Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. Chapter 175 of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 186, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 186. (a) No oral or written misrepresentation or warranty made in the negotiation of a policy of insurance by the insured or in his behalf shall be deemed material or defeat or avoid the policy or prevent its attaching unless such misrepresentation or warranty is made with actual intent to deceive, or unless the matter misrepresented or made a warranty increased the risk of loss.
(b) No oral or written misrepresentation or warranty as to the physical condition or health risks to the physical condition of the insured made in the negotiation of any policy of life or endowment insurance or annuity contract by the insured or on his behalf shall defeat or avoid the policy or prevent its attaching unless such misrepresentation or warranty is material and is made with actual intent to deceive or increased the risk of loss. For the purposes of this paragraph, a misrepresentation or warranty shall be deemed material if knowledge or ignorance of it would otherwise have influenced the insurer in making the contract at all, or in estimating the degree and character of the risk, or in fixing the rate of the premium.
SECTION 2. Section 186A of said chapter 175, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- In any court action based on a life insurance policy in which the good health of the insured at the time the policy becomes effective is at issue, there shall be a presumption that the insured was in good health if the insurer delivered the policy.
Approved Novemeber 7 , 2008