TITLE XXXVII
INSURANCE

Chapter 417-A
REFUSAL TO ISSUE, CANCELLATION AND REFUSAL TO RENEW AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE

Section 417-A:1

    417-A:1 Definitions. –
As used in this chapter the following definitions shall apply:
I. "Policy of automobile insurance" means a policy delivered or issued for delivery in this state insuring a person as named insured or one or more related individuals resident of the same household, and under which the insured vehicles therein designated includes a private passenger automobile as defined in rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to RSA 541-A.
II. "Renewal" or "to renew" means the issuance and delivery by an insurer of a policy superseding at the end of the policy period a policy previously issued and delivered by the same insurer, such renewal policy to provide types and limits of coverage at least equal to those contained in the policy being superseded, or the issuance and delivery of a certificate or notice extending the term of a policy beyond its policy period or term with types and limits of coverage at least equal to those contained in the policy being extended; provided, however, that any policy with a policy period or term of less than 12 months or any period with no fixed expiration date shall for the purpose of this chapter be considered as if written for successive policy periods or terms of 12 months.
III. "Insurer" means any insurance company, association or exchange authorized to issue policies of automobile insurance in the state of New Hampshire.
IV. "Nonpayment of premium" means failure of the named insured to discharge when due any of the named insured's obligations in connection with the payment of premiums on a policy, or any installment of such premium, whether the premium is payable directly to the insurer or its agent or indirectly under any premium finance plan or extension of credit.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1992, 282:13. 1996, 285:20, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Section 417-A:2

    417-A:2 Application of Chapter. – This chapter shall apply to that portion of policies of automobile insurance providing bodily injury and property damage liability, comprehensive, and collision coverages and to the provisions therein, if any, relating to medical payments and uninsured motorists coverage, which take effect subsequent to September 1, 1969.

Source. 1969, 487:1, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.

Section 417-A:3

    417-A:3 Cancellation; Refusal to Write; Refusal to Renew; Insufficient Grounds. – No insurer shall cancel, refuse to write or refuse to renew a policy of automobile insurance on any person solely because of the age, residence, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or lawful occupation, including the military service, of anyone who is or seeks to become insured or solely because another insurer has refused to write a policy, or has cancelled or has refused to renew an existing policy in which that person was the named insured.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1971, 453:3. 2014, 31:10, eff. July 26, 2014.

Section 417-A:3-a

    417-A:3-a Coercion by Insurer. – No insurer shall refuse to renew a policy of automobile insurance previously issued to an individual solely because such individual has no other policy of insurance with said insurer.

Source. 1971, 247:1, eff. Aug. 22, 1971.

Section 417-A:3-b

    417-A:3-b Repealed by 2021, 147:3, II, eff. Sept. 21, 2021. –

Section 417-A:3-c

    417-A:3-c Underwriting on the Basis of Credit Information. – No insurer shall cancel, refuse to write, or refuse to renew a policy of automobile insurance solely on the basis of credit information obtained from a credit rating, a credit history, or a credit scoring model, without consideration of any other applicable and permitted underwriting factors independent of credit information.

Source. 2010, 125:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

Section 417-A:4

    417-A:4 Cancellation, Grounds. –
No insurer, after a policy has been in effect for 60 days, or if a policy is a renewal, effective immediately, shall cancel a policy except for one or more of the following reasons:
I. Nonpayment of premium;
II. [Repealed.]
III. Specific request of the insured.
IV. Named insured was not a resident of the state of New Hampshire at the time the policy was issued or renewed, unless the insured vehicle at issue was exclusively garaged in New Hampshire when the policy was issued or renewed.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1990, 114:6, I. 2002, 207:17, eff. July 15, 2002. 2021, 147:2, eff. Sept. 21, 2021.

Section 417-A:5

    417-A:5 Cancellation, Refusal to Renew, Notice. –
No cancellation or refusal to renew by an insurer of a policy of automobile insurance shall be effective unless the insurer or its agent either physically delivers or mails to the named insured, at the address shown in the policy, a written notice of the cancellation or refusal to renew or electronically delivers to the named insured a written notice of cancellation or refusal to renew. Such notice shall:
I. Be approved as to form by the insurance commissioner prior to use.
II. State the date on which such cancellation or refusal to renew shall become effective. The effective date shall not be less than 45 days after the date the notice is mailed or physically or electronically delivered to the named insured provided however, the effective date may be 10 days from the date of mailing or physical or electronic delivery when:
(a) The policy is being cancelled or not renewed for nonpayment of premium; or
(b) The policy is not a renewal policy and the cancellation notice is mailed or delivered within 60 days of the policy's effective date and the insurer otherwise complies with all laws and rules related to cancellation of automobile insurance.
III. State the specific reason or reasons of the insurer for cancellation or refusal to renew.
IV. Advise the insured that the insured has the right to request that the insurance commissioner review the insurer's decision to cancel or not renew the policy. This notice shall advise the insured that in order to request the commissioner's review of the cancellation or nonrenewal, the insured must send a written request to the commissioner within 10 days of receiving the insurer's notice of cancellation or nonrenewal. The insurer shall also provide in the notice, the phone number and mailing address of the New Hampshire insurance department.
V. In case of an automobile policy, in the notice advise the insured of eligibility for insurance through the automobile reinsurance facility.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1971, 453:4. 1996, 285:21. 2006, 196:12. 2009, 215:8, 9. 2010, 212:11, eff. Jan. 1, 2011. 2021, 57:1, 2, eff. July 24, 2021.

Section 417-A:5-a

    417-A:5-a Notice of Nonrenewal Not Required. – A notice of nonrenewal for nonpayment of premium on a policy written on other than a continuous basis is not required if the insurer has manifested in writing its willingness to renew by issuing or offering to issue a renewal policy certificate or other evidence of renewal or has manifested such intention in writing by other means.

Source. 1971, 561:6, eff. Sept. 10, 1971.

Section 417-A:6

    417-A:6 Liability for Giving Information. – There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against the insurance commissioner, any insurer, the authorized representatives, agents and employees of either or any firm, person or corporation furnishing to the insurer information as to reasons for cancellation or refusal to write or renew for any statement made by any of them in complying with this chapter or for the providing of information pertaining thereto.

Source. 1969, 487:1, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.

Section 417-A:7

    417-A:7 Review Request; Reasons for Refusal. –
I. Any insured may within 10 days of the receipt by the insured of notice of cancellation or notice of intention not to renew, or of the receipt of the reason or reasons for the cancellation or refusal to renew if they were not stated in the notice, request in writing to the insurance commissioner that the commissioner review the action of the insurer in cancelling or refusing to renew the policy of such insured.
II. Any applicant for a policy who is refused such policy by an insurer may in writing within 10 days of notice of such refusal request the insurer to supply the reasons for such refusal. The insurer shall supply such reasons within 5 days of receipt by it of such request. Within 10 days of the receipt of such reasons, the applicant may request in writing to the insurance commissioner that the commissioner review the action of the insurer in refusing to write a policy for the applicant.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1996, 285:22, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Section 417-A:8

    417-A:8 Review Procedure; Termination of Policy. – On receipt of a request for review, the insurance commissioner or designated representative shall notify the insurer thereof and shall review the matter to determine whether the cancellation or refusal to renew or to write was in violation of this chapter, and shall within 60 days of the receipt of such request either order the policy written or reinstated or uphold the cancellation or refusal to renew. In the case of a cancellation of or refusal to renew a policy, such policy shall remain in effect until the conclusion of such review by the insurance commissioner or the date referred to in RSA 417-A:5, II, whichever is later, except for appeals from cancellations due to nonpayment of premiums, in which case the policy shall terminate as of the date provided in the notice under RSA 417-A:5, II unless the appeal is upheld or the policy reinstated.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1996, 285:23, eff. Jan. 1, 1997.

Section 417-A:9

    417-A:9 Rules and Regulations; Review Fee; Appeal From Review. – The insurance commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the administration of this chapter. The commissioner may provide in such rules and regulations for the establishment of a filing fee not exceeding $15 to accompany the request for review. Should the insurance commissioner decide the appeal in favor of the insured, the filing fee shall be returned immediately and the fee shall be paid by the insurer. The policy in question shall remain in effect during the pendency of any appeal taken by the insurer pursuant to RSA 541. Should the commissioner find for the insurer, the policy in question shall be suspended and inoperative during the pendency of any appeal taken by the insured pursuant to RSA 541.

Source. 1969, 487:1, eff. Sept. 1, 1969.

Section 417-A:10

    417-A:10 Penalty; Severability; Records. –
I. Failure by an insurer to comply with any section of this chapter, or rules, regulations, and order issued pursuant thereto shall subject an insurer to a fine not exceeding $2,500 in the discretion of the insurance commissioner, or suspension or revocation of such insurers license, or both.
II. If any provisions or clause of this chapter or application thereof to any person or situation is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are declared to be severable.
III. The insurance commissioner may require that each insurer shall maintain records of the numbers of cancellations and refusals to write or renew policies and the reasons therefor and shall supply to the insurance commissioner such information as the commissioner may request.

Source. 1969, 487:1. 1971, 453:5. 1996, 285:24. 2003, 144:11, eff. Jan. 1, 2004.

Section 417-A:11

    417-A:11 Repealed by 2009, 215:14, eff. Sept. 13, 2009. –