Ga. Code § 33-24-44

Current through 2019 Chapters 1-29, 31-45
Section 33-24-44 - Cancellation of policies generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, cancellation of a policy which by its terms and conditions may be canceled by the insurer or its agent duly authorized by the insurer to effect such cancellation shall be accomplished as prescribed in this Code section.

(b) Written notice stating the time when the cancellation will be effective, which shall not be less than 30 days from the date of mailing or delivery in person of such notice of cancellation or such other specific longer period as may be provided in the contract or by statute, shall be delivered as provided in subsection (d) of Code Section 33-24-14, in person, or by depositing the notice in the United States mail to be dispatched by at least first-class mail to the last address of record of the insured and of any 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. For the purposes of this subsection, notice to the lienholder shall be considered delivered or mailed if, with the lienholder's consent, it is delivered by electronic transmittal or facsimile. Any irregularity in the notice to the lienholder shall not invalidate an otherwise valid cancellation as to the insured.

(c)

  • (1) Any unearned premium which has been paid by the insured shall be refunded to the insured on a pro rata basis as provided in this Code section. If the return does not accompany notice of cancellation, then such return shall be made on or before the cancellation date either directly to the named insured or to the insured's agent of record. In the event the insurer elects to return such unearned premium to the insured via the insured's agent of record, such agent shall return the unearned premium to the insured either in person or by depositing such return in the mail within ten working days of receipt of the unearned premium, or within ten working days of notification from the insurer of the amount of return of unearned premium due, or on the effective date of cancellation, whichever is later. If the insured has an open account with the agent, such return of unearned premium may be applied to any outstanding balance and any remaining unearned premium shall be returned to the insured either in person or by depositing such return in the mail within ten working days of receipt of the unearned premium, or within ten working days of notification from the insurer of the amount of return of unearned premium due, or on the effective date of cancellation, whichever is later.
  • (2) Paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not apply if an audit or rate investigation is required or if the premiums are financed by a premium finance company. If an audit or rate investigation is required, then the refund of unearned premium shall be made within 30 days after the conclusion of the audit or rate investigation. If the premiums are financed by a premium finance company, any unearned premiums shall be tendered to the premium finance company within ten working days after cancellation.
  • (3) Any insurer or agent failing to return any unearned premium as prescribed in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection shall pay to the insured a penalty equal to 25 percent of the amount of the return of the unearned premium and interest equal to 18 percent per annum until such time that proper return has been made, which penalty and interest must be paid at the time the return is made; provided, however, that the maximum amount of such penalty and interest shall not exceed 50 percent of the amount of the refund due. Failure to return any unearned premium shall not invalidate a notice of cancellation given in accordance with subsection (b) of this Code section.

(d) When a policy is canceled for failure of the named insured to discharge when due any of his obligations in connection with the payment of premiums for a policy or any installment of premiums due, whether payable directly to the insurer or indirectly to the agent, or when a policy that has been in effect for less than 60 days is canceled for any reason, the notice requirements of this Code section may be satisfied by delivering or mailing written notice to the named insured and any lienholder, where applicable, at least ten days prior to the effective date of cancellation in lieu of the number of days' notice otherwise required by this Code section. For the purposes of this subsection, notice to the lienholder shall be considered delivered or mailed if, with the lienholder's consent, it is delivered by electronic transmittal or facsimile. Any irregularity in the notice to the lienholder shall not invalidate an otherwise valid cancellation as to the insured.

(d.1) The notice requirements of this Code section shall not apply in any case where a binder or contract of insurance is void ab initio for failure of consideration.

(d.2) If the terms of a policy permit an audit and the insured fails to submit to or allow an audit for the current or most recently expired term, the insurer may, after two documented efforts to notify the policyholder and the policyholder's agent of potential cancellation, send via certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, written notice to the named insured at least ten days prior to the effective date of cancellation in lieu of the number of days' notice otherwise required by law; provided, however, that no cancellation notice shall be mailed within 20 days of the first documented effort to notify the policyholder of potential cancellation.

(e) 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 which has been filed with 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 mail 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.

(f) Cancellation by the insured shall be accomplished in accordance with Code Section 33-24-44.1.

(g) Any unearned premium which has been paid by the insured may be refunded to the insured on other than a pro rata basis if:

  • (1) The cancellation results from failure of the insured to pay, when due, any premium to the insurer or any amount, when due, under a premium finance agreement;
  • (2) The policy contains language which specifies that a penalty may be charged on unearned premium; and
  • (3) The method of computing such penalty is filed with the Commissioner in accordance with Chapter 9 of this title.

OCGA § 33-24-44

Amended by 2016 Ga. Laws 625,§ 33, eff. 5/3/2016.

Amended by 2015 Ga. Laws 9,§ 33, eff. 3/13/2015.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 659,§ 5, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2014 Ga. Laws 656,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2014.

Amended by 2005 Ga. Laws 107,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2005.