2004 Regular Session
By: Representative Ellington
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-35, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT BASING INSURANCE RATES OR ELIGIBILITY FOR INSURANCE ON THE INDIVIDUAL'S CREDIT HISTORY SHALL BE PROHIBITED AS AN UNFAIR PRACTICE IN THE BUSINESS OF INSURANCE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 83-5-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-35. The following are hereby defined as unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance.
(a) Misrepresentations and false advertising of policy contracts. Making, issuing, circulating, or causing to be made, issued, or circulated, any estimate, illustration, circular, or statement misrepresenting the terms of any policy issued or to be issued, or the benefits or advantages promised thereby, or the dividends or share of the surplus to be received thereon; or making any false or misleading statement as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on similar policies; or making any misleading representation or any misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any insurer, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates; or using any name or title of any policy or class of policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof; or making any misrepresentation to any policyholder insured in any company for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce such policyholder to lapse, forfeit, or surrender his insurance.
(b) False information and advertising generally. Making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or placing before the public, or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, or poster, or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing any assertion, representation, or statement with respect to the business of insurance, or with respect to any person in the conduct of his insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading.
(c) Defamation. Making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating, directly or indirectly, or aiding, abetting, or encouraging the making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating of any oral or written statement or any pamphlet, circular, article, or literature which is false and maliciously critical of or derogatory to the financial condition of an insurer, and which is calculated to injure any person engaged in the business of insurance.
(d) Boycott, coercion and intimidation. Entering into any agreement to commit, or by any concerted action committing, any act of boycott, coercion, or intimidation resulting in or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or monopoly in, the business of insurance.
(e) False financial statements. Filing with any supervisory or other public official, or making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or delivering to any person, or placing before the public, or causing directly or indirectly to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false statement of financial condition of an insurer, with intent to deceive.
Making any false entry in any book, report, or statement of any insurer with intent to deceive any agent or examiner lawfully appointed to examine into its condition or into any of its affairs, or any public official to whom such insurer is required by law to report or file, or who has authority by law to examine into its condition or into any of its affairs, or, with like intent, willfully omitting to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of such insurer in any book, report, or statement of such insurer.
(f) Stock operations and insurance company advisory board contracts. Issuing or delivering, or permitting agents, officers, or employees to issue or deliver, agency company stock or other capital stock, or benefit certificates or shares in any corporation, or securities, or any special or any insurance company advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profit as an inducement to insurance.
(g) Unfair discrimination. (i) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of such contract.
(ii) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium, policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of accident or health insurance or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in any of the terms or conditions of such contract, or in any other manner whatever.
(iii) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class in the rates charged or eligibility for any type of insurance based solely on the credit rating of the individual being insured.
(h) Designation of agent, solicitor, or insurer. Requiring as a condition precedent to the purchase or the lending of money upon the security of real or personal property that any insurance covering such property or liability arising from the ownership, maintenance, or use thereof, to be procured by or on behalf of the vendee or by borrower in connection with such purchase or loan, be so procured through any particular person, agent, solicitor, or in any particular insurer.
This section shall not prevent the reasonable exercise by any such vendor or lender of his right to approve or disapprove the insurer selected to underwrite the insurance, and to determine the adequacy of the insurance offered.
(i) Any violation of Sections 83-3-33 and 83-3-121.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.