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Georgia State Code
Title      33
Chapter      24  
Section Navigation     1 ... 9          10 ... 18    
    19 ... 26       26.1 ... 29    
  29.1 ... 37         38 ... 44.1  
      45 ... 53         54 ... 58.2  
    59 ... 59.9    59.10 ... 70    
    71 ... 72      
Section<<< 45 46 47 47.1 48 49 50 51 52 53 >>>  
Title 33, Chapter 24, Section 46 (33-24-46)

(a) This Code section shall apply only to policies of insurance against direct loss to residential real property and the contents thereof, as defined and limited in standard fire policies insuring natural persons as the named insured.

(b) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) "Nonrenewal" or "nonrenewed" means a refusal by an insurer or an affiliate of an insurer to renew. Failure of an insured to pay the premium as required of the insured for renewal after the insurer has manifested a willingness to renew by delivering a renewal policy, renewal certificate, or other evidence of renewal to the named insured or his or her representative or has offered to issue a renewal policy, certificate, or other evidence of renewal or has manifested such intention by any other means shall not be construed to be a nonrenewal.

(2) "Policies" means a policy insuring a natural person as named insured against direct loss to residential real property and the contents thereof, as defined and limited in standard fire policies as approved by the Commissioner.

(3) "Renewal" means issuance and delivery by an insurer or an affiliate of such insurer of a policy superseding at the end of the policy period a policy previously issued and delivered by the same insurer and providing no less than the coverage contained in the superseded policy or issuance and delivery of a certificate or notice extending the term of a policy beyond its policy period or term or the extension of the term of a policy beyond its policy period or term pursuant to a provision for extending the policy by payment of a continuation premium. Any policy with a policy period or term of less than six months shall, for the purposes of this Code section, be considered to have successive policy periods ending each six months following its original date of issue and, regardless of its wording, any interim termination by its terms or by refusal to accept premiums shall be a cancellation subject to this Code section. Any policy written for a term longer than one year or any policy with no fixed expiration date shall be considered as if written for successive policy periods or terms of one year and any termination by an insurer effective on an anniversary date of such policy shall be deemed a refusal to renew.

(c)(1) No notice of cancellation of a policy as to which this Code section applies shall be effective unless mailed or delivered as prescribed in Code Section 33-24-44. The insurer shall provide the reason or reasons for such cancellation as required by Chapter 39 of this title.

(2) After coverage under a policy to which this Code section applies has been in effect more than 60 days or after the effective date of a renewal policy to which this Code section applies, a notice of cancellation may be issued only for one or more of the following reasons:

(A) Nonpayment of premium;

(B) Discovery of fraud, concealment of material fact, or material misrepresentation made by or with the knowledge of the insured in obtaining the policy, continuing the policy, or presenting a claim under the policy;

(C) The occurrence of a change in the risk which substantially increases any hazard the policy insures against; or

(D) The insured violates any of the material terms or conditions of the policy.

(d) No insurer shall refuse to renew a policy to which this Code section applies unless a written notice of nonrenewal is mailed or delivered in person to the named insured. Such notice stating the time when nonrenewal will be effective, which shall not be less than 30 days from the date of mailing or delivery of such notice of nonrenewal or such longer period as may be provided in the contract or by statute, shall be delivered in person or by depositing the notice in the United States mails to be dispatched by at least first-class mail to the last address of record of the insured and of the lienholder, where applicable, and receiving the receipt provided by the United States Postal Service or such other evidence of mailing as prescribed or accepted by the United States Postal Service. The insurer shall provide the reason or reasons for nonrenewal as required by Chapter 39 of this title.

(e) When a policy is canceled other than for nonpayment of premium or in the event of a refusal to renew or continue a policy, the insurer shall notify the named insured of his possible eligibility for insurance through the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan. The notice shall accompany or be included in the notice of cancellation or the notice of intent not to renew or not to continue the policy and shall state that such notice availability of the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan is given pursuant to this Code section. Included in the notice shall be the address by which the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements Plan might be contacted in order to determine eligibility.

(f) There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against the Commissioner or his employees or against any insurer, its authorized representatives, its agents, its employees, or any firm, person, or corporation furnishing to the insurer information as to reasons for cancellation or nonrenewal for any statement made by any of them and in written notice of cancellation or nonrenewal or in any other communication, oral or written, specifying the reasons for cancellation or nonrenewal or providing information pertaining thereto or for statements made or evidence submitted at any formal or informal hearing conducted in connection therewith.

(g) Return of unearned premium, if any, due to cancellations as to which this Code section applies shall be processed in accordance with Code Section 33-24-44.

(h) Notice to the insured shall not be required by this Code section when a policy is canceled by an insurance premium finance company under a power of attorney contained in an insurance premium finance agreement if notification of the existence of the premium finance agreement has been given to the insurer in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 22 of this title. However, the insurer shall comply with the provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 33-22-13 pertaining to notice to a governmental agency, mortgagee, or other third party. Such notice shall be delivered in person or by depositing the notice in the United States mails to be dispatched by at least first-class mail to the last address of record of such governmental agency, mortgagee, or other third party and receiving the receipt provided by the United States Postal Service or such other evidence of mailing as prescribed or accepted by the United States Postal Service.

(i) Cancellation by the insured shall be accomplished as provided in Code Section 33-24-44.1.

(j) No notice refusing the renewal of a policy issued for delivery in this state shall be mailed or delivered by an insurer or its agent duly authorized to effect such notice of nonrenewal for the following reasons:

(1) Lack of, lack of potential for, or failure to agree to a writing of supporting insurance business;

(2) A change in the insurer's eligibility rules or underwriting rules, provided that this paragraph shall not apply to a change in such rules if the change applies uniformly within a specific class or territory and such change has been approved by the Commissioner under subsection (k) of this Code section; and

(3) Two or fewer claims against the policy within the preceding 36 month period if such claims are not attributable to the negligent or intentional acts of the insured or of persons residing at the insured premises.

(k) If the insurer demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that renewal would violate the provisions of this title or would be hazardous to its policyholders or the public, paragraph (2) of subsection (j) shall not apply.

(l)(1) If the insurer complies with subsection (d) of this Code section, no claim or action may be maintained with respect to a policy which is not renewed unless the named insured files a written notice with the insurer before the time at which nonrenewal becomes effective. The notice shall specify the manner in which the failure to renew is alleged to be unlawful under this subsection. In any subsequent action asserting a violation of subsection (c), (j), or (k) of this Code section, no violation may be alleged other than the specific allegations contained in the notice filed by the named insured.

(2) In addition to other requirements, a notice of nonrenewal shall contain the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection in substantially the form which follows:

"NOTICE

Code Section 33-24-46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated provides that this insurer must, upon request, furnish you with the reasons for the failure to renew this policy. If you wish to assert that the nonrenewal is unlawful, you must file a written notice with this insurer before the time at which the nonrenewal becomes effective. The notice must specify the manner in which the failure to renew is alleged to be unlawful. If you do not file the written notice, you may not later assert a claim or action against this insurer based upon an unlawful nonrenewal."

(m)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (j) of this Code section, the termination of an agency relationship shall be valid as a reason for a failure to renew a policy. In such case, if the named insured wishes to retain the policy with the particular insurer, the insured shall locate another agent of the insurer and apply for the policy with another agent of the insurer before the time at which the nonrenewal becomes effective. Upon receipt of the application, the insurer shall treat the application as a renewal and not as an original writing. Nothing in this paragraph shall abridge or supersede contractual rights of the terminated agency or the insurer, provided that these contractual rights do not adversely affect the privilege of the named insured to apply for renewal through another agent of the insurer.

(2) A notice of nonrenewal based upon the termination of an agency relationship shall contain the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, in substantially the form which follows:

"NOTICE

Your policy has not been renewed because your present agent no longer represents this insurer. You have the option of procuring coverage through your present agent or retaining this policy by applying through another agent of this insurer. Code Section 33-24-46 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated provides that if you will locate another agent of the insurer and apply for this policy before the time at which the nonrenewal becomes effective, this insurer will treat the application as a renewal and not as an application for a new policy."

Saturday May 23 15:06 EDT


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