Virginia Bureau of Insurance Issues Guidance Outlining Differences Between P&C Travel Insurance and L&H Accident and Sickness Insurance While Traveling

The Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 2186 and Senate Bill 1565 establishing procedures and requirements for travel protection plans and travel administrators and establishing travel insurance as an inland marine line of insurance sold by property and casualty insurance agents.  Among other things, the legislation (i) prohibits any person from acting as a limited lines travel insurance agent unless properly licensed, and (ii) prohibits any person from acting as a travel retailer unless properly registered.  The new law applies to travel insurance policies purchased on or after July 1, 2019.  On April 16, 2019, the Bureau of Insurance issued Administrative Letter 2019-01, providing guidance that “travel insurance” is included within the marine classification of insurance as property and casualty insurance, requiring rule, rate and form filings with the P&C Division, and policies providing  “accident and sickness insurance while traveling”  are regulated as accident and sickness insurance and must be filed with the L&H Division and shall not include P&C coverages such as interruption or cancellation of a trip or event; loss of baggage or personal effects; damages to accommodations; or rental vehicles.