Chapter 01 - General Provisions

Chapter 01 - General Provisions

29.0101 Definitions.


The following rules and definitions shall be used in interpreting the provisions of this title:

(1) The present tense includes the past and future tenses, and the future, the present.

(2) “Shall” is mandatory and “may” is permissive unless otherwise apparent from the context.

(3) “Action” means any action, suit, or legal proceeding.

(4) “Adjuster” means any person who acts for or on behalf of an insurer or an insured in determining and making settlement of the amount payable to the insured for any loss or damage under a policy.

(5) “Admitted” in relation to a person means entitled to transact insurance business in American Samoa under the laws of American Samoa; “nonadmitted” in relation to a person means not entitled to transact insurance business in American Samoa under the laws of American Samoa.

(6) “Advisory organization” means every person, other than an admitted insurer, who prepares policy forms or makes underwriting rules, or who collects and furnishes loss or expense statistics or other statistical information and data and acts in an advisory, as distinguished from a rate-making, capacity. No duly authorized attorney acting in the usual course of his profession shall be deemed an advisory organization.

(7) “Agent” means a person appointed by an insurer to solicit applications for insurance or to negotiate insurance on its behalf, and, if authorized to do so by the insurer, to effect and countersign insurance policies. Agent means both general agent and subagent unless otherwise apparent from the context.

(8) “Alien” means organized under the laws of any government other than American Samoa or the United States or any political subdivision thereof, whether admitted or not.

(9) “Broker” means a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance business other than as treasurer, general agent, subagent or solicitor.

(10) “Certificate” means the certificate of authority required of an insurer to transact business in American Samoa.

(11) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Insurance.

(12) “Domestic” means organized under the laws of American Samoa, whether or not admitted.

(13) “Domestic risks” means a subject of insurance resident, located or to be performed in this territory.

(14) “Foreign” means not organized under the laws of American Samoa, but organized under the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, whether or not admitted.

(15) “General agent” means a person authorized by an insurer to countersign, issue and deliver new policies, to accept service of process on behalf of the insurer, and vested with full authority to consummate a contract of insurance and to transact all other necessary business of the insurer in American Samoa.

(16) “General insurance broker” means a broker who the Insurance Commissioner has certified to act for and on behalf of persons in American Samoa who are desirous of securing insurance from admitted or nonadmitted insurers.

(17) “Insurance” means a contract whereby one undertakes to indemnify another against lost, damage, or liability arising from contingent or unknown events.

(18) “Insurer” means the person who undertakes to indemnify another by insurance; “insured” means the person so indemnified.

(19) “Issue” means to write, renew, execute, effect or otherwise enter into a contract of insurance.

(20) “Judgment” includes decree or other final order.

(21) “Office” means the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

(22) “Paid-in capital” or “capital paid-in” means the lower of the following amounts:

(A) the value of an insurer’s assets in excess of the sum of its liabilities for losses reported, expenses, taxes, and all other indebtedness and reinsurance of outstanding risks as provided by law;

(B) the aggregate par value of an insurer’s issued shares of stock, including treasury shares. For the purpose of computing “paid-in capital” or “capital paid-in”, shares of stock are not considered as liabilities.

(23) “Person” means any person, association, organization, partnership, business trust, or corporation.

(24) “Policy” means the written instrument in which a contract of insurance is set forth and includes all clauses, riders, endorsements and papers which are a part thereof, and annuities.

(25) “Political subdivision” in reference to the United States means any State, the District of Columbia, any Territory, Possession, or Commonwealth belonging to or part of the United States.

(26) “Rating bureau” means every person, other than an admitted insurer, who has as his object or purpose the making of rates-rating plans or rating systems.

(27) “Reinsurance” means the insurance ceded and accepted between two insurers one of whom has effected the direct insurance.

(28) “Public enemy” means any state at war with American Samoa or the United States of America, or a citizen or subject of that state, or a person, partnership or corporation doing business within the territory of an enemy state or an ally thereof.

(29) “Signature” includes a mark when the signer or subscriber cannot write, provided his name is written near the mark by a witness who also signs the instrument together with a second witness.

(30) “Solicitor” means a person authorized by either the insurer or its general agent or a subagent to act as its representative but whose duties and authority are confined merely to soliciting insurance and aiding in the preparation of applications for insurance.

(31) “Subagent” means a person authorized by either the insurer or its general agent to solicit applications, receive proposals, receive first premiums, deliver policies, and make contracts of insurance subject only to the acceptance and countersignature of the general agent.

(32) “Transact insurance” means one or more of the following acts effected by mail or otherwise:

(A) making or proposing to make an insurance contract;

(B) taking or receiving any obligation for insurance;

(C) receiving or collecting any premium, commission, membership fee, assessment, due or other consideration for any insurance or any part thereof;

(D) issuing or delivering policies of insurance;

(E) directly or indirectly acting as an agent for, or otherwise representing or aiding on behalf of, another, any person in the solicitation, negotiation, procurement or effectuation of insurance or renewals thereof, the dissemination of information as to coverage or rates, the forwarding of applications, the delivering of policies, the inspection of risk, the fixing of rates, the investigation or judgment of claims or lawsuits, the transaction of matters subsequent to effectuation of the policy and arising out of it, or in any other manner representing or assisting a person with respect to insurance;

(F) advertising locally or circularizing therein without regard for the source of such circula-tion, whenever such advertising or circulation is for the purpose of solicitation of insurance business;

(G) doing any other kind of business specifically recognized as constituting the conduct of an insurance business within the meaning of the insurance law;

(H) doing or proposing to do an insurance business in substance equivalent to any of paragraphs (A) to (G) in a manner designed to evade the insurance law.

(33) “United States” means its entire system and group of political jurisdictions including the states, the District of Columbia, territories, possessions, or commonwealths.

(34) “Writing” means any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means.

29.0102 Scope of title.


All insurance transacted in American Samoa is governed by this title.

29.0103 Notices to be in writing-Service.


Whenever any notice is required by this title, it shall be in writing unless expressly otherwise provided. Any required notice may be given by mailing the notice, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified, at his last known residence or his principal place of business unless expressly otherwise provided. An affidavit setting forth the facts of the mailing by the person doing so is prima facie evidence of the notice.

29.0104 References to time.


Any date or time mentioned in this title, or in any policy of insurance issued under authority of this title, shall be conclusively presumed to refer to American Samoa time unless specifically and clearly otherwise stated.

29.0105 Prohibited acts.


Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, no person directly or indirectly may enter into any contract, understanding or combination with any insurer or manager, agent or representative thereof for the purpose of, nor may any persons or insurers jointly or severably do any act or engage in any practice for the purpose of:

(1) controlling the rates to be charged, or the commissions or other compensation to be paid, for insuring any risk or class of risks;

(2) entering into any agreement to commit, or individually or by any concerted action commit, any act of boycott, coercion, or intimidation resulting or tending to result in unreasonable restraint of, or a monopoly in, the business of insurance.

29.0106 Exercise of power.


Whenever, under this title, a power is granted to a public officer or a duty imposed upon that officer, the power or duty maybe performed by a deputy or assistant of the officer authorized to do so.

29.0107 Perjury.


Any person who knowingly swears to or verifies any false or fraudulent statement, or who, when testifying at any hearing, examination or inquiry pursuant to this title, makes any false or fraudulent statement, is guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than $5,000, or both.

29.0108 Violation-Penalty.


Any person violating this title, or any regulations issued under this title, or any lawful order of the Commissioner, for which a penalty is not otherwise specifically provided, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction is subject to a fine not to exceed $500, or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.