, shall be sufficient proof of notice.
G. When a policy of automobile liability insurance is cancelled, other than for nonpayment of premium, or in the event of failure to renew a policy of automobile liability insurance to which Subsection D applies, the insurer shall notify the named insured of his possible eligibility for automobile liability insurance through the automobile liability assigned risk plan. Such notice shall accompany or be included in the notice of cancellation or the notice of intent not to renew.
H. Repealed by Acts 1987, No. 510, §2.
I. There shall be no liability and no cause of action of any nature against the commissioner of insurance or against any insurer, its authorized representative, its producers, its employees, or any firm, person, or corporation furnishing to the insurer information as to reasons for cancellation, for any statement made by any of them in any written notice of cancellation, or in any other communication, oral or written, specifying the reasons for cancellation, or the providing of information pertaining thereto, or for statements made or evidence submitted at any hearings conducted in connection therewith.
J. Where written notice of cancellation or nonrenewal is required and the insurer elects to mail the notice, the running of the time period between the date of mailing and the effective date of termination of coverage shall commence upon the date of mailing.
K. No insurer shall cancel an automobile insurance policy written or issued for delivery in this state belonging to an insured over the age of sixty-five based upon the age of the insured provided the insured is mentally and physically capable of driving an automobile and possesses a valid Louisiana operator's license issued by the office of motor vehicles of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
L. No insurer shall cancel an automobile insurance policy for any insured solely on the ground that the insured has submitted a single claim under the policy for damage incurred or arising from the operation of an automobile. The provisions of this Subsection shall not prohibit an insurer from increasing the cost of the insured's premium based on the number of claims submitted under the policy for damage incurred or arising from the operation of an automobile. For the purposes of this Subsection, an incident shall be deemed a claim only when there is a demand for payment under the terms of the policy. A report of loss or a question relating to coverage shall not independently establish a claim.
M.(1) An insurance premium finance company that finances any part of an insurance policy governed by this Section shall cooperate with the department in any investigation regarding such insurance policy.
(2) Upon request by the department, the insurance premium finance company shall make available to the department all documents, correspondence, and cancellation notices related to the insurance policy that is the subject of an investigation as provided in Paragraph (1) in this Subsection that have been received or sent by the insurance premium finance company.
(3) An insurance premium finance company that violates any provision of this Section shall be subject to the monetary penalties provided for in R.S. 22:13(A).
Added by Acts 1968, No. 632, §1. Amended by Acts 1974, No. 452, §1; Acts 1985, No. 938, §2, eff. Jan. 1, 1986; Acts 1986, No. 830, §1; Acts 1987, No. 510, §§1, 2; Acts 1988, No. 356, §1, eff. July 7, 1988; Acts 1991, No. 981, §1; Acts 1992, No. 331, §1; Acts 1993, No. 56, §1; Acts 1993, No. 215, §1; Acts 1993, No. 1020, §1; Acts 1995, No. 518, §1; Acts 1995, No. 875, §1; Acts 1997, No. 358, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1008, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1073, §1; Acts 2003, No. 298, §1; Acts 2004, No. 826, §1; Redesignated from R.S. 22:636.1 by Acts 2008, No. 415, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 472, §1; Acts 2010, No. 703, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011; Acts 2010, No. 901, §1; Acts 2015, No. 37, §1.
NOTE: Former R.S. 22:1266 redesignated as R.S. 22:440 by Acts 2008, No. 415, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009.