Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

West Virginia Code

Search

Chapter 33     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 32B  |  Chapter 34 › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 33  |  Article 33 - 33

1 - DEFINITIONS

2 - INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

3 - LICENSING, FEES AND TAXATION OF

3A - STATE OF ENTRY FOR FOREIGN INS

4 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

4A - ALL-PAYER CLAIMS DATABASE

5 - ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURES OF

6 - THE INSURANCE POLICY

6A - CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL OF

6B - DECLINATION OF AUTOMOBILE LIAB

6C - GUARANTEED LOSS RATIOS AS APPL

6D - MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIR AND REPLA

6F - DISCLOSURE OF NONPUBLIC PERSON

7 - ASSETS AND LIABILITIES

8 - INVESTMENTS

8A - USE OF CLEARING CORPORATIONS A

9 - ADMINISTRATION OF DEPOSITS

10 - REHABILITATION AND LIQUIDATIO

11 - UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES

11A - INSURANCE SALES CONSUMER PRO

12 - INSURANCE PRODUCERS AND SOLIC

12A - CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIPS BE

12B - ADJUSTERS

12C - SURPLUS LINE

13 - LIFE INSURANCE

13A - VARIABLE CONTRACTS

13B - CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES

13C - VIATICAL SETTLEMENTS ACT

14 - GROUP LIFE INSURANCE

15 - ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS INSURAN

15A - WEST VIRGINIA LONG-TERM CARE

15B - UNIFORM HEALTH CARE ADMINIST

15C - DIABETES INSURANCE

15D - INDIVIDUAL LIMITED HEALTH BE

15E - DISCOUNT MEDICAL PLAN ORGANI

16 - GROUP ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS I

16A - GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE CONVE

16B - ACCIDENT AND SICKNESS RATES

16C - EMPLOYER GROUP ACCIDENT AND

16D - MARKETING AND RATE PRACTICES

16E - CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE

16F - GROUP LIMITED HEALTH BENEFIT

16G - WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH BENEFIT

16H - REVIEW OF ADVERSE DETERMINAT

17 - FIRE AND MARINE INSURANCE

17A - PROPERTY INSURANCE DECLINATI

18 - CASUALTY INSURANCE

19 - SURETY INSURANCE

20 - RATES AND RATING ORGANIZATION

20A - WEST VIRGINIA ESSENTIAL INSU

20B - RATES AND MALPRACTICE INSURA

20C - CANCELLATION OR NONRENEWAL O

20D - TAIL INSURANCE

20E - WEST VIRGINIA MEDICAL PROFES

20F - PHYSICIANS' MUTUAL INSURANCE

21 - RECIPROCAL INSURERS

22 - FARMERS' MUTUAL FIRE INSURANC

23 - FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES

24 - HOSPITAL SERVICE CORPORATIONS

25 - HEALTH CARE CORPORATIONS

25A - HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZAT

25B - FEDERAL INSURANCE SUBSIDY FO

25C - HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZAT

25D - PREPAID LIMITED HEALTH SERVI

25E - PATIENTS' EYE CARE ACT

25F - COVERAGE FOR PATIENT COST OF

25G - PROVIDER SPONSORED NETWORKS

26 - WEST VIRGINIA GUARANTY ASSOCI

26A - WEST VIRGINIA LIFE AND HEALT

26B - WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH MAINTEN

27 - INSURANCE HOLDING COMPANY SYS

28 - INDIVIDUAL ACCIDENT AND SICKN

29 - LIFE AND ACCIDENT AND SICKNES

30 - MINE SUBSIDENCE INSURANCE

31 - CAPTIVE INSURANCE

31A - SPONSORED CAPTIVE INSURANCE

32 - RISK RETENTION ACT

34 - ADMINISTRATIVE SUPERVISION

34A - STANDARDS AND COMMISSIONER'S

35 - CRIMINAL SANCTIONS FOR FAILUR

36 - BUSINESS TRANSACTED WITH PROD

37 - MANAGING GENERAL AGENTS

38 - REINSURANCE INTERMEDIARY ACT

39 - DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL TRANSA

40 - RISK-BASED CAPITAL (RBC) FOR

41 - PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITY

42 - WOMEN'S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

43 - INSURANCE TAX PROCEDURES ACT

44 - UNAUTHORIZED INSURERS ACT

45 - ETHICS AND FAIRNESS IN INSURE

46 - THIRD-PARTY ADMINISTRATOR ACT

46A - PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYER ORGANI

47 - INTERSTATE INSURANCE PRODUCT

48 - MODEL HEALTH PLAN FOR UNINSUR

49 - FLOOD INSURANCE

WVC 33 - CHAPTER 33. INSURANCE.
WVC 33 - 33 - ARTICLE 33. ANNUAL AUDITED FINANCIAL REPORT.

WVC 33 - 33 - 1 §33-33-1. Declaration of policy and purpose.
(a) The purpose of this article is to improve the Insurance Commissioner's surveillance of the financial condition of insurers by requiring:

(1) An annual audit of financial statements reporting the financial position and the results of operations of insurers by independent certified public accountants;

(2) Communication of internal control related matters noted in an audit; and

(3) Management's report of internal control over financial reporting.

(b) Every insurer, as defined in subdivision (7), section two of this article, shall be subject to this article. Insurers having direct premiums written in this state of less than $1 million in any calendar year and less than one thousand policyholders or certificate holders of directly written policies nationwide at the end of the calendar year shall be exempt from this article for the year, unless the commissioner makes a specific finding that compliance is necessary for the commissioner to carry out statutory responsibilities. However, insurers having assumed premiums pursuant to contracts and/or treaties of reinsurance of $1 million or more will not be so exempt.

(c) Foreign or alien insurers filing audited financial reports in another state, pursuant to the other state's requirement for filing of audited financial reports which has been found by the commissioner to be substantially similar to the requirements herein, are exempt from sections three through eleven of this article if:

(1) A copy of the audited financial report, communication of internal control-related matters noted in an audit, report on significant deficiencies in internal controls and the accountant's letter of qualifications which are filed with the other state are filed with the commissioner in accordance with the filing dates specified in sections three, ten and ten-a of this article, respectively. Canadian insurers may submit accountants' reports as filed with the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Canada.

(2) A copy of any notification of adverse financial condition report filed with the other state is filed with the commissioner within the time specified in section nine of this article.

(d) Foreign or alien insurers required to file Management's Report of Internal Control over Financial Reporting in another state are exempt from filing the report in this state provided the other state has substantially similar reporting requirements and the report is filed with the commissioner of the other state within the time specified.

(e) This article shall not prohibit or preclude or in any way limit the commissioner from performing examinations of insurers as specified in section nine, article two of this chapter or any other examinations as the commissioner may be authorized by this chapter to perform.

WVC 33 - 33 - 2 §33-33-2. Definitions.
As used in this article:

(1) "Accountant" or "independent certified public accountant" means an independent certified public accountant or accounting firm in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and in all states in which the accountant is licensed to practice; for Canadian and British companies, the terms mean a Canadian-chartered or British-chartered accountant.

(2) An "affiliate" of, or person "affiliated" with a specific person, is a person that directly, or indirectly through one or more intermediaries, controls or is controlled by, or is under common control with, the person specified.

(3) "Audit committee" means a committee or equivalent body established by the board of directors of an entity for the purpose of overseeing the accounting and financial reporting processes of an insurer or group of insurers, and audits of financial statements of the insurer or group of insurers. The audit committee of any entity that controls a group of insurers may be deemed to be the audit committee for one or more of these controlled insurers solely for the purposes of this article at the election of the controlling person. If an audit committee is not designated by the insurer, the insurer's entire board of directors shall constitute the audit committee.

(4) "Audited financial report" means and includes those items specified in section four of this article.

(5) "Indemnification" means an agreement of indemnity or a release from liability where the intent or effect is to shift or limit in any manner the potential liability of the person or firm for failure to adhere to applicable auditing or other professional standards, whether or not resulting in part from knowing of other misrepresentations made by the insurer or its representatives.

(6) "Independent board member" has the same meaning as described in subdivision (3), section twelve of this article.

(7) "Insurer" means any domestic insurer as defined in section six, article one of this chapter and includes any domestic stock insurance company, mutual insurance company, reciprocal insurance company, farmers' mutual fire insurance company, fraternal benefit society, hospital service corporation, medical service corporation, health care corporation, health maintenance organization, captive insurance company or risk retention group and any licensed foreign or alien insurer defined in article one of this chapter.

(8) "Group of insurers" means those licensed insurers included in the reporting requirements of article twenty-seven of this chapter, or a set of insurers as identified by management for the purpose of assessing the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting.

(9) "Internal control over financial reporting" means a process effected by an entity's board of directors, management and other personnel designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of the financial statements. The process includes the requirements set forth in subdivisions (2) through (7), subsection (b), section four of this article and those policies and procedures that:

(A) Pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of assets;

(B) Provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of the financial statements and that receipts and expenditures are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors; and

(C) Provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use or disposition of assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

(10) "SEC" means the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

(11) "Section 404" means section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and the SEC's rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

(12) "Section 404 report" means management's report on "internal control over financial reporting" as defined by the SEC and the related attestation report of the independent certified public accountant as described in subdivision (1) of this section.

(13) "SOX Compliant Entity" means an entity that either is required to be compliant with, or voluntarily is compliant with, all of the following provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002:

(A) The preapproval requirements of Section 201, Section 10A(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934;

(B) The audit committee independence requirements of Section 301, Section 10A(m)(3) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; and

(C) The internal control over financial reporting requirements of Section 404, Item 308 of SEC Regulation S-K.

WVC 33 - 33 - 3 §33-33-3. General requirements related to filing and extensions for filing of annual audited financial reports and audit committee appointment.
(a) All insurers shall have an annual audit by an independent certified public accountant and shall file an audited financial report with the commissioner on or before June 1 for the year ending December 31 immediately preceding. The commissioner may require an insurer to file an audited financial report earlier than June 1 with ninety days advance notice to the insurer.

(b) Extensions of the filing date on June 1 may be granted by the commissioner for thirty-day periods upon showing by the insurer and its independent certified public accountant the reasons for requesting the extension and determination by the commissioner of good cause for an extension. A request for extension must be submitted in writing not less than ten days prior to the due date in sufficient detail to permit the commissioner to make an informed decision with respect to the requested extension.

(c) If an extension is granted in accordance with the provisions in subsection (b) of this section, a similar extension of thirty days is granted to the filing of management's report of internal control over financial reporting.

(d) Every insurer required to file an annual audited financial report pursuant to this article shall designate a group of individuals as constituting its audit committee, as defined in subdivision (3), section two of this article. The audit committee of an entity that controls an insurer may be deemed to be the insurer's audit committee for purposes of this article at the election of the controlling person.

WVC 33 - 33 - 4 §33-33-4. Contents of annual audited financial report.
(a) The annual audited financial report shall report the financial condition of the insurer as of the end of the most recent calendar year and the results of its operations, cash flows and changes in capital and surplus for the year then ended in conformity with statutory accounting practices prescribed, or otherwise permitted, by the Insurance Commissioner of the state of domicile.

(b) The annual audited financial report shall include the following:

(1) Report of independent certified public accountant;

(2) Balance sheet reporting admitted assets, liabilities, capital and surplus;

(3) Statement of operations;

(4) Statement of cash flow;

(5) Statement of changes in capital and surplus;

(6) Notes to financial statements. These notes shall be those required by the appropriate National Association of Insurance Commissioners annual statement instructions and accounting practices and procedures manual, as amended, including reconciliation differences, if any, between the audited statutory financial statements and the annual statement filed pursuant to section fourteen, article four of this chapter, with a written description of the nature of these differences; and

(7) The financial statements included in the audited financial report shall be prepared in a form and using language and groupings substantially the same as the relevant sections of the annual statement of the insurer filed with the commissioner, and

The financial statement shall be comparative, presenting the amounts as of December 31 of the current year and the amounts as of the immediately preceding December 31. However, in the first year in which an insurer is required to file an audited financial report, the comparative data may be omitted.

WVC 33 - 33 - 5 §33-33-5. Designation of independent certified public accountant.
(a) Each insurer required by this article to file an annual audited financial report must, within sixty days after becoming subject to the requirements, register with the commissioner in writing the name and address of the independent certified public accountant or accounting firm retained to conduct the annual audit set forth in this article. Insurers not retaining an independent certified public accountant on the effective date of this article shall register the name and address of their retained independent certified public accountant not less than six months before the date when the first audited financial report is to be filed.

(b) The insurer shall obtain a letter from the accountant, and file a copy with the commissioner stating that the accountant is aware of the provisions of this code and legislative rules promulgated pursuant to article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code that relate to accounting and financial matters and affirming that the accountant will express his or her opinion on the financial statements in terms of his or her conformity to the statutory accounting practices prescribed or otherwise permitted by the Insurance Commissioner specifying any exceptions as he or she may believe appropriate.

(c) If an accountant who was the accountant for the immediately preceding filed audited financial report is dismissed or resigns, the insurer shall within five business days notify the commissioner of this event. The insurer shall also furnish the commissioner with a separate letter within ten business days of the above notification stating whether in the twenty-four months preceding the notification there were any disagreements with the former accountant on any matter of accounting principles or practices, financial statement disclosure or auditing scope or procedure, which disagreements, if not resolved to the satisfaction of the former accountant, would have caused him or her to make reference to the subject matter of the disagreement in connection with his or her opinion. The disagreements required to be reported in response to this section include both those resolved to the former accountant's satisfaction and those not resolved to the former accountant's satisfaction. Disagreements contemplated by this section are those that occur at the decision-making level between personnel of the insurer responsible for presentation of its financial statements and personnel of the accounting firm responsible for rendering its report. The insurer shall also in writing request the former accountant to furnish it a letter addressed to the insurer stating whether the accountant agrees with the statements contained in the insurer's letter and, if not, stating the reasons for which he or she does not agree; and the insurer shall furnish the responsive letter from the former accountant to the commissioner together with its own.

WVC 33 - 33 - 6 §33-33-6. Qualifications of independent certified public accountants.
(a) The commissioner may not recognize any person or firm as a qualified independent certified public accountant for purposes of performing the annual audited financial report if the person or firm:

(1) Is not in good standing with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and in all states in which the accountant is licensed to practice, or, for a Canadian or British company, that is not a chartered accountant; or

(2) Has either directly or indirectly entered into an agreement of indemnification or release from liability with respect to an audit of the insurer.

(b) Except as otherwise provided herein, the commissioner shall recognize an independent certified public accountant as qualified as long as he or she conforms to the standards of his or her profession, as contained in the Code of Professional Ethics of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Rules and Regulations and Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct of the West Virginia Board of Accountancy, or similar code.

(c) A qualified independent certified public accountant may enter into an agreement with an insurer to have disputes relating to an audit resolved by mediation or arbitration. In the event a delinquency proceeding is commenced against the insurer under article ten of this chapter, the mediation or arbitration provisions shall operate at the option of the receiver.

(d) (1) The lead or coordinating audit partner having primary responsibility for the audit may not act in that capacity for more than five consecutive years. Following a period of service, the person shall be disqualified from acting in that or a similar capacity for the same company or its insurance subsidiaries or affiliates for a period of five consecutive years. An insurer may make application to the commissioner for relief from the above rotation requirement on the basis of unusual circumstances. This application should be made at least thirty days before the end of the calendar year. The commissioner may consider the following factors in determining if the relief should be granted:

(A) Number of partners, expertise of the partners or the number of insurance clients in the currently registered firm;

(B) Premium volume of the insurer; or

(C) Number of jurisdictions in which the insurer transacts business.

(2) The insurer shall file, with its annual statement filing, the approval for relief from subdivision (1) of this subsection with the states that it is licensed in or doing business in and with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If the nondomestic state accepts electronic filing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the insurer shall file the approval in an electronic format.

(e) The commissioner may not recognize as a qualified independent certified public accountant, nor accept any annual audited financial report, prepared, in whole or in part, by any natural person who:

(1) Has been convicted of fraud, bribery, a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. Sections 1961-1968, or any dishonest conduct or practices under federal or state law;

(2) Has been found to have violated the insurance laws of this state with respect to any previous reports submitted under this article; or

(3) Has demonstrated a pattern or practice of failing to detect or disclose material information in previous reports filed under the provisions of this article.

(f) The commissioner may hold a hearing to determine whether an independent certified public accountant is qualified and, considering the evidence presented, may rule that the accountant is not qualified for purposes of expressing an opinion on the financial statements in the annual audited financial report made pursuant to this article and require the insurer to replace the accountant with another whose relationship with the insurer is qualified within the meaning of this article.

(g) (1) The commissioner may not recognize as a qualified independent certified public accountant, nor accept an annual audited financial report, prepared, in whole or in part, by an accountant who provides to an insurer, contemporaneously with the audit, the following nonaudit services:

(A) Bookkeeping or other services related to the accounting records or financial statements of the insurer;

(B) Financial information systems design and implementation;

(C) Appraisal or valuation services, fairness opinions, or contribution-in-kind reports;

(D) Actuarially-oriented advisory services involving the determination of amounts recorded in the financial statements. The accountant may assist an insurer in understanding the methods, assumptions and inputs used in the determination of amounts recorded in the financial statement only if it is reasonable to conclude that the services provided will not be subject to audit procedures during an audit of the insurer's financial statements. An accountant's actuary may also issue an actuarial opinion or certification on an insurer's reserves if the following conditions have been met:

(i) Neither the accountant nor the accountant's actuary has performed any management functions or made any management decisions;

(ii) The insurer has competent personnel or engages a third party actuary to estimate the reserves for which management takes responsibility; and

(iii) The accountant's actuary tests the reasonableness of the reserves after the insurer's management has determined the amount of the reserves;

(E) Internal audit outsourcing services;

(F) Management functions or human resources;

(G) Broker or dealer, investment adviser, or investment banking services;

(H) Legal services or expert services unrelated to the audit; or

(I) Any other services that the commissioner determines, by legislative rule, are impermissible.

(2) In general, the principles of independence with respect to services provided by the qualified independent certified public accountant are largely predicated on three basic principles, violations of which would impair the accountant's independence. The principles are that the accountant cannot function in the role of management, cannot audit his or her own work, and cannot serve in an advocacy role for the insurer.

(h) Insurers having direct written and assumed premiums of less than $1 million in any calendar year may request an exemption from subdivision (1), subsection (g) of this section. The insurer shall file with the commissioner a written statement discussing the reasons why the insurer should be exempt from these provisions. If the commissioner finds, upon review of this statement, that compliance with subdivision (1), subsection (g) of this section would constitute a financial or organizational hardship upon the insurer, an exemption may be granted.

(i) A qualified independent certified public accountant who performs the audit may engage in other nonaudit services, including tax services, that are not described in subdivision (1), subsection (g) of this section or that do not conflict with subdivision (2), subsection (g) of this section, only if the activity is approved in advance by the audit committee, in accordance with subsection (j) of this section.

(j) All auditing services and nonaudit services provided to an insurer by the qualified independent certified public accountant of the insurer shall be preapproved by the audit committee. The preapproval requirement is waived with respect to nonaudit services if the insurer is a SOX Compliant Entity or a direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of a SOX Compliant Entity or:

(1) The aggregate amount of all such nonaudit services provided to the insurer constitutes not more than five percent of the total amount of fees paid by the insurer to its qualified independent certified public accountant during the fiscal year in which the nonaudit services are provided;

(2) The services were not recognized by the insurer at the time of the engagement to be nonaudit services; and

(3) The services are promptly brought to the attention of the audit committee and approved prior to the completion of the audit by the audit committee or by one or more members of the audit committee who are the members of the board of directors to whom authority to grant such approvals has been delegated by the audit committee.

(k) The audit committee may delegate to one or more designated members of the audit committee the authority to grant the preapprovals required by subsection (j) of this section. The decisions of any member to whom this authority is delegated shall be presented to the full audit committee at each of its scheduled meetings.

(l) The commissioner may not recognize an independent certified public accountant as qualified for a particular insurer if a member of the board, president, chief executive officer, controller, chief financial officer, chief accounting officer, or any person serving in an equivalent position for that insurer, was employed by the independent certified public accountant and participated in the audit of that insurer during the one-year period preceding the date that the most current statutory opinion is due. This section shall only apply to partners and senior managers involved in the audit. An insurer may make application to the commissioner for relief from the above requirement on the basis of unusual circumstances.

(2) The insurer shall file, with its annual statement filing, the approval for relief from subdivision (1) of this subsection with the states that it is licensed in or doing business in and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If the nondomestic state accepts electronic filing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the insurer shall file the approval in an electronic format acceptable to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

WVC 33 - 33 - 7 §33-33-7. Consolidated or combined audits.

     An insurer may make written application to the commissioner for approval to file audited consolidated or combined financial statements in lieu of separate annual audited financial statements if the insurer is part of a group of insurance companies which utilizes a pooling or one hundred percent reinsurance agreement that affects the solvency and integrity of the insurer's reserves and the insurer cedes all of its direct and assumed business to the pool. If an approval is granted, a columnar consolidating or combining worksheet shall be filed with the report incorporating the following:

     (1) Amounts shown on the consolidated or combined audited financial report shall be shown on the worksheet;

     (2) Amounts for each insurer subject to this section shall be stated separately;

     (3) Noninsurance operations may be shown on the worksheet on a combined or individual basis;

     (4) Explanations of consolidating and eliminating entries shall be included; and

     (5) A reconciliation shall be included of any differences between the amounts shown in the individual insurer columns of the worksheet and comparable amounts shown on the annual statements of the insurers.

WVC 33 - 33 - 8 §33-33-8. Scope of audit and report of independent certified public accountant.
Financial statements furnished pursuant to section four of this article shall be examined by the independent certified public accountant. The audit of the insurer's financial statements shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. In accordance with AU Section 319 of the professional standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, "Consideration of Internal Control in a Financial Statement Audit" or its replacement, the independent certified public accountant should obtain an understanding of internal control sufficient to plan the audit. To the extent required by AU 319, for those insurers required to file a management's report of internal control over financial reporting pursuant to section fifteen of this article, the independent certified public accountant should consider, as that term is defined in Statement on Auditing Standards No. 102, "Defining Professional Requirements in Statements on Auditing Standards" or its replacement, the most recently available report in planning and performing the audit of the statutory financial statements. Consideration shall be given to the procedures illustrated in the Financial Condition Examiners Handbook promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as the independent certified public accountant deems necessary.

WVC 33 - 33 - 9 §33-33-9. Notification of adverse financial condition.
(a) The insurer required to furnish the annual audited financial report shall require the independent certified public accountant to report, in writing, within five business days to the board of directors or its audit committee any determination by the independent certified public accountant that the insurer has materially misstated its financial condition as reported to the commissioner as of the balance sheet date currently under audit or that the insurer does not meet the minimum capital and surplus requirements of this chapter as of that date. An insurer that has received a report pursuant to this subsection shall forward a copy of the report to the commissioner within five business days of receipt of the report and shall provide the independent certified public accountant making the report with evidence of the report being furnished to the commissioner. If the independent certified public accountant fails to receive the evidence within the required five business day period, the independent certified public accountant shall furnish to the commissioner a copy of his or her report within the next five business days.

(b) No independent public accountant shall be liable in any manner to any person for any statement made in connection with subsection (a) of this section if the statement is made in good faith in compliance with said subsection.

(c) If the accountant, subsequent to the date of the audited financial report filed pursuant to this article, becomes aware of facts which might have affected the report, the commissioner notes the obligation of the accountant to take action as prescribed in volume 1, section AU 561 of the professional standards of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

WVC 33 - 33 - 10 §33-33-10. Communication of internal control related matters noted in an audit.
(a) In addition to the annual audited financial report, each insurer shall furnish the commissioner with a written communication as to any unremediated material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting noted by the accountant during the audit. Such communication shall be prepared by the accountant within sixty days after the filing of the annual audited financial report, and shall contain a description of any unremediated material weakness, as the term material weakness is defined by Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 60, "Communication of Internal Control Related Matters Noted in an Audit" or its replacement, as of December 31 immediately preceding, so as to coincide with the audited financial report discussed in subsection (a), section three of this article, in the insurer's internal control over financial reporting noted by the accountant during the course of their audit of the financial statements. If no unremediated material weaknesses were noted, the communication should so state.

(b) The insurer is required to provide a description of remedial actions taken or proposed to correct unremediated material weaknesses, if the actions are not described in the accountant's communication.

WVC 33 - 33 - 10 A §33-33-10a. Accountant's letter of qualifications.

The accountant shall furnish the insurer in connection with, and for inclusion in, the filing of the annual audited financial report, a letter stating:

(1) That the accountant is independent with respect to the insurer and conforms to the standards of his or her profession as contained in the code of professional ethics and pronouncements of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the rules of professional conduct of the West Virginia Board of Accountancy, or similar code;

(2) The background and experience in general, and the experience in audits of insurers of the staff assigned to the engagement and whether each is an independent certified public accountant. Nothing within this article shall be construed as prohibiting the accountant from utilizing such staff as he or she deems appropriate where use is consistent with the standards prescribed by generally accepted auditing standards;

(3) That the accountant understands the annual audited financial report and his or her opinion thereon will be filed in compliance with this article and that the commissioner will be relying on this information in the monitoring and regulation of the financial position of insurers;

(4) That the accountant consents to the requirements of section eleven of this article and that the accountant consents and agrees to make available for review by the commissioner, or the commissioner's designee or appointed agent, the workpapers, as defined in section eleven of this article;

(5) A representation that the accountant is properly licensed by an appropriate state licensing authority and is a member in good standing in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; and

(6) A representation that the accountant is in compliance with the requirements of section six of this article.

WVC 33 - 33 - 11 §33-33-11. Definition, availability and maintenance of independent certified public accountant workpapers.
(a) Workpapers are the records kept by the independent certified public accountant of the procedures followed, the tests performed, the information obtained, and the conclusions reached pertinent to the accountant's audit of the financial statements of an insurer. Workpapers may include audit planning documentation, work programs, analyses, memoranda, letters of confirmation and representation, abstracts of company documents and schedules or commentaries prepared or obtained by the independent certified public accountant in the course of his or her audit of the financial statements of an insurer and which support the accountant's opinion.

(b) Every insurer required to file an audited financial report pursuant to this article shall require the accountant to make available for review by the commissioner all workpapers prepared in the conduct of the accountant's audit and any communications related to the audit between the accountant and the insurer, at the offices of the insurer, at the insurance department or at any other reasonable place designated by the commissioner. The insurer shall require that the accountant retain the audit workpapers and communications until the commissioner has filed a report of examination, as required by section nine, article two of this chapter, covering the period of the audit but no longer than seven years from the date of the audit report.

(c) In the conduct of the aforementioned periodic review by the commissioner, it shall be agreed that copies of pertinent audit workpapers may be made and retained by the commissioner. Reviews by the commissioner shall be considered investigations and all workpapers and communications obtained during the course of such investigations shall be afforded the same confidentiality as other examination workpapers generated by the commissioner.

WVC 33 - 33 - 12 §33-33-12. Requirements for audit committees.
This section shall not apply to foreign or alien insurers licensed in this state or an insurer that is a SOX Compliant Entity or a direct or indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of a SOX Compliant Entity.

(1) The audit committee shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation and oversight of the work of any accountant, including resolution of disagreements between management and the accountant regarding financial reporting, for the purpose of preparing or issuing the audited financial report or related work pursuant to this article. Each accountant shall report directly to the audit committee.

(2) Each member of the audit committee shall be a member of the board of directors of the insurer or a member of the board of directors of an entity elected pursuant to subdivision (3), section two of this article and subdivision (5) of this section.

(3) In order to be considered independent for purposes of this section, a member of the audit committee may not, other than in his or her capacity as a member of the audit committee, the board of directors, or any other board committee, accept any consulting, advisory or other compensatory fee from the entity or be an affiliated person of the entity or subsidiary thereof. However, if law requires board participation by otherwise nonindependent members, that law shall prevail and such members may participate in the audit committee and be designated as independent for audit committee purposes, unless they are an officer or employee of the insurer or one of its affiliates.

(4) If a member of the audit committee ceases to be independent for reasons outside the member's reasonable control, that person, with notice by the responsible entity to the state, may remain an audit committee member of the responsible entity until the earlier of the next annual meeting of the responsible entity or one year from the occurrence of the event that caused the member to be no longer independent.

(5) To exercise the election of the controlling person to designate the audit committee for purposes of this article, the ultimate controlling person shall provide written notice to the commissioners of the affected insurers. Notification shall be made timely prior to the issuance of the statutory audit report and include a description of the basis for the election. The election can be changed through notice to the commissioner by the insurer, which shall include a description of the basis for the change. The election shall remain in effect for perpetuity, until rescinded.

(6) (A) The audit committee shall require the accountant that performs for an insurer any audit required by this article to timely report to the audit committee in accordance with the requirements of Statement of Auditing Standards (SAS) No. 61, "Communication with Audit Committees" or its replacement, including:

(i) All significant accounting policies and material permitted practices;

(ii) All material alternative treatments of financial information within statutory accounting principles that have been discussed with management officials of the insurer, ramifications of the use of the alternative disclosures and treatments, and the treatment preferred by the accountant; and

(iii) Other material written communications between the accountant and the management of the insurer, such as any management letter or schedule of unadjusted differences.

(B) If an insurer is a member of an insurance holding company system, the reports required by paragraph (A) of this subdivision may be provided to the audit committee on an aggregate basis for insurers in the holding company system, provided that any substantial differences among insurers in the system are identified to the audit committee.

(7) The proportion of independent audit committee members shall meet or exceed the following criteria:

Prior Calendar Year Direct Written and Assumed Premiums
$0-$300,000,000 Over $300,000,000- $500,000,000 Over $500,000,000
No minimum requirements. Majority (50% or more) of members shall be independent. Supermajority of members (75% or more) shall be independent.
(A) The commissioner has authority afforded by state law to require the entity's board to enact improvements to the independence of the audit committee membership if the insurer is in a risk based capital action level event, meets one or more of the standards of an insurer deemed to be in hazardous financial condition, or otherwise exhibits qualities of a troubled insurer.

(B) All insurers with less than $500 million in prior year direct written and assumed premiums are encouraged to structure their audit committees with at least a supermajority of independent audit committee members.

(C) Prior calendar year direct written and assumed premiums shall be the combined total of direct premiums and assumed premiums from nonaffiliates for the reporting entities.

(8) An insurer with direct written and assumed premium, excluding premiums reinsured with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and Federal Flood Program for less than $500 million, may make application to the commissioner for a waiver from this section's requirements based upon hardship. The insurer shall file, with its annual statement filing, the approval for relief from this section with the states that it is licensed in or doing business in and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. If the nondomestic state accepts electronic filing with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the insurer shall file the approval in an electronic format acceptable to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

WVC 33 - 33 - 13 §33-33-13. Conduct of insurer in connection with the preparation of required reports and documents.
(a) No director or officer of an insurer shall, directly or indirectly:

(1) Make or cause to be made a materially false or misleading statement to an accountant in connection with any audit, review or communication required under this article; or

(2) Omit to state, or cause another person to omit to state, any material fact necessary in order to make statements made, in light of the circumstances under which the statements were made, not misleading to an accountant in connection with any audit, review or communication required under this article.

(b) No officer or director of an insurer, or any other person acting under the direction thereof, shall directly or indirectly take any action to coerce, manipulate, mislead or fraudulently influence any accountant engaged in the performance of an audit pursuant to this article if that person knew or should have known that the action, if successful, could result in rendering the insurer's financial statements materially misleading.

(c) For purposes of subsection (b) of this section, actions that, "if successful, could result in rendering the insurer's financial statements materially misleading" include, but are not limited to, actions taken at any time with respect to the professional engagement period to coerce, manipulate, mislead or fraudulently influence an accountant:

(1) To issue or reissue a report on an insurer's financial statements that is not warranted in the circumstances due to material violations of statutory accounting principles prescribed by the commissioner, generally accepted auditing standards, or other professional or regulatory standards;

(2) Not to perform audit, review or other procedures required by generally accepted auditing standards or other professional standards;

(3) Not to withdraw an issued report; or

(4) Not to communicate matters to an insurer's audit committee.

WVC 33 - 33 - 14 §33-33-14. Canadian and British companies.
(a) In the case of Canadian and British insurers, the annual audited financial report shall be defined as the annual statement of total business on the form filed by the companies with their supervision authority duly audited by an independent chartered accountant.

(b) For Canadian and British insurers, the letter required in subsection (b), section five of this article shall state that the accountant is aware of the requirements relating to the annual audited financial report filed with the commissioner pursuant to section three of this article and shall affirm that the opinion expressed is in conformity with those requirements.

WVC 33 - 33 - 15 §33-33-15. Management's report of internal control over financial reporting.
(a) Every insurer required to file an audited financial report pursuant to this article that has annual direct written and assumed premiums, excluding premiums reinsured with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and Federal Flood Program, of $500 million, or more, shall prepare a report of the insurer's or group of insurers' internal control over financial reporting, as these terms are defined in section two of this article. The report shall be filed with the commissioner along with the communication of internal control related matters noted in an audit described under section ten of this article. Management's report of internal control over financial reporting shall be filed as of December 31 immediately preceding.

(b) Notwithstanding the premium threshold in subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may require an insurer to file management's report of internal control over financial reporting if the insurer is in any risk-based capital level event, or meets any one or more of the standards of an insurer deemed to be in hazardous financial condition as defined in article ten of this chapter.

(c) An insurer or a group of insurers may file its or its parent's Section 404 Report and an addendum in satisfaction of this section's requirement provided that those internal controls of the insurer or group of insurers having a material impact on the preparation of the insurer's or group of insurers' audited statutory financial statements were included in the scope of the Section 404 Report and if the insurer or group of insurers is:

(1) Directly subject to Section 404;

(2) Part of a holding company system whose parent is directly subject to Section 404;

(3) Not directly subject to Section 404 but is a SOX Compliant Entity; or

(4) A member of a holding company system whose parent is not directly subject to Section 404 but is a SOX Compliant Entity.

(d) The addendum referenced in subsection © of this section shall be a positive statement by management that there is no material process with respect to the preparation of the insurer's or group of insurers' audited statutory financial statements excluded from the Section 404 Report.

(e) If there are internal controls of the insurer or group of insurers that have a material impact on the preparation of the insurer's or group of insurers' audited statutory financial statements and those internal controls were not included in the scope of the Section 404 Report, the insurer or group of insurers may either file:

(1) A report pursuant to subsection (a) of this section; or

(2) The Section 404 Report and a [Section 16] report pursuant to subsection (a) of this section for those internal controls that have a material impact on the preparation of the insurer's or group of insurers' audited statutory financial statements not covered by the Section 404 Report.

(f) Management's report of internal control over financial reporting shall include:

(1) A statement that management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting;

(2) A statement that management has established internal control over financial reporting and an assertion, to the best of management's knowledge and belief, after diligent inquiry, as to whether its internal control over financial reporting is effective to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial statements in accordance with statutory accounting principles;

(3) A statement that briefly describes the approach or processes by which management evaluated the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting;

(4) A statement that briefly describes the scope of work that is included and whether any internal controls were excluded;

(5) Disclosure of any unremediated material weaknesses in the internal control over financial reporting identified by management as of the December 31 immediately preceding. Management is not permitted to conclude that the internal control over financial reporting is effective to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial statements in accordance with statutory accounting principles if there is one or more unremediated material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting;

(6) A statement regarding the inherent limitations of internal control systems; and

(7) Signatures of the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer, or the equivalent position or title.

(g) Management shall document and make available upon financial condition examination the basis upon which its assertions, required in subsection (f) of this section, are made. Management may base its assertions, in part, upon its review, monitoring and testing of internal controls undertaken in the normal course of its activities.

(1) Management shall have discretion as to the nature of the internal control framework used, and the nature and extent of documentation, in order to make its assertion in a cost effective manner and, as such, may include assembly of or reference to existing documentation.

(2) Management's report on internal control over financial reporting, required by subsection (a) of this section, and any documentation provided in support thereof during the course of a financial condition examination, shall be kept confidential by the commissioner.

WVC 33 - 33 - 16 §33-33-16. Exemptions and effective dates.
(a) Upon written application of any insurer, the commissioner may grant an exemption from compliance with any and all provisions of this article if the commissioner finds, upon review of the application, that compliance with this article would constitute a financial or organizational hardship upon the insurer. An exemption may be granted at any time and from time to time for a specified period or periods. Within ten days from a denial of an insurer's written request for an exemption from this article, the insurer may request in writing a hearing on its application for an exemption.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this section, the provisions of this article shall become effective on January 1, 2010.

(c) Domestic insurers retaining a certified public accountant on the effective date of this article who qualify as independent shall comply with this article for the year ending December 31, 2010, and each year thereafter, unless the commissioner permits otherwise.

(d) Domestic insurers not retaining a certified public accountant on the effective date of this article who qualifies as independent may meet the following schedule for compliance unless the commissioner permits otherwise:

(1) As of December 31, 2010, file with the commissioner an audited financial report; and

(2) For the year ending December 31, 2010, and each year thereafter, such insurers shall file with the commissioner all reports and communication required by this article.

(e) Foreign insurers shall comply with this article for the year ending December 31, 2010, and each year thereafter, unless the commissioner permits otherwise.

(f) The requirements of subsection (d), section six of this article shall be in effect for audits of the year beginning January 1, 2010, and each year thereafter.

(g) The requirements of section twelve of this article are to be in effect January 1, 2010, and each year thereafter. An insurer or group of insurers that is not required to have independent audit committee members or only a majority of independent audit committee members, as opposed to a supermajority, because the total written and assumed premium is below the threshold and subsequently becomes subject to one of the independence requirements due to changes in premium shall have one year following the year the threshold exceeded to comply with the independence requirements. An insurer that becomes subject to one of the independence requirements as a result of a business combination shall have one calendar year following the date of acquisition or combination to comply with the independence requirements.

(h) The requirements of section fifteen of this article are effective beginning with the reporting period ending December 31, 2010, and each year thereafter. An insurer or group of insurers that is not required to file a report because the total written premium is below the threshold and subsequently becomes subject to the reporting requirements shall have two years following the year the threshold is exceeded to file a report. An insurer acquired in a business combination shall have two calendar years following the date of acquisition or combination to comply with the reporting requirements.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature **