Senate Bill No. 629

(By Senator Minard )


[Introduced February 17, 2003; referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance; and then to the Committee on Finance.]


A BILL to amend and reenact section thirty-three, article three, chapter thirty-three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to the residency restriction reporting requirement for excess lines brokers remitting the insurance policy surcharge.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section thirty-three, article three, chapter thirty-three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§33-3-33. Surcharge on fire and casualty insurance policies to benefit volunteer and part volunteer fire departments; special fund created; allocation of proceeds; effective date.

(a) For the purpose of providing additional revenue for volunteer fire departments, part-volunteer fire departments, certain retired teachers and the teachers retirement reserve fund, there is hereby authorized and imposed on and after the first day of July, one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, on the policyholder of any fire insurance policy or casualty insurance policy issued by any insurer, authorized or unauthorized, or by any risk retention group, a policy surcharge equal to one percent of the taxable premium for each such policy. For purposes of this section, casualty insurance may not include insurance on the life of a debtor pursuant to or in connection with a specific loan or other credit transaction or insurance on a debtor to provide indemnity for payments becoming due on a specific loan or other credit transaction while the debtor is disabled as defined in the policy. The policy surcharge may not be subject to premium taxes, agent commissions or any other assessment against premiums.
(b) The policy surcharge shall be collected and remitted to the commissioner by the insurer or in the case of excess lines coverage, by the resident excess lines broker, or if the policy is issued by a risk retention group, by the risk retention group. The amount required to be collected under this section shall be remitted to the commissioner on a quarterly basis on or before the twenty-fifth day of the month succeeding the end of the quarter in which they are collected, except for the fourth quarter for which the surcharge shall be remitted on or before the first day of March of the succeeding year.
(c) Any person failing or refusing to collect and remit to the commissioner any policy surcharge and whose surcharge payments are not postmarked by the due dates for quarterly filing is liable for a civil penalty of up to one hundred dollars for each day of delinquency, to be assessed by the commissioner. The commissioner may suspend the insurer, broker or risk retention group until all surcharge payments and penalties are remitted in full to the commissioner.
(d) One half of all money from the policy surcharge shall be collected by the commissioner who shall disburse the money received from the surcharge into a special account in the state treasury, designated the "fire protection fund." The net proceeds of this portion of the tax, and the interest thereon after appropriation by the Legislature shall be distributed quarterly on the first day of the months of January, April, July and October to each volunteer fire company or department on an equal share basis by the state treasurer.
(1) Before each distribution date, the state fire marshal shall report to the state treasurer the names and addresses of all volunteer and part volunteer fire companies and departments within the state which meet the eligibility requirements established in section eight-a, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code.
(2) The remaining fifty percent of the moneys collected shall be transferred to the teachers retirement system to be disbursed according to the provisions of sections twenty-six-j, twenty-six-k and twenty-six-l, article seven-a, chapter eighteen of this code. Any balance remaining after the disbursements authorized by this subdivision have been paid shall be paid by the teachers retirement system into the teachers retirement system reserve fund.
(e) The allocation, distribution and use of revenues provided in the fire protection fund are subject to the provisions of sections eight-a and eight-b, article fifteen, chapter eight of this code.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Insurance Commissioner to require nonresident excess lines brokers to remit the surcharge on fire and casualty insurance policies. The amendment will require all excess lines brokers, whether they are resident or nonresident, to remit the surcharge contained in Chapter 33, Article 3, Section 33(b).

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.