17:29A-14 Filing of rate changes; hearing.
14. a. With regard to all property and casualty lines, a filer may, from time to time, alter, supplement, or amend its rates, rating systems, or any part thereof, by filing with the commissioner copies of such alterations, supplements, or amendments, together with a statement of the reason or reasons for such alteration, supplement, or amendment, in a manner and with such information as may be required by the commissioner. If such alteration, supplement, or amendment shall have the effect of increasing or decreasing rates, the commissioner shall determine whether the rates as altered thereby are reasonable, adequate, and not unfairly discriminatory. If the commissioner shall determine that the rates as so altered are not unreasonably high, or inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, he shall make an order approving them. If he shall find that the rates as altered are unreasonable, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, he shall issue an order disapproving such alteration, supplement or amendment.
b.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.1.)
c.If an insurer or rating organization files a proposed alteration, supplement or amendment to its private passenger automobile insurance rating system, or any part thereof, the commissioner shall transmit the filing to the appropriate office in the Division of Insurance, which office shall issue a preliminary determination within 90 days of receipt of a rate filing, except that the commissioner may, for good cause, extend the time for a preliminary determination by not more than 30 days. The preliminary determination shall set forth the basis for accepting, rejecting or modifying the rates as filed. A copy of the preliminary determination shall be provided to the filer and other interested parties. Unless the filer or other interested party, including the Director of the Division of Rate Counsel in, but not of, the Department of the Treasury, requests a hearing, the commissioner may adopt the preliminary determination as final within 30 days of the preliminary determination. If a hearing is requested, it shall proceed on an expedited basis in accordance with the provisions of this section. If a preliminary determination is not made within the time provided, a filing shall be transmitted to the Office of Administrative Law for a hearing and the commissioner shall adopt the determination of the administrative law judge as a final decision on the filing.
For filings other than private passenger automobile, if an insurer or rating organization files a proposed alteration, supplement or amendment to its rating system, or any part thereof, which would result in a change in rates, the commissioner may, or upon the request of the filer or the appropriate office in the Division of Insurance shall, certify the matter for a hearing. The hearing shall, at the commissioner's discretion, be conducted by himself, by a person appointed by the commissioner pursuant to section 26 of P.L.1944, c.27 (C.17:29A-26), or by the Office of Administrative Law, created by P.L.1978, c.67 (C.52:14F-1 et seq.), as a contested case. The following requirements shall apply to the hearing:
(1)The hearing shall commence within 30 days of the date of the request or decision that a hearing is to be held. The hearing shall be held on consecutive working days, except that the commissioner may, for good cause, waive the consecutive working day requirement. If the hearing is conducted by an administrative law judge, the administrative law judge shall submit his findings and recommendations to the commissioner within 30 days of the close of the hearing. The commissioner may, for good cause, extend the time within which the administrative law judge shall submit his findings and recommendations by not more than 30 days. A decision shall be rendered by the commissioner not later than 60 days, or, if he has granted a 30-day extension, not later than 90 days, from the close of the hearing. A filing shall be deemed to be approved unless rejected or modified by the commissioner within the time period provided herein.
(2)The commissioner, or the Director of the Office of Administrative Law, as appropriate, shall notify all interested parties, including the Director of the Division of Rate Counsel on behalf of insurance consumers, of the date set for commencement of the hearing, on the date of the filing of the request for a hearing, or within 10 days of the decision that a hearing is to be held.
(3)The insurer or rating organization making a filing on which a hearing is held shall bear the costs of the hearing.
(4)The commissioner may promulgate rules and regulations (a) to establish standards for the submission of proposed filings, amendments, additions, deletions and alterations to the rating system of filers, which may include forms to be submitted by each filer; and (b) making such other provisions as he deems necessary for effective implementation of this act.
d.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.1984, c.1.)
e.(Deleted by amendment, P.L.2003, c.89.)
f.The notice provisions set forth in section 51 of P.L.2005, c.155 (C.52:27EE-51), shall apply to this section.
L.1944, c.27, s.14; amended 1983, c.65, s.4; 1983, c.301, s.2; 1984, c.1, s.5; 1984, c.40, s.5; 1985, c.520, s.7; 1988, c.119, s.39; 1994, c.58, s.43; 2003, c.89, s.41; 2005, c.155, s.91; 2010, c.34, s.4.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016