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§ 27-504. Discrimination against victims of domestic violence

West's Annotated Code of MarylandInsuranceEffective: June 1, 2014

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Insurance (Refs & Annos)
Title 27. Unfair Trade Practices and Other Prohibited Practices (Refs & Annos)
Subtitle 5. Discrimination (Refs & Annos)
Effective: June 1, 2014
MD Code, Insurance, § 27-504
§ 27-504. Discrimination against victims of domestic violence
Definitions
(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.
(2) “Abuse” has the meaning stated in § 4-501 of the Family Law Article.
(3) “Cohabitant” means an individual who has had a sexual relationship with another individual with whom the individual has resided for a period of at least 90 days.
(4) “Victim of domestic violence” means an individual who:
(i) has received deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury from a current or former spouse or current or former cohabitant; or
(ii) is in fear of imminent deliberate, severe, and demonstrable physical injury from a current or former spouse or current or former cohabitant.
Discrimination against victims of domestic violence prohibited
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this article, if an individual is a victim of domestic violence or subject to abuse, an insurer, nonprofit health service plan, or health maintenance organization may not use information about abuse or the individual's status as a victim of domestic violence to:
(1) cancel, refuse to underwrite or renew, or refuse to issue a policy of life insurance or health insurance or a health benefits plan;
(2) refuse to pay a claim, cancel, or otherwise terminate a policy of life insurance or health insurance or a health benefits plan;
(3) increase rates for life insurance, health insurance, or a health benefits plan; or
(4) for policies of life insurance or health benefits plans, add a surcharge, apply a rating factor, or use any other underwriting practice that adversely takes the information into account.
Insurers acting in good faith not subject to tort liability
(c) If an insurer acts in good faith, the insurer is not subject to tort liability for a cause of action arising from the insurer's lawful issuance of and lawful compliance with a policy of life insurance on an insured who subsequently suffers abuse or is a victim of domestic violence.
Payments or insurance to individuals willfully causing injury
(d) This section does not require an insurer:
(1) to make a payment to an individual who willfully caused an injury that gave rise to a loss under a policy of life insurance; or
(2) to issue, without the consent of the proposed insured, life insurance or disability income insurance to an applicant known to have abused the proposed insured.
Use of mental or physical medical conditions to determine eligibility, rate, or underwriting classification
(e) This section may not be interpreted to preclude an insurer or a health maintenance organization from using mental or physical medical conditions, regardless of cause, in determining the eligibility, rate, or underwriting classification of the applicant, insured, member, or subscriber.

Credits

Added by Acts 1997, c. 35, § 2, eff. Oct. 1, 1997. Amended by Acts 2014, c. 355, § 2, eff. June 1, 2014.
Formerly Art. 48A, § 234D.
MD Code, Insurance, § 27-504, MD INSURANCE § 27-504
Current through legislation effective through May 9, 2024, from the 2024 Regular Session of the General Assembly. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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