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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 96-737



Amendments to Unfair Insurance Practices Act--Prohibiting Insurance Companies from Denying Coverage to Victims of Domestic Abuse; Notice No. 1996-06

[26 Pa.B. 2135]

   Governor Tom Ridge signed HB 1100 (Act 24) into law on April 4, 1996. The law amends the Unfair Insurance Practices Act (40 P. S. § 1171.1 et seq.), and prohibits insurance companies from denying insurance coverage or taking adverse rating action on the basis that the applicant or insured has been the victim of domestic violence.

Basis and Effect of Law

   Act 24 prohibits insurance companies from denying, canceling or refusing to renew an insurance policy, or restricting coverage, adding a surcharge, excluding benefits or applying an adverse rating factor to an individual's policy because the individual has been a victim of domestic violence.

   The Unfair Insurance Practices Act regulates persons doing the business of insurance in the Commonwealth. Thus, all licensed insurance companies are required to comply with Act 24. Those carriers who have considered domestic violence as an underwriting criterion or rating factor in the past must immediately modify their underwriting procedures to eliminate the practice.

   The Insurance Department will commence appropriate investigations of complaints alleging violations of the law, and will initiate appropriate enforcement activity should the investigation reveal a violation of Act 24.

Effective Date

   The law went into effect immediately upon execution by Governor Ridge, April 4, 1996.

Contact Person

   Questions regarding this notice may be addressed to Heli LeBlanc, Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Consumer Services and Enforcement, Insurance Department, 1321 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120, telephone (717) 787-6174.

Insurance Commissioner

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 96-737. Filed for public inspection May 3, 1996, 9:00 a.m.]

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