Chapter 10 - General Insurance Brokers
Chapter 10 - General Insurance Brokers
The responsibility for the regulation of general insurance brokers and the insurers they do business with shall be with the Insurance Commissioner. The Commissioner may delegate this responsibility, or any portion thereof, to his deputies, assistants and other personnel as may be necessary.
The Insurance Commissioner shall have the authority to adopt rules as he considers necessary and appropriate to:
(1) interpret this chapter;
(2) regulate general insurance brokers and the insurers they do business with; and
(3) protect the public from all potential harm and abuses ranging from, but not limited to, the licensing of unscrupulous brokers to the denial of assigned risk automobile coverage at rates based upon the widest possible participation by admitted and nonadmitted carriers in any pool which may be in effect.
(a) Every applicant for a certificate of authority as a general insurance broker shall be required to submit the following with the Insurance Commissioner:
(1) a copy of its charter, articles of association, articles of incorporation, partnership agree-ment, or other controlling instruments, certified by the official who is required to keep those records in the jurisdiction where the applicant is incorporated, organized, or otherwise doing business in a capacity similar to that of a general broker as defined in this title;
(2) a resolution adopted by its governing body in accordance with its bylaws or other internal law, stating that service of process upon the Treasurer, in any action or proceeding against it brought or pending out of business transacted in American Samoa, shall be valid personal service upon the general insurance broker;
(3) a statement setting forth the location and post office address of its principal office; and similar such statement anytime the general insurance broker changes its principal office;
(4) a good and sufficient bond, with a surety company approved by the Commissioner with the applicant as principal, in a form to be approved by the Commissioner, and running to the Commissioner or his successor in the office in the sum of $10,000, with the condition that the surety on the bond shall be answerable up to the amount of the bond for all judgments, decrees, or orders given, made or rendered against the principal on the bond by the High Court of American Samoa for the payment of costs, shall enforce the bond either in his own name or in the name of the interested party thereto for the use and benefit of any person injured by the breach; the surety on the above bond may withdraw from it upon giving to the Commissioner written notice of his intention not less than 60 days prior to the date on which the then existing certificate of the general insurance broker is to expire, the withdrawal then is effective on the date of expiration of the certificate; in lieu of the bond as required by this section, the applicant may deposit with the Commissioner acceptable unencumbered securities or other unencumbered assets of $10,000 as surety subject to the same conditions as the bond;
(5) the name and complete information regarding the financial stability, reputation, and integrity of any nonadmitted insurer with whom such applicant has dealt or proposes to deal with in the transaction of insurance business in American Samoa. The applicant shall provide, in writing, so much of the information requested as he can produce, together with a signed statement identifying the same and giving reasons for omissions, if any. These are continuing obligations and must be complied with any time the general broker proposes to deal with a nonadmitted insurer that he has not previously obtained the Commissioner ’s approval to deal with. After due examination of the information, the Commissioner shall identify those insurers with whom the general broker may deal and set forth in writing the specific reasons for rejecting others. The Commissioner may, if he finds it to be in the public interest, order the general broker not to place or continue to place further insurance business on property located, or operations conducted within or on lives of persons residing in this territory with the non-admitted insurer. Any placement of such insurance with a nonapproved, nonadmitted insurer by a general broker shall subject him to the revocation or penalty, or both provisions set forth in this chapter:
(6) other information as in the Commissioner’s opinion would assist him in making his determination of the qualifications of the applicant
(b) Within a reasonable time after having received all of the necessary information, the Commissioner shall make a determination of the applicant’s qualifications.
The fee schedule set forth in 29.0320, or any successor section, shall be applicable to general insurance brokers.
Certificates of authority expire on 1 June each year unless revoked or withdrawn or unless an application for renewal has been filed and a final decision is pending.
The Commissioner may revoke a certificate of authority if in his opinion:
(1) the general insurance broker no longer meets the requirements for the authority;
(2) the general insurance broker knowingly exceeds its charter powers or powers granted under its certificate of authority; or
(3) the general insurance broker’s actions are not consistent with the public’s well being.
A general insurance broker desiring to withdraw from American Samoa may do so by ap-plying to the Commissioner for an order granting permission to withdraw. The application shall be accompanied by an affidavit of its principal officer and general agent that:
(1) it desires to withdraw and to permanently discontinue the transaction of the general insur-ance brokerage business in American Samoa;
(2) all claims against it have been satisfied; and
(3) it has caused publication of its notice to withdraw in a newspaper of general circulation in American Samoa once a week for 4 consecutive weeks.
If within 1 week from the last publication as specified in paragraph (3) of 29.1007, the Commissioner does not find that any person has given good and sufficient cause why an order permitting withdrawal should not be entered, he shall order permission to withdraw, and the withdrawing general insurance broker shall deliver to the Commissioner for cancellation its certificate of authority and current licenses of its agents and solicitors.
Applications for renewal and the payment of continuance fees are to be submitted on or before 1 April of each year. If there has been no change in the information required for the previous year, the application may consist of a verified statement by the principal officer to that effect. If there has been a change in the information submitted for the previous year, the applicant shall identify and explain all those changes in a verified statement by the principal officer.
Persons adversely affected by a final order of the Commissioner may request a hearing under the Administrative Procedure Act, 4.1001 et seq. Judicial review of orders must also be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.
A person acting as, or holding himself out to be a certified general insurance broker, who in fact is not, or who otherwise violates any provision of this chapter, is guilty of a class B mis-demeanor, and shall upon conviction be sentenced accordingly.