This chapter applies only as to group life insurance contracts hereafter issued and does not apply as to group life insurance contracts heretofore issued or to any amendment or renewal of such heretofore issued contracts.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that the insurer will issue to the policyholder for delivery to each person insured an individual certificate setting forth a statement as to the insurance protection to which he is entitled, to whom the insurance benefits are payable and the rights and conditions set forth in Sections 27-18-11, 27-18-12 and 27-18-13.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that if the insurance, or any portion of it, on a person covered under the policy ceases because of termination of employment or of membership in the class, or classes, eligible for coverage under the policy, such person shall be entitled to have issued to him by the insurer, without evidence of insurability, an individual policy of life insurance without disability or other supplementary benefits, provided application for the individual policy shall be made and the first premium paid to the insurer within 31 days after such termination and provided, further, that:
(1) The individual policy shall, at the option of such person, be on any one of the forms, except term insurance, then customarily issued by the insurer at the age and for the amount applied for;
(2) The individual policy shall be in an amount not in excess of the amount of life insurance which ceases because of such termination less the amount of any life insurance for which such person is, or becomes, eligible under any other group policy within 31 days after such termination, provided that any amount of insurance which shall have matured on, or before, the date of such termination as an endowment payable to the person insured, whether in one sum, or in installments or in the form of an annuity shall not, for the purposes of this provision, be included in the amount which is considered to cease because of such termination; and
(3) The premium on the individual policy shall be at the insurer's then customary rate applicable to the form and amount of the individual policy, to the class of risk to which such person then belongs and to his age attained on the effective date of the individual policy.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that if the group policy terminates, or is amended so as to terminate the insurance of any class of insured persons, every person insured thereunder at the date of such termination whose insurance terminates and who has been so insured for at least five years prior to such termination date shall be entitled to have issued to him by the insurer an individual policy of life insurance, subject to the same conditions and limitations as are provided by Section 27-18-11; except, that the group policy may provide that the amount of such individual policy shall not exceed the smaller of:
(1) The amount of the person's life insurance protection ceasing because of the termination or amendment of the group policy, less the amount of any life insurance for which he is, or becomes, eligible under any group policy issued or reinstated by the same or another insurer, within 31 days after such termination; and
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that if a person insured under the policy dies during the period within which he would have been entitled to have an individual policy issued to him in accordance with Sections 27-18-11 and 27-18-12 and before such an individual policy shall have become effective, the amount of life insurance which he would have been entitled to have issued to him under such individual policy shall be payable as a claim under the group policy, whether or not application for the individual policy or the payment of the first premium therefor has been made.
If any individual insured under a group life insurance policy hereafter delivered in this state becomes entitled under the terms of such policy to have an individual policy of life insurance issued to him without evidence of insurability, subject to making of application and payment of the first premium within the period specified in such policy, and if such individual is not given notice of the existence of such right at least 15 days prior to the expiration date of such period, then, in such event, the individual shall have an additional period within which to exercise such right, but nothing contained in this section shall be construed to continue any insurance beyond the period provided in such policy. This additional period shall expire 15 days next after the individual is given such notice, but in no event shall such additional period extend beyond 60 days next after the expiration date of the period provided in such policy. Written notice presented to the individual or mailed by the policyholder to the last known address of the individual or mailed by the insurer to the last known address of the individual as furnished by the policyholder shall constitute notice for the purpose of this section.
'Employee life insurance' is that plan of life insurance, other than salary savings life insurance or pension trust insurance and annuities, under which individual policies are issued to the employees of any employer and where such policies are issued on the lives of not less than three employees at date of issue. Premiums for such policies shall be paid by the employer or the trustee of a fund established by the employer either wholly from the employer's funds, or funds contributed by him, or partly from such funds and partly from funds contributed by the insured employees or from funds contributed wholly by the insured employees.
Any person insured under a group insurance policy may, in accordance with Section 27-14-21 and pursuant to the terms of such policy or an arrangement among the insured, the group policyholder and the insurer, make an assignment of the rights and benefits conferred by any provision of such policy or by law, including specifically, but not by way of limitation, the right to have issued to the insured an individual policy arising from conversion or otherwise and the right to name a beneficiary. Any assignment permitted in this section, whether made before or after January 1, 1972, shall be valid for the purpose of vesting in the assignee all such rights and benefits so assigned and shall entitle the insurer to deal with the assignee as the owner of all rights and benefits conferred on the insured under the policy in accordance with the terms of the assignment without prejudice to the insurer on account of any payment it may make or any individual policy it may issue arising from conversion prior to receipt at its home office of written notice of such assignment. This section acknowledges, declares and codifies the right of assignment of interest under like insurance policies existing prior to the enactment of this title.
No policy of group life insurance shall be delivered in this state unless it contains in substance the applicable provisions set forth in Sections 27-18-3 through 27-18-13, or provisions which in the opinion of the commissioner are more favorable to the persons insured or at least as favorable to the persons insured and more favorable to the policyholder; except, however, that:
(1) Sections 27-18-9 and 27-18-13 inclusive shall not apply to policies issued to a creditor to insure debtors of such creditor;
(2) The standard provisions required for individual life insurance policies shall not apply to group life insurance policies; and
(3) If the group life insurance policy is on a plan of insurance other than the term plan, it shall contain a nonforfeiture provision, or provisions, which, in the opinion of the commissioner, is, or are, equitable to the insured persons and to the policyholder, but nothing in this section shall be construed to require that group life insurance policies contain the same nonforfeiture provisions as are required for individual life insurance policies.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that the policyholder is entitled to a grace period of not less than 30 days for the payment of any premium due except the first, during which grace period the death benefit coverage shall continue in force unless the policyholder shall have given the insurer written notice of discontinuance in advance of the date of discontinuance and in accordance with the terms of the policy. The policy may provide that the policyholder shall be liable to the insurer for the payment of a pro rata premium for the time the policy was in force during such grace period.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that the validity of the policy shall not be contested, except for nonpayment of premium, after it has been in force for two years from its date of issue and that no statement made by any person insured under the policy relating to his insurability shall be used in contesting the validity of the insurance with respect to which such statement was made after such insurance has been in force prior to the contest for a period of two years during such person's lifetime nor unless it is contained in a written instrument signed by him.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that a copy of the application, if any, of the policyholder shall be attached to the policy when issued, that all statements made by the policyholder or by the persons insured shall be deemed representations and not warranties and that no statement made by any person insured shall be used in any contest unless a copy of the instrument containing the statement is or has been furnished to such person or to his beneficiary.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision setting forth the conditions, if any, under which the insurer reserves the right to require a person eligible for insurance to furnish evidence of individual insurability, satisfactory to the insurer as a condition to part or all of his coverage.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision specifying an equitable adjustment of premiums or of benefits, or of both, to be made in the event the age of a person insured has been misstated, such provision to contain a clear statement of the method of adjustment to be used.
In the case of a policy issued to a creditor to insure debtors of such creditor, there shall be a provision that the insurer will furnish to the policyholder for delivery to each debtor insured under the policy a form which will contain a statement that the life of the debtor is insured under the policy and that any death benefit paid thereunder by reason of his death shall be applied to reduce or extinguish the indebtedness.
The group life insurance policy shall contain a provision that any sum becoming due by reason of the death of the person insured shall be payable to the beneficiary designated by the person insured, subject to the provisions of the policy in the event there is no designated beneficiary as to all, or any part, of such sum living at the death of the person insured, and subject to any right reserved by the insurer in the policy and set forth in the certificate to pay at its option a part of such sum not exceeding $500.00 to any person appearing to the insurer to be equitably entitled thereto by reason of having incurred funeral or other expenses incident to the last illness or death of the person insured.