TITLE 16

Health and Safety

Safety

CHAPTER 68. EXEMPTIONS FROM CIVIL LIABILITY

Subchapter II. Immunity for Reporting of Arson


(a) As used in this subchapter:

(1) "Action" shall include nonaction or the failure to take action.

(2) "Authorized agencies" shall mean:

a. The State Fire Marshal, or the Marshal's equivalent in any political subdivision of the State, when authorized or charged with the investigation of fires at the place where the fire actually took place;

b. The State Police or police of a duly organized county or municipal police agency;

c. The Department of Justice of the State;

d. County law departments or the solicitor of a municipality;

e. The Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other federal agency;

f. The United States Attorney's Office when authorized or charged with investigation or prosecution of the fire in question.

(3) "Immune" shall mean that neither a civil action nor a criminal prosecution may arise from any action taken pursuant to this subchapter where actual malice on the part of the insurance company or authorized agency against the insured is not present.

(4) Material will be "deemed important", if within the sole discretion of the "authorized agency", such material is requested by that "authorized agency".

(5) "Relevant" shall mean information having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the investigation or determination of the issue more probable or less probable than it would be without the evidence.

(b) As used in this section "insurance company" includes the Insurance Placement Facility of Delaware (FAIR Plan).

62 Del. Laws, c. 222, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Any authorized agency may, in writing, require the insurance company at interest to release to the requesting agency any or all relevant information or evidence deemed important to the authorized agency which the company may have in its possession, relating to the fire loss in question. Relevant information may include, without limitation herein:

(1) Pertinent insurance policy information relevant to a fire loss under investigation and any application for such a policy;

(2) Policy premium payment records which are available;

(3) History of previous claims made by the insured;

(4) Material relating to the investigation of the loss, including statements of any person, proof of loss or any other evidence relevant to the investigation.

(b)(1) When an insurance company has reason to believe that a fire loss in which it has an interest may be of other than accidental cause, and such fire loss is in excess of $5,000, then, for the purpose of notification and for having such fire loss investigated, the company shall, in writing, notify an authorized agency and provide it with any or all material developed from the company's inquiry into the fire loss.

(2) When an insurance company provides any one of the authorized agencies with notice of a fire loss, it shall be sufficient notice for the purpose of this subchapter.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall abrogate or impair the rights or powers created under subsection (a) of this section.

(c) The authorized agency provided with information pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section, and in furtherance of its own purposes, may release or provide information to any of the other authorized agencies.

(d) Any insurance company providing information to an authorized agency or agencies pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall have the right to request relevant information and receive from the authorized agency or agencies within a reasonable time, not to exceed 30 days, the information requested.

(e) Any insurance company, or person acting in its behalf, or authorized agency who releases information, whether oral or written, pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be immune from any liability arising out of a civil action, or criminal prosecution.

62 Del. Laws, c. 222, § 1.;

(a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of § 6811 of this title any authorized agency and insurance company described in § 6810 or § 6811 of this title who receives any information furnished pursuant to this subchapter shall hold the information in confidence until such time as its release is required pursuant to a criminal or civil proceeding.

(b) Any authorized agency referred to in § 6810 of this title, or their personnel, may be required to testify in any litigation in which the insurance company at interest is named as a party.

62 Del. Laws, c. 222, § 1.;

(a) No person or agency shall intentionally or knowingly refuse to release any information requested pursuant to subsection (a) or (b) of § 6811 of this title.

(b) No person shall intentionally or knowingly refuse to release to authorized agencies relevant information pursuant to subsection (b) of § 6811 of this title.

(c) No person shall fail to hold in confidence information required to be held in confidence by § 6812 of this title.

62 Del. Laws, c. 222, § 1.;