Code Section

Insurance Code - INS

DIVISION 1. GENERAL RULES GOVERNING INSURANCE [100 - 1879.8]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

PART 2. THE BUSINESS OF INSURANCE [680 - 1879.8]

  ( Part 2 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

CHAPTER 1. General Regulations [680 - 1113]

  ( Chapter 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )
  

ARTICLE 14. Proceedings in Cases of Insolvency and Delinquency [1010 - 1062]
  ( Article 14 amended by Stats. 1935, Ch. 291. )

  
1033.  

(a) Claims allowed in a proceeding under this article shall be given preference in the following order:

(1) Expense of administration.

(2) All claims of the California Insurance Guarantee Association or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association, and associations or entities performing a similar function in other states, together with claims for refund of unearned premiums and all claims under insurance and annuity policies or contracts, including funding agreements, of an insolvent insurer that are not covered claims.

The following claims are excluded from this priority:

(A) Any obligations of the insolvent insurer arising out of any reinsurance contracts, as well as obligations incurred after the expiration date of the policy or after the insurance policy has been replaced by the insured or canceled at the insured’s request, or after the policy has been canceled by the California Insurance Guarantee Association, the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association, or another association or entity performing a similar function in another state.

(B) Any obligations to insurers, insurance pools, or underwriting associations, and their claims for contribution, indemnity, or subrogation, equitable or otherwise, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(C) Any amount awarded as punitive or exemplary damages, and any damages in excess of the liability limits of the policies or contracts that represent damages for contractual bad faith.

(D) Any amount that is a surplus deposit of a subscriber as defined in Section 1374.1.

(E) Any judgments against or obligations or liabilities of the insolvent insurer otherwise arising from alleged or proven torts, and any default, collusive, or stipulated judgment against either the insured or the person subject to proceedings under this article, as well as any judgment taken in violation of Section 1020. Nothing in this subparagraph shall prohibit the commissioner from considering the underlying claims as a claim entitled to priority under this section, provided that the claimant shall provide to the commissioner a written election that the judgment shall in all things be disregarded in determining the liability for and valuation of the underlying claim.

(F) Any loss adjustment expenses, including adjustment fees and expenses, attorneys’ fees and expenses, court costs, interest, bond premiums, expert witness fees, and other claims of a similar nature incurred prior to the appointment of a liquidator.

(G) Claims arising from any self-insured program of the insurer, including employee life, health and annuity plans, and self-funded employee benefit plans, however denominated, as well as claims arising from a multiple employer welfare arrangement as defined in Section 514 of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, a minimum premium group insurance plan, a stop-loss group insurance plan, or an administrative services-only plan.

(H) Any portion of a policy or contract to the extent that it provides experience rating credits or refunds, dividends, or for the payment of fees or allowances to any person, including the policyholder or contractholder, in connection with the service to or administration of the policy or contract.

(I) Any annuity issued by a charitable organization for which the person subject to these proceedings did not have or utilize a certificate of authority to issue the policy or contract.

(3) Claims having preference by the laws of the United States.

(4) Unpaid charges due under the provisions of Section 736.

(5) Taxes due to the State of California.

(6) Claims having preference by the laws of this state.

(7) Claims of creditors not included in paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive.

(8) Certificates of contribution, surplus notes, or similar obligations, and premium refunds on assessable policies.

(9) The interests of shareholders or other owners in any residual value in the estate.

(b) (1) Every claim allowed under a separate account policy, contract, or agreement providing, in effect, that the assets allocated to the separate account are not chargeable with liabilities arising out of any other business of the insurer, shall be satisfied out of the assets properly allocated to and maintained in the separate account, excluding amounts allocated or transferred to the separate account by the insurer pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 10506, equal to the reserves maintained in the separate account for the policies, contracts, or agreements. No liabilities of the insurer arising out of any other business of the insurer shall be satisfied from assets properly allocated to and maintained in a separate account except (A) from amounts allocated or transferred to the separate account pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 10506 and (B) from any assets allocated to the separate account that exceed the reserves under the separate account policies, contracts, or agreements. For the purposes of this subdivision, “separate account policies, contracts, or agreements” means any policies, contracts, or agreements that provide for separate accounts as contemplated by Section 10506, 10506.3, 10506.4, or 10541. Any valid and allowed claim for contractual benefits that cannot be satisfied out of the assets properly allocated to and maintained in a separate account for obligations authorized by subdivision (a) of Section 10506.3 shall be included as a claim against the general account within paragraph (2) of subdivision (a). Any valid and allowed claim against the general account for contractual benefits under an obligation authorized by Section 10506.4 shall be included as a claim within paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, to the extent that any assets of a life insurer, other than those assets properly allocated to, and maintained in, a separate account, have been used to fund or pay any expenses, taxes, or policyholder benefits that are attributable to a separate account policy, contract, or agreement that should have been paid by a separate account prior to the commencement of delinquency proceedings, then upon the commencement of delinquency proceedings, the separate accounts that benefited from this payment or funding shall first be used to repay or reimburse the company’s general assets or account for any unreimbursed net sums due at the commencement of delinquency proceedings prior to the application of the separate account assets to the satisfaction of liabilities of the corresponding separate account policies, contracts, and agreements.

(c) Upon the issuance of an order appointing a conservator or liquidator for any person under either Section 1011 or 1016 or both these sections, the lien of taxes due to the State of California imposed by Article 4 (commencing with Section 12491) of Chapter 4 of Part 7 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code shall become subordinate to the reasonable administrative expenses of the proceeding under the order.

(d) The following definitions are for purposes of this section only and shall not be used to determine coverage under the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association Act (Article 14.7 (commencing with Section 1067)):

(1) “Funding agreements” means those agreements authorized to be delivered or issued pursuant to Section 10541.

(2) “Annuity” means only those annuity contracts, including period-certain annuities issued by a life insurer, that require for their lawful issuance a certificate of authority from the commissioner, and excludes without limitation all instruments for which the commissioner’s certificate of authority is not required, such as promissory notes, installment loans, negotiable instruments, mortgages, and debentures.

(3) Reinsurance contracts shall not be included as insurance or annuity policies or contracts, or funding agreements. However, any insurance or annuity policy or contract, including any funding agreement, that is assumed by an insurer under an assumption reinsurance agreement pursuant to a plan of liquidation, rehabilitation, or reorganization shall, unless the plan provided otherwise, be deemed to retain the issue date of the original insurance or annuity policy or contract, or funding agreement that is assumed.

(e) The provisions of this section are severable. If any portion of this section is held invalid or is preempted by federal law, the remainder of the section and its application shall not be affected. Specifically, should any of paragraphs (1) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) be held to be invalid or preempted by federal law, the claims included within the invalid paragraph shall be included within paragraph (7) of subdivision (a), and the remaining paragraphs shall not be affected thereby.

(f) No payment shall be made to any creditor in paragraphs (8) or (9) of subdivision (a), unless all claims in paragraphs (3) to (7), inclusive, of subdivision (a) have been paid in full, together with interest at the legal rate of the date of the order commencing the proceeding or the date on which the claim became liquidated, whichever date is later. In proceedings involving life insurance companies, no payment shall be made for any claim in paragraph (7), (8), or (9) of subdivision (a) unless and until all claims in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) have been paid in full, together with interest at the legal rate, all claims in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) have been paid the full value of the policy or contract upon which the claim is based, as of the time of distribution to claimants, and all claims in paragraphs (3) to (6), inclusive, of subdivision (a) have been paid in full, together with interest at the legal rate from the date of the order commencing the proceeding. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, no payment of interest shall be made to any insurance guaranty association that receives early access disbursements from the estate pursuant to Section 1035.5.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 868, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2000.)