SECTION 1. Section 162M of chapter 175 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after subsection (7) the following subsection:-
(7 1/2) Travel, limited line travel insurance, as that term is defined in section 162Z of chapter 175 of the General Laws.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 175 is hereby further amended by adding the following section:-
Section 162Z. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-
(1) “Designated Responsible Producer” or “DRP”, a person responsible for the limited lines travel insurance producer’s compliance with the travel insurance laws, rules and regulations of the state.
(2) “Limited lines travel insurance producer”, a: (i) licensed managing general underwriter; (ii) licensed managing general agent or third party administrator; or (iii) licensed insurance producer, including a limited lines producer, designated by an insurer as the travel insurance supervising entity as set forth in subsection (g).
(3) “Offer and disseminate”, to provide general information, including a description of the coverage and price, as well as processing the application, collecting premiums, and performing other non-licensable activities permitted by the state.
(4) “Travel insurance”, insurance coverage for personal risks incident to planned travel, including but not limited to: (i) interruption or cancellation of trip or event; (ii) loss of baggage or personal effects; (iii) damages to accommodations or rental vehicles; or (iv) sickness, accident, disability or death occurring during travel. Travel insurance does not include major medical plans, which provide comprehensive medical protection for travelers with trips lasting 6 months or longer, including for example, those working overseas as an expatriate or military personnel being deployed.
(5) “Travel retailer”, a business entity that makes, arranges or offers travel services and may offer and disseminate travel insurance as a service to its customers on behalf of and under the direction of a limited lines travel insurance producer.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary:
(1) The commissioner may issue to an individual or business entity that has filed with the commissioner an application for such limited license in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner, a limited lines travel insurance producer license, which authorizes the limited lines travel insurance producer to sell, solicit or negotiate travel insurance through a licensed insurer.
(2) A travel retailer may offer and disseminate travel insurance under a limited lines travel insurance producer business entity license if the following conditions are met:
(i) The limited lines travel insurance producer or travel retailer provides to purchasers of travel insurance:
(a) A description of the material terms or the actual material terms of the insurance coverage;
(b) A description of the process for filing a claim;
(c) A description of the review or cancellation process for the travel insurance policy; and
(d) The identity and contact information of the insurer and limited lines travel insurance producer.
(ii) At the time of licensure, the limited lines travel insurance producer shall establish and maintain a register on a form prescribed by the commissioner of each travel retailer that offers travel insurance on the limited lines travel insurance producer’s behalf. The register shall be maintained and updated annually by the limited lines travel insurance producer and shall include the name, address, and contact information of the travel retailer and an officer or person who directs or controls the travel retailer’s operations, and the travel retailer’s federal tax identification number. The limited lines travel insurance producer shall submit such register to the division of insurance upon reasonable request. The limited lines travel insurance producer shall also certify that the travel retailer registered complies with 18 U.S.C. section 1033.
(iii) The limited lines travel insurance producer has designated one of its employees who is a licensed individual producer as the DRP.
(iv) The DRP, president, secretary, treasurer, and any other officer or person who directs or controls the limited lines travel insurance producer’s insurance operations shall comply with the fingerprinting requirements applicable to insurance producers in the resident state of the limited lines travel insurance producer.
(v) The limited lines travel insurance producer has paid all applicable insurance producer licensing fees as set forth in applicable state law.
(vi) The limited lines travel insurance producer requires each employee and authorized representative of the travel retailer, whose duties include offering and disseminating travel insurance, to receive a program of instruction or training, which may be subject to review by the commissioner. The training material shall, at a minimum, contain instructions on the types of insurance offered, ethical sales practices, and required disclosures to prospective customers.
(vii) Limited lines travel insurance producers, and those registered under its license, are exempt from the examination requirements under section 162K of chapter 175 of the General Laws and the continuing education requirements under section 177E of chapter 175 of the General Laws.
(c) Any travel retailer offering or disseminating travel insurance shall make available to prospective purchasers, brochures or other written materials that:
(1) Provide the identity and contact information of the insurer and the limited lines travel insurance producer;
(2) Explain that the purchase of travel insurance is not required in order to purchase any other product or service from the travel retailer; and
(3) Explain that an unlicensed travel retailer is permitted to provide general information about the insurance offered by the travel retailer, including a description of the coverage and price, but is not qualified or authorized to answer technical questions about the terms and conditions of the insurance offered by the travel retailer or to evaluate the adequacy of the customer’s existing insurance coverage.
(d) A travel retailer’s employee or authorized representative who is not licensed as an insurance producer may not:
(1) Evaluate or interpret the technical terms, benefits, and conditions of the offered travel insurance coverage;
(2) Evaluate or provide advice concerning a prospective purchaser’s existing insurance coverage; or
(3) Hold himself out as a licensed insurer, licensed producer, or insurance expert.
(e) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a travel retailer whose insurance-related activities, and those of its employees and authorized representatives, are limited to offering and disseminating travel insurance on behalf of and under the direction of a limited lines travel insurance producer meeting the conditions stated in this section, is authorized to do so and receive related compensation, upon registration by the limited lines travel insurance producer as described in subsection (b)(1) and (2).
(f) Travel insurance may be provided under an individual policy or under a group or master policy.
(g) As the insurer designee, the limited lines travel insurance producer is responsible for the acts of the travel retailer and shall use reasonable means to ensure compliance by the travel retailer with this section.
(h) The limited lines travel insurance producer and any travel retailer offering and disseminating travel insurance under the limited lines travel insurance producer license shall be subject to the: (i) laws regarding unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive acts and practices in the business of insurance; and (ii) the enforcement provisions applicable to insurance producers.
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