What is the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association?
The Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association is a nonprofit organization made up of members from the life and health insurance industry that are licensed to sell annuities, life and/or health insurance products in Wyoming.
Why was the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association formed?
The Wyoming Legislature enacted a law (The Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act) authorizing the formation of this organization to assist Wyoming residents who hold annuities, life, or health insurance policies issued by insurance carriers who become insolvent.
What Wyoming law gives authority to the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association?
Wyoming Statute 26-42-101, et seq., The Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act, which became law on July 1, 1991.
Who does the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association help?
Except under certain very restrictive conditions, in order to be covered by the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association, a person must be a resident of Wyoming. In addition, assistance is not available if the insurer was unable to meet its obligations or was declared insolvent by a court before July 1, 1990.
Where does the Association get its funds?
The Association charges annual fees to its members. It will also assess the members following a determination that certain insurers' policies will be covered. These fees are then used to pay the claims of Wyoming residents who hold policies issued by life and health insurance companies which become insolvent or can no longer meet their contractual obligations on or after July 1, 1990.
Does it matter where the policyholder purchased the policy?
No. However, the insurer must have been licensed to sell products in Wyoming, and with certain exceptions, the claimant must be a resident of Wyoming.
Are there financial limits to what the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association will pay?
Yes. The Association provides coverage up to $300,000 for life insurance death benefits; $100,000 in net cash surrender or withdrawal for life insurance; $300,000 in health insurance benefits; and $250,000 in present value of annuity benefits, including net cash surrender and net cash withdrawal values. The Association does not provide coverage for unallocated annuities. The Association cannot expend more than an aggregate of $500,000 in benefits, with respect to any one life, no matter how many policies and contracts there were with the same company, even if they provided different types of coverage.
Is the Wyoming Association affiliated with a national organization?
Yes. The Wyoming Association is a member of the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Association (NOLHGA) whose objective is to facilitate greater coordination, cooperation, and collective action by state guaranty associations.
How often do the members of the Wyoming Association meet?
The members meet annually. The Board of Directors of the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association meet on an as-needed basis and annually following the annual meeting of members.
Who is the Board of Directors?
The members of the Association elect the seven-member Board.
How many members are in the Association?
Over 800 members.
Can the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association cancel a policy upon the request of a Wyoming policyholder?
No. The Association cannot cancel a policy with any insurance company. Further, the Association does not have access to information regarding policyholder claims. The policyholder must contact the insurance company directly to cancel a policy, acquire information about claims, or receive general information about the insurance company.
Can the Wyoming Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association tell an individual about the financial security or policies for issue on a specific insurance company?
No. The Association deals only with insolvent or "troubled" companies and, therefore, does not provide financial information for solvent companies. Company ratings and other information may be obtained from various sources at the public library or from the Wyoming Insurance Department.