The Delaware Department of Insurance has recently released Domestic and Foreign Insurers Bulletin No. 142/Producers and Adjusters Bulletin No. 36 regarding pet insurance policies in Delaware. The key highlights are as follows:
- The passage of House Bill No. 156 adds new Chapter 88 to Title 18, entitled the “Pet Insurance Act”, which reflects the adoption of the NAIC Pet Insurance Model Act.
- The Act applies to a pet insurance policy that is issued to a resident of Delaware, a pet insurance policy that is sold, solicited, negotiated, or offered in Delaware, or a pet insurance policy or certificate
- that is delivered or issued for delivery in Delaware.
- The Act standardizes policy language and includes various consumer protections, including:
- Multiple disclosure requirements
- 30-day “free look” period for consumers
- Insurers may impose a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts for illnesses or orthopedic conditions not resulting from an accident. However, a pet owner may avoid the waiting period by having a medical examination of the pet completed right away.
- Insurers are prohibited from imposing waiting periods for injuries due to accidents.
- Wellness programs are not insurance and may not be marketed as a prerequisite for pet insurance coverage.
- An insurance producer is prohibited from selling, soliciting or negotiating a pet insurance product until after the producer is appropriately licensed and has completed training on the product the producer is offering for sale.
- It is the insurer’s responsibility to confirm that the insurer’s insurance producer is properly trained – the insurer should maintain documentation of the insurer’s compliance with the Code. If a producer is selling the products of multiple carriers, presumably with differing products, then training would have to be provided for each product/carrier.
- Satisfaction of the training requirement of another state that is substantially similar to the training requirements set forth at subsection 8807(c) (as determined by the Commissioner) satisfies the training requirement under Chapter 88.
Please note the bulletin became effective upon signing on 8/31/2023 and allows insurers up until 12/1/23 to refile any currently-approved pet insurance policy forms to bring them into compliance with the Act.
For any questions related to the above referenced bulletin in Delaware, please contact Westmont Associates!