31.08.15.04

.04 Discovery of Material Risk Factor During Underwriting Period.

A. If an insurer discovers a material risk factor during the underwriting period, the insurer shall recalculate the premium for the policy or binder based on the material risk factor as long as the risk continues to meet the underwriting standards of the insurer in accordance with the rates and supplementary rating information filed under Insurance Article, Title 11, Subtitle 3, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B. Notice of Recalculated Premium.

An insurer that recalculates a premium under §A of this regulation shall provide a written notice to the insured that states:

(1) The amount of the recalculated premium;

(2) The reason for the increase or reduction in the premium in accordance with §C of this regulation; and

(3) That the insured has the right to terminate the policy and receive a pro rata refund of any premium paid by notifying the insurer of the termination.

C. Reason for Increase or Reduction in Premium.

(1) In stating the reasons for the increase or reduction in the premium, the insurer shall identify each material risk factor that was discovered during the 45-day underwriting period and, for each material risk factor, provide an explanation why the material risk factor required the premium to be recalculated in language that is reasonably understandable to the average policyholder.

(2) Examples of acceptable reasons required by §C(1) of this regulation include, but are not limited to:

(a) Premium recalculated due to [NAME OF DRIVER] moving violation on [DATE OF EVENT];

(b) Safe driver discount removed due to [NAME OF DRIVER] at fault loss on [DATE OF EVENT];

(c) [NAME OF DRIVER] was not listed on the application. Policy must be re-rated or signed driver exclusion must be completed;

(d) Applicant does not currently have an automobile policy with the Company, Multi Policy Discount removed;

(e) Policy was issued without the auto/home discount; or

(f) Premium recalculated due to lack of a central alarm system.

(3) The use of generalized phrases such as “change in prior insurance status,” “change in vehicle symbol,” or “change in protection code” does not meet the requirements of §C(1) of this regulation.

D. Form of Notice.

(1) An insurer that is required to provide a notice of recalculated premium under §B of this regulation shall provide the notice to an insured on:

(a) The form contained in Regulation .05 of this chapter; or

(b) A form that is filed with and approved by the Commissioner.

(2) If an insurer utilizes a form other than the one contained in Regulation .05 of this chapter, the form shall:

(a) Include a statement that the insured may contact the insurer or, if applicable, the insured’s insurance producer for additional information concerning the reason for the insurer’s action and how the action affected the premium charged; and

(b) Provide the telephone number for the insurer that the insured may use to obtain additional information about the insurer’s action, or, in lieu of the insurer’s contact information, provide the telephone number for the insured’s insurance producer.

(3) If an insurer includes a notice of recalculated premium on a form that contains other information, the insurer shall:

(a) Place the notice of recalculated premium in a conspicuous location on the form; and

(b) Print the text of the notice of recalculated premium in at least 12-point type.

E. Delivery of Notice.

(1) An insurer that is required to provide a written notice under §B of this regulation shall send the notice to the policyholder not later than the end of the 45-day underwriting period by:

(a) First-class mail tracking method; or

(b) Delivery by electronic means in accordance with Insurance Article, §27-601.2, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(2) An insurer may send the notice required under §B of this regulation to the policyholder with the policy, declarations page, or any other document that the insurer sends to the policyholder.