Section 98. Every applicant for insurance against loss or damage to a building by fire shall complete a form to be prescribed by the commissioner. The application form may vary according to the type of coverage sought. It shall require from the applicant sufficient information relative to the insured property to determine the actual cash value and the actual ownership of the property. The application form shall be completed prior to the initial issuance of a policy, upon an addition or modification of the policy with respect to the named insured or mortgagee, or when the coverage under the terms of the policy is increased by more than twenty-five per cent. The application shall, insofar as it materially relates to the obligations stated in the contract, be considered a part of the contract.
The by-laws of the company shall not be considered as a warranty or a part of the contract except so far as they are incorporated in full in the policy as provided in clause Ninth of section ninety-nine.
This section shall not apply to owner occupied dwellings of four units or less, to buildings owned and insured by the commonwealth or its political subdivisions, to highly protected risks, to non-income producing seasonal dwellings, or to builders risk policies.
For the purpose of this section the words “highly protected risk” shall mean a fire resistive building which meets the highest standards of fire safety according to insurance company underwriting requirements, and “builders risk policies” shall mean policies which insure against loss to buildings in the course of construction.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit the issuance of a written memorandum of a preliminary contract of insurance, for a period no longer than thirty days, pending the approval of the application form, for the issuance of such a policy.