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31.15.13.02

.02 Notice Requirement for Commercial Lines Policies.

A. Exceptions.

(1) The notice requirement of Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland, does not apply to an insurer that intends to increase a premium for a commercial lines policy by 20 percent or more if the insurer satisfies the Commissioner that it cannot reasonably comply with the notice requirement for any risk, category of risk, or line of business involved.

(2) An insurer is deemed unable to reasonably comply with the notice requirement of Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland:

(a) With respect to any portion of a premium increase that results from:

(i) An increase in the units of exposure;

(ii) Application of an experience rating plan;

(iii) Application of a retrospective rating plan;

(iv) A premium audit performed in accordance with the terms of the policy;

(v) Any change made by the insured to the risk that increases insurer's exposure on the risk;

(vi) A request made by the insured to change coverage under the policy; or

(b) If the insurer:

(i) Has given notice of its intent not to renew the policy;

(ii) Is required to hold coverage in effect past the expiration date and into the renewal period, by operation of Insurance Article, §27-501(f), Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(iii) Does not receive the hold-in-effect directive of the Commissioner far enough in advance of the renewal date to calculate the premium and provide the notice of premium increase at least 45 days before the effective date of the proposed premium increase.

B. Calculation of Amount of Premium Increase.

(1) In determining whether an insurer is required to provide a notice of increase in premium of 20 percent or more for a commercial lines policy under Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland, the insurer shall deduct from the total amount of the premium increase any portion of the premium increase that is exempted from the notice requirement under §A(2)(a) of this regulation.

(2) If the remaining amount of the premium increase equals 20 percent or more of the premium for the previous policy term, the insurer shall comply with the notice requirement of Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(3) If the remaining amount of the premium increase equals less than 20 percent of the premium for the previous policy term, the insurer need not comply with the notice requirement of Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland.

C. Content of Notice.

(1) For a commercial lines policy, an insurer shall include on a notice of premium increase of 20 percent or more that is required by Insurance Article, §27-604, Annotated Code of Maryland:

(a) Both of the following:

(i) The dollar amount of the increase or the percentage of the increase; and

(ii) The dollar amount of the new premium; or

(b) The dollar amount of the new premium and the dollar amount of the expiring, or most recently reported, full-term premium, in close proximity on the same page of the notice.

(2) Notwithstanding §C(1) of this regulation, the insurer shall provide a reasonable estimate of the premium increase or range of the premium increase based on the information available to the insurer at the time that the notice is sent if:

(a) The insurer's rating methodology requires the insured to provide information to the insurer for the insurer to calculate the premium;

(b) The insurer requests the information from the insured far enough in advance of the renewal date for:

(i) The insured to provide the information to the insurer; and

(ii) The insurer to calculate the premium and provide the notice of premium increase at least 45 days before the effective date of the proposed premium increase; and

(c) The insured fails to provide the information to the insurer far enough in advance of the renewal date for the insurer to calculate the premium and provide the notice of premium increase at least 45 days before the effective date of the proposed premium increase.

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