SB 537 Modifies insurance holding company regulation and expands the power of the director of the department of insurance to examine insurance holding company systems
Sponsor: Parson
LR Number: 4576S.03P Fiscal Note available
Committee: Small Business, Insurance and Industry
Last Action: 4/28/2014 - Executive Session Completed - No Action Taken Journal Page:
Title: SS SB 537 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2014
House Handler: Gosen

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Current Bill Summary

SS/SB 537 - This act modifies the scheme regulating insurance holding companies. It adds a definition for "enterprise risk" and expands the definition of "person" to include a limited liability company and exempts venture partnerships focused on tangible personal property from the definition of "person". The act also increases the allowable percentage of assets that an insurance holding company may invest in subsidiaries from 5% to 10%. Currently, notice to the insurer and a filed statement to the director are required only of a person acquiring a controlling interest in a domestic insurer. This act requires that a person seeking to divest a controlling interest in a domestic insurer also provide notice to the insurer and a filed statement to the director.

This act also requires a person acquiring a controlling interest in a domestic insurer to file an agreement to file annual reports with the director and an acknowledgment that all subsidiaries must provide information on request for the director to evaluate enterprise risk to the insurer. The public hearing, when required to approve the merger or acquisition, may be a consolidated hearing if approval is required by more than one state insurance commissioner. The director must also make a determination within 60 days of notice of change of control of a domestic insurer if the person acquiring control must restore or maintain the levels of capital of the insurer in accordance with the laws of Missouri. The acquisitions requiring approval by the director are also no longer exempt from the requirements, violations and penalties found in current law.

This act also expands the information required for registration of insurers to include financial statements of the insurance holding company and its affiliates upon request of the director, statements that the insurer's board of directors oversees corporate governance, and any other information required by the director by regulation. A person may be relieved of duty to register or report only if a disclaimer of affiliation is either approved by the director or deemed approved if the director does not take action on the disclaimer within 30 days of receipt of a complete disclaimer. In addition to the previously required registration and reporting requirements, the ultimate controlling person in an insurance holding company system subject to registration must file with the director an annual enterprise risk report for the insurance holding company system. Failure to file the enterprise risk statement will also be a violation of the act.

This act requires that the accounts and records of material transactions between affiliates contain accounting information to support the reasonableness of charges or fees to the respective parties. Agreements for cost sharing services and management will be controlled by rules and regulations issued by the director. Affiliates cannot enter into additional agreement types without notice to and approval of the director including: reinsurance pooling agreements, tax allocation agreements, guarantees when made by the domestic insurer with some exceptions, and some direct and indirect acquisitions in a person that controls the insurer or an affiliate of the insurer. The required notice to the director for modified affiliate agreements must include the reasons for the change and the financial impact on the insurer. Additionally the director must be notified if a domestic insurer investment causes the insurer to acquire a 10% interest in a corporation's voting securities.

This act also expands the powers of the director to examine any registered insurer to ascertain financial condition and enterprise risk. The director may also order an insurer to produce information not in the possession of the insurer if the insurer can obtain the information pursuant to contractual, statutory, or other means. The director is also given the power to examine affiliates of an insurer under oath and issue subpoenas if an insurer fails to comply with an order.

This act gives the director the power to initiate the establishment of, and participate in a supervisory college to regulate registered insurers that are part of an international insurance holding company system. Insurers subject to this requirement are liable for the reasonable expenses of the director to participate in the supervisory college.

This act also expands the regulations of the confidentiality and privilege for information and documents provided to the director and shared with other regulatory agencies or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in the performance of the director's duties upon written agreement that the other regulatory agencies or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners will maintain the confidentiality and privilege. The information and documents cannot be subject to discovery or subpoena in any private civil action and the director or persons under the authority of the director cannot be permitted or forced to testify in private civil actions.

This act also provides an independent basis for the director to disapprove dividends or distributions if a violation of the chapter prevents a full understanding of the enterprise risk to the insurer.