A. A domestic insurer may invest in real estate, as set forth in subsections B, C and D of this section, unless the property is to be used primarily for agricultural, horticultural, ranch, recreational, amusement or club purposes. The term “real estate” as used in this section shall include a leasehold of real estate having an unexpired term of not less than twenty years.
B. A domestic insurer may invest in dwellings, offices and other properties (including leasehold estates) for the production of income, other than real estate which is the subject of subsection C, situated in the United States, and the construction thereon of improvements, under the following conditions:
1. The insurer shall either directly or through a land trust own the entire property, except that it may share ownership with one or more insurers authorized to do business in this state, or other business entities, excluding sole proprietorships, having a net worth of at least five million dollars under agreements that will assume concerted action in management and control of the property in case of the insolvency of any participating company, provided that each investment made pursuant to this subsection by the insurer and by each participant shall not be less than $ 100,000;
2. The insurer alone or in conjunction with participants qualified under subdivision B 1 may let contracts for construction and pay costs of construction and leasing, hold, maintain, lease, and manage the property, collect rents and other income therefrom, and sell the property in whole or in part;
3. The property may be encumbered by lease to tenants and by rights-of-way, easements, mineral reservations, building restrictions, and restrictive covenants, provided none of them can interfere substantially with the use of the property or result in a forfeiture of the property, unless a policy of title insurance, issued by a responsible title insurer qualified to do business in the state wherein the property is located, insures the insurer against loss or damage arising from such encumbrances or reversionary rights; and
C. A domestic insurer may invest in real estate, including leasehold estates, for the convenient accommodation of the insurer’s business operations, including home office, branch office and field office operations, under the following conditions:
1. Any parcel of real estate acquired under this subsection may include excess space for rent to others if it is reasonably anticipated that the excess will be required by the insurer for expansion or if the excess is reasonably required in order to have one or more buildings that will function as an economic unit;
3. An insurer shall not invest under this subsection more than ten percent of the insurer’s admitted assets, except with the permission of the Commission if it is found that such percentage of the insurer’s admitted assets is insufficient to provide convenient accommodation for the insurer’s business; and
4. The permission of the Commission shall be obtained by an insurer prior to the purchase of any real estate under this subsection if the insurer has been authorized in this Commonwealth for a period of less than five years.
D. Real property serving as the residence of an employee of any domestic insurer, other than a director or trustee of the insurer, may be acquired only in connection with the (i) relocation by the insurer of the place of employment of the employee, or (ii) any relocation in connection with the initial employment of the employee. The purchase price shall not exceed the fair market value of the property as determined by written appraisals of at least two competent independent real estate appraisers for the purpose of the acquisition. The employee shall have made reasonable efforts otherwise to dispose of the property for a period of not less than one month immediately prior to the acquisition.
1983, c. 457, § 38.1-217.44; 1986, c. 562; 1992, c. 588.