August 27, 1993
Several provisions of the Insurance Code and rules promulgated
thereunder require insurers to provide insureds with a statutorily
prescribed notice period prior to the insured taking some action,
typically the cancellation or nonrenewal of a policy. Insurers
are reminded that a "day" for counting statutory notice
purposes must be a full 24 hour period. For example, a notice
provision within the Automobile Cancellation Control Act, 24-A,
M.R.S.A. Section 2915 states in relevant part:
No notice of cancellation of a policy shall be effective unless
received by the named insured at least . . . 10 days prior to
effective date of cancellation. . . A postal service certificate
of mailing to the named insured at the insured's last known
address shall be conclusive proof of receipt on the 5th calendar
day after mailing.
In order to give the insured a full ten 24-hour days of notice,
the statutorily deemed date of the insured's receipt of the notice
must be excluded in counting the statutorily required 10 days
notice. Accordingly, if a certificate of mailing indicated a mail
date of December 1st, the 5th calendar day after mailing would
be December 6th. December 6th would be the date the insured would
be deemed to have received the notice. Ten 24-hour days of notice
would require that the cancellation be effective no earlier than
December 17th. Insurers in the practice of counting the statutorily
deemed receipt date as one day of notice, in effect give their
insureds only 9 days and several hours worth of notice.
The Maine Supreme Court recently affirmed this position in Valley
Forge Insurance Co. v. Concord Group Insurance Co. (Dec. No. 6482,
Docket No. AND-919214, 4-6-93), stating, "We find the statutorily
required 10 days. . . is to be calculated by excluding the day
of receipt. . . and including the whole of the tenth day."
Brian K. Atchinson
Superintendent of Insurance
NOTE: This bulletin is intended solely for informational purposes.
It is not intended to set forth legal rights, duties or privileges
nor is it intended to provide legal advice. Readers are encouraged
to consult applicable statutes and regulations and to contact
the Bureau of Insurance if additional information is needed.
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