2010 Maryland Code
Subtitle 3 - Unfair Claim Settlement Practices
Section 27-304 - Unfair claim settlement practices - General business practice.

§ 27-304. Unfair claim settlement practices - General business practice.

It is an unfair claim settlement practice and a violation of this subtitle for an insurer or nonprofit health service plan, when committed with the frequency to indicate a general business practice, to: 

(1) misrepresent pertinent facts or policy provisions that relate to the claim or coverage at issue; 

(2) fail to acknowledge and act with reasonable promptness on communications about claims that arise under policies; 

(3) fail to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims that arise under policies; 

(4) refuse to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation based on all available information; 

(5) fail to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed; 

(6) fail to make a prompt, fair, and equitable good faith attempt, to settle claims for which liability has become reasonably clear; 

(7) compel insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under policies by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds; 

(8) attempt to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would expect to be entitled after studying written or printed advertising material accompanying, or made part of, an application; 

(9) attempt to settle a claim based on an application that is altered without notice to, or the knowledge or consent of, the insured; 

(10) fail to include with each claim paid to an insured or beneficiary a statement of the coverage under which the payment is being made; 

(11) make known to insureds or claimants a policy of appealing from arbitration awards in order to compel insureds or claimants to accept a settlement or compromise less than the amount awarded in arbitration; 

(12) delay an investigation or payment of a claim by requiring a claimant or a claimant's licensed health care provider to submit a preliminary claim report and subsequently to submit formal proof of loss forms that contain substantially the same information; 

(13) fail to settle a claim promptly whenever liability is reasonably clear under one part of a policy, in order to influence settlements under other parts of the policy; 

(14) fail to provide promptly a reasonable explanation of the basis for denial of a claim or the offer of a compromise settlement; 

(15) refuse to pay a claim for an arbitrary or capricious reason based on all available information; 

(16) fail to meet the requirements of Title 15, Subtitle 10B of this article for preauthorization for a health care service; 

(17) fail to comply with the provisions of Title 15, Subtitle 10A of this article; or 

(18) fail to act in good faith, as defined under § 27-1001 of this title, in settling a first-party claim under a policy of property and casualty insurance. 

[An. Code 1957, art. 48A, § 230A; 1997, ch. 35, § 2; 1998, ch. 111, § 2; ch. 112, § 2; ch. 755; 1999, ch. 71; 2007, ch. 150.] 

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