NU Online News Service, May 27, 2003, 5:23 p.m. EDT – Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster Jr., a Republican, has signed a bill that explicitly gives life insurers operating in his state the ability to exclude coverage for certain causes of death from group life insurance policies.

The bill, H.B. 1446, was introduced by Rep. Troy Hebert, D-Jeanerette, La., chairman of the House Insurance Committee.

The enacted version of H.B. 1446 lets an insurer exclude or restrict coverage if an insured dies “as a result of war declared or undeclared under conditions specified in the policy” or “while in the military, naval, or air forces of any country at war, declared or undeclared.”

Group life insurers can also exclude or restrict coverage if an insured dies “as a result of aviation,” “as a result of a specified hazardous occupation” or while living in specified foreign countries, according to the bill text.

The bill lets group life insurers restrict coverage for deaths resulting from suicide within two years from the date a policy is issued.

If a group life insured dies as a result of an excluded cause, the group life insurer must pay the beneficiaries the “amount of the gross premiums charged on the policy less dividends paid in cash or used in the payment of premiums thereon and less any indebtedness to the insurer on the policy, including interest due or accrued.”

A link to the text of H.B. 1446 is available on the Web at http://www.legis.state.la.us/bills/byinst.asp?sessionid=03RS&billtype=HB&billno=1446