1998 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Kirby, White (29th), Johnson (19th)
Senate Bill 2388
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO REENACT SECTIONS 83-3-2, 83-3-5, 83-3-7, 83-3-9, 83-3-11, 83-3-13, 83-3-17, 83-3-19, 83-3-21, 83-3-23, 83-3-24 AND 83-3-121, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH CREATE THE INSURANCE RATING BUREAU AND PRESCRIBE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; TO REPEAL SECTION 83-3-301, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH REPEALS THE LAWS THAT CREATE THE RATING BUREAU AND PRESCRIBES ITS POWERS AND DUTIES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 83-3-2, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-2. Any reference to Insurance Commission in Title 83 shall mean the Commissioner of Insurance.
SECTION 2. Section 83-3-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-5. All fire insurance companies organized or admitted to do business in this state shall maintain a Rating Bureau, to be composed of such number of persons resident in this state as shall be desired and who shall be skilled in the business of fire insurance rating, fire hazard, fire protection engineering, and fire insurance inspection. Said Rating Bureau may be chartered or operated as a corporation, or association, or limited partnership, and shall provide for such officers, board of directors, and bylaws as it may deem proper, and change or alter the same from time to time as may be necessary. The Rating Bureau shall maintain an office in the Jackson metropolitan area; and all of the correspondence, files, papers, and documents of such Rating Bureau shall be preserved by said bureau, and shall be opened at all times to the inspection and examination of any insured or any person interested.
SECTION 3. Section 83-3-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-7. Each fire insurance company licensed to do business in this state shall become a member of the Rating Bureau and shall pay its proportion of the expenses of organization, maintenance, and operation of said bureau, as provided in Section 83-3-9.
SECTION 4. Section 83-3-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-9. The expense of the organization, maintenance, and operation of the Rating Bureau shall be paid by the members of the bureau, and no part of said expense shall in any event be paid by the state or by any county or municipality. The expense not covered by user fees shall be shared by all members through an annual assessment as established by the board of directors with due consideration given to the extent of utilization of bureau services. Upon failure of any company to pay its lawful proportion of said expense within thirty (30) days after the same is due and payable, the Rating Bureau may refuse to furnish its service to such delinquent member, and shall report such delinquency to the Commissioner of Insurance, who for such delinquency may suspend or revoke the license of such delinquent company. The bureau shall establish equitable fees for its services sufficient to cover the operations required under Section 83-2-1 et seq.
SECTION 5. Section 83-3-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-11. It shall be the duty of the Rating Bureau to provide a fund sufficient to enable it to inspect every risk specifically rated, to make a written survey of such risks, to pay the salary or expense of its officers and employees, and to cover any other expense which may be necessary or proper to enable it to comply with and enforce the provisions of this article. All of the expense fund shall be provided and paid by the fire insurance companies doing business in this state.
SECTION 6. Section 83-3-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-13. The Rating Bureau, through its members and employees, shall inspect every risk specifically rated by it on schedule, and make a written survey of such risk, which shall be filed as a permanent record in such Rating Bureau. A copy of such survey shall be furnished to the owner, other person in interest, or the Commissioner of Insurance upon request.
SECTION 7. Section 83-3-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-17. The Rating Bureau, or any of its officers, shall not make any contract or agreement, express or implied, with any person, insurer, or party insured, that the whole, or any part, of the insurance shall be written or placed with any particular insurer.
SECTION 8. Section 83-3-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-19. The Rating Bureau is required to answer any inquiries that may be made by the Commissioner of Insurance touching its organization, maintenance, operation, or any other matter connected with its transactions; and said commissioner may require the filing of such other information as the commissioner may deem proper. It shall be the duty of such bureau to promptly make reply to such inquiries, in writing, and to furnish the information requested by the Commissioner of Insurance.
SECTION 9. Section 83-3-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-21. The Commissioner of Insurance shall have the power to examine the Rating Bureau as often as he deems expedient, at the expense of the bureau. The commissioner shall report his findings in writing, which shall be filed in his office and made a part of the annual report of his office; and a copy thereof shall be filed with the Attorney General for the information of the legal department of the state.
SECTION 10. Section 83-3-23, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-23. The Rating Bureau shall not recommend any rate for insurance upon property in this state which discriminates unfairly in the same territorial classification between risks in the application of like charges and credits, or which discriminates unfairly between risks of essentially the same hazard and having substantially the same degree of protection against fire.
SECTION 11. Section 83-3-24, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-24. When rating a municipality or fire district, the Rating Bureau shall consider the mileage, condition and maintenance of the fire truck rather than the age of such fire truck. For the purpose of grading fire departments, the alternative water supply standard shall be two hundred fifty (250) gallons per minute for a sustained period of one (1) hour.
SECTION 12. Section 83-3-121, Mississippi Code of 1972, is reenacted as follows:
83-3-121. No insurance company, or employee thereof, and no broker or agent shall knowingly charge, demand, or receive a premium for any policy of insurance except in accordance with the applicable filing approved in the manner herein provided. No such insurer or employee or agent thereof shall pay, allow, or give, or offer to pay, allow, or give, directly or indirectly, as an inducement to insurance or after insurance has been affected, any rebate, discount, abatement, credit, or reduction of the premium named in a policy of insurance, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits to accrue thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever, not specified in the policy of insurance. No insured named in a policy of insurance nor any employee of such insured shall knowingly receive or accept, directly or indirectly, any such rebate, discount, abatement, or reduction of premium, or any special favor or advantage or valuable consideration or inducement. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as prohibiting the payment of commissions or other compensation to duly licensed agents, nor as prohibiting any participating insurer from distributing to its policyholders dividends, savings, or the unused or unabsorbed portion of premiums or premium deposits.
SECTION 13. Section 83-3-301, Mississippi Code of 1972, which repeals the laws that create the Rating Bureau and prescribe its powers and duties, is hereby repealed.
SECTION 14. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.