SENATE BILL NO. 128
AS AMENDED BY
SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AND
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 2
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE UNFAIR INSURANCE PRACTICE OF DISCRIMINATION BY INSURANCE COMPANIES BASED ON AN INDIVIDUAL'S STATUS AS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Title 18 of the Delaware Code by adding the following subsection
to §2302 immediately following §2302(4):
"(5) 'Abuse' means the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between family members, current or former household members, or current or former intimate partners:
(a) Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause physical injury, or a
sexual offense as defined in §761 of Title I I of the Delaware Code;
(b) Intentionally or recklessly placing or attempting to place another individual in
reasonable apprehension of physical injury or sexual offense to himself, herself, or another;
(c) Intentionally or recklessly damaging, destroying or taking the tangible property of
(d) Insulting, taunting or challenging another individual or engaging in a course of
alarming or distressing conduct in a manner which is likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response or which is likely to cause humiliation, degradation or fear in another individual;
(e) Trespassing on or in property of another individual, or on or in property from
which the trespasser has been excluded by court order;
(t) Child abuse, as defined in Chapter 9 of Title 16 of the Delaware Code;
(g) Unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, interference with custody and coercion, as
defined in Title II of the Delaware Code;
(h) Any other conduct which a reasonable individual under the circumstances would find threatening or harmful."
Section 2. Amend Title 18 of the Delaware Code by adding the following subsection
to 2304 immediately following §2304(23):
"(24) Discriminatory practices against victims of abuse.
A person or entity engaged in' the business of life and/or health insurance in this State may not:
(a) Deny, refuse to issue, refuse to renew, refuse to reissue, cancel, or otherwise
terminate an insurance policy or restrict coverage on any individual because that individual is, has been, or may be the subject of abuse, or seeks, has sought, or should have sought, medical or psychological treatment for abuse, protection from abuse, or shelter from abuse;
(b) Add any surcharge or rating factor to a premium of an insurance policy because of
an individual's history of, status as, or potential to be subject to abuse;
(c) Exclude or limit coverage for losses or deny a claim incurred by an insured as a
result of abuse or the potential for abuse; or
(d) Ask an insured or an applicant for insurance whether that individual is, has been,
or may be the subject of abuse, or seeks, has sought, or should have sought medical or psychological treatment specifically for abuse, protection from abuse, or shelter from abuse.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person from declining to issue an insurance policy insuring the life of an individual who is or has been the subject of abuse if the perpetrator of the abuse is the applicant or would be the owner of the insurance policy. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a person from underwriting or rating a risk on the basis of a preexisting physical or mental condition, even if such condition had been caused by abuse, provided that
(a) the person routinely underwrites or rates such condition in the same manner with respect to an insured or an applicant who is not a victim of abuse,
(b) no person shall refuse to insure, refuse to continue to insure, limit the amount, extent or kind of coverage available to an individual, or charge a different rate for the same coverage solely because of a physical or mental condition, except where the refusal, limitation or rate differential is based on sound actuarial principles;
(c) the fact that an individual is, has been, or may be the subject of abuse may not be considered a physical or mental condition; and
(d) such underwriting or rating is not used to evade the intent of this law or any other provision of law. A person shall not be held civilly or criminally liable for any cause of action which may be brought because of compliance with this section."
Approved July 19, 1995