Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–2231.11. Unfair discrimination.

(a) No person shall commit or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for a life insurance policy or contract, in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of the policy or contract.

(b) No person shall commit or permit any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium, fees, or rates charged for a policy or contract of accident or health insurance; in the benefits payable under a policy or contract of accident or health insurance; in any of the terms or conditions of the policy or contract of accident or health insurance; or in any other manner. This section shall not prohibit a fee or charge for insurance premium payment plans, regardless of the number of installments involved.

(b-1) For the purposes of subsections (a) and (b) of this section, no person shall inquire, directly or indirectly, as to whether an insured or applicant is, or has been, the victim of an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, or make use of information as to an insured or applicant’s status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking; provided, that this subsection shall not prohibit a person from asking about a medical condition or from using medical information to underwrite or to carry out its duties under a policy, even if the medical information is related to a medical condition that the person knows or has reason to know is related to an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, to the extent otherwise permitted under this chapter or applicable law. For purposes of this subsection, the term “intrafamily offense” shall have the same meaning as provided in § 16-1001(8).

(c) No person shall refuse to insure, refuse to continue to insure, or limit the amount of coverage available to an individual because of marital status, race, color, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, matriculation, political affiliation, or an individual’s status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit an insurer from taking marital status into account for the purpose of defining persons eligible for dependent benefits or prohibit or limit the operation of fraternal benefit societies. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “matriculation” shall have the same meaning as in § 2-1401.02(18).

(d) No person shall terminate or modify coverage, or refuse to issue or refuse to renew, a property and casualty policy or a life, health, or annuity policy, solely because the applicant or insured, or an employee of either, is mentally or physically impaired. A termination, modification, or refusal shall be based on sound actuarial principles or related to actual or reasonably anticipated experience. This subsection shall not be interpreted to modify any other provision of law relating to the termination, modification, issuance, or renewal of an insurance policy or contract.

(e) No person shall refuse to insure an individual solely because another insurer has refused to write a policy or has cancelled or has refused to renew an existing policy in which the individual was named an insured. This subsection shall not prevent the termination of an excess insurance policy on account of the failure of the insured to maintain any required underlying insurance.


(Apr. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-265, § 111, 48 DCR 1225; Oct. 3, 2001, D.C. Law 14-28, § 2702(a), 48 DCR 6981; June 25, 2008, D.C. Law 17-177, § 16(b), 55 DCR 3696; Apr. 8, 2011, D.C. Law 18-360, § 202(a), 58 DCR 896; Sept. 26, 2012, D.C. Law 19-171, § 86, 59 DCR 6190.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-2231.12 and § 31-2231.24.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-28 rewrote subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) No person shall refuse to insure, refuse to continue to insure, or limit the amount of coverage available to an individual because of the sex, marital status, race, religion, or national origin of the individual. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit an insurer from taking marital status into account for the purpose of defining persons eligible for dependent benefits. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit the operation of fraternal benefit societies.”

D.C. Law 17-177, in subsec. (c), substituted “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression” for “sexual orientation”.

D.C. Law 18-360, in subsec. (b), substituted “health insurance” for “health insurance policy”, “policy or contract of accident or health insurance ” for “contract or policy”, and “policy or contract of health insurance” for “policy or contract”; added subsec. (b-1); and, in subsec. (c), substituted “political affiliation, or an individual’s status as a victim of an intrafamily offense, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking” for “or political affiliation”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-171 substituted “accident or health insurance” for the third occurrence of “health insurance” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2502(a) of Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2001 (D.C. Act 14-124, August 3, 2001, 48 DCR 7861).

Editor's Notes

Section 203 of D.C. Law 18-360 provided: “Sec. 203. Application. This title shall apply to policies and certificates of insurance that are health benefit plans as defined under section 2(4) of the Health Insurance Coverage for Habilitative Services for Children Act of 2006, effective March 2, 2007 (D.C. Law 16-198; D.C. Official Code § 31-3271(4)), that are issued 90 days after the effective date of this title. This title shall not apply to short-term limited duration health benefit plans.”