Life insurance can’t be cut off without proper notice, California Supreme Court rules


Publish Date:
August 30, 2021
San Francisco Chronicle
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“The Legislature enacted the grace period and notice protections in part to protect existing policy owners from losing the important life insurance coverage they had spent years paying for,” Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar said in an opinion signed by five of the seven justices.

He said the court’s interpretation of the law “protects policy owners — including elderly, hospitalized, or incapacitated ones who may be particularly vulnerable to missing a premium payment — from losing coverage.”

Cuéllar said the ruling did not actually make the law retroactive, because it did not affect insurance companies’ decisions to cancel coverage on similar grounds before 2013. In a separate opinion, Justice Martin Jenkins, joined by Justice Carol Corrigan, said lawmakers had intended for the law to be applied retroactively to existing insurance policies.

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