17:22A-43. Immunity from civil liability
18. a. (1) In the absence of actual malice, an insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, an insurance producer, the commissioner, or an organization of which the commissioner is a member and that compiles the information and makes it available to other insurance commissioners or regulatory or law enforcement agencies, shall not be subject to civil liability, and a civil cause of action of any nature shall not arise against these entities or their respective agents or employees, as a result of any statement or information required by or provided pursuant to section 17 of this act or this section or any information relating to any statement that may be requested in writing by the commissioner, from an insurer or insurance producer; or a statement by a terminating insurer or insurance producer to an insurer or insurance producer limited solely and exclusively to whether a termination for cause under subsection b. of section 17 of this act was reported to the commissioner, provided that the propriety of any termination for cause is certified in writing by an officer or authorized representative of the insurer or insurance producer terminating the relationship.
(2)In any action brought against a person that has immunity under paragraph (1) of this subsection for making any statement required by this section or providing any information relating to any statement that may be requested by the commissioner, the party bringing the action shall plead specifically in any allegation that paragraph (1) does not apply because the person making the statement or providing the information did so with actual malice.
(3)Paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection shall not abrogate or modify any existing statutory or common law privileges or immunities.
b. (1) Any documents, materials or other information in the control or possession of the department furnished by an insurer, insurance producer or an employee or agent thereof acting on behalf of the insurer or insurance producer, or obtained by the commissioner in an investigation pursuant to this section, shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to any State or federal freedom of information law, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the commissioner is authorized to use the documents, materials or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the commissioner's duties.
(2)Neither the commissioner, nor any person who received documents, materials or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner, shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to paragraph (1) of this subsection.
(3)In order to assist in the performance of the commissioner's duties under this act, the commissioner:
(a)May share documents, materials or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials or information subject to paragraph (1) of this subsection, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the NAIC, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material or other information pursuant to this section;
(b)May receive documents, materials or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials or information, from the NAIC and from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material or information; and
(c)May enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this subsection.
(4)No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(5)Nothing in this act shall prohibit the commissioner from releasing final, adjudicated actions including terminations for cause that are open to public inspection pursuant to P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the NAIC.
c.An insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, or an insurance producer that fails to report as required under the provisions of this section or that is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have reported with actual malice may, after notice and hearing, have its license or certificate of authority suspended or revoked and may be fined in accordance with section 20 of this act.
Section: Previous 17-22a-37 17-22a-38 17-22a-39 17-22a-40 17-22a-41 17-22a-41.1 17-22a-42 17-22a-43 17-22a-44 17-22a-45 17-22a-46 17-22a-47 17-22a-47.1 17-22a-48 17-22a-49 Next
Last modified: October 11, 2016