Ohio Life Insurance – Watching Out for Your Survivors
By: Jim Zuccaro
Title 39 of the Ohio Revised Code regulates the Ohio life insurance industry. Title 39 provides protections for both Ohio policyholders and insurers. Policyholders are protected by timely payment requirements, ‘free look’ periods, and the policies are backed by the Ohio Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. Insurers, in return, have the right to cancel a policy within the first two years for specific reasons, are exempt from honoring suicide deaths, and are allowed full control over policyholder information. Insurers must be licensed by the state of Ohio as well. These protect both the insurers and insured.
The first protection for policy owners requires the insurance company to settle claims in a timely manner. This means Ohio life insurance insurers have two months to settle a claim after proof of death is received. If they don’t, the death benefits begin accruing interest. ‘Free Look’ provisions generally allow a policy holder 10, 20, or 30 days to decline the coverage for a full refund if they change their minds and don’t want to buy the policy. Finally, while the Ohio Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association backs every policy, there are restrictions – death benefits are limited to $300,000, and the lost cash surrender value is limited to $100,000.
In return, if an insurer is misled or an applicant misrepresents themselves on the policy application, the insurer can cancel the policy in the first two years. If a policyholder commits fraud regarding a policy, the policy can be cancelled at any time. Ohio life insurance laws also permit an insurance company to refuse to honor a claim in the first two years of a policy if suicide is the cause of death. Lastly, by allowing insurers full control over policy holder information, insurers are not required to disclose information to policyholders on request. They are also forbidden from sharing information from other insurance companies.
Life insurance as regulated by Ohio has a few more useful details. Viatical settlements, the policy purchasing agreements, are regulated by the state. Legislation was recently passed that requires licensing of viatical brokers and dealers. Insurance illustrations of the financial projections made by an insurer are regulated as well. All in all, Ohio works carefully to help protect both insurers and the insured. Knowing what Ohio life insurance requires and regulates can help to protect you from being misled or taken by a con artist in an insurance scam. Always review any policy you consider carefully, and make sure everything we’ve reviewed is present.
Jim recommends visiting this updated site about Ohio life Insurance information and coverage options available.
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About the author
Jim resides in Hudson, Ohio with his family. He has been in the insurance business since 1984, and holds a degree in Risk Management and Insurance from the University of Florida. Jim is active as a consumer adviser on insurance issues.