(a) As used in this section, each of the following words shall have the following meanings:
Terms Used In Alabama Code 27-14-19.1
- Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
- Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- following: means next after. See Alabama Code 1-1-1
- Public law: A public bill or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide.
(1) DELIVERED BY ELECTRONIC MEANS or ELECTRONIC DELIVERY. Any of the following:
a. Delivery to an electronic mail address at which a party has consented to receive notices or documents.
b. Posting on an electronic network or site accessible via the Internet, mobile application, computer, mobile device, tablet, or any other electronic device, together with separate notice of the posting which shall be provided 1. by electronic mail to the address at which the party has consented to receive notice or 2. by any other delivery method that has been consented to by the party.
(2) PARTY. A recipient of any notice or document required as part of an insurance transaction, including, but not limited to, an applicant, an insured, a policyholder, or an annuity contract holder.
(b) Subject to the requirements of this section, any notice to a party or any other document required under applicable law in an insurance transaction involving property and casualty insurance or that is to serve as evidence of insurance coverage may be delivered, stored, and presented by electronic means so long as it meets the requirements of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act.
(c) Delivery of a notice or document in accordance with this section shall be considered equivalent to any delivery method required under applicable law, including delivery by first class mail, postage prepaid, certified mail, certificate of mail, or certificate of mailing.
(d) A notice or document may be delivered by electronic means by an insurer to a party under this section if:
(1) The party has affirmatively consented to that method of delivery and has not withdrawn the consent.
(2) The party, before giving consent, is provided with a clear and conspicuous statement informing the party of all of the following:
a. The right of the party to withdraw consent to have a notice or document delivered by electronic means, at any time, and any conditions or consequences imposed in the event consent is withdrawn.
b. The types of notices and documents to which the consent of the party would apply.
c. The right of a party to have a notice or document delivered in paper form.
d. The procedures a party must follow to withdraw consent to have a notice or document delivered by electronic means and to update the electronic mail address of the party.
(e)(1) The party, before giving consent, shall be provided with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of a notice or document delivered by electronic means and consents electronically, or confirms consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the party can access information in the electronic form that will be used for notices or documents delivered by electronic means as to which the party has given consent.
(2) After consent of the party is given, the insurer, if a change in the hardware or software requirements is needed to access or retain a notice or document delivered by electronic means creates a material risk that the party may not be able to access or retain a subsequent notice or document to which the consent applies, shall provide the party with a statement that:
a. Describes the revised hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of a notice or document delivered by electronic means.
b. The right of the party to withdraw consent without the imposition of any condition or consequence that was not disclosed at the time of initial consent.
c. Complies with subdivision (2) of subsection (d).
(f) This section shall not affect the requirements related to content or timing of any notice or document required under applicable law.
(g) If a provision of this section or applicable law requiring a notice or document to be provided to a party expressly requires verification or acknowledgment of receipt of the notice or document, the notice or document may be delivered by electronic means only if the method used provides for verification or acknowledgment of receipt.
(h) The legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of any contract or policy of insurance executed by a party may not be denied solely because of the failure to obtain electronic consent or confirmation of consent of the party in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.
(i)(1) A withdrawal of consent by a party does not affect the legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of a notice or document delivered by electronic means to the party before the withdrawal of consent is effective.
(2) A withdrawal of consent by a party is effective within a reasonable period of time after receipt of the withdrawal by the insurer.
(3) Failure by an insurer to comply with the notice requirement of this section may be treated, at the election of the party, as a withdrawal of consent for purposes of this section.
(j) This section does not apply to a notice or document delivered by an insurer in an electronic form before September 1, 2015, to a party who, before that date, has consented to receive notices or documents in an electronic form otherwise allowed by law.
(k) If the consent of a party to receive certain notices or documents in an electronic form is on file with an insurer before September 1, 2015, and pursuant to this section, an insurer intends to deliver additional notices or documents to such party in an electronic form, then prior to delivering such additional notices or documents electronically, the insurer shall meet the following requirements:
(1) Provide the party with a statement that describes:
a. The notices or documents that shall be delivered by electronic means under this section that were not previously delivered electronically.
b. The right of a party to withdraw his or her consent to have notices or documents delivered by electronic means, without the imposition of any condition or consequence that was not disclosed at the time of initial consent.
(2) Comply with subdivision (2) of subsection (c).
(l) An insurer shall deliver a notice or document by any other delivery method permitted by law other than electronic means if:
(1) The insurer attempts to deliver the notice or document by electronic means and has a reasonable basis for believing that the notice or document has not been received by the party.
(2) The insurer becomes aware that the electronic mail address provided by the party is no longer valid.
(m) It is the responsibility of the insurer to deliver to a party any notice or document authorized to be sent electronically pursuant to this section.
(n) This section may not be construed to modify, limit, or supersede the provisions of the federal Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, Public Law 106-229, as amended.