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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XXII CORPORATIONS
  • CHAPTER 175 INSURANCE
  • Section 132 Policies of life or endowment insurance; form and content; commissioner’s approval

Section 132. No policy of life or endowment insurance and no annuity, survivorship annuity or pure endowment contract shall be issued or delivered in the commonwealth until a copy of the form thereof has been on file for thirty days with the commissioner, unless before the expiration of said thirty days he shall have approved the form of the policy or contract in writing; nor if the commissioner notifies the company in writing, within said thirty days, that in his opinion the form of the policy or contract does not comply with the laws of the commonwealth, specifying his reasons therefor, provided that such action of the commissioner shall be subject to review by the supreme judicial court; nor shall any such policy or contract, except as hereinafter provided, and except annuity or pure endowment contracts, whether or not they embody an agreement to refund to the estate of the holder upon his death or to a specified payee any sum not exceeding the premiums paid thereon with compound interest, and except survivorship annuity contracts, be so issued or delivered unless it contains in substance the following:

1. A provision that the insured is entitled to thirty days of grace within which the payment of any premium after the first year may be made, subject at the option of the company to an interest charge not in excess of six per cent per annum for the number of days of grace elapsing before the payment of the premium, during which period of grace the policy shall continue in full force; but if the policy becomes a claim during the said period of grace before the overdue premium or the deferred premiums of the current policy year, if any, are paid, the amount of such premiums, with interest on any overdue premium, may be taken from the face of the policy in settlement.

2. A provision that the policy shall be incontestable after it has been in force during the lifetime of the insured for a period of two years from its date of issue except for non-payment of premiums or violation of the conditions of the policy relating to military or naval service in time of war and except, if the company so elects, for the purpose of contesting claims for total and permanent disability benefits or additional benefits specifically granted in case of death by accident.

3. A provision that the policy and the application therefor shall constitute the entire contract between the parties, and that no statement made by the insured or on his behalf shall be used in defence to a claim under the policy unless it is contained in a written application, and a copy of such application is endorsed upon or attached to the policy when issued.

4. A provision that if the age of the insured has been misstated the amount payable under the policy shall be such as the premium would have purchased at the correct age.

5. A provision that the policy shall participate in the surplus of the company annually, beginning not later than the end of the third policy year.

6. A provision specifying the nonforfeiture benefits to which the holder of the policy is entitled under section one hundred and forty-four, together with a provision stating the mortality table and interest rate used in computing said benefits, the manner in which the said benefits are altered by the existence of any paid-up additions to the policy or any indebtedness to the company on the policy or secured thereby, and the method used in computing such of said benefits as are not shown in the table required by provision eight.

7. A provision that the holder of the policy shall be entitled to a loan thereon from the company, as provided in and subject to the provisions of section one hundred and forty-two.

8. A table showing in figures the loan values, if any, and the amounts of the cash surrender values and the paid-up nonforfeiture benefits, if any, available under the policy on each anniversary thereof during the first twenty years of the policy.

9. A provision that the company may defer the granting of any loan other than to pay premiums on policies in the company, and the payment of any cash surrender value, for six months from the date of the written application, in the case of a loan, and from the date of the written election thereof with surrender of the policy, in the case of a cash surrender value.

10. In case the proceeds of a policy are payable in instalments or as an annuity, a table showing the amounts of instalments and annuity payments. If a policy contains a table or tables of payments with respect to two or more alternative annuities involving life contingencies, this provision shall not preclude an additional or supplementary optional annuity or annuities involving life contingencies without such a table, or without a complete table, if the policy contains a provision that the amounts of the payments under such additional or supplementary annuity or annuities may be obtained upon application to the company at any time that such amounts are determinable under the terms of the policy.

11. A provision that the holder of a policy shall be entitled to have the policy reinstated at any time within three years from the date of default, unless the cash surrender value has been duly paid or the extension period has expired, upon the production of evidence of insurability satisfactory to the company and the payment of all overdue premiums and any other indebtedness to the company upon said policy, with interest at the rate of not exceeding six per cent per annum or, at the option of the company, with interest as aforesaid compounded semi-annually.

12. The term “insured” as used in provision 4 hereof shall include any other person whose age is considered in determining the amount of any premium under a policy. The term “evidence of insurability satisfactory to the company” as used in provision 11 hereof shall include evidence of insurability of any person upon whose death a benefit may accrue or become payable under the policy.

None of the foregoing provisions, except provisions numbered 6, 8 and 9, shall be required to be contained in industrial life insurance policies, but such portions of said provisions numbered 8 and 9 as relate to loans and loan values shall not be required to be contained therein. The foregoing provision numbered 8 shall also not apply to policies which cause on a basis guaranteed in the policy unscheduled changes in benefits or premiums or which provide an option for changes in benefits or premiums other than a change to a new policy.

Any of the foregoing provisions or portions thereof not applicable to single premium or non-participating or term policies shall to that extent not be incorporated therein.

This section shall not apply to policies of group life insurance issued or delivered in the commonwealth after June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and eighteen.

A policy shall be deemed to contain any such provision in substance when in the opinion of the commissioner the provision is stated in terms more favorable to the insured or his beneficiary than are herein set forth.

None of the foregoing provisions shall apply to any policy of life or endowment insurance which is a contract on a variable basis, except that any such policy delivered or issued for delivery in this commonwealth shall contain such grace, reinstatement, nonforfeiture and other provisions as may be appropriate to such policy.