1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Kirby
Senate Bill 2232
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 83-1-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE TO CONTRACT WITH PROFESSIONAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS TO EXAMINE THE FINANCIAL AFFAIRS OF ALL FOREIGN COMPANIES WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THAT HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS ARE COMPANIES WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE INSURANCE CODE AND ARE SUBJECT TO THE INSPECTION AND SUPERVISION OF THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 83-5-17, 83-5-41 AND 83-5-45, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE TO IMPOSE ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AGAINST COMPANIES FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH INSURANCE LAWS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 83-17-123 AND 83-17-221, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSIONER TO IMPOSE ADMINISTRATIVE FINES AGAINST AGENTS FOR LIFE, HEALTH, ACCIDENT, FIRE AND OTHER INSURERS FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH INSURANCE LAWS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-251, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "INSURABLE INTEREST"; TO AMEND SECTION 83-6-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO EXCLUDE BURIAL ASSOCIATIONS FROM THE DEFINITION OF THE TERM "INSURER" IN REGARD TO THE REGISTRATION AND EXAMINATION OF INSURERS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-6-24, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE TIME OF PUBLIC HEARING NECESSARY TO APPROVE ANY MERGER OF DOMESTIC INSURANCE COMPANIES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-17-101, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF THE TERMS "AGENT" AND "PERSON" IN REGARD TO THE REGULATION OF AGENTS FOR LIFE, HEALTH OR ACCIDENT INSURERS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-19-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FORMATION OF INSURANCE COMPANIES BY CLASSIFICATIONS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 83-19-11 AND 83-19-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF DIRECTORS NEEDED TO ORGANIZE AN INSURANCE COMPANY; TO AMEND SECTION 83-31-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF PERSONS NEEDED TO FORM A BUSINESS OF MUTUAL INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTIONS 83-19-73 AND 83-31-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO MAKE THE AMOUNT OF SURPLUS FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES CONSISTENT AMONG MUTUAL, STOCK AND RECIPROCAL COMPANIES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-19-119, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CORRECT A REFERENCE TO AN INCORRECT CODE SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 83-27-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CLARIFY THE CAPITAL REQUIREMENT FOR SURETY COMPANIES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-39-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CHANGE THE DATE OF ANNUAL EXPIRATION OF A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-39-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-39-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE FOR A HEARING BEFORE THE COMMISSIONER SUSPENDS A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN LICENSE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-43-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CORRECT A REFERENCE TO AN INCORRECT CODE SECTION; TO REPEAL SECTION 83-1-25, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH AUTHORIZES THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE TO CONDUCT FINANCIAL EXAMINATIONS OF DOMESTIC INSURANCE COMPANIES; TO REPEAL SECTION 83-19-23, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PRESCRIBES THE FORM OF CERTIFICATES OF AUTHORITY AND REQUIRES FILING WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE; TO REPEAL SECTION 83-21-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REQUIRES THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE TO REVOKE THE CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY OF A FOREIGN INSURANCE COMPANY WHEN THE FOREIGN INSURANCE COMPANY MAKES APPLICATION TO REMOVE ANY ACTION OR PROCEEDING COMMENCED IN ANY COURT OF THIS STATE UPON A CLAIM OR CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING OUT OF ANY TRANSACTION DONE IN THIS STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-207, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 83-1-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-1-27. Whenever the Commissioner of Insurance deems it prudent for the protection of the policyholders in this state, he shall in like manner visit and examine, or cause to be visited and examined by some competent person or persons he may appoint for that purpose, any foreign insurance company applying for admission or already admitted to do business by agencies in this state, and such companies shall pay the proper charges incurred in such examination, including the expense of the commissioner or his deputy and the expenses and compensation of his assistants employed therein. For the purpose aforesaid, the commissioner or his deputy or persons making examination shall have free access to all the books and papers of the insurance company that relate to its business and to the books and papers kept by any of its agents, and may summon and qualify as witnesses, under oath, and examine the directors, officers, agents and trustees of any such company, and any other persons in relation to its affairs, transactions and conditions. Such examination shall be made by the commissioner, or by his accredited representatives, and such companies shall pay the proper charges incurred in such examination, including the expense of the commissioner or financial examiners, actuaries, market conduct examiners, accountants, attorneys or other professional service organizations necessary to administer this section. The Department of Insurance may contract with professional service organizations to examine all companies under its jurisdiction, and the professional service organization may directly bill the company under examination. The commissioner shall monitor the charges for these professional services and verify that all costs are reasonable. If a company fails to pay these fees within thirty (30) days of billing, the commissioner, after notice and a hearing, is authorized to impose an administrative fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per day to be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."
The compensation and expense of the commissioner or such examiner for the commissioner shall not exceed that approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for all financial and market conduct examiners on such examinations, itemized account of such charges being rendered to and approved by the Commissioner of Insurance.
The results of audits performed hereunder by the Commissioner of Insurance may be furnished to the State Tax Commission * * *. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the State Tax Commission from performing such additional audits or verifications as it may deem necessary to insure the proper payment of taxes.
SECTION 2. Section 83-5-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-1. All indemnity or guaranty companies, all companies, including those companies defined in Section 83-41-303(n), corporations, partnerships, associations, individuals and fraternal orders, whether domestic or foreign, transacting, or to be admitted to transact, the business of insurance in this state are insurance companies within the meaning of this chapter, and shall be subject to the inspection and supervision of the commissioner.
SECTION 3. Section 83-5-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-17. The Commissioner of Insurance may, after notice and a hearing, revoke the authority of a domestic or foreign insurance company or impose an administrative fine, or both, if it * * * violates or neglects to comply with any provision of law obligatory on it, and whenever in the opinion of the commissioner its condition is unsound, or its assets above its liabilities, exclusive of capital and inclusive of unearned premiums, are less than the amount of its original capital or required unimpaired funds. Such administrative fine shall not exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per violation and shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."
SECTION 4. Section 83-5-41, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-41. (1) If, after such hearing, the commissioner shall determine that the method of competition or the act or practice in question is defined in Section 83-5-35, and that the person complained of has engaged in such method of competition, act or practice in violation of Sections 83-5-29 through 83-5-51, he shall reduce his findings to writing and shall issue and cause to be served upon the person charged with the violation an order requiring such person to cease and desist from engaging in such method of competition, act or practice. In addition to, or in lieu of, the cease and desist order, the commissioner may, after such hearing, impose an administrative fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per violation, which shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."
(2) Until the expiration of the time allowed under Section 83-5-43(1) for filing a petition for review (by appeal), if no such petition has been duly filed within such time or, if the petition for review has been filed within such time, then until the transcript of the record in the proceeding has been filed in the circuit court, as hereinafter provided, the commissioner may at any time, upon such notice and in such manner as he shall deem proper, modify or set aside in whole or in part any order issued by him under this section.
(3) After the expiration of the time allowed for filing such a petition for review, if no such petition has been duly filed within such time, the commissioner may, at any time after notice and opportunity for hearing, reopen and alter, modify, or set aside, in whole or in part, any order issued by him under this section whenever in his opinion conditions of fact or of law have so changed as to require such action, or if the public interest shall so require.
SECTION 5. Section 83-5-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-45. (1) Whenever the commissioner shall have reason to believe that any person engaged in the business of insurance is engaging in this state in any method of competition or in any act or practice in the conduct of such business which is not defined in Section 83-5-35, that such method of competition is unfair or that such act or practice is unfair or deceptive, and that a proceeding by him in respect thereto would be to the interest of the public, he may issue and serve upon such person a statement of the charges in that respect and a notice of a hearing thereon to be held at a time and place fixed in the notice, which shall not be less than ten (10) days after the date of the service thereof. Each such hearing shall be conducted in the same manner as the hearings provided in Section 83-5-39. The commissioner shall, after such hearing, make a report in writing in which he shall state his findings as to the facts, and he shall serve a copy thereof upon such person.
(2) If such report charges a violation of Sections 83-5-29 through 83-5-51, and if such method of competition, act or practice has not been discontinued, the commissioner may, through the Attorney General of this state, at any time after thirty (30) days after the service of such report, cause a petition to be filed in the circuit court of this state within the district wherein the person resides, or has his principal place of business, to enjoin and restrain such person from engaging in such method, act or practice. The court shall have jurisdiction of the proceeding and shall have power to make and enter appropriate orders in connection therewith and to issue such writs as are ancillary to its jurisdiction or are necessary in its judgment to prevent injury to the public pendente lite.
(3) A transcript of the proceedings before the commissioner, including all evidence taken and the report and findings, shall be filed with such petition. If either party shall apply to the court for leave to adduce additional evidence and shall show, to the satisfaction of the court, that such additional evidence is material and there were reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence in the proceeding before the commissioner, the court may order such additional evidence to be taken before the commissioner and to be adduced upon the hearing in such manner and upon such terms and conditions as to the court may seem proper. The commissioner may modify his findings of fact or make new findings by reason of the additional evidence so taken, and he shall file such modified or new findings with the return of such additional evidence.
(4) If the court finds that the method of competition complained of is unfair or that the act or practice complained of is unfair or deceptive, that the proceeding by the commissioner with respect thereto is to the interest of the public, and that the findings of the commissioner are supported by substantial evidence, it shall issue its order enjoining and restraining the continuance of such method of competition, act or practice.
(5) In addition to, or in lieu of, filing, through the Attorney General, a petition for a cease and desist order, the commissioner may, after a hearing in accordance with subsection (1), impose an administrative fine not to exceed Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) per violation, which shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."
SECTION 6. Section 83-17-123, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-17-123. (1) A license may be refused, or a license duly issued may be suspended or revoked or the renewal thereof refused by the commissioner if, after notice and hearing as hereinafter provided, he finds that the applicant for, or holder of, such license:
(a) Has willfully violated any provision of the insurance laws of this state; or
(b) Has intentionally made a material misstatement in the application for such license; or
(c) Has obtained, or attempted to obtain, such license by fraud or misrepresentation; or
(d) Has misappropriated or converted to his own use or illegally withheld money belonging to an insurer or beneficiary; or
(e) Has otherwise demonstrated lack of trustworthiness or competence to act as an agent; or
(f) Has been guilty of fraudulent or dishonest practices or has been convicted of a felony; or
(g) Has materially misrepresented the terms and conditions of insurance policies or contracts; or willfully exaggerated prospective returns on investment features of policies, or fails to identify himself as an agent and as receiving a compensation for his participation in the sale of insurance; or
(h) Has made or issued, or caused to be made or issued, any statement misrepresenting or making incomplete comparisons regarding the terms or conditions of any insurance or annuity contract legally issued by any insurer, for the purpose of inducing or attempting to induce the owner of such contract to forfeit or surrender such contract or allow it to lapse for the purpose of replacing such contract with another; or
(i) Has obtained or attempted to obtain such license, not for the purpose of holding himself out to the general public as an agent, but primarily for the purpose of soliciting, negotiating or procuring insurance or annuity contracts covering himself or members of his family; or
(j) Has solicited insurance prior to having personally received a license and a certificate of authority to represent the particular insurer for which he solicited business, even though application for same has been made.
(2) Before any license is refused (except for failure to pass a required written examination) or suspended or revoked or the renewal thereof refused hereunder, the commissioner shall give notice of his intention so to do, by certified mail, to the applicant for or holder of such license and the insurer whom he represents or who desires that he be licensed, and shall set a date not less than ten (10) days from the date of mailing such notice when the applicant or licensee and a duly authorized representative of the insurer may appear to be heard and produce evidence. Such notice shall constitute automatic suspension of license if the person involved is a licensed agent. In the conduct of such hearing, the commissioner or any regular salaried employee specially designated by him for such purpose shall have power to administer oaths, to require the appearance of and examine any person under oath, and to require the production of books, records or papers relevant to the inquiry upon his own initiative or upon the request of the applicant or licensee. Upon the termination of such hearing, findings shall be reduced to writing and, upon approval by the commissioner, shall be filed in his office; and notice of the findings shall be sent by certified mail to the applicant or licensee and the insurer concerned.
(3) Where the grounds set out in paragraph (1)(d) or (1)(g) are the grounds for any hearing, the commissioner may, in his discretion in lieu of the hearing provided for in subsection (2) above, file a petition to suspend or revoke any license authorized hereunder in a court of competent jurisdiction of the county or district in which the alleged offense occurred. In such cases, subpoenas may be issued for witnesses, and mileage and witness fees paid as in other cases. All costs of said cause shall be paid by the defendant, if found guilty, and if costs cannot be made and collected from said defendant, such costs shall be assessed against the company issuing the contract involved in said cause.
(4) No licensee whose license has been revoked hereunder shall be entitled to file another application for a license as an agent within one (1) year from the effective date of such revocation or, if judicial review of such revocation is sought, within one (1) year from the date of final court order or decree affirming such revocation. Such application, when filed, may be refused by the commissioner unless the applicant shows good cause why the revocation of his license shall not be deemed a bar to the issuance of a new license.
(5) In addition to, or in lieu of, the remedies provided in this section, the commissioner may, after a hearing in accordance with subsection (2), impose an administrative fine for violations of paragraphs (a) through (j) of subsection (1). Such administrative fine shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per violation and shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."
(6) In addition to the reasons specified in subsection (1) of this section, the commissioner shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. Actions taken by the board in suspending a license when required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 are not actions from which an appeal may be taken under this section. Any appeal of a license suspension that is required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 shall be taken in accordance with the appeal procedure specified in Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, rather than the procedure specified in this section. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
SECTION 7. Section 83-17-221, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-17-221. (1) The Commissioner of Insurance may at any time, after hearing held upon not less than ten (10) days' written notice by certified mail to any agent or solicitor specifying the matters to be considered at such hearing, suspend, revoke, cancel or refuse to renew the license or certificate of authority or certificate of appointment of such agent or solicitor if, upon such hearing, the commissioner finds: (a) that such license was obtained by fraud or misrepresentation; (b) that such agent or solicitor has violated any of the insurance laws of this state or rules or orders of * * * the Commissioner of Insurance; (c) that such agent or solicitor has wrongfully withheld from any insurance company or assured any premium, refund premium, or dividend which such insurance company or assured is lawfully entitled to receive; (d) that such agent or solicitor is not qualified, fit or trustworthy to act as an agent or solicitor; (e) that such agent or solicitor has employed or used false advertising of any nature, particularly wherein said agent or solicitor employs or uses advertisement to represent that he is authorized to perform services relating to insurance other than that for which he has been specifically licensed by the State of Mississippi; (f) that such solicitor has not submitted satisfactory evidence that at least fifty percent (50%) of his total annual employment income is from the active engagement in the insurance business; * * * (g) that such agent has failed to file an affidavit with satisfactory evidence to substantiate that not more than thirty-five percent (35%) of the business of said agent is "controlled business"; or (h) that such agent or solicitor for a commission, salary, fee or any other basis has suggested, recommended or arranged that contracts of insurance be placed in a company or group of companies not authorized to do business in Mississippi except that provided in Sections 83-21-17 through 83-21-29, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(2) In addition to the reasons specified in subsection (1) of this section, the commissioner shall be authorized to suspend the license of any licensee for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. Actions taken by the board in suspending a license when required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 are not actions from which an appeal may be taken under this section. Any appeal of a license suspension that is required by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 shall be taken in accordance with the appeal procedure specified in Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, rather than the procedure specified in this section. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this chapter, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
(3) In addition to, or in lieu of, the remedies provided in this section, the commissioner may, after a hearing in accordance with subsection (1), impose an administrative fine. Such administrative fine shall not exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per violation and shall be deposited into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund.
SECTION 8. Section 83-5-251, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-251. (1) Any individual of competent legal capacity may procure or effect an insurance contract upon his own life or body for the benefit of any person, but no person shall procure or cause to be procured any insurance contract upon the life or body of another individual unless the benefits under such contract are payable to the insured or his personal representatives or to a person having, at the time when such contract was made, an insurable interest in the insured.
(2) If the beneficiary, assignee or other payee under any contract made in violation of this section receives from the insurer any benefits from such contract accruing upon the death, disablement or injury of the insured, the insured or his executor or administrator may maintain an action to recover such benefits from the person so receiving them.
(3) For purposes of Sections 83-5-251 through 83-5-257, "insurable interest" means that a person has an insurable interest in the life, body and health of another individual as follows:
(a) The individual and the insured are related closely by blood or by law, a substantial interest engendered by love and affection;
(b) The person has a lawful and substantial economic interest in having the life, health or bodily safety of the insured continue, as distinguished from an interest which would arise only by, or would be enhanced in value by, the death, disablement or injury of the insured;
(c) A party to a contract or option for the purchase or sale of an interest in a business proprietorship, partnership or firm, or of shares of stock of a closed corporation or of an interest in such shares, has an insurable interest in the life, body and health of each individual party to such contract and for the purposes of such contract only, in addition to any insurable interest which may exist as to such individual;
(d) A person has a lawful interest in having the funeral expenses of the insured paid through insurance, provided the insured has knowledge of such insurance; and
(e) Any religious, educational, eleemosynary, charitable or benevolent institution or its agency, or any trust, may be named beneficiary in any policy of life insurance issued by any insurance company upon the life of any individual. A religious, educational, eleemosynary, charitable or benevolent institution or its agency, or any trust, designated as a beneficiary has an insurable interest for the full face of the policy and is entitled to collect the full face of the policy. Such institutions named as beneficiaries in policies issued before July 1, 1992, shall have an insurable interest for the full face of the policy and are entitled to collect the full face of the policy.
(4) An insurer shall be entitled to rely upon all reasonable statements, declarations and representations made by an applicant for insurance relative to the existence of an insurable interest; and no insurer shall incur legal liability except as set forth in the policy, by virtue of any untrue statements, declarations or representations so relied upon in good faith by the insurer.
(5) "Person" as used herein means artificial as well as natural persons, includes all public and private corporations as well as individuals, and includes a trust whose principal beneficiaries have an "insurable interest" as used herein. Any trust with policies issued after July 1, 1992, shall be deemed persons under this section.
SECTION 9. Section 83-6-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-6-1. As used in this chapter the following terms have the respective meanings herein set forth unless the context shall require otherwise:
(a) An "affiliate of" or person "affiliated" with a specific person means 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.
(b) "Commissioner" means the Commissioner of Insurance.
(c) "Control" (including the terms "controlling," "controlled by" and "under common control with") means the possession of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a person, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract other than a commercial contract for goods or nonmanagement services or otherwise, unless the power is the result of an official position with or corporate office held by the person. "Control" shall be presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds with the power to vote or holds proxies representing ten percent (10%) or more of the voting securities of any other person. This presumption may be rebutted by a showing made in the manner provided in Section 83-6-17 that control does not exist in fact. The commissioner may determine, after furnishing all persons in interest notice and opportunity to be heard and making specific findings of fact to support such determination, that control exists in fact, notwithstanding the absence of a presumption to that effect.
(d) An "insurance holding company system" consists of two (2) or more affiliated persons, one or more of which is an insurer.
(e) "Insurer" means only those companies subject to the jurisdiction of the commissioner as provided in Section 83-5-1; however, burial associations regulated pursuant to Chapter 37 of Title 83 are excluded from this definition.
(f) "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, association, joint stock company, trust, unincorporated organization, any similar entity or any combination of the foregoing acting in concert, but shall not include any securities broker performing no more than the usual and customary broker's function.
(g) A "security holder" of a specified person means one who owns any security of such person, including common stock, preferred stock, debt obligations and any other security convertible into or evidencing the right to acquire any of the foregoing.
(h) "Subsidiary" of a specified person means an affiliate controlled by a person, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries.
(i) The term "voting security" includes any security convertible into or evidencing a right to acquire a voting security.
SECTION 10. Section 83-6-24, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-6-24. (1) No person other than the issuer shall make a tender offer for or a request or invitation for tenders of, or enter into any agreement to exchange securities, or seek to acquire, or acquire, in the open market or otherwise, any voting security of a domestic insurer if, after the consummation thereof, such person would, directly or indirectly (or by conversion or by exercise of any right to acquire) be in control of such insurer, and no person shall enter into an agreement to merge with or otherwise to acquire control of a domestic insurer or any person controlling a domestic insurer unless, at the time any such offer, request or invitation is made or any such agreement is entered into, or prior to the acquisition of such securities if no offer or agreement is involved, such person has filed with the commissioner and has sent to such insurer, a statement containing the information required by this section and such offer, request, invitation, agreement or acquisition has been approved by the commissioner in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
For the purposes of this section, "a domestic insurer" shall include any person controlling a domestic insurer unless such person as determined by the commissioner is either directly or through its affiliates primarily engaged in business other than the business of insurance. However, such person shall file a preacquisition notification with the commissioner containing the information set forth in this section thirty (30) days prior to the proposed effective date of the acquisition. For the purposes of this section, "person" shall not include any securities broker holding, in the usual and customary brokers function, less than twenty percent (20%) of the voting securities of an insurance company or of any person which controls an insurance company.
(2) The statement to be filed with the commissioner hereunder shall be made under oath or affirmation and shall contain the following information:
(a) The name and address of each person by whom or on whose behalf the merger or other acquisition of control referred to in subsection (1) is to be effected (hereinafter called "acquiring party"), and
(i) If such person is an individual, his principal occupation and all offices and positions held during the past five (5) years, and any conviction of crimes other than minor traffic violations during the past ten (10) years;
(ii) If such person is not an individual, a report of the nature of its business operations during the past five (5) years or for such lesser period as such person and any predecessors thereof shall have been in existence; an informative description of the business intended to be done by such person and such person's subsidiaries; and a list of all individuals who are or who have been selected to become directors or executive officers of such person, or who perform or will perform functions appropriate to such positions. Such list shall include for each such individual the information required by subparagraph (i).
(b) The source, nature and amount of consideration used or to be used in effecting the merger or other acquisition of control, a description of any transaction wherein funds were or are to be obtained for any such purpose (including any pledge of the insurer's stock, or the stock of any of its subsidiaries or controlling affiliates), and the identity of persons furnishing such consideration, provided, however, that where a source of such consideration is a loan made in the lender's ordinary course of business, the identity of the lender shall remain confidential, if the person filing such statement so requests.
(c) Fully audited financial information as to the earnings and financial condition of each acquiring party for the preceding five (5) fiscal years of each such acquiring party (or for such lesser period as such acquiring party and any predecessors thereof shall have been in existence), and similar unaudited information as of a date not earlier than ninety (90) days prior to the filing of the statement.
(d) Any plans or proposals which each acquiring party may have to liquidate such insurer, to sell its assets or merge or consolidate it with any person, or to make any other material change in its business or corporate structure or management.
(e) The number of shares of any security referred to in subsection (1) which each acquiring party proposes to acquire, and the terms of the offer, request, invitation, agreement or acquisition referred to in subsection (1), and a statement as to the method by which the fairness of the proposal was determined.
(f) The amount of each class of any security referred to in subsection (1) which is beneficially owned or concerning which there is a right to acquire beneficial ownership by each acquiring party.
(g) A full description of any contracts, arrangements or understandings with respect to any security referred to in subsection (1) in which any acquiring party is involved, including but not limited to transfer of any of the securities, joint ventures, loan or option arrangements, puts or calls, guarantees of loans, guarantees against loss or guarantees of profits, division of losses or profits or the giving or withholding of proxies. Such description shall identify the persons with whom such contracts, arrangements or understandings have been entered into.
(h) A description of the purchase of any security referred to in subsection (1) during the twelve (12) calendar months preceding the filing of the statement, by any acquiring party, including the dates of purchase, names of the purchasers and consideration paid or agreed to be paid therefor.
(i) A description of any recommendations to purchase any security referred to in subsection (1) made during the twelve (12) calendar months preceding the filing of the statement, by any acquiring party, or by anyone based upon interviews or at the suggestion of such acquiring party.
(j) Copies of all tender offers for, requests, or invitations for tenders of, exchange offers for and agreements to acquire or exchange any securities referred to in subsection (1) and (if distributed) of additional soliciting material relating thereto.
(k) The terms of any agreement, contract or understanding made with or proposed to be made with any broker-dealer as to solicitation of securities referred to in subsection (1) for tender, and the amount of any fees, commissions or other compensation to be paid to broker-dealers with regard thereto.
(l) Such additional information as the commissioner may by rule or regulation prescribe as necessary or appropriate for the protection of policyholders of the insurer or in the public interest.
If the person required to file the statement referred to in subsection (1) is a partnership, limited partnership, syndicate or other group, the commissioner may require that the information called for by paragraphs (a) through (l) shall be given with respect to each partner of such partnership or limited partnership, each member of such syndicate or group and each person who controls such partner or member. If any such partner, member or person is a corporation, or the person required to file the statement referred to in subsection (1) is a corporation, the commissioner may require that the information called for by paragraphs (a) through (l) shall be given with respect to such corporation, each officer and director of such corporation and each person who is directly or indirectly the beneficial owner of more than ten percent (10%) of the outstanding voting securities of such corporation.
If any material change occurs in the facts set forth in the statement filed with the commissioner and sent to such insurer pursuant to this section, an amendment setting forth such change, together with copies of all documents and other material relevant to such change, shall be filed with the commissioner and sent to such insurer within two (2) business days after the person learns of such change.
(3) If any offer, request, invitation, agreement or acquisition referred to in subsection (1) is proposed to be made by means of a registration statement under the Securities Act of 1933 or in circumstances requiring the disclosure of similar information under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or under a state law requiring similar registration or disclosure, the person required to file the statement referred to in subsection (1) may utilize such documents in furnishing the information called for by that statement.
(4)(a) The commissioner shall approve any merger or other acquisition of control referred to in subsection (1) unless, after a public hearing thereon, he finds that:
(i) After the change of control, the domestic insurer referred to in subsection (1) would not be able to satisfy the requirements for the issuance of a license to write the line or lines of insurance for which it is presently licensed;
(ii) The effect of the merger or other acquisition of control would be substantially to lessen competition in insurance in this state or tend to create a monopoly therein;
(iii) The financial condition of any acquiring party is such as might jeopardize the financial stability of the insurer, or prejudice the interest of its policyholders;
(iv) The plans or proposals which the acquiring party has to liquidate the insurer, sell its assets or consolidate or merge it with any person, or to make any other material change in its business or corporate structure or management, are unfair and unreasonable to policyholders of the insurer and not in the public interest;
(v) The competence, experience and integrity of those persons who would control the operation of the insurer are such that it would not be in the interest of policyholders of the insurer and of the public to permit the merger or other acquisition of control; or
(vi) The acquisition is likely to be hazardous or prejudicial to the insurance buying public.
(b) The public hearing referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection shall be commenced not less than thirty (30) days after the statement required by subsection (1) is filed, and at least twenty (20) days' notice thereof shall be given by the commissioner to the person filing the statement. Not less than seven (7) days' notice of such public hearing shall be given by the person filing the statement to the insurer and to such other persons as may be designated by the commissioner. The commissioner shall make a determination within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of such hearing. At such hearing, the person filing the statement, the insurer, any person to whom notice of hearing was sent, and any other person whose interest may be affected thereby shall have the right to present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and offer oral and written arguments and in connection therewith shall be entitled to conduct discovery proceedings. All discovery proceedings shall be concluded not later than three (3) days prior to the commencement of the public hearing.
(c) The commissioner may retain at the acquiring person's expense any attorneys, actuaries, accountants and other experts not otherwise a part of the commissioner's staff as may be reasonably necessary to assist the commissioner in reviewing the proposed acquisition of control.
(5) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any offer, request, invitation, agreement or acquisition which the commissioner by order shall exempt therefrom as (i) not having been made or entered into for the purpose and not having the effect of changing or influencing the control of a domestic insurer, or (ii) as otherwise not comprehended within the purposes of this section.
(6) The following shall be violations of this section:
(a) The failure to file any statement, amendment or other material required to be filed pursuant to subsection (1) or (2); or
(b) The effectuation or any attempt to effectuate an acquisition of control of, or merger with, a domestic insurer unless the commissioner has given his approval thereto.
(7) The courts of this state are hereby vested with jurisdiction over every person not resident, domiciled or authorized to do business in this state who files a statement with the commissioner under this section, and overall actions involving such person arising out of violations of this section, and each such person shall be deemed to have performed acts equivalent to and constituting an appointment by such a person of the commissioner to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served all lawful process in any action, suit or proceeding arising out of violations of this section. Copies of all such lawful process shall be served on the commissioner and transmitted by registered or certified mail by the commissioner to such person at his last known address.
SECTION 11. Section 83-17-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-17-101. Whenever used in this article, certain terms shall be defined as follows:
(a) The term "agent" shall include all individuals, partnerships and any corporation incorporated pursuant to Sections 79-10-1 through 79-10-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, being the Mississippi Professional Corporation Act, and Sections 79-29-901 through 79-29-933, being the Mississippi Limited Liability Company Act, except as otherwise limited by Section 83-17-105 * * *, who act in any manner, directly or indirectly, as such in the solicitation of, negotiation for, or procurement or making of a contract of life, health or accident insurance, or making of an annuity contract, and includes hospital service association agents; except that the term "agent" shall not include any regular salaried officer or employee of a licensed insurer or of a licensed insurance agent who does not solicit or accept from the public applications for any such contract. A regular salaried officer or employee of an insurer authorized to do business in this state shall not be deemed to be an "agent" by reason of rendering assistance to or on behalf of a licensed insurance agent, provided that such salaried officer or employee devotes substantially all of his time to activities other than the solicitation of applications for life, health or accident insurance or annuity contracts and receives no commission or other compensation directly dependent upon the amount of business obtained. The possessor of an insurable interest in any risk or subject of insurance shall not be deemed an agent by reason of procuring or maintaining, or agreeing to procure or maintain, insurance extending to such interests, together with the interest or interests of others in such risk or subject of insurance, however the cost may be borne.
(b) The term "supervising general agent" as used in this article refers to and includes any person, partnership, association or corporation, having authority to serve as trustees, managers or administrators, except attorneys at law, for such licensed insurance companies or their insureds in the handling of insurance programs underwritten by such licensed insurance companies, or in which they may be participating.
(c) The term "insurance contract" shall mean any contract or policy affecting life, health or accident insurance or any annuity contract on behalf of any company or insurer engaged in the business of writing life, health or accident insurance or annuity contracts.
(d) The term "excess risk" shall mean all or any portion of a life, health or accident insurance risk or contract of annuity for which application is made to an agent and which exceeds the amount of insurance or annuity which will be provided by the insurer for which such agent is licensed.
(e) The term "rejected risk" shall mean a life, health or accident insurance risk or annuity contract for which application has been made to an agent and which insurance or annuity contract is declined by the insurer for which such agent is licensed.
(f) The term "commissioner" shall mean the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Mississippi.
(g) The terms "company" and "insurer" shall mean a corporation, association, hospital and/or medical service association, exchange, order or society writing life, health and accident and/or hospital insurance or annuity contracts, but shall not include fraternal societies as defined in Section 83-29-1.
(h) The term "person" shall mean any individual, partnership or corporation incorporated pursuant to Sections 79-10-1 through 79-10-117, being the Mississippi Professional Corporation Act, and Sections 79-29-901 through 79-29-933, being the Mississippi Limited Liability Company Act, except as otherwise limited by Section 83-17-105 * * *.
SECTION 12. Section 83-19-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-19-1. Insurance companies may be formed for the following classifications:
Class 1. Fire and Casualty.
(a) Fire and Allied Lines. Coverage protecting against loss to real or personal property from damage caused by the peril of fire, lightning, windstorm and hail, sprinkler and water damage, smoke, explosion, riot, riot attending strike, civil commotion, aircraft, vehicle and business interruption caused by one of the above.
(b) Industrial Fire. Limited coverage protecting against loss to real or personal property from damage caused by the peril of fire, lightning, windstorm and hail, sprinkler and water damage, smoke, explosion, riot, riot attending strike, civil commotion, aircraft, vehicle and business interruption caused by one of the above.
(c) Casualty/Liability. Coverage protecting the insured against legal liability resulting from negligence, carelessness or a failure to act causing property damage or personal injury to others. Coverage may include burglary and theft.
(d) Fidelity. A bond covering an employer's loss resulting from an employee's dishonest act.
(e) Surety. A three-party agreement where the insurer agrees to pay a second party (the obligee) or make complete an obligation in response to the default, acts or omissions of a third party (the principal).
(f) Workers' Compensation. Coverage for an employer's liability for injuries, disability or death to persons in their employment, without regard to fault, as prescribed by state workers' compensation laws.
(g) Boiler and Machinery. Coverage for the failure of boilers, machinery and electrical equipment.
(h) Plate Glass. Coverage for the cost of replacement and incidental cost of building glass due to breakage or application of chemicals to glass.
(i) Aircraft. Coverage for aircraft (hull) and contents; aircraft owner's and manufacturer's liability to passengers, airports and other third parties.
(j) Inland Marine. Coverage for inland transportation exposures, property in transit, held by a bailee, scheduled, bridges and tunnels.
(k) Ocean Marine. Coverage for ocean and inland water transportation exposures; goods or cargoes; ships or hulls.
(l) Automobile Physical Damage/Automobile Liability. Coverage protecting against loss to owner's vehicle, personal injury and damage to property of others.
(m) Homeowners/Farmowners. A package policy covering real and personal property, liability and theft.
(n) Guaranty. An indemnity contract under which loss is payable upon proof of occurrence of financial loss to an insured claimant, obligee or indemnitee as a result of failure to perform a financial obligation.
(o) Mortgage Guaranty. Coverage indemnifying a lender from loss when a borrower fails to meet required mortgage payments.
(p) Title. Coverage protecting the insured against risk resulting from defective titles or invalidity or adverse claim to title.
(q) Trip Accident and Baggage. Coverage protecting the insured against risk resulting from accidental death; loss or damage to personal effects carried as baggage in connection with transportation provided by a common carrier.
(r) Legal. Coverage protecting the insured against the risk resulting from the cost of legal services.
Class 2. Life.
(a) Life. Insurance contract for the payment of endowments or annuities, or make and enter into such other contracts conditioned upon the continuance or cessation of human life.
(b) Accident and Health. Individual or group policy or contract of insurance against loss resulting from sickness or bodily injury, including dental care expenses resulting from sickness or bodily injury, or death by accident, or accidental means, or both.
(c) Credit Life, Credit Accident and Health. Insurance on the life of a debtor in connection with a specific loan or other credit transactions; 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.
(d) Industrial Life, Industrial Accident and Health. Limited insurance coverage protecting the insured in case of death, bodily injury or disability.
(e) Variable Contracts. Contract which provides for annuity benefits which may vary according to the investment experience of any separate account or accounts maintained by the insurer as to such contract.
(f) Life (Burial). A limited life contract for payment of the burial expenses of the insured.
Class 3. Fraternal. Coverage for the mutual benefit of fraternal members and their beneficiaries and not for profit or which limits its membership to a secret fraternity having a lodge system and representative form of government. Benefits may be paid in case of death, disability, funeral expenses, monuments or tombstones.
Class 4. Burial. Insurance coverage protecting the insured against the risk resulting from the cost of burial expenses.
Class 5. Home Warranty. A contract or agreement, designated as a service contract, maintenance agreement, extended warranty or any similar term, whereby a person for a specified period of time indemnifies the warranty holder for a predetermined fee against the cost of repair or replacement.
SECTION 13. Section 83-19-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-19-11. The procedure for organizing such a corporation shall be as follows: The proposed incorporators, a majority of whom must be residents of the state and not less than three (3), shall subscribe articles of association setting forth their intention to form a corporation; its proposed name, which must be approved by the commissioner and must not so closely resemble the name of an existing corporation doing business under the laws of this state as to be likely to mislead the public; the class or classes of insurance it proposes to transact and on what business plan or principle; the place within the state of its location; and, if on the stock plan, the amount of its capital stock. The words "insurance company" must be a part of the title of any such corporation.
SECTION 14. Section 83-19-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-19-13. Any such company may adopt bylaws for the conduct of its business not repugnant to law or to its charter, and shall therein provide for the election of a minimum of three (3) directors. The bylaws may provide for the division of its board of directors into two (2), three (3) or four (4) classes and the election thereof at its annual meetings in such manner as that the members of one (1) class only shall retire and their successors be chosen each year. Vacancies in any such class may be filled by election by the board for the unexpired term.
SECTION 15. Section 83-31-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-31-1. Any number of persons not less than three (3), a majority of whom shall be bona fide residents of this state, by complying with the provisions of this chapter, may become, together with others who may hereafter be associated with them or their successors, a body corporate for the purpose of carrying on the business of mutual insurance as herein provided.
SECTION 16. Section 83-19-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-19-73. (1) All domestic stock, * * * insurance companies and associations of every kind and nature doing business in this state shall maintain at all times a surplus, after deduction of reserves and exclusive of capital, if any, of not less than the amount set out in the following schedule.
(a) Companies formed to write plate glass, fire, windstorm, extended coverages, related coverages, wet marine or inland marine risks, a surplus of Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($600,000.00);
(b) Companies formed to transact the business of fidelity, casualty, surety and guaranty insurance, a surplus of Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($600,000.00);
(c) Companies formed for the purpose of transacting the business authorized under paragraphs (g) and (h) of Section 83-19-1, a surplus of Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($600,000.00);
(d) Companies formed for the purpose of transacting ordinary life insurance or accident and health insurance, or companies formed to write both lines, a surplus of Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($600,000.00);
(e) Companies formed for the purpose of transacting the business of life insurance on the industrial plan, or accident and health insurance on the industrial plan, or life, accident and health insurance on the industrial plan, a surplus of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00).
Provided, however, companies which may be formed to write coverages in more than one (1) subsection above, and being what is commonly known as multiple line companies, shall maintain a surplus of not less than Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($900,000.00). All mutual and reciprocal companies shall possess at the time of initial license and maintain thereafter a surplus, after deductions for reserves, in an amount equal to the capital and surplus requirements of a stock company writing similar lines of insurance.
* * *
(2) If at any time the surplus of such domestic company or association shall be less than the surplus set out in the foregoing schedule, such company or association shall be considered impaired; and it shall be the duty of the secretary-treasurer, directors and other proper officers of such company or association to report any such impairment of surplus to the Commissioner of Insurance of this state in writing within ten (10) days after such impairment occurs. When any such impairment is reported, or if the Commissioner of Insurance should otherwise gain knowledge of the fact that the surplus of any such company or association has been impaired, the commissioner shall forthwith suspend the certificate of authority or license of such domestic insurance company or association to do business in this state until such company shall raise or increase its surplus to the amount equal to that required herein.
* * *
SECTION 17. Section 83-31-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-31-21. No such company shall issue policies or transact any business of insurance unless it shall hold a license from the commissioner authorizing the transaction of such business. Such license shall not be issued until and unless the company shall have in paid-up or contributed surplus the amount required in Section 83-19-73.
* * *
SECTION 18. Section 83-19-119, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-19-119. (1) The effect of the merger or consolidation shall be as provided in Section 79-4-11.06.
(2) The plan of exchange and the issuance and exchange of securities provided for therein shall become effective when the agreement of exchange has been recorded by the commissioner, or upon such later date as may be specified in such agreement, which may not be later than thirty (30) days after such recording. Upon the plan of exchange becoming effective, the issuance and exchange of securities provided for therein shall be deemed to have been consummated, each shareholder of the domestic company shall cease to be a shareholder of such company and the ownership of all shares of the issued and outstanding stock of the domestic company shall vest in the acquiring corporation automatically without any physical transfer or deposit of certificates representing such shares.
Certificates representing shares of stock of the domestic company prior to the plan of exchange becoming effective shall, after the plan of exchange becomes effective, represent (a) shares of the issued and outstanding capital stock or other securities issued by the acquiring corporation; and (b) the right, if any, to receive such cash or other consideration upon such terms as shall be specified in the plan of exchange. Such certificates representing shares of stock of the domestic company may, after the plan of exchange becomes effective, be exchanged for shares of stock or other securities issued by the acquiring corporation or cash or other consideration or any combination thereof upon such terms as shall be specified in the plan of exchange.
SECTION 19. Section 83-27-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-27-1. Any company * * * incorporated and organized under the laws of any state of the United States for the purpose of transacting business as surety on obligations of persons or corporations, which has complied with all the requirements of this chapter may be accepted as surety in part, or as sole surety, upon the bond of any person, officer or corporation required by the laws of this state to execute a bond or bonds. Such company may be substituted as sole surety or as co-surety for a surety or sureties on bonds already given, and may be released from liability on the same terms and conditions as are by law prescribed for the substitution and release of individuals as sureties. Where a surety company subscribes to a bond, it shall not be necessary that there shall be additional sureties. In all cases where such company shall become surety for part only of any bond, its liability on such bond shall be limited to the amount for which it becomes surety. All surety companies shall possess the capital and surplus requirements as required in Sections 83-19-31 and 83-21-3.
SECTION 20. Section 83-39-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-39-3. (1) No person shall act in the capacity of professional bail agent, soliciting bail agent or bail enforcement agent, as defined in Section 83-39-1, or perform any of the functions, duties or powers of the same unless that person shall be qualified and licensed as provided in this chapter. The terms of this chapter shall not apply to any automobile club or association, financial institution, insurance company or other organization or association or their employees who execute bail bonds on violations arising out of the use of a motor vehicle by their members, policyholders or borrowers when bail bond is not the principal benefit of membership, the policy of insurance or of a loan to such member, policyholder or borrower.
(2) No license shall be issued except in compliance with this chapter, and none shall be issued except to an individual. No firm, partnership, association or corporation, as such, shall be so licensed. No professional bail agent shall operate under more than one (1) trade name. A soliciting bail agent and bail enforcement agent shall operate only under the professional bail agent's name. No person who has ever been convicted of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude * * *, or who has not been a resident of this state for at least one (1) year, unless presently licensed for bail bonds, or who is under twenty-one (21) years of age, shall be issued a license hereunder. No person engaged as a law enforcement or judicial official or attorney shall be licensed hereunder. No person licensed under this chapter shall act as a personal surety agent in the writing of bail during a period he or she is licensed as a limited surety agent, as defined herein.
(3) The department is vested with the authority to enforce this chapter. The department may conduct investigations or request other state, county or local officials to conduct investigations and promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. The department may establish monetary fines and collect such fines as necessary for the enforcement of such rules and regulations. All fines collected shall be deposited in the Special Insurance Department Fund for the operation of that agency.
(4) Each license issued hereunder shall expire annually on the last day of May, unless revoked or suspended prior thereto by the department, or upon notice served upon the commissioner by the insurer that the authority of a limited surety agent to act for or in behalf of such insurer had been terminated, or upon notice served upon the commissioner by a professional bail agent that the employment of a soliciting bail agent or bail enforcement agent had been terminated by such professional bail agent.
(5) The department shall prepare and deliver to each licensee a certificate showing the name, address and classification of such licensee, and shall certify that the person is a licensed professional bail agent, being either a personal surety agent or a limited surety agent, a soliciting bail agent or a bail enforcement agent. In addition, the certificate, if for a soliciting bail agent or bail enforcement agent, shall show the name of the professional bail agent and any other information as the commissioner deems proper.
(6) The commissioner, after a hearing under Section 83-39-17, may refuse to issue a privilege license for a soliciting bail agent to change from one professional bail agent to another if he owes any premium or debt to the professional bail agent with whom he is currently licensed.
SECTION 21. Section 83-39-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-39-5. Any person desiring to engage in the business of professional bail agent, soliciting bail agent or bail enforcement agent in this state shall apply to the department for a license on forms prepared and furnished by the department. The application for a license, or renewal thereof, shall set forth, under oath, the following information:
(a) Full name, age, date of birth, Social Security number, residence during the previous five (5) years, occupation and business address of the applicant.
(b) Spouse's full name, occupation and business address.
(c) A photograph of the applicant and a full set of
fingerprints * * *.
(d) A statement that he is not licensed to practice law in the State of Mississippi or any other state and that no attorney or any convicted felon has any interest in his application, either directly or indirectly.
(e) Any other information as may be required by this chapter or by the department.
(f) In the case of a professional bail agent, a statement that he will actively engage in the bail bond business.
(g) In the case of a soliciting bail agent, a statement that he will be employed or used by only one (1) professional bail agent and that the professional bail agent will supervise his work and be responsible for his conduct in his work. A professional bail agent shall sign the application of each soliciting bail agent employed or used by him.
SECTION 22. Section 83-39-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-39-7. Each applicant for professional bail agent who acts as personal surety shall be required to post a qualification bond in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) with the department. Any professional bail agent making application for license renewal, as herein provided, who shall have furnished bail in fifty (50) or more criminal cases shall post such bond in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00). The qualification bond shall be made by depositing with the commissioner the aforesaid amount of cash or bonds of the United States, State of Mississippi, or any agency or subdivision thereof, or shall be written by an insurer as defined in this chapter, shall meet the specifications as may be required and defined in this chapter, and shall meet such specifications as may be required and approved by the department. The bond shall be conditioned upon the full and prompt payment of any bail bond issued by such professional bail agent into the court ordering the bond forfeited. The bond shall be to the people of the State of Mississippi in favor of any court of this state, whether municipal, justice, county, circuit, Supreme or other court. If any bond issued by a professional bail agent is declared forfeited and judgment entered thereon by a court of proper jurisdiction and the amount of the bond is not paid within ninety (90) days, that court shall order the department to declare the qualification bond of the professional bail agent to be forfeited and the license revoked. The department shall then order the surety on the qualification bond to deposit with the court an amount equal to the amount of the bond issued by the professional bail agent and declared forfeited by the court, or the amount of the qualification bond, whichever is the smaller amount. The department shall, after hearing held upon not less than ten (10) days' written notice, suspend the license of the professional bail agent until such time as another qualification bond in the required amount is posted with the department. The revocation of the license of the professional bail agent shall also serve to revoke the license of each soliciting bail agent and bail enforcement agent employed or used by such professional bail agent. In the event of a final judgment of forfeiture of any bail bond written under the provisions of this chapter, the amount of money so forfeited by the final judgment of the proper court, less all accrued court costs and excluding any interest charges or attorney's fees, shall be refunded to the bail agent or his insurance company upon proper showing to the court as to which is entitled to same, provided the defendant in such cases is returned to the sheriff of the county to which the original bail bond was returnable within twelve (12) months of the date of such final judgment, or proof made of incarceration of the defendant in another jurisdiction, and that "hold order" has been placed upon the defendant for return of the defendant to the sheriff upon release from the other jurisdiction, then the bond forfeiture shall be stayed and remission made upon petition to the court, in the amount found in the court's discretion to be just and proper. A bail agent licensed under this chapter shall have a right to apply for and obtain from the proper court an extension of time delaying a final judgment of forfeiture if such bail agent can satisfactorily establish to the court wherein such forfeiture is pending that the defendant named in the bail bond is lawfully in custody outside of the State of Mississippi.
SECTION 23. Section 83-43-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-43-3. As used in this chapter:
(a) "Dentists" means persons holding a license to practice dentistry under Sections 73-9-1 through 73-9-65, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(b) "Dental services" include the general and usual services rendered and care administered by dentists as defined in Sections 73-9-1 through 73-9-65, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(c) "Nonprofit dental service corporation" includes a corporation organized and operated under the provisions of Section 79-11-101, Mississippi Code of 1972, and all other applicable statutes governing nonprofit corporations.
(d) "State Board of Health" means Mississippi State Board of Health.
(e) "Court" means the chancery court of the county where the principal office of the nonprofit dental corporation is or is to be located.
SECTION 24. Section 83-1-25, Mississippi Code of 1972, which authorizes the Commissioner of Insurance to conduct financial examinations of domestic insurance companies, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 25. Section 83-19-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, which prescribes the form of certificates of authority and requires filing with the Secretary of State, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 26. Section 83-21-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, which requires the Commissioner of Insurance to revoke the certificate of authority of a foreign insurance company when the foreign insurance company makes application to remove any action or proceeding commenced in any court of this state upon a claim or cause of action arising out of any transaction done in this state, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 27. Section 83-5-207, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
83-5-207. (1) Upon determining that an examination should be conducted, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall issue an examination warrant appointing one or more examiners to perform the examination and instructing them as to the scope of the examination. In conducting the examination, the examiner shall observe those guidelines and procedures set forth in the Examiners' Handbook adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The commissioner may also employ such other guidelines or procedures as the commissioner may deem appropriate.
(2) Every company or person from whom information is sought, its officers, directors and agents, must provide to the examiners appointed under subsection (1) timely, convenient and free access, at all reasonable hours at its offices, to all books, records, accounts, papers, documents and any or all computer or other recordings relating to the property, assets, business and affairs of the company being examined. The officers, directors, employees and agents of the company or person must facilitate the examination and aid in the examination, so far as it is in their power to do so. The refusal of any company, by its officers, directors, employees or agents, to submit to examination or to comply with any reasonable written request of the examiners shall be grounds for suspension or refusal of or nonrenewal of any license or authority held by the company to engage in an insurance or other business subject to the commissioner's jurisdiction. Any such proceedings for suspension, revocation or refusal of any license or authority shall be conducted in accordance with Section 83-1-29, 83-5-17, 83-5-67, 83-5-83 * * * or 83-21-13.
(3) The commissioner or any of his examiners shall have the power to issue subpoenas, to administer oaths and to examine under oath any person as to any matter pertinent to the examination. Upon the failure or refusal of any person to obey a subpoena, the commissioner may petition a court of competent jurisdiction, and, upon proper showing, the court may enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. Failure to obey the court order shall be punishable as contempt of court.
(4) When making an examination under Sections 83-5-201 through 83-5-217, the commissioner may retain attorneys, appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants or other professionals and specialists as examiners, the cost of which shall be borne by the company which is the subject of the examination.
(5) Nothing contained in Sections 83-5-201 through 83-5-217 shall be construed to limit the commissioner's authority to terminate or suspend any examination in order to pursue other legal or regulatory action under the insurance laws of this state. Findings of fact and conclusions made pursuant to any examination shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or regulatory action.
(6) Nothing contained in Sections 83-5-201 through 83-5-217 shall be construed to limit the commissioner's authority to use and, if appropriate, to make public any final or preliminary examination report, any examiner or company work papers or other documents or any other information discovered or developed during the course of any examination in the furtherance of any legal or regulatory action which the commissioner, in his or her sole discretion, may deem appropriate.
SECTION 28. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.