14VAC5-420-50. Prohibited practices regardless of location.
A. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent are considered to be corrupt practices, improper influences or inducements that are prohibited regardless of location:
1. Submitting, processing or assisting in the submission or processing of any allotment form or similar device used by the United States Armed Forces to direct a service member's pay to a third party for the purchase of life insurance. The foregoing includes, but is not limited to, using or assisting in using a service member's MyPay account or other similar internet or electronic medium for such purposes. This subdivision does not prohibit assisting a service member by providing insurer or premium information necessary to complete any allotment form.
2. Knowingly receiving funds from a service member for the payment of premium from a depository institution with which the service member has no formal banking relationship. For purposes of this section, a formal banking relationship is established when the depository institution:
a. Provides the service member a deposit agreement and periodic statements and makes the disclosures required by the Truth in Savings Act (12 USC § 4301 et seq.) and the regulations promulgated thereunder; and
b. Permits the service member to make deposits and withdrawals unrelated to the payment or processing of insurance premiums.
3. Employing any device or method or entering into any agreement whereby funds received from a service member by allotment for the payment of insurance premiums are identified on the service member's Leave and Earnings Statement or equivalent or successor form as "savings" or "checking" and where the service member has no formal banking relationship as defined in subdivision A 2 of this section.
4. Entering into any agreement with a depository institution for the purpose of receiving funds from a service member whereby the depository institution, with or without compensation, agrees to accept direct deposits from a service member with whom it has no formal banking relationship.
5. Using DoD personnel, directly or indirectly, as a representative or agent in any official or unofficial capacity with or without compensation with respect to the solicitation or sale of life insurance to service members who are junior in rank or grade, or to the family members of such personnel.
6. Offering or giving anything of value, directly or indirectly, to DoD personnel to procure their assistance in encouraging, assisting or facilitating the solicitation or sale of life insurance to another service member.
7. Knowingly offering or giving anything of value to a service member for his attendance to any event where an application for life insurance is solicited.
8. Advising a service member to change his income tax withholding or state of legal residence for the sole purpose of increasing disposable income to purchase life insurance.
B. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent lead to confusion regarding source, sponsorship, approval or affiliation and are prohibited:
1. Making any representation, or using any device, title, descriptive name or identifier that has the tendency or capacity to confuse or mislead a service member into believing that the insurer, insurance agent or product offered is affiliated, connected or associated with, endorsed, sponsored, sanctioned or recommended by the U.S. Government, the United States Armed Forces, or any state or federal agency or government entity. Examples of prohibited insurance agent titles include, but are not limited to "Battalion Insurance Counselor," "Unit Insurance Advisor," "Servicemen's Group Life Insurance Conversion Consultant" or "Veteran's Benefits Counselor."
Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit a person from using a professional designation awarded after the successful completion of a course of instruction in the business of insurance by an accredited institution of higher learning. Such designations include, but are not limited to Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Master of Science In Financial Services (MSFS), or Masters of Science Financial Planning (MS).
2. Soliciting the purchase of any life insurance product through the use of or in conjunction with any third party organization that promotes the welfare of or assists members of the United States Armed Forces in a manner that has the tendency or capacity to confuse or mislead a service member into believing that either the insurer, insurance agent or insurance product is affiliated, connected or associated with, endorsed, sponsored, sanctioned or recommended by the U.S. Government or the United States Armed Forces.
C. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent lead to confusion regarding premiums, costs or investment returns and are prohibited:
1. Using or describing the credited interest rate on a life insurance policy in a manner that implies that the credited interest rate is a net return on premium paid.
2. Excluding individually issued annuities, misrepresenting the mortality costs of a life insurance product, including stating or implying that the product costs nothing or is free.
D. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent regarding SGLI or VGLI are prohibited:
1. Making any representation regarding the availability, suitability, amount, cost, exclusions or limitations to coverage provided to a service member or dependents by SGLI or VGLI, that is false, misleading or deceptive.
2. Making any representation regarding conversion requirements, including the costs of coverage, or exclusions or limitations to coverage of SGLI or VGLI to private insurers that is false, misleading or deceptive.
3. Suggesting, recommending or encouraging a service member to cancel or terminate his SGLI policy or issuing a life insurance policy that replaces an existing SGLI policy unless the replacement shall take effect upon or after the service member's separation from the United States Armed Forces.
E. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent regarding disclosure are prohibited:
1. Deploying, using or contracting for any lead generating materials designed exclusively for use with service members that do not clearly and conspicuously disclose that the recipient will be contacted by an insurance agent, if that is the case, for the purpose of soliciting the purchase of life insurance.
2. Failing to disclose that a solicitation for the sale of life insurance will be made when establishing a specific appointment for an in-person, face-to-face meeting with a prospective purchaser.
3. Excluding individually issued annuities, failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the fact that the product being sold is life insurance.
4. Failing to make, at the time of sale or offer to an individual known to be a service member, the written disclosures required by § 10 of the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act ( P.L. 109-290).
5. Excluding individually issued annuities, when the sale is conducted in-person, face-to-face with an individual known to be a service member, failing to provide the applicant at the time the application is taken:
a. An explanation of any free look period with instructions on how to cancel if a policy is issued; and
b. Either a copy of the application or a written disclosure. The copy of the application or the written disclosure shall clearly and concisely set out the type of life insurance, the death benefit applied for and its expected first year cost. A basic illustration shall be deemed sufficient to meet this requirement for a written disclosure.
F. The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance agent with respect to the sale of certain life insurance products are prohibited:
1. Excluding individually issued annuities, recommending the purchase of any life insurance product that includes a side fund to a service member unless the insurer has reasonable grounds for believing that the life insurance death benefit, standing alone, is suitable.
2. Offering for sale or selling a life insurance product that includes a side fund to a service member who is currently enrolled in SGLI, is presumed unsuitable unless, after the completion of a needs assessment, the insurer demonstrates that the applicant's SGLI death benefit, together with any other military survivor benefits, savings and investments, survivor income, and other life insurance are insufficient to meet the applicant's insurable needs for life insurance. For the purposes of this subdivision:
a. "Insurable needs" are the risks associated with premature death taking into consideration the financial obligations and immediate and future cash needs of the applicant's estate, survivors or dependents.
b. "Other military survivor benefits" include, but are not limited to: the death gratuity, funeral reimbursement, transition assistance, survivor and dependents' educational assistance, dependency and indemnity compensation, TRICARE healthcare benefits, survivor housing benefits and allowances, federal income tax forgiveness, and Social Security survivor benefits.
3. Excluding individually issued annuities, offering for sale or selling any life insurance contract that includes a side fund:
a. Unless interest credited accrues from the date of deposit to the date of withdrawal and permits withdrawals without limit or penalty;
b. Unless the applicant has been provided with a schedule of effective rates of return based upon cash flows of the combined product. For this disclosure, the effective rate of return will consider all premiums and cash contributions made by the policyholder and all cash accumulations and cash surrender values available to the policyholder in addition to life insurance coverage. This schedule will be provided for at least each policy year from one to 10 and for every fifth policy year thereafter ending at age 100, policy maturity or final expiration; and
c. Which by default diverts or transfers funds accumulated in the side fund to pay, reduce or offset any premiums due.
4. Excluding individually issued annuities, offering for sale or selling any life insurance contract that after considering all policy benefits, including but not limited to endowment, return of premium or persistency, does not comply with standard nonforfeiture law for life insurance.
5. Selling any life insurance product to an individual known to be a service member that excludes coverage if the insured's death is related to war, declared or undeclared, or any act related to military service except for an accidental death coverage, e.g., double indemnity, which may be excluded.
Derived from Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 7, eff. February 15, 2008.