17:17-10 Certificates authorizing company to commence business; issuance, surrender; replacement carrier.
17:17-10. a. When satisfied that a company has complied with all the requirements of this subtitle to entitle it to engage in business and that the proposed methods of operation of the company are not such as would render its operation hazardous to the public or its policyholders, the commissioner shall issue to the company a certificate authorizing it to commence business, specifying in the certificate the particular kind or kinds of insurance it is authorized to transact. The commissioner may refuse to issue a certificate of authority if he finds that any of the company's directors or officers has been convicted of a crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or like moral turpitude or that said persons are not persons of good character and integrity. Any applicant for a license pursuant to this section and any officer, director, partner or owner of a controlling interest of a corporation or partnership for licensure shall submit to the commissioner the applicant's name, address, fingerprints and written consent for a criminal history record background check to be performed. The commissioner is authorized to exchange fingerprint data with and receive criminal history record information from the State Bureau of Identification in the Division of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation consistent with applicable State and federal laws, rules and regulations, for the purposes of facilitating determinations concerning licensure eligibility. The applicant shall bear the cost for the criminal history record background check, including all costs of administering and processing the check. The Division of State Police shall promptly notify the commissioner in the event a current holder of a license or prospective applicant, who was the subject of a criminal history record background check pursuant to this section, is arrested for a crime or offense in this State after the date the background check was performed. No company shall transact the business for which it is incorporated until it has received the certificate from the commissioner. If any company fails to obtain the certificate of authority within one year from the date of the certificate of the Attorney General to its certificate of incorporation, as provided in R.S.17:17-5, the company shall, ipso facto, be dissolved and its certificate of incorporation be null and void.
b.No company licensed to transact insurance business in this State pursuant to chapter 17 of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes may surrender its certificate of authority or discontinue writing or renewing any kind or kinds of insurance specified in the certificate, except in accordance with an informational filing submitted to the commissioner, which filing shall be subject to the following provisions regarding any withdrawals:
(1)the company shall send a notice to policyholders of the proposed withdrawal no later than thirty days following the submission of the informational filing to the commissioner, which shall state that the insurer intends to withdraw and has filed its intention to withdraw with the commissioner, the terms of the withdrawal, including the date of the proposed commencement of nonrenewal of policies, and the proposed duration of the nonrenewal of the company's book of business;
(2)nonrenewals shall not commence prior to one calendar year and ninety days following the submission of the informational filing;
(3)the company shall send a notice of nonrenewal to every policyholder (a) no later than one calendar year preceding the date of nonrenewal and (b) a subsequent notice of nonrenewal in accordance with any time limit otherwise established by law for that line of insurance;
(4)nonrenewals shall take place in a manner so as to be applicable to all insureds on an equitable basis with respect to risk classification and territorial or other form of rating factor, and shall be effectuated at a uniform rate over a period not exceeding three calendar years, commencing with the date established in paragraph (2) of this subsection; provided, however, that if more than one company files for withdrawal for the same line of business and the companies, in the aggregate, write more than 25% of the market share for that line of business, the commissioner may extend the period of withdrawal provided for herein to five years.
The commissioner's authority with respect to withdrawals as provided for herein shall be limited to enforcing compliance with this subsection and enforcing the terms of the withdrawal plan proposed in the informational filing.
c.Upon receiving the informational filing provided for in subsection b. of this section, the commissioner shall consider, and may require as a condition of approval, whether some or all of the company's other certificates of authority issued pursuant to Title 17 of the Revised Statutes held by the company or other companies within the same holding company system as the company submitting the plan shall be required to be surrendered.
d.Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of this section, if the company finds a replacement carrier for the business that will not be renewed as the result of the withdrawal either prior to or after the date of the informational filing, the insurer may apply to the commissioner for approval to transfer the business to a replacement carrier or carriers. If the commissioner approves the replacement carrier or carriers, notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection b. of this section, the notice of nonrenewal shall be in compliance with the time limits provided by law for that line of insurance, and the company shall offer every insured coverage with the replacement carrier prior to the effective date of the nonrenewal. The commissioner shall not withhold approval of a replacement carrier or carriers if that insurer is authorized to do business in the same line of business in New Jersey and has the financial and business capability to write and service the business being transferred to it by the withdrawing company. The commissioner shall approve or disapprove the replacement carrier or carriers within 60 days of (1) the date of the filing by both the withdrawing insurer requesting approval of a replacement carrier or carrier or (2) the filing by the replacement carrier or carriers requesting to be a replacement carrier, whichever is later.
e.Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection b. of this section, the commissioner may waive the requirements of paragraph (2) of that subsection, and the one-year nonrenewal notice of paragraph (3) of that subsection, as well as the three-year minimum nonrenewal period provided in paragraph (4) of that subsection if the commissioner deems a waiver to be necessary to protect the solvency of the insurer making the informational filing or if the commissioner deems the withdrawal to have a limited impact on the market.
Amended 1950, c.47; 1958, c.67; repealed in part (see N.J.S. 17B:36-3a); amended 1990, c.8, s.71; 2003, c.89, s.83; 2003, c.199, s.11.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016