Regulatory Impact Statement for the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to 11 NYCRR 27 (Insurance Regulation 41).

1. Statutory authority: The Superintendent's authority for the promulgation of the Fourteenth Amendment to Insurance Regulation 41 (11 NYCRR Part 27) derives from Sections 202 and 302 of the Financial Services Law, Sections 301, 316, 1213, 2101, 2104, 2105, 2110, 2116, 2117, 2118, 2121, 2122, 2130, 9102, and Article 21 of the Insurance Law, Chapter 225 of the Laws of 1997, Chapter 587 of the Laws of 2002, and Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011.

The federal Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010 (the "NRRA") significantly changes the paradigm for excess line insurance placements in the United States. Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011 amends the Insurance Law and the Tax Law to conform to the NRRA. The NRRA and Chapter 61 have been impacting excess line placements since their effective date of July 21, 2011.

Section 301 of the Insurance Law and Sections 202 and 302 of the Financial Services Law authorize the Superintendent of Financial Services (the "Superintendent") to prescribe regulations interpreting the provisions of the Insurance Law, and effectuate any power granted to the Superintendent under the Insurance Law. Section 316 authorizes the Superintendent to promulgate regulations to require an insurer or other person or entity making a filing or submission with the Superintendent to submit the filing or submission to the Superintendent by electronic means, provided that the insurer or other person or entity affected thereby may submit a request to the Superintendent for an exemption from the electronic filing requirement upon a demonstration of undue hardship, impracticability, or good cause, subject to the approval of the Superintendent.

Section 1213 provides the manner by which substituted service on an unauthorized insurer may be made in any proceeding against it on an insurance contract issued in New York. Substituted service may be made on the Superintendent in the manner prescribed in Section 1213.

Article 21 sets forth the duties and obligations of insurance brokers and excess line brokers. Section 2101 sets forth relevant definitions. Section 2104 governs the licensing of insurance brokers. Section 2105 sets forth licensing requirements for excess line brokers. Section 2110 provides grounds for the Superintendent to discipline licensees by revoking or suspending licenses or, pursuant to Section 2127, imposing a monetary penalty in lieu of revocation or suspension. Section 2116 permits payment of commissions to brokers and prohibits compensation to unlicensed persons. Section 2117 prohibits the aiding of an unauthorized insurer, with exceptions. Section 2118 sets forth the duties of excess line brokers, with regard to the placement of insurance with eligible foreign and alien excess line insurers, including the responsibility to ascertain and verify the financial condition of an unauthorized insurer before placing business with that insurer. Section 2121 provides that brokers have an agency relationship with insurers for the collection of premiums. Section 2122 imposes limitations on advertising by producers. Section 2130 establishes the Excess Line Association of New York ("ELANY").

Section 9102 establishes rules regarding the allocation of direct premiums taxable in New York, where insurance covers risks located both in and out of New York.

2. Legislative objectives: Generally, unauthorized insurers may not do an insurance business in New York. In permitting a limited exception for licensed excess line brokers to procure insurance policies in New York from excess line insurers, the Legislature established statutory requirements to protect persons seeking insurance in New York. The NRRA significantly changes the paradigm for excess (or "surplus") line insurance placements in the United States. The NRRA prohibits any state, other than the home state of an insured, from requiring a premium tax payment for excess line insurance. Further, the NRRA subjects the placement of excess line insurance solely to the statutory and regulatory requirements of the insured's home state and declares that only an insured's home state may require an excess line broker to be licensed to sell, solicit, or negotiate excess line insurance with respect to such insured. In addition, the NRRA establishes uniform eligibility standards for excess line insurers. A state may not impose additional eligibility conditions.

Under the new NRRA paradigm, an excess line broker now must ascertain an insured's home state before placing any property/casualty excess line business. Thus, if the insured's home state is not New York, even though the insured goes to the broker's office in New York, the excess line broker must be licensed in the insured's home state in order for the broker to procure the excess line coverage for that insured. Conversely, a person who is approached by an insured outside of New York must be licensed as an excess line broker in New York in order to procure excess line coverage for an insured whose home state is New York.

On March 31, 2011, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, Part I of which amends the Insurance Law to conform to the NRRA. The NRRA and Chapter 61 took effect on July 21, 2011 and have been impacting excess line placements since that date.

3. Needs and benefits: Insurance Regulation 41 governs the placement of excess line insurance. The purpose of the excess line law is to enable consumers who are unable to obtain insurance from authorized insurers to obtain coverage from eligible excess line insurers. This regulation implements the provisions and purposes of Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, which amended the Insurance Law to conform to the NRRA. The NRRA and Chapter 61 took effect on July 21, 2011 and have been impacting excess line placements since that date.

Section 27.14 of Insurance Regulation 41 currently prohibits an excess line broker from placing coverage with an excess line insurer unless the insurer has established and maintained a trust fund. However, the new NRRA eligibility requirements do not include a trust fund with respect to foreign insurers (alien insurers, however, do have to maintain a trust fund that satisfies the International Insurers Department ("IID") of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC")). As such, New York is no longer requiring a trust fund of foreign insurers for eligibility.

Currently, Insurance Law Section 1213(e) exempts excess line insurers writing excess line insurance in New York from the requirements of Section 1213, such as the requirement that an insurer deposit with the clerk of the court cash or securities or a bond with good and sufficient sureties, in an amount to be fixed by the court sufficient to secure payments of any final judgment that may be rendered by the court, with the clerk of the court before filing any pleading in any proceeding against it, so long as the excess line insurance contract designates the Superintendent for service of process and, in material part, the policy is effectuated in accordance with Section 2105, the section that applies to excess line brokers. In a memorandum to the governor, dated March 30, 1949, recommending favorable executive action on the bill, the Superintendent of Insurance wrote that it was "our understanding that this subsection was inserted as the result of representations made by the representatives of Lloyds of London because the contracts of insurance customarily [written] by the underwriters and placed through licensees of this Department, contain a provision whereby the underwriters consent to be sued in the courts of this state and they maintain a trust fund in New York of a very sizable amount, which is available for the payment of any judgment which may be secured in an action involving one of their contracts of insurance."

When the Superintendent of Insurance first promulgated Insurance Regulation 41, effective October 1, 1962, pursuant to his broad power to make regulations, he codified in the regulation the longstanding practice regarding the trust fund, and established minimum provisions and requirements, thus providing a reasonable alternative for unauthorized insurers that regularly engage in the sale of insurance through the excess line market. While the specific provisions have been amended a number of times over the years, every iteration of Insurance Regulation 41 has called for a trust fund as a means of providing alternative security that the insurer would have resources to pay judgments against the insurer.

Although the NRRA apparently precludes New York from requiring a foreign insurer to maintain a trust fund to be eligible in New York, or a trust fund for an alien insurer that deviates from the IID requirements, New York policyholders need to be protected when claims arise. As a result, the Department is amending Section 27.16 of Insurance Regulation 41 to provide that an excess line insurer will be subject to Insurance Law Section 1213's requirements unless the contract of insurance is effectuated in accordance with Insurance Law Section 2105, the Superintendent is designated as agent for service of process, and the insurer maintains a trust fund in accordance with Sections 27.14 and 27.15 of Insurance Regulation 41 (in addition to other requirements currently set forth in Section 27.16). Further, the Department is amending Section 27.14 of Insurance Regulation 41 to state that in order to be exempt from Insurance Law Section 1213 pursuant to Section 27.16 of Insurance Regulation 41, an excess line insurer must establish and maintain a trust fund. Insurance Law Section 316 authorizes the Superintendent to promulgate regulations to require an insurer or other person or entity making a filing or submission with the Superintendent to submit the filing or submission to the Superintendent by electronic means, provided that the insurer or other person or entity affected thereby may submit a request to the Superintendent for an exemption from the electronic filing requirement upon a demonstration of undue hardship, impracticability, or good cause, subject to the approval of the Superintendent.

The Department amended Section 27.8(a) of Insurance Regulation 41 to require excess line brokers to file annual premium tax statements electronically, and amended Section 27.13 to require excess line brokers to file electronically a listing that sets forth certain individual policy details. In addition, the Department added a new Section 27.13 to Insurance Regulation 41 to allow excess line brokers to apply for a "hardship" exception to the electronic filing or submission requirement.

4. Costs: The rule is not expected to impose costs on excess line brokers, and it merely conforms the requirements regarding placement of coverage with excess line insurers to the requirements in Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, which amended the Insurance Law to conform to the NRRA. Although the amended regulation will require excess line brokers to file annual premium tax statements and a listing that sets forth certain individual policy details electronically, most brokers already do business electronically. In fact ELANY already requires documents to be filed electronically. Moreover, the regulation also provides a method whereby excess line brokers may apply for an exemption from the electronic filing or submission requirement.

With regard to the trust fund amendment, on the one hand, excess line insurers may incur costs if they choose to establish and maintain a trust fund in order to be exempt from Insurance Law Section 1213. On the other hand, it should be significantly less expensive to establish and maintain a trust fund rather than comply with Insurance Law Section 1213. This is a business decision that each insurer will need to make. The trust fund, if established and maintained, will be for the purpose of protecting all United States policyholders.

Costs to the Department of Financial Services also should be minimal, as existing personnel are available to review any modified filings necessitated by the regulations. In fact, filing forms electronically may produce a cost savings for the Department of Financial Services. These rules impose no compliance costs on any state or local governments.

5. Local government mandates: These rules do not impose any program, service, duty or responsibility upon a city, town, village, school district or fire district.

6. Paperwork: The regulation imposes no new reporting requirements on regulated parties.

7. Duplication: The regulation will not duplicate any existing state or federal rule, but rather implement and conform to the federal requirements.

8. Alternatives: The Department discussed the changes related to trust funds and Insurance Law Section 1213 with counsel at the NAIC and with ELANY.

9. Federal standards: This regulation will implement the provisions and purposes of Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, which amends the Insurance Law to conform to the NRRA.

10. Compliance schedule: Pursuant to Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, this regulation will impact excess line insurance placements effective on and after July 21, 2011.

Statement setting forth the basis for the finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to 11 NYCRR 27 (Insurance Regulation 41) will not impose adverse economic impact or compliance requirements on small businesses or local governments.

This rule is directed at excess line brokers and excess line insurers.

Excess line brokers are considered to be small businesses as defined in section 102(8) of the State Administrative Procedure Act. The rule is not expected to have an adverse impact on these small businesses because it merely conforms the requirements regarding placement of coverage with excess line insurers to Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, which amended the Insurance Law to conform to the federal Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010.

The rule will require excess line brokers to file annual premium tax statements electronically, and to file electronically a listing that sets forth certain individual policy details. However, the excess line broker may submit a request to the Superintendent for an exemption from the electronic filing requirement upon a demonstration of undue hardship, impracticability, or good cause, subject to the approval of the Superintendent. Further, the Department of Financial Services has monitored Annual Statements of excess line insurers subject to this rule, and believes that none of them fall within the definition of "small business," because there are none that are both independently owned and have fewer than one hundred employees.

The Department of Financial Services finds that this rule will not impose any adverse economic impact on small businesses and will not impose any reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements on small businesses.

The rule does not impose any impacts, including any adverse impacts, or reporting, recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements on any local governments.

Statement setting forth the basis for the finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to 11 NYCRR 27 (Insurance Regulation 41) will not impose adverse economic impact or compliance requirements on rural areas.

The Department of Financial Services ("Department") finds that this rule does not impose any additional burden on persons located in rural areas, and the Department finds that it will not have an adverse impact on rural areas. This rule applies uniformly to regulated parties that do business in both rural and non-rural areas of New York State.

Statement setting forth the basis for the finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to 11 NYCRR 27 (Insurance Regulation 41) will not have a substantial adverse impact on jobs and employment opportunities.

The Department of Financial Services finds that this rule should have no impact on jobs and employment opportunities. The rule conforms the requirements regarding placement of coverage with excess line insurers to Chapter 61 of the Laws of 2011, which amended the Insurance Law to conform to the federal Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010. The rule also makes an excess line insurer subject to Insurance Law section 1213, unless it chooses to establish and maintain a trust fund in New York for the benefit of New York policyholders.