Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 5. Miscellaneous Prohibitions

Lenders -- Restrictions On Solicitation, Rejection, Charges, And Disclosure -- Favoring Insurance Producer Prohibited

33-18-501. Lenders -- restrictions on solicitation, rejection, charges, and disclosure -- favoring insurance producer prohibited. (1) No person may require as a condition precedent to the lending of money or extension of credit or any renewal thereof that the person to whom such money or credit is extended or whose obligation a creditor is to acquire or finance negotiate any contract of insurance or renewal thereof through a particular insurer or group of insurers or insurance producer or group of insurance producers.

(2) No person who lends money or extends credit may:

(a) solicit insurance for the protection of real property, after a person indicates interest in securing a first-mortgage credit extension, until such person has received a commitment in writing from the lender as to a loan or credit extension;

(b) unreasonably reject a contract of insurance furnished by the borrower for the protection of the property securing the credit or lien. A rejection is not unreasonable if it is based on reasonable standards, uniformly applied, relating to the extent of coverage required and the financial soundness and the services of an insurer. Such standards may not discriminate against any particular type of insurer or call for rejection of an insurance contract because the contract contains coverage in addition to that required by the credit transaction.

(c) require that any borrower, mortgagor, purchaser, insurer, or insurance producer pay a separate charge in connection with the handling of any contract of insurance required as security for a loan on real estate or pay a separate charge to substitute the insurance policy of one insurer for that of another. This subsection (2)(c) does not include the interest which may be charged on premium loans or premium advancements in accordance with the terms of the loan or credit document.

(d) use or disclose information relative to a contract of insurance which is required by the credit transaction:

(i) for the purpose of replacing such insurance; and

(ii) without the prior written consent of the borrower;

(e) require any procedures or conditions of licensed insurance producers or insurers not customarily required of those insurance producers or insurers affiliated or in any way connected with the person who lends money or extends credit.

(3) Each person who lends money or extends credit and who solicits insurance on real and personal property subject to subsection (2) of this section must explain to the borrower in writing that the insurance related to such credit extension may be purchased from an insurer or insurance producer of the borrower's choice, subject only to the lender's right to reject a given insurer or insurance producer as provided in subsection (2)(b). Compliance with disclosures as to insurance required by truth-in-lending laws or comparable state laws shall be compliance with this subsection.

(4) The commissioner may examine and investigate those insurance-related activities of any person which may be in violation of this section. Any affected person may submit to the commissioner a complaint or material pertinent to the enforcement of this section.

(5) Nothing herein prevents a person who lends money or extends credit from placing insurance on real or personal property in the event the mortgagor, borrower, or purchaser has failed to provide required insurance in accordance with the terms of the loan or credit document.

(6) Nothing contained in this section applies to credit life or credit accident and health insurance.

History: En. 40-3516.1 by Sec. 5, Ch. 320, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 40-3516.1; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 281, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 713, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 35, Ch. 798, L. 1991.