Enrolled Version - Final Version
Senate Bill 30 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
Committee Substitute (1)
SB30 SUB1 enr
Senate Bill No. 30
(Senator Minard, original sponsor)
[Passed April 9, 2005; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact §33-2-20 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; to amend said code by adding thereto a new
section, designated §33-2-21; to amend and reenact §33-6-8 of
said code; to amend said code by adding thereto a new section,
designated §33-6-15a; to amend and reenact §33-16-2 of said
code; to amend and reenact §33-16B-1 and §33-16B-3 of said
code; to amend and reenact §33-17-8 and §33-17-9 of said code;
to amend said code by adding thereto three new sections,
designated §33-17A-4a, §33-17A-4b and §33-17A-4c; and to amend
and reenact §33-20-4 of said code, all relating to insurance
law reforms and modifications generally; allowing the
Commissioner to permit automobile insurers to withdraw from
doing business in this state; requiring insurer to submit a
plan; permitting promulgation of rules; redesignating a
section of the insurance code enacted as part of the bill assigning workers' compensation duties to the Insurance
Commissioner; clarifying that certain rules remain in effect;
exempting commercial insurance lines from the requirement of
prior approval of rates and forms; establishing requirements
for prior approval; providing for suspension of review period
when additional information is requested; providing
definitions; clarifying that certain health insurance forms
marketed to associations must be filed with the Commissioner;
providing that commercial and certain health insurance forms
marketed to associations are effective upon first use after
filing; providing certain requirements for association
policies; providing for a notation of savings on policies;
clarifying that prior rate approval applies to health
insurance certificates and endorsements; providing for filing
of fire and marine insurance rider or endorsement review;
adding a ground for nonrenewal of property insurance policies;
providing an alternative method for nonrenewal of property
insurance; providing a manner of electing an alternative
method; requiring report to the Legislature; and making
certain technical changes.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-2-20 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding
thereto a new section, designated §33-2-21; that §33-6-8 of said
code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding
thereto a new section, designated §33-6-15a; that §33-16-2 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §33-16B-1 and §33-16B-3 of said
code be amended and reenacted; that §33-17-8 and §33-17-9 of said
code be amended and reenacted; that said code be amended by adding
thereto three new sections, designated §33-17A-4a, §33-17A-4b and
§33-17A-4c; and that §33-20-4 of said code be amended and
reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2. INSURANCE COMMISSIONER.
§33-2-20. Authority of Commissioner to allow withdrawal of
insurance carriers from doing business in the state.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of the code to the contrary,
the Commissioner may, consistent with the provisions of this
section, authorize an insurer to withdraw from the line of
automobile liability insurance for personal, private passenger
automobiles covered by article six-a of this chapter or from doing
business entirely in this state if:
(1) The insurer has submitted and received approval from the
Commissioner of a withdrawal plan; and
(2) The insurer demonstrates to the satisfaction of the
Commissioner that allowing the insurer to withdraw would be in the
best interest of the insurer, its policyholders and the citizens of
(b) Any insurer that elects to nonrenew or cancel the
particular type or line of insurance coverage provided by section
five, article seventeen-a of this chapter shall submit to the
Insurance Commissioner a withdrawal plan for informational purposes only prior to cancellation or nonrenewal of all its business in
(c) The Commissioner shall promulgate rules pursuant to
chapter twenty-nine-a of this code setting forth the criteria for
withdrawal plans: Provided, That the procedural rules previously
promulgated setting forth the criteria for withdrawal plans, which
rules were made effective the twenty-fifth day of September, two
thousand four, shall continue in effect in the same manner as if
this section had not been amended during the first extraordinary
session of the Legislature in two thousand five.
§33-2-21. Authority of Insurance Commissioner to regulate workers
compensation industry; authority of Insurance
Commissioner to administer chapter twenty-three of
the Code of West Virginia.
(a) Upon the termination of the Workers' Compensation
Commission pursuant to chapter twenty-three of this code, the
powers and duties heretofore imposed upon the Workers' Compensation
Commission as they relate to general administration of the
provisions of said chapter are hereby transferred to and imposed
upon the Insurance Commissioner.
(b) Unless otherwise specified in chapter twenty-three of this
code, upon termination of the Workers' Compensation Commission, the
duties imposed upon the Workers' Compensation Commission as they
relate to the award and payment of disability and death benefits
and the review of claims in articles four and five of said chapter will be imposed upon the Employers Mutual Insurance Company
established pursuant to article two-c of said chapter, a private
carrier offering workers' compensation insurance in this state and
self-insured employers. Whenever reference is made to the Workers'
Compensation Commissioner in those articles, the duty prescribed
shall apply to the Employers Mutual Insurance Company, a private
carrier or self-insured employer, as applicable.
(c) From the effective date of this enactment, the Insurance
Commissioner shall regulate all insurers licensed to transact
workers' compensation insurance in this state and all of the
provisions of this chapter shall apply to such insurers, unless
otherwise exempted by statute.
ARTICLE 6. THE INSURANCE POLICY.
§33-6-8. Filing of forms.
(a) No insurance policy form, no group certificate form, no
insurance application form where a written application is required
and is to be made a part of the policy and no rider, endorsement or
other form to be attached to any policy shall be delivered or
issued for delivery in this state by an insurer unless it has been
filed with the Commissioner and, to the extent required by
subdivision (1), subsection (b) of this section, approved by the
Commissioner, except that as to group insurance policies delivered
outside this state, only the group certificates to be delivered or
issued for delivery in this state shall be filed for approval with
the Commissioner. This section does not apply to policies, riders, endorsements or forms of unique character designed for and used
with relation to insurance upon a particular subject, or which
relate to the manner of distribution of benefits or to the
reservation of rights and benefits under life or accident and
sickness insurance policies, and are used at the request of the
individual policyholder, contract holder or certificate holder, nor
to the surety bond forms.
(b)(1) Forms for noncommercial lines shall be filed by an
insurer no less than sixty days in advance of any delivery. At the
expiration of the sixty day period, unless the period was extended
by the commissioner to obtain additional information from the
insurer, the form is deemed to be approved unless prior thereto it
was affirmatively approved or disapproved by the commissioner.
Approval of any form by the commissioner constitutes a waiver of
any unexpired portion of the sixty day period.
(2) Forms for: (A) Commercial lines property and casualty
risks; and (B) any mass-marketed life and/or health insurance
policy offered to members of any association by the association
shall be filed with the Commissioner and need not be approved by
the Commissioner prior to use. The Commissioner may, within the
first thirty days after receipt of the form, request information to
ensure compliance with applicable statutory provisions and may
disapprove forms not in compliance with the provisions of this
chapter. If the Commissioner does not disapprove the form within
the thirty-day period, the form is effective upon its first use
(c) When an insurer does not submit supporting information
with the form filing that allows the Commissioner to determine
whether the form meets all applicable statutory requirements, the
Commissioner shall require the insurer to furnish supporting
information. The sixty-day period for personal lines risks shall
be suspended on the date the Commissioner requests additional
information and shall recommence on the date the Commissioner
receives the supporting information: Provided, That the
Commissioner shall have no less than fifteen days from receipt of
the supporting information to act. The Commissioner may request
additional information after the initial sixty-day period with
respect to noncommercial lines, or thirty-day period with respect
to commercial lines and mass-marketed life and/or health insurance
to associations, to ensure continuing compliance with applicable
statutory provisions and may at any time, after notice and for
cause shown, withdraw any approval or disapprove any form:
Provided, however, That any disapproval by the Commissioner of any
form or withdrawal of a previous approval shall state the grounds
therefor and shall include a notice that the insurer may request a
hearing on the denial or withdrawal of approval.
(d) The Commissioner may, by order, exempt from the
requirements of this section for so long as he or she considers
proper any insurance document or form or type specified in
the order, to which, in his or her opinion, this section may not
practicably be applied, or the filing and approval of which are, in
his or her opinion, not desirable or necessary for the protection of the public.
(e) For purposes of this section:
(1) An association must have a minimum of sixty-one members at
the outset of the issuance of the mass-marketed life and/or health
insurance policy and shall have been organized and maintained in
good faith for purposes other than that of obtaining or providing
insurance. The association shall also have been in active
existence for at least two years and shall have a constitution and
bylaws which provide that: (A) The association holds annual
meetings to further purposes of its members; (B) except in the case
of credit unions, the association collects dues or solicits
contributions from members; and C) the members have voting
privileges and representation on the governing board and committees
that exist under the authority of the association: Provided, That
upon written application by an association and for good cause
shown, the Commissioner may grant an exemption to the association
from the minimum member requirements of this section.
(2) "Commercial lines" means insurance for business and
professional interests, except that it does not include medical
(3) "Noncommercial lines" means all insurance other than
commercial lines and includes medical malpractice and insurance for
personal, family and household needs.
(f) This section also applies to any form used by domestic
insurers for delivery in a jurisdiction outside West Virginia if
the insurance supervisory official of the jurisdiction informs the Commissioner that the form is not subject to approval or
disapproval by the official and upon the Commissioner's order
requiring the form to be submitted to him or her for that purpose.
The same standards applicable to forms for domestic use apply to
forms used by domestic insurers for delivery in a jurisdiction
outside West Virginia.
§33-6-15a. Notation of consumer cost savings.
Each policy issued following enactment of this provision
during the two thousand five regular session, during the year
following the effective date, shall display in a prominent location
on the policy itself or on an insert included with each policy and
provided to each policyholder, statements as following:
(1) "YOUR COSTS FOR THIS POLICY (HAVE/HAVE NOT) BEEN REDUCED
BY (insert savings amount here) BECAUSE OF INSURANCE LAW REFORMS
ENACTED BY THE WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE IN 2005 AND SIGNED INTO
LAW BY THE GOVERNOR.
If the insurer did not offer the type of insurance provided
by the policy in two thousand four, the requirement for these
statements do not apply.
ARTICLE 16. GROUP ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS.
§33-16-2. Eligible groups.
Any insurer licensed to transact accident and sickness
insurance in this state may issue group accident and sickness
policies coming within any of the following classifications:
(1) A policy issued to an employer, who shall be considered the policyholder, insuring at least ten employees of the employer,
for the benefit of persons other than the employer, and conforming
to the following requirements:
(A) If the premium is paid by the employer the group shall
comprise all employees or all of any class or classes thereof
determined by conditions pertaining to the employment; or
(B) If the premium is paid by the employer and employees
jointly, or by the employees, the group shall comprise not less
than seventy percent of all employees of the employer or not less
than seventy-five percent of all employees of any class or classes
determined by conditions pertaining to the employment;
C) The term "employee" as used herein is considered to include
the officers, managers and employees of the employer, the partners,
if the employer is a partnership, the officers, managers and
employees of subsidiary or affiliated corporations of a corporate
employer, and the individual proprietors, partners and employees of
individuals and firms, the business of which is controlled by the
insured employer through stock ownership, contract or otherwise.
The term "employer" as used herein may include any municipal or
governmental corporation, unit, agency or department and the proper
officers of any unincorporated municipality or department, as well
as private individuals, partnerships and corporations.
(2) A policy issued to an association or to a trust or to the
trustees of a fund established, created or maintained for the
benefit of members of one or more associations. The association or
associations shall have at the issuance of the policy a minimum of one hundred persons and have been organized and maintained in good
faith for purposes other than that of obtaining insurance; shall
have been in active existence for at least one year; and shall have
a constitution and bylaws that provide that: The association or
associations hold regular meetings not less than annually to
further the purposes of the members; except for credit unions, the
association or associations collect dues or solicit contributions
from members; and the members have voting privileges and
representation on the governing board and committees. The policy
is subject to the following requirements:
(A) The policy may insure members of the association or
associations, employees thereof or employees of members, or one or
more of the preceding or all of any class or classes for the
benefit of persons other than the employee's employer.
(B) The premium for the policy shall be paid from:
(i) Funds contributed by the association or associations;
(ii) Funds contributed by covered employer members;
(iii) Funds contributed by both covered employer members and
the association or associations;
(iv) Funds contributed by the covered persons; or
(v) Funds contributed by both the covered persons and the
association, associations or employer members.
(C) Except as provided in paragraph (D), a policy on which no
part of the premium is to be derived from funds contributed by the
covered persons specifically for their insurance must insure all
eligible persons, except those who reject coverage in writing.
(D) An insurer may exclude or limit the coverage on any person
as to whom evidence of individual insurability is not satisfactory
to the insurer.
(E) A small employer, as defined in subdivision (r),section
two, article sixteen-d of this chapter, insured under an eligible
group policy provided in this subdivision shall also be subject to
the marketing and rate practices provisions in article sixteen-d of
(3) A policy issued to a bona fide association;
(4) A policy issued to a college, school or other institution
of learning or to the head or principal thereof, insuring at least
ten students, or students and employees, of the institution;
(5) A policy issued to or in the name of any volunteer fire
department, insuring all of the members of the department or all of
any class or classes thereof against any one or more of the hazards
to which they are exposed by reason of the membership but in each
case not less than ten members;
(6) A policy issued to any person or organization to which a
policy of group life insurance may be issued or delivered in this
state, to insure any class or classes of individuals that could be
insured under the group life policy; and
(7) A policy issued to cover any other substantially similar
group which in the discretion of the Commissioner may be subject to
the issuance of a group accident and sickness policy or contract.
ARTICLE 16B. ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS RATES.
§33-16B-1. Filing and approval of accident and sickness rates.
Premium rate charges for any individual or group accident and
sickness insurance policy, certificate or other evidence of
insurance issued, endorsed or delivered in this state shall be
filed with the Commissioner for a waiting period of sixty days
before the charges become effective. At the expiration of sixty
days the premium rate charges filed are deemed approved unless
prior thereto the charges have been affirmatively approved or
disapproved by the Commissioner.
The Commissioner shall disapprove accident and health
insurance premium rates which are not in compliance with the
requirements of this chapter or any rule promulgated by the
Commissioner pursuant to section two of this article. The
Commissioner shall send written notice of the disapproval to the
insurer. The Commissioner may approve the premium rates before the
sixty-day period expires by giving written notice of approval.
This article does not apply to policies issued to group
accident and health insurance plans upon which premiums are
negotiated with the group policyholder and are experienced rated.
ARTICLE 17. FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE.
§33-17-8. Filing of forms.
(a) No fire or marine policy, rider or endorsement to be
attached to any policy covering any risk located or to be performed
in West Virginia shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this
state unless that form is: (1) Filed with and approved by the Commissioner; (2) conforms to applicable legislative rules of the
Commissioner; (3) is identical as to language to a policy, rider or
endorsement approved by the Commissioner; or (4) qualifies under
subsection (c) of this section. If the use of any form under the
provisions of subdivision (2) of this section by any insurer or by
the members and subscribers of any rating organization is so
extensive that in the opinion of the Commissioner the public
interest requires, the Commissioner may require that the form be
filed with him or her by the insurer or by the rating organization
on behalf of its members and subscribers.
(b) The procedure for filing and approval or disapproval of
forms under this section is provided in section eight, article six
of this chapter. Grounds for disapproval are those set forth in
section nine of said article. Filings may be made on behalf of any
insurer by a rating organization licensed under the provisions of
article twenty of this chapter. This section does not apply to
ocean marine policies, riders or endorsements, or to forms on
specially rated inland marine risks.
(c) For commercial lines risks, a fire or marine policy, rider
or endorsement is subject to the provisions of section six, article
eight of this chapter governing other commercial lines form filings
as defined in section eight, article six of this chapter.
ARTICLE 17. FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE.
§33-17-9. Total or partial fire loss.
All insurers providing fire insurance on real property in West Virginia shall be liable, in case of total loss by fire or
otherwise, as stated in the policy, for the whole amount of
insurance stated in the policy, upon such real property; and in
case of partial loss by fire or otherwise, as aforesaid, of the
real property insured, the liability shall be for the total amount
of the partial loss, not to exceed the whole amount of insurance
upon the real property as stated in the policy. This section
does not apply where such insurance has been procured from two or
more insurers covering the same interest in such real property.
ARTICLE 17A. PROPERTY INSURANCE DECLINATION, TERMINATION AND
§33-17A-4a. Alternative method for nonrenewal for property
(a) On or after the first day of July, two thousand five, an
insurer may nonrenew a property insurance policy for any reason
that is consistent with its underwriting standards.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provisions in this section,
race, religion, nationality, ethnic group, age, sex, marital status
or other reason prohibited by the provisions of this chapter may
not be considered as a reason for nonrenewal.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (c), section
four of this article, a nonrenewal may only be issued pursuant to
the provisions of this section upon notice to the named insured at
least thirty days before the end of the policy period of the
insurer's election not to renew the policy.
(d) Commencing the first day of July, two thousand five, the
total number of nonrenewal notices issued by the insurer each year
pursuant to this section that result in nonrenewals may not exceed
one percent per year of the total number of the policies of the
insurer in force at the end of the previous calendar year in this
state: Provided, That the total number of such nonrenewal notices
issued each year to insureds within any given county in this state
that result in nonrenewals may not exceed one percent per year of
the total number of policies in force in that county at the end of
the previous calendar year: Provided, however, That an insurer may
nonrenew one policy per year in any county if the applicable
percentage limitation results in less than one policy.
(e) A notice issued pursuant to this section shall state the
specific reason or reasons for refusal to renew and shall advise
the named insured that nonrenewal of the policy for any reason is
subject to a hearing and review as provided in section seven of
this article: Provided, That the hearing shall relate to whether
the nonrenewal of the policy was issued for a discriminatory
reason, was based upon inadequate notice, was based on an
underwriting standard found by the Commissioner to be in violation
of this chapter or causes the insurer to exceed the percentage
limitations, or percentage limitations by county, of nonrenewal
notices set forth in this section. The notice shall also advise
the insured of possible eligibility for coverage through the West
Virginia Essential Property Insurance Association.
(f) Each insurer licensed to write property insurance policies in this state shall file with the Commissioner a copy of its
underwriting standards, including any amendments or supplements.
The Commissioner shall review and examine the underwriting
standards to ensure that they are consistent with generally
accepted underwriting principles. The underwriting standards filed
with the Commissioner shall be considered confidential by law and
privileged, are exempt from disclosure pursuant to chapter twenty-
nine-b of this code, are not open to public inspection, are not
subject to subpoena, are not subject to discovery or admissible in
evidence in any criminal, civil or administrative action and are
not subject to production pursuant to court order. The
Commissioner may promulgate legislative rules pursuant to chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this
(g) Each insurer that has elected to issue nonrenewal notices
pursuant to the percentage limitations provided in this section
shall report to the Commissioner, on or before the thirtieth day of
September of each year, the total number of nonrenewal notices
issued in this state and in each county of this state for the
preceding year and the specific reason or reasons for the
nonrenewals by county.
§33-17A-4b. Manner of making election relating to nonrenewals.
(a) Each insurer licensed to write property insurance policies
in this state as of the first day of July, two thousand five, may
elect to issue all nonrenewal notices either pursuant to subsection
(c), section four of this article or section four-a of this article. Each insurer must notify the Commissioner of its election
on or before the first day of July, two thousand five, and shall
remain bound by the election for a period of five years. For each
subsequent five-year period, each insurer shall notify the
Commissioner of its election to issue all nonrenewal notices either
pursuant to subsection (c), section four of this article or section
four-a of this article. The failure of an insurer to notify the
Commissioner of its election by the first day of July, two thousand
five, will be considered to be an election by the insurer to issue
all nonrenewal notices pursuant to subsection (c), section four of
this article and the insurer will be bound by the election for a
period of five years.
(b) An insurer that is not licensed to write property
insurance policies in this state as of the first day of July, two
thousand five, but which becomes licensed to write property
insurance policies after that date shall, no later than four years
after the date the insurer becomes licensed to write the policies,
make an election to issue all nonrenewal notices either pursuant to
subsection (c), section four of this article or section four-a of
this article and shall notify the Commissioner of its election. If
the insurer elects to issue all nonrenewal notices pursuant to
section four-a of this article, the total number of nonrenewals may
not exceed the percentage limitations set forth in that section.
An insurer first becoming licensed to issue property insurance
policies in this state after the first day of July, two thousand
five, shall be bound by its election for a period of five years and for each subsequent five-year period shall notify the Commissioner
of its election to issue all nonrenewal notices either pursuant to
subsection (c), section four of this article or section four-a of
(c) An insurer that elects to issue nonrenewals pursuant to
subsection (c), section four of this article may include as a
permitted reason for nonrenewal of a policy, in addition to the
reasons enumerated in section five of this article, two or more
paid claims under a policy within a period of thirty-six months,
each of which occurs after the first day of July, two thousand
§33-17A-4c. Report to the Legislature.
By the first day of January, two thousand ten, the
Commissioner shall submit a report to the Legislature. The report
shall contain the following:
(1) An analysis of the impact of legislation enacted during
the two thousand five legislative session upon rates and insurance
availability in the state; and
(2) Statistics reflecting the rate history of insurers
conducting business in West Virginia from the first day of July,
two thousand five, until the first day of July, two thousand nine.
ARTICLE 20. RATES AND RATING ORGANIZATIONS.
§33-20-4. Rate filings.
(a) (1) Every insurer shall file with the Commissioner every
manual of classifications, territorial rate areas established pursuant to subdivision (2), subsection (c), section three of this
article, rules and rates, every rating plan and every modification
of any of the foregoing which it proposes to use for casualty
insurance to which this article applies.
(2) Every insurer shall file with the Commissioner, except as
to inland marine risks which by general custom of the business are
not written according to manual rates or rating plans, every
manual, minimum, class rate, rating schedule or rating plan and
every other rating rule and every modification of any of the
foregoing which it proposes to use for fire and marine insurance to
which this article applies. Specific inland marine rates on risks
specially rated, made by a rating organization, shall be filed with
(b) Every filing shall state the proposed effective date and
shall indicate the character and extent of the coverage
contemplated. When a filing is not accompanied by the information
upon which the insurer supports the filing and the Commissioner
does not have sufficient information to determine whether
the filing meets the requirements of this article, he or she shall
require the insurer to furnish the information upon which it
supports the filing and in that event the waiting period shall
commence as of the date the information is furnished. The
information furnished in support of a filing may include: (1) The
experience or judgment of the insurer or rating organization making
the filing; (2) the experience or judgment of the insurer or rating
organization in the territorial rate areas established by subdivision (2), subsection (c), section three of this article; (3)
its interpretation of any statistical data it relies upon; (4) the
experience of other insurers or rating organizations; or (5) any
other relevant factors. A filing and any supporting information is
open to public inspection as soon as the filing is received by the
Commissioner. Any interested party may file a brief with the
Commissioner supporting his or her position concerning the filing.
Any person or organization may file with the Commissioner a signed
statement declaring and supporting his or her or its position
concerning the filing. Upon receipt of the statement prior to the
effective date of the filing, the Commissioner shall mail or
deliver a copy of the statement to the filer, which may file a
reply as it may desire to make. This section is not applicable to
any memorandum or statement of any kind by any employee of the Commissioner.
(c) An insurer may satisfy its obligation to make a filing by
becoming a member of, or a subscriber to, a licensed rating
organization which makes filings and by authorizing the
Commissioner to accept filings on its behalf: Provided, That
nothing contained in this article shall be construed as requiring
any insurer to become a member of or a subscriber to any rating organization.
(d) The Commissioner shall review filings as soon as
reasonably possible after they have been made in order to determine
whether they meet the requirements of this article.
(e) Subject to the exceptions specified in subsections (f),
(g) and (h) of this section, each filing shall be on file for a
waiting period of sixty days before it becomes effective. Upon written application by an insurer or rating organization, the
Commissioner may authorize a filing which he or she has reviewed to
become effective before the expiration of the waiting period. A
filing shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this article
unless disapproved by the Commissioner within the waiting period.
(f) Any special filing with respect to a surety bond required
by law or by court or executive order or by order, rule or
regulation of a public body, not covered by a previous filing,
shall become effective when filed and shall be deemed to meet the
requirements of this article until the Commissioner reviews the
filing and so long thereafter as the filing remains in effect.
(g) Specific inland marine rates on risks specially rated by
a rating organization shall become effective when filed and shall
be deemed to meet the requirements of this article until the
Commissioner reviews the filing and so long thereafter as the
filing remains in effect.
(h) Rates for commercial lines property and casualty risks
must be filed with the Commissioner and the filings need not be
approved by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may request
additional information to ensure compliance with applicable
statutory standards, but if the Commissioner does not disapprove
the filing within the initial thirty-day period after receipt, the
rate filing will become effective upon first usage after filing:
Provided, That the Commissioner may at any time thereafter, after
notice and for cause shown, disapprove any rate filing.
(i) Under legislative rules the Commissioner may, by written order, suspend or modify the requirement of filing as to any kind
of insurance, subdivision or combination thereof, or as to classes
of risks, the rates for which cannot practicably be filed before
they are used. These orders and rules shall be made known to
insurers and rating organizations affected thereby. The
Commissioner may make any examination he or she may consider
advisable to ascertain whether any rates affected by an order meet
the standards set forth in subsection (b), section three of this article.
(j) Upon the written application of the insured, stating his
or her reasons therefor, filed with and approved by the
Commissioner, a rate in excess of that provided by a filing
otherwise applicable may be used on any specific risks.
(k) No insurer shall make or issue a contract or policy except
in accordance with the filings which are in effect for that insurer
as provided in this article. This subsection does not apply to
contracts or policies for inland marine risks as to which filings
are not required.
(l) In instances when an insurer files a request for an
increase of automobile liability insurance rates in the amount of
fifteen percent or more, the Insurance Commissioner shall provide
notice of the increase with the office of the Secretary of State to
be filed in the State Register and shall provide interested persons
the opportunity to comment on the request up to the time the
Commissioner approves or disapproves the rate increase.
(m) For purposes of this section, "commercial" means
commercial lines as defined in subdivision (2), subsection (e), section eight, article six of this chapter.