17:29A-46.8 Definitions; standards for interventions in rate filings; offenses.
66. a. For the purposes of this section:
"Qualified person" means a person qualified by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance to intervene in public hearings pursuant to this section, who shall be deemed a "public servant" within the meaning of N.J.S.2C:30-2;
"Rate filing" means a filing for a rate increase by an automobile insurer writing private passenger automobile insurance in this State, other than an expedited prior approval rate filing made pursuant to section 34 of P.L.1997, c.151 (C.17:29A-46.6) and other than a rate filing made pursuant to any statutory change in coverage provided under a policy of private passenger automobile insurance.
b.The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall establish standards for qualifying persons to intervene in rate filings pursuant to this section. The standards shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, requiring that any person intervening in a rate filing demonstrate: (1) expertise in the insurance laws of this State; (2) an understanding of the actuarial principles employed in establishing rates and rating systems; (3) sufficient access to a qualified actuary and sufficient expertise to conduct a technical examination of a rate filing; (4) sufficient resources to intervene in the rate filing process as provided herein; and (5) that the person represents the interest of consumers and accepts a duty of fidelity to do so.
c.The commissioner shall require such documentation as he determines is necessary to qualify a person to intervene in a rate filing, and may charge a fee for registration with the department as an intervenor, which fee shall be payable annually.
d.The commissioner may remove the registration of an intervenor if he determines that (1) the intervenor no longer meets the qualifications, or (2) if the intervenor is convicted of a crime or loses a professional license for misconduct.
e.If an insurer or rating organization files for a rate increase for private passenger automobile insurance, the commissioner shall notify the public of the proposed rate change in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation throughout the State. A qualified person may request, and shall receive, a copy of the rate filing and any amendments and supplements thereto and shall pay the expenses in connection therewith. The qualified person may request that the commissioner certify the rate filing for a hearing pursuant to section 14 of P.L.1944, c.27 (C.17:29A-14).
f.The commissioner shall establish by regulation the terms and conditions under which the proceedings under this section shall be conducted, including, but not limited to the supporting material which shall accompany the intervention.
g.Upon determining that the intervenor has demonstrated that the qualified person has made a substantial contribution to the adoption of any order or decision by the commissioner or a court in connection with a rate filing made pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall award reasonable advocacy and witness fees and expenses.
h.A person commits a crime of the third degree if he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefits as consideration for knowingly violating or agreeing to violate a duty of fidelity to which he is subject pursuant to this section. In addition to any disposition authorized by law, the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall forever bar from registration as an intervenor any person convicted under this subsection.
i.A person commits a crime of the third degree if he confers, or offers or agrees to confer, any benefit the acceptance of which would be criminal under this section. In addition to any disposition authorized by law, the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance shall deny the rate filing of any person convicted under this subsection and the person shall be barred from filing for any rate increase for a period of one year.
j.Nothing herein shall be construed to preclude a prosecution or conviction for a violation of any other law.
k.This section shall expire 180 days after the effective date of the Public Advocate Restoration Act of 2005, P.L.2005, c.155 (C.52:27EE-1 et al.).
L.1998,c.21,s.66; amended 1998, c.22, s.8; 2005, c.155, s.92.
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Last modified: October 11, 2016