MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2004 Regular Session

To: Insurance; Finance

By: Senator(s) Kirby

Senate Bill 2668

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 27-15-83, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRIVILEGE TAX ON FOREIGN INSURANCE COMPANIES; TO AMEND SECTION 27-15-85, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRIVILEGE TAX ON INCORPORATED INSURANCE AGENCIES AND GENERAL AGENCIES; TO AMEND SECTION 27-15-87, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRIVILEGE TAX ON FIRE, CASUALTY, LIABILITY, FIDELITY, SURETY, GUARANTY OR INLAND MARINE AGENTS OR SOLICITORS; TO AMEND SECTION 27-15-93, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRIVILEGE TAX ON INCORPORATED LIFE, HEALTH OR ACCIDENT INSURANCE AGENCIES; TO AMEND SECTION 27-15-95, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE PRIVILEGE TAX ON HEALTH, ACCIDENT AND INDUSTRIAL LIFE INSURANCE AGENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 27-59-11, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE TAX LEVIED UPON LIQUEFIED COMPRESSED GAS DISTRIBUTORS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-2-35, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEE FOR EACH FORM OR RATE FILING FILED WITH THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-73, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE GENERAL FEES PAID TO THE COMMISSIONER OF INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-75, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEES PAID BY FRATERNAL ORDERS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-5-77, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEES FOR PUBLICATION OF ANNUAL STATEMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-7-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEE FOR COMMISSIONER'S APPROVAL OF THE FORM OF LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-9-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE FEE FOR COMMISSIONER'S APPROVAL OF THE FORM OF HEALTH AND ACCIDENT POLICIES; TO AMEND SECTION 83-11-237, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE ANNUAL REGISTRATION FEE FOR AUTOMOBILE CLUB AGENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-11-243, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO IMPOSE A FEE FOR THE FILING OF FINANCIAL STATEMENTS BY AUTOMOBILE CLUBS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-18-27, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO IMPOSE A FEE FOR THE FILING OF ANNUAL REPORTS BY INSURANCE ADMINISTRATORS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-21-17, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE ANNUAL FEE ON NONADMITTED INSURERS FOR CERTIFICATION REVIEW; TO AMEND SECTION 83-49-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE ANNUAL LICENSE FEE REQUIRED FOR SPONSORS OTHER THAN INSURERS; TO AMEND SECTION 83-49-47, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE ANNUAL LICENSE FEE FOR AGENTS OR REPRESENTATIVES OF SPONSORS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 27-15-83, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-15-83. (1) Upon each foreign insurance company licensed as a single line company defined under Section 83-19-1, the privilege tax is as follows:

(a) Fire and Allied Lines and/or

Industrial Fire.......................... $400.00

(b) Casualty/Liability....................... $400.00

(c) Fidelity and/or Surety................... $400.00

(d) Workers' Compensation.................... $400.00

(e) Boiler and Machinery..................... $400.00

(f) Plate Glass.............................. $400.00

(g) Aircraft................................. $400.00

(h) Inland Marine and/or Ocean Marine........ $400.00

(i) Automobile Physical Damage/Automobile

Liability................................ $400.00

(j) Homeowners/Farmowners.................... $400.00

(k) Guaranty/Mortgage Guaranty............... $400.00

(l) Trip Accident and Baggage................ $400.00

(m) Legal.................................... $400.00

(n) Life and/or Accident and Health;

Credit Life, Accident and Health;

Industrial Life, Accident and Health;

and Variable Contracts................... $400.00

(o) Title.................................... $400.00

(p) Fraternal................................ $100.00

(2) For any combination of classifications of a foreign insurance company, the privilege tax for a multiple line company shall be Six Hundred Fifty Dollars ($650.00).

(3) Any stock, mutual, reciprocal or reinsurance company shall pay the appropriate privilege tax for each line of insurance the company is licensed to underwrite.

(4) For each domestic insurance which has its home office located in Mississippi, the privilege tax shall be one-half (1/2) of the fees listed in this section.

(5) Each insurance company or association which amends its privilege license shall pay a fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00).

SECTION 2. Section 27-15-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-15-85. (1) Upon each incorporated insurance agency licensed to represent fire, casualty, liability, fidelity, surety, guaranty and inland marine insurance companies * * *........................................ $100.00.

 * * *

The license issued to such incorporated agency shall specify the type, types or kinds of insurance that such incorporated agency is licensed and qualified to transact. Every person acting as agent or solicitor for any such agency shall qualify under the provisions of Laws, 2001, Chapter 520; and no person shall be exempt from the privilege tax placed on insurance agents by this section by reason of the fact that he is a stockholder or officer in any such incorporated agency, or by reason of the fact that he represents such an agency * * *.

(2) Upon each incorporated general agent, as defined in Section 83-17-1....................................................... $100.00.

(3) Upon each incorporated "supervising general agent" for life, health and accident insurers as defined in Section

83-17-1................................................ $100.00.

The privilege licenses issued under this section to "supervising general agents" shall not constitute authority to solicit business within the State of Mississippi, and shall be renewed annually at the time and in the manner prescribed by Section 83-17-25 on application forms which shall be furnished by the Commissioner of Insurance and shall show the name of the insurance company or companies such "supervising general agent" represents, and other additional information as may be required by the Commissioner of Insurance.

SECTION 3. Section 27-15-87, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-15-87. * * * Each fire, casualty, liability, fidelity, surety, guaranty and/or inland marine agent or

solicitor * * *......................................... $50.00.

 * * *

Every agent or insurance solicitor for an agent, connected with any insurance agent, firm or corporation who solicits the sale of any of the above-named insurance, whether stock, mutual or reciprocal insurance carriers, directly or indirectly, shall be liable for the above tax.

Whenever a solicitor is employed by any such agent or agency to solicit business for its account, to be placed in the companies represented by said agent or agency, such agent or agency shall make application as provided for in Section 83-17-75(6), andSection 83-17-217, Mississippi Code of 1972, and pay the above tax on such solicitor and such license issued to him shall authorize such solicitor to solicit insurance for the agency.

 * * *

SECTION 4. Section 27-15-93, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-15-93. (1) Upon each incorporated insurance agency licensed to represent life, health or accident insurance

companies.............................................. $100.00.

The license issued to such incorporated agency shall specify the type, types or kinds of insurance that such incorporated agency is licensed and qualified to transact. Every person acting as agent for any such agency shall qualify under the provisions of Laws, 2001, Chapter 510; and no person shall be exempt from the privilege tax placed on insurance agents by this section by reason of the fact that he is a stockholder or officer in any such incorporated agency, or by reason of the fact that he represents such an agency, but every agent shall pay the privilege tax herein imposed.

(2) Upon each incorporated supervising general agent, as defined in Section 83-17-1................................................... $100.00.

(3) Upon each life insurance agent engaged exclusively in writing life insurance....................................................... $ 50.00.

And any life insurance company that knowingly issues a policy where the application has been submitted to it by an agent or other person who has not paid all the taxes herein imposed upon each agent or person shall be liable for and pay to the state the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each policy written.

Provided, that any insurance agent who has paid the tax required as a life insurance agent, shall be permitted to write health, accident and industrial insurance without the payment of additional tax.

SECTION 5. Section 27-15-95, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-15-95. Upon each person, other than an incorporated insurance agency taxed under Section 27-15-93, writing health and accident, or industrial life insurance$ 50.00.

SECTION 6. Section 27-59-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-59-11. (1) A tax at the rate of 0.0035 per gallon is hereby levied upon any person engaged in business as a distributor of compressed gas, excepting natural gas, for the privilege of engaging in such business or acting as such distributor. The tax shall be based on all compressed gas, excepting natural gas, stored, used, distributed, manufactured, refined, distilled, blended or compounded in this state or received in this state for sale, storage, distribution or for any other purpose.

The tax levied herein shall become due and payable when:

(a) Compressed gas is withdrawn from storage at a refinery, marine or pipeline terminal, or underground caverns or cavities except when withdrawal is by pipeline or barge;

(b) Compressed gas imported by a common carrier is unloaded by that carrier unless the compressed gas is unloaded directly into an underground cavern or cavity for storage or directly into the storage tanks of a refinery, marine or pipeline terminal; or

(c) Compressed gas imported by any person, other than a common carrier, enters the State of Mississippi, unless the compressed gas is unloaded directly into an underground cavern or cavity for storage or directly into the storage tanks of a refinery, marine or pipeline terminal.

(2) A tax at the rate of Seventeen Cents (17) per gallon until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and Thirteen and Four-tenths Cents (13.4) per gallon thereafter, is levied upon any distributor of compressed gas for the privilege of engaging in the business of selling or delivering compressed gas, excepting compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, for use in a motor vehicle or motor vehicles on the highways of this state. A tax at the rate of Eighteen Cents (18) per one hundred (100) cubic feet until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and Fourteen and Four-tenths Cents (14.4) per one hundred (100) cubic feet thereafter, is levied upon any distributor of compressed gas for the privilege of engaging in the business of selling or delivering compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas for use in a motor vehicle or motor vehicles on the highways of this state. A tax at the rate of Eighteen Cents (18) per one hundred (100) cubic feet until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and Fourteen and Four-tenths Cents (14.4) per one hundred (100) cubic feet thereafter, is levied upon any public utility for the privilege of engaging in the business of selling or delivering natural gas to a user for the purpose of being used as a fuel in a motor vehicle or motor vehicles on the highways of this state, and the taxes shall be collected from the user whenever practical. The taxes levied in this subsection shall not apply when sales or deliveries are made to persons who are holders of permitted compressed gas user's decals.

(3) Upon every person operating on the highways of this state a motor vehicle or motor vehicles using or capable of using compressed gas as a motor fuel and having a gross license tag weight classification of ten thousand (10,000) pounds or less, there is hereby levied an annual privilege tax of One Hundred Ninety-five Dollars ($195.00) until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and One Hundred Sixty-five Dollars ($165.00) thereafter.

(4) Upon every person operating on the highways of this state a motor vehicle or motor vehicles using or capable of using compressed gas and having a gross license tag weight classification greater than ten thousand (10,000) pounds, there is hereby levied a privilege tax of Seventeen Cents (17) per gallon until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and Thirteen and Four-tenths Cents (13.4) per gallon thereafter, on all compressed gas, excepting compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, used on the highways of this state. There is hereby levied a privilege tax of Eighteen Cents (18) per one hundred (100) cubic feet until the date specified in Section 65-39-35, and Fourteen and Four-tenths Cents (14.4) per one hundred (100) cubic feet thereafter, on all compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas used on the highways of this state. The taxes levied in this paragraph shall not apply to owners or operators classified by the commission as nonpermitted users.

(5) All owners and operators of motor vehicles that have a gross license tag weight classification greater than ten thousand (10,000) pounds, but not exceeding twenty thousand (20,000) pounds shall prepay Two Hundred Twenty-five Dollars ($225.00) of such tax annually, and all owners and operators of motor vehicles that have a gross license tag weight classification greater than twenty thousand (20,000) pounds shall prepay Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) of such tax annually. On motor vehicles that have a gross license tag weight exceeding ten thousand (10,000) pounds, that are exclusively used by a farmer for transporting farm products produced on his own farm and also farm supplies, materials and equipment used in the growing or production of his agricultural products and have a "farm" or "F" motor vehicle license tag, the prepaid portion of said privilege tax shall be One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00).

(6) The commission, in its discretion, may authorize or require the owner or operator of five (5) or more motor vehicles that use or are capable of using compressed gas on the highway to pay the excise tax on all compressed gas purchased for any purpose and the excise tax shall be collected by the distributor of compressed gas at the time of sale or delivery. The owners or operators authorized or required to do so shall be classified as nonpermitted users.

SECTION 7. Section 83-2-35, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-2-35. (1) This section applies to all forms of property and casualty insurance on risks or operations in this state by any insurer authorized to do business in this state, except:

(a) Accident and health;

(b) Ocean marine insurance;

(c) Reinsurance;

(d) Aircraft liability and aircraft hull insurance;

(e) Title insurance;

(f) Credit accident and health insurance.

(2) All such insurers shall pay to the Commissioner of Insurance a fee of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each form or rate filing filed with the commissioner. The commissioner shall pay such fees into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund."

SECTION 8. Section 83-5-73, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-5-73. The commissioner shall collect and pay into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund" the following fees: for certificate of authority to each * * * agent or manager, Twenty Dollars ($20.00); for filing and processing an agent's certificate of authority * * *, Twenty Dollars ($20.00); for filing and examining statement preliminary to admission, One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); for filing and processing a Form A application, Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00); for filing and auditing annual statement, Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00); for filing any other paper required by law, Fifty Dollars ($50.00); for continuing education courses or programs filed by the providers for approval, Fifty Dollars ($50.00); for each certification company licensed status, Forty Dollars ($40.00); for each seal when required, Twenty Dollars ($20.00); for service of process on the commissioner as attorney, Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00).

SECTION 9. Section 83-5-75, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-5-75. For all larger fraternal orders, as defined in Section 83-30-1, the commissioner shall collect charges as provided in Section 83-5-73, as well as all other fees and charges due and payable by any company, association, order or individual in his department. If a fraternal order is not a larger fraternal order under Section 83-30-1, the commissioner shall collect the following charges: for filing charter, etc., of fraternal orders doing an insurance business, preliminary to admission, Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00); for filing and auditing annual statement, Ten Dollars ($10.00); all other fees and charges due and payable by any company, association, order, or individual in his department.

SECTION 10. Section 83-5-77, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-5-77. For publication of annual statement, there shall be an Eighty Dollar ($80.00) fee of which Forty Dollars ($40.00) shall be paid to the publishers and Forty Dollars ($40.00) shall be paid to the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund". The commissioner shall receive for copy of any record or paper in his office, Fifty Cents (50) per page, and Twenty Dollars ($20.00) for certifying same, or any fact or data from the records of the office.

SECTION 11. Section 83-7-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-7-17. All life insurance companies other than fraternal beneficiary associations, authorized to do the business of life insurance in this state, are hereby required to print or stamp in conspicuous type on the face or first page of each and every policy sold to citizens of this state words indicating correctly and fully the kind and character of the policy. The same words shall also be printed or stamped on the back or title page of every such policy so that they may be easily seen and read when the policy is folded. Every such life insurance company shall submit to the commissioner for his approval the words required in this section to be printed on each policy, together with sample copy of every kind or class of policies offered for sale in this state; and every life insurance company shall print on each of its policies sold to citizens of this state such words as the insurance commissioner shall approve. The license of any insurance company doing business in this state may be revoked by the commissioner for violating any of the provisions of this section. A policy of life insurance shall not be issued or delivered in this state until the form has been approved and filed by the insurance commissioner.

The commissioner shall collect and pay into the Insurance Department Fund in the State Treasury a Twenty-five Dollar ($25.00) filing and processing fee for the following services provided under this section: each individual policy contract, including revisions; each group master policy or contract, including revisions; each group certificate, including revisions; each rider, endorsement or amendment, etc.; each insurance application where written application is required and is to be made a part of the policy or contract; each questionnaire; for each resubmission where payment is not included with the original submission; and for all tentative approvals.

 * * *

SECTION 12. Section 83-9-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-9-3. (1) No policy of accident and sickness insurance shall be delivered or issued for delivery to any person in this state unless:

(a) The entire money and other considerations therefor are expressed therein; and

(b) The time at which the insurance takes effect and terminates is expressed therein; and

(c) It purports to insure only one (1) person, except that a policy may insure, originally or by subsequent amendment, upon the application of an adult member of a family who shall be deemed the policyholder, any two (2) or more eligible members of that family, including husband, wife, dependent children or any children under a specified age which shall not exceed nineteen (19) years, and any other person dependent upon the policyholder; and

(d) The style, arrangement and overall appearance of the policy give no undue prominence to any portion of the text, and unless every printed portion of the text of the policy and of any endorsements or attached papers is plainly printed in lightfaced type of a style in general use, the size of which shall be uniform and not less than ten-point with a lowercase unspaced alphabet length not less than one hundred and twenty-point (the "text" shall include all printed matter except the name and address of the insurer, name or title of the policy, the brief description if any, and captions and subcaptions); and

(e) The exceptions and reductions of indemnity are set forth in the policy and, except those which are set forth in Section 83-9-5, are printed, at the insurer's option, either with the benefit provision to which they apply, or under an appropriate caption such as "Exceptions," or "Exceptions and Reductions," provided that if an exception or reduction specifically applies only to a particular benefit of the policy, a statement of such exception or reduction shall be included with the benefit provision to which it applies; and

(f) Each such form, including riders and endorsements, shall be identified by a form number in the lower left-hand corner of the first page thereof; and

(g) It contains no provision purporting to make any portion of the charter, rules, constitution or bylaws of the insurer a part of the policy unless such portion is set forth in full in the policy, except in the case of the incorporation of, or reference to, a statement of rates or classification of risks, or short-rate table filed with the commissioner.

(2) No individual or group policy covering health and accident insurance (including experience-rated insurance contracts, indemnity contracts, self-insured plans and self-funded plans), or any group combinations of these coverages, shall be issued by any commercial insurer doing business in this state which, by the terms of such policy, limits or excludes payment because the individual or group insured is eligible for or is being provided medical assistance under the Mississippi Medicaid Law. Any such policy provision in violation of this section shall be invalid.

(3) If any policy is issued by an insurer domiciled in this state for delivery to a person residing in another state, and if the official having responsibility for the administration of the insurance laws of such other state shall have advised the commissioner that any such policy is not subject to approval or disapproval by such official, the commissioner may, by ruling, require that such policy meet the standards set forth in subsection (1) of this section and in Section 83-9-5.

(4) The commissioner shall collect and pay into the Special Fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund" a Twenty-five Dollar ($25.00) filing and processing fee for the following services provided under this section: each individual policy contract, including revisions; each group master policy or contract, including revisions; each group certificate, including revisions; each rider, endorsement or amendment, etc.; each insurance application where written application is required and is to be made a part of the policy or contract; each questionnaire; for each resubmission where payment is not included with the original submission; for rate filings for Medicare supplement and long-term care; and for all tentative approvals.

 * * *

SECTION 13. Section 83-11-237, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-11-237. (1) An automobile club operating in this state pursuant to a certificate of authority issued hereunder shall, within thirty (30) days of the date of appointment, file with the commissioner a notice of appointment of a club agent by an automobile club to sell memberships in the automobile club to the public. This notification shall be upon such form as the commissioner may prescribe, shall contain the name, address, age, sex, and social security number of such club agent, and also contain proof satisfactory to the commissioner that such applicant is of good reputation and that he has received training from the club or is otherwise qualified in the field of automobile club service contracts and the laws of this state pertaining thereto. Upon termination of any club agent's appointment by an automobile club, such automobile club shall, within thirty (30) days thereafter, notify the commissioner of such termination.

(2) The registration fee for club agents shall be Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) annually, and such registration shall be renewable on April 1 of each year unless sooner revoked or suspended.

SECTION 14. Section 83-11-243, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-11-243. Each authorized automobile club shall annually, before March 1, file with the commissioner a true statement of its financial condition, transactions, and affairs as of December 31 preceding. The statement shall contain such information as may be reasonably required by the commissioner, and shall be verified by the oaths of at least two (2) of the automobile club's principal officers.

The commissioner shall collect and pay into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund" a fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for the filing of the statement of its financial condition, transactions and affairs.

The commissioner may suspend or revoke the certificate of authority of any automobile club failing to file its annual statement when due or during any extension of time therefor which the commissioner, for good cause, may grant.

SECTION 15. Section 83-18-27, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-18-27. (1) Each administrator shall file an annual report for the preceding calendar year with the commissioner on or before March 1 of each year, or within such extension of time therefor as the commissioner for good cause may grant. The report shall be in the form and contain such matters as the commissioner prescribes and shall be verified by at least two (2) officers of the administrator.

(2) The annual report shall include the complete names and addresses of all insurers with which the administrator had an agreement during the preceding fiscal year.

(3) The commissioner shall collect and pay into the special fund in the State Treasury designated as the "Insurance Department Fund" a fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for the filing of the annual report.

SECTION 16. Section 83-21-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-21-17. The Commissioner of Insurance shall annually promulgate a list of nonadmitted insurers and each such insurer shall meet the same requirements as to capital and surplus as is required of a company licensed to do business in the State of Mississippi and annually pay a filing fee of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) * * * for certification review as a nonadmitted insurer. An alien insurer shall be listed with the nonadmitted Insurers Information Office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In the case of an alien insurer authorized to transact insurance of the kind involved in at least one (1) state of the United States, the insurer must have unimpaired capital and/or surplus or an effective trust fund amounting to at least One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) and, in the case of a group including incorporated and individual unincorporated insurers, the trust fund must be in the amount of not less than Fifty Million Dollars ($50,000,000.00). The incorporated members of the group shall not be engaged in any business other than underwriting as a member of the group and shall be subject to the same level of solvency regulation and control by the group's domiciliary regulator as are the unincorporated members. In the case of an alien insurer not authorized to transact business in at least one (1) state of the United States, the insurer must have an established trust fund of at least One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00) within the United States administered by a recognized financial institution and held for the benefit of all its policyholders in the United States. The Commissioner of Insurance is specifically vested with authority to promulgate such rules and regulations as deemed necessary to carry out the provisions hereof and to publish a list of nonadmitted insurers found eligible for writing business in the State of Mississippi on a nonadmitted basis. The commissioner may, by giving seven (7) days' notice, at any time remove a nonadmitted insurer from such eligible list when it appears that such insurer no longer meets the requirements of the statute or regulations of the commissioner. When a nonadmitted insurer is placed upon or removed from the eligible list, all agents holding licenses under Sections 83-21-17 through 83-21-31 shall be notified of such eligibility or removal. Any agent of this state who places insurance with a nonadmitted insurer not on the list of eligible insurers shall be deemed in violation of the cited sections and shall be subject to revocation of license in the manner provided by statute for revocation of license of fire and casualty insurance agents.

SECTION 17. Section 83-49-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-49-7. (1) No person other than an insurer as defined herein shall act as a sponsor nor enter into any contract with an individual person or persons whereby such person or persons become subscribers to a prepaid legal services plan without first having obtained a license from the commissioner to act as sponsor of prepaid legal services in this state.

(2) The annual license fee shall not exceed Six Hundred Fifty Dollars ($650.00). The fee for said license shall be paid to the commissioner for the use of the state on or before March 1 of each year.

(3) Before any licensee changes his address, he shall return his license to the commissioner who shall endorse the license indicating the change.

(4) The person to whom the license or the renewal thereof may be issued shall file sworn answers, subject to the penalties of perjury, to such interrogatories as the commissioner may require. The commissioner shall have authority, at any time, to require the applicant to disclose fully the identity of all stockholders, partners, officers and employees, and he may, in his discretion, refuse to issue or renew a license in the name of any firm, partnership or corporation if he is not satisfied that any officer, employee, stockholder or partner thereof who may materially influence the applicant's conduct meets the standards of this chapter.

SECTION 18. Section 83-49-47, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

83-49-47. (1) No person shall act as a representative of a sponsor or agent of a sponsor as defined in Section 83-17-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, without first having obtained a license from the commissioner to act as an agent or representative of a sponsor of prepaid legal services in this state.

(2) The annual license fee shall be Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00). The fee for said license shall be paid to the commissioner on or before March 1 of each year.

(3) Before any licensee changes his address, he shall return his license to the commissioner, who shall endorse the license indicating the change.

(4) Each person to whom the license or the renewal thereof may be issued shall file sworn answers, subject to the penalties of perjury, to such interrogatories as the commissioner may require. The commissioner shall have authority, at any time, to require the applicant to disclose fully the identity of all stockholders, partners, officers and employees, and he may, in his discretion, refuse to issue or renew a license in the name of any firm, partnership or corporation if he is not satisfied that any officer, employee, stockholder or partner thereof who may materially influence the applicant's conduct meets the standards of this chapter.

(5) Upon the filing of an application and the payment of the license fee, the commissioner shall make an investigation of each applicant and shall issue a license if he finds the applicant is qualified in accordance with this chapter. If the commissioner does not so find, he shall, within ninety (90) days after he has received such application, so notify the applicant and, at the request of the applicant, give the applicant a full hearing.

(6) The commissioner shall issue or renew a license applied for when he is satisfied that the person to be licensed:

(a) Is competent and trustworthy and intends to act in good faith as an agent or representative of a sponsor of prepaid legal services plans in this state;

(b) Has a good business reputation and has had experience, training or education so as to be qualified to act as an agent or representative of a sponsor of prepaid legal services plans.

SECTION 19. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.