Wyoming policyholders can feel secure knowing that the state government has defined very specific rights that all consumers of life insurance are entitled to. They don’t call it the equality state without a good reason. In order to take advantage of these rights, you must be aware of the most important ones that may be likely to affect you during your policy ownership. Here at Life Ant, we have spelled out some important rights that you should know.
Wyoming Life Insurance Rights and Regulations
Under Wyoming State Statutes in Title 26, lawmakers have laid down protection for consumers as well as insurance companies to some extent. This creates an environment conducive to fair and ethical business practices and prevents either side from unfair treatment from the other. Life insurance is a mutually beneficial product for consumers and insurance companies, and lawmakers want to keep it that way.
Free Look Period
Wyoming does not have a mandated free look period for new policyholders, but most companies will provide their clients with a free look nonetheless. The free look period allows a client to review a policy thoroughly before making a permanent financial commitment. During the free look period, a policy owner may decide to return the policy in exchange for a full refund of all premiums paid to date on the policy. The free look period begins when the owner signs the policy delivery receipt and ends in Wyoming after the company’s self-created free look period of time has elapsed. Most companies do provide a free look in the state of Wyoming, but length of this feature can vary between companies and product types, so always check with your agent before committing any money.
Premium payment can be missed for a variety of reasons, errors with due dates, checks lost in the mail, or oversight are some examples. Because it would be difficult for the business to proceed smoothly if a policy lapsed immediately every time a payment was late, Wyoming has set a minimum period of time before an insurance company can deny a death claim after a missed premium. The legislature has set this amount of time at 30 days from the payment due date. This protects beneficiaries and helps policy owners from needing to go through a reinstatement process.
Guarantee Of Death Claims In the Event of a Bankruptcy
If a life insurance company becomes insolvent and is unable to pay death claims or make cash surrender value payouts, Wyoming has protection in place for consumers. Through the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association, the state will make missed death claim payments of up to $300,000 per person, and missed surrender value payouts of up to $100,000 per person. These limits do not change if the policy is larger than this or if multiple policies are in force.
When deciding through the rate comparison tool which the company is most appealing to you, please give preference to companies with strong financial ratings for your own protection. Many life insurance policies are larger or will grow larger during the course of their existence.
Wyoming Life & Health Insurance Guaranty Association
PO Box 36009
Denver, CO 80236
Timely Payment of Claims
Wyoming does not want insurance companies to sit on beneficiaries’ claim money, earning interest while beneficiaries wait. This is why they demand that all companies make payments without “unreasonable delay”. While not setting a specific time frame, if a company seems to be sitting on a payout for longer than necessary they open themselves up to possible fines, penalties, and sanctions. Please contact the department of insurance if you feel your insurance company is taking an undue amount of time to settle a claim. The contact information is below.
Wyoming Department of Insurance