Code Section

Insurance Code - INS


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


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

CHAPTER 6. Surplus Line Brokers [1760 - 1780]
  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )


(a) A surplus line broker may solicit and place insurance for a home state insured, other than as excepted in Section 1761, with nonadmitted insurers only if that insurance cannot be procured from insurers admitted for the particular class or classes of insurance and that actually write the particular type of insurance in this state. Each surplus line broker shall be responsible to ensure that a diligent search is made among insurers that are admitted to transact and are actually writing the particular type of insurance in this state before procuring the insurance for a home state insured from a nonadmitted insurer. Each surplus line broker shall file with the commissioner or his or her designee, within 60 days of placing any insurance for a home state insured with a nonadmitted insurer, a written report that shall be kept confidential, regarding the insurance. This report shall include the name and address of the insured, verification that the insured is a home state insured, the identity of the insurer or insurers, a description of the subject and location of the risk, the amount of premium charged for the insurance, a copy of the declarations page of the policy or a copy of the surplus line broker’s certificate or binder evidencing the placement of insurance, and other pertinent information that the commissioner may reasonably require. In addition, each surplus line broker shall file a standardized form to be prescribed by the commissioner setting forth the diligent efforts to place the coverage with admitted insurers and the results of these efforts. The form shall be signed by a person licensed under this code who has made the diligent search required by this section or who supervised an unlicensed person or persons who actually conducted the search. The insurance shall not be placed with a nonadmitted insurer for the purpose of procuring a rate lower than the lowest rate that will be accepted by any admitted insurer except as provided by subdivision (c). The commissioner may make and publish reasonable rules and regulations, consistent with this chapter, in respect to transactions governed thereby and the basis or bases for his or her determinations hereunder.

(b) It shall be prima facie evidence that a diligent search among admitted insurers has been made if the standardized form filed as required by subdivision (a) establishes that three admitted insurers that actually write the particular type of insurance in this state have declined the risk, or that fewer than three admitted insurers actually write the particular type of insurance. The commissioner, or his or her designee, may review the form for the accuracy of the information provided on it, including, but not limited to, whether the listed insurers actually write that type of insurance, and whether the three insurers declined the risk. The commissioner may take disciplinary action against the person signing the form for any misrepresentation made in the form due to the negligence of or the result of an intentional act by that person or the person or persons who actually conducted the search. Those actions may include any action authorized to be taken against a licensed person by this code. Nothing in this subdivision shall preclude the commissioner or his or her designee from directing the surplus line broker to conduct a further or additional search among admitted insurers for similar placements in the future.

(c) It shall be conclusively presumed that insurance is placed in violation of this section if the insurance is actually placed with a nonadmitted insurer at a lower rate of premium or lower premium than the lowest rate of premium or the lowest premium that could be obtained from an admitted insurer unless, at the time the insurance attaches, there is filed with the commissioner a statement describing the insurance, specifying the rate and the nearest procurable rates from admitted insurers. The statement shall include an explanation of the reasons that the insurance must be placed with a nonadmitted insurer even though it is available from an admitted insurer. Unless the commissioner, or his or her designee, within five days after that filing notifies the filing broker that in his or her opinion the placing of the insurance constitutes a violation of this section, the broker may thereafter maintain in effect that insurance. If within that five-day period the commissioner notifies the surplus line broker that the insurance is in violation of this section and orders the broker to effect termination of that insurance within 10 days from the notice, and the broker fails or refuses to effect that termination, that failure or refusal is a violation of this section.

(d) Statements filed under this section are not subject to public inspection unless the commissioner determines that the public interest or the welfare of the filing broker requires that any statement be made public.

(e) For purposes of this section, “type of insurance” means the hazard or combination of hazards covered by a contract of insurance.

(f) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), this section shall not apply to insurance issued or delivered in this state to a home state insured by a nonadmitted Mexican insurer by and through a surplus line broker affording coverage exclusively in the Republic of Mexico on property located temporarily or permanently in, or operations conducted temporarily or permanently within, the Republic of Mexico.

(g) This section does not apply to the extension of coverage by a nonadmitted insurer, of or for the same risks, and to the same insured under an existing surplus lines policy. Such an extension may not exceed 90 days in the aggregate during any 12-month period. The extension may not include a change in coverage, terms, and conditions, or limits. Any additional premium charged for the extension shall be determined pro rata, based on the same rate of premium as the existing surplus lines policy.

(h) (1) The diligent search requirement set forth in subdivision (a) shall not apply to a commercial insured as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 1760.1 when both of the following occur:

(A) The surplus line broker procuring or placing the surplus line insurance has disclosed in writing to the commercial insured that surplus insurance may or may not be available from the admitted market that may provide greater protection with more regulatory oversight.

(B) The commercial insured has subsequently requested in writing that the surplus line broker procure or place surplus insurance from a nonadmitted insurer.

(2) The surplus line broker shall be responsible to ensure that the applicant is a commercial insured. A surplus line broker who reasonably relies on information provided in good faith by the applicant, whether directly or through a producer, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this requirement.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 162, Sec. 104. (SB 1171) Effective January 1, 2013.)