WAC 284-30-872

Practices declared to be unfair or deceptive regardless of where they occur.

(1) The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance producer are found by the commissioner and declared to be false, misleading, unfair or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive or acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance or improper influences or inducements regardless of the location where they occur:
(a) 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. For example, the using or assisting in the use of a service member's "MyPay" account or other similar internet or electronic medium to pay for life insurance is prohibited. For purposes of these military sales practices rules, assisting a service member by providing insurer or premium information necessary to complete any allotment form is not an unfair, deceptive, or prohibited practice.
(b) 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:
(i) Provides the service member a deposit agreement and periodic statements and makes the disclosures required by the Truth in Savings Act, 12 U.S.C. § 4301 et seq. and regulations promulgated thereunder; and
(ii) Permits the service member to make deposits and withdrawals unrelated to the payment or processing of insurance premiums.
(c) 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.
(d) 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.
(e) 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 their family members.
(f) 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.
(g) Knowingly offering or giving anything of value to a service member with a pay grade of E-4 or below for his or her attendance to any event where an application for life insurance is solicited.
(h) Advising a service member with a pay grade of E-4 or below to change his or her income tax withholding or state of legal residence for the sole purpose of increasing disposable income in order to purchase life insurance.
(2) The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance producer may lead to confusion regarding the source, sponsorship, approval, or affiliation of the insurer or any insurance producer. They are each found by the commissioner to be false, misleading, unfair or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive or acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance regardless of the location where they occur:
(a) 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 or insurance producer, or the policy or certificate 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 governmental entity.
(i) For example, the use of the following titles, including but not limited to the following is prohibited: Battalion insurance counselor, unit insurance advisor, Servicemen's Group Life Insurance conversion consultant, or veteran's benefits counselor.
(ii) A person is not prohibited 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. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: 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).
(b) Soliciting the purchase of any life insurance policy or certificate 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 the insurer or insurance producer, or the insurance policy or certificate is affiliated, connected, or associated with endorsed, sponsored, sanctioned, or recommended by the U.S. government, or the United States armed forces.
(3) The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance producer lead to confusion regarding premiums, costs, or investment returns. They are each found by the commissioner to be false, misleading, unfair or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive or acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance regardless of the location where they occur:
(a) 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.
(b) Misrepresenting the mortality costs of a life insurance policy or certificate (except for individually issued annuities), including stating or implying that the policy or certificate costs nothing or is free.
(4) The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance producer regarding Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) or Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) are each found by the commissioner to be false, misleading, unfair, or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance regardless of the location where they occur:
(a) Making any representation regarding the availability, suitability, amount, cost, exclusions, or limitations to coverage provided to service members or dependents by SGLI or VGLI, which is false, misleading, or deceptive.
(b) Making any representation regarding conversion requirements, including the costs of coverage, exclusions, or limitations to coverage of SGLI or VGLI to private insurers which is false, misleading, or deceptive.
(c) Suggesting, recommending, or encouraging a service member to cancel or terminate his or her SGLI policy, or issuing a life insurance policy or certificate which replaces an existing SGLI policy unless the replacement takes effect upon or after separation of the service member from the United States armed forces.
(5) The following acts or practices regarding disclosure by an insurer or insurance producer are declared to be false, misleading, unfair, or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance regardless of the location where the act occurs:
(a) 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 producer, if that is the case, for the purpose of soliciting the purchase of life insurance.
(b) 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.
(c) Except for individually issued annuities, failing to clearly and conspicuously disclose the fact that the policy or certificate being solicited is life insurance.
(d) Failing to make, at the time of sale or offer to an individual known to be a service member, the written disclosures required by Section 10 of the Military Personnel Financial Services Protection Act (P.L. 109-290), p. 16.
(e) Except for 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 of application is taken:
(i) An explanation of any free look period with instructions on how to cancel any policy or certificate issued by the insurer; and
(ii) Either a copy of the application or a written disclosure. The copy of the application or the written disclosure must clearly and concisely set out the type of life insurance, the death benefit applied for, and its expected first year cost. A basic illustration that meets the requirements of this state will be considered a written disclosure.
(6) The following acts or practices by an insurer or insurance producer are each found by the commissioner to be false, misleading, unfair or deceptive methods of competition or unfair or deceptive or acts or practices in the conduct of the business of insurance regardless of the location where they occur:
(a) Except for individually issued annuities, recommending the purchase of any life insurance policy or certificate which includes a side fund to a service member in pay grades E-4 and below unless the insurer has reasonable grounds for believing that the life insurance death benefit, standing alone, is suitable.
(b) Offering for sale or selling a life insurance policy or certificate which includes a side fund to a service member in pay grades E-4 and below 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.
(i) "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.
(ii) Other military survivor's benefits include, but are not limited to: The death gratuity, funeral reimbursement, transition assistance, survivor and dependents' educational assistance, dependency and indemnity compensation, TRICARE health care benefits, survivor housing benefits and allowances, federal income tax forgiveness, and Social Security survivor benefits.
(c) Except for individually issued annuities, offering for sale or selling any life insurance policy or certificate which includes a side fund:
(i) Unless interest credited accrues from the date of deposit to the date of withdrawal and permits withdrawals without limit or penalty;
(ii) Unless the applicant has been provided with a schedule of effective rates of return based upon cash flows of the combined policy or certificate. For this disclosure, the effective rate of return must 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 must be provided for at least each policy year from year one to year ten and for every fifth policy year thereafter, ending at age one hundred, policy maturity, or final expiration; and
(iii) Which by default diverts or transfers funds accumulated in the side fund to pay, reduce, or offset any premiums due.
(d) Except for individually issued annuities, offering for sale or selling any life insurance policy or certificate which 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.
(e) Selling any life insurance policy or certificate to a person 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 accidental death coverage (for example, double indemnity) which may be excluded.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060 (3)(a) and 48.17.010(5). WSR 11-01-159 (Matter No. R 2010-09), § 284-30-872, filed 12/22/10, effective 1/22/11. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060 and 48.30.010. WSR 07-17-120 (Matter No. R 2007-01), § 284-30-872, filed 8/20/07, effective 9/20/07.]