Section 624.610, Florida Statutes 2003
(1) The purpose of this section is to protect the interests of insureds, claimants, ceding insurers, assuming insurers, and the public. It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure adequate regulation of insurers and reinsurers and adequate protection for those to whom they owe obligations. In furtherance of that state interest, the Legislature requires that upon the insolvency of a non-United States insurer or reinsurer which provides security to fund its United States obligations in accordance with this section, such security shall be maintained in the United States and claims shall be filed with and valued by the state insurance regulator with regulatory oversight, and the assets shall be distributed in accordance with the insurance laws of the state in which the trust is domiciled that are applicable to the liquidation of domestic United States insurance companies. The Legislature declares that the matters contained in this section are fundamental to the business of insurance in accordance with 15 U.S.C. ss. 1011-1012.
(2) Credit for reinsurance must be allowed a ceding insurer as either an asset or a deduction from liability on account of reinsurance ceded only when the reinsurer meets the requirements of paragraph (3)(a), paragraph (3)(b), or paragraph (3)(c). Credit must be allowed under paragraph (3)(a) or paragraph (3)(b) only for cessions of those kinds or lines of business that the assuming insurer is licensed, authorized, or otherwise permitted to write or assume in its state of domicile or, in the case of a United States branch of an alien assuming insurer, in the state through which it is entered and licensed or authorized to transact insurance or reinsurance.
(3)(a) Credit must be allowed when the reinsurance is ceded to an assuming insurer that is authorized to transact insurance or reinsurance in this state.
(b)1. Credit must be allowed when the reinsurance is ceded to an assuming insurer that is accredited as a reinsurer in this state. An accredited reinsurer is one that:
a. Files with the office evidence of its submission to this state's jurisdiction;
b. Submits to this state's authority to examine its books and records;
c. Is licensed or authorized to transact insurance or reinsurance in at least one state or, in the case of a United States branch of an alien assuming insurer, is entered through, licensed, or authorized to transact insurance or reinsurance in at least one state;
d. Files annually with the office a copy of its annual statement filed with the insurance department of its state of domicile any quarterly statements if required by its state of domicile or such quarterly statements if specifically requested by the office, and a copy of its most recent audited financial statement; and
(I) Maintains a surplus as regards policyholders in an amount not less than $20 million and whose accreditation has not been denied by the office within 90 days after its submission; or
(II) Maintains a surplus as regards policyholders in an amount not less than $20 million and whose accreditation has been approved by the office.
2. The office may deny or revoke an assuming insurer's accreditation if the assuming insurer does not submit the required documentation pursuant to subparagraph 1., if the assuming insurer fails to meet all of the standards required of an accredited reinsurer, or if the assuming insurer's accreditation would be hazardous to the policyholders of this state. In determining whether to deny or revoke accreditation, the office may consider the qualifications of the assuming insurer with respect to all the following subjects:
a. Its financial stability;
b. The lawfulness and quality of its investments;
c. The competency, character, and integrity of its management;
d. The competency, character, and integrity of persons who own or have a controlling interest in the assuming insurer; and
e. Whether claims under its contracts are promptly and fairly adjusted and are promptly and fairly paid in accordance with the law and the terms of the contracts.
3. Credit must not be allowed a ceding insurer if the assuming insurer's accreditation has been revoked by the office after notice and the opportunity for a hearing.
4. The actual costs and expenses incurred by the office to review a reinsurer's request for accreditation and subsequent reviews must be charged to and collected from the requesting reinsurer. If the reinsurer fails to pay the actual costs and expenses promptly when due, the office may refuse to accredit the reinsurer or may revoke the reinsurer's accreditation.
(c)1. Credit must be allowed when the reinsurance is ceded to an assuming insurer that maintains a trust fund in a qualified United States financial institution, as defined in paragraph (5)(b), for the payment of the valid claims of its United States ceding insurers and their assigns and successors in interest. To enable the office to determine the sufficiency of the trust fund, the assuming insurer shall report annually to the office information substantially the same as that required to be reported on the NAIC Annual Statement form by authorized insurers. The assuming insurer shall submit to examination of its books and records by the office and bear the expense of examination.
2.a. Credit for reinsurance must not be granted under this subsection unless the form of the trust and any amendments to the trust have been approved by:
(I) The insurance regulator of the state in which the trust is domiciled; or
(II) The insurance regulator of another state who, pursuant to the terms of the trust instrument, has accepted principal regulatory oversight of the trust.
b. The form of the trust and any trust amendments must be filed with the insurance regulator of every state in which the ceding insurer beneficiaries of the trust are domiciled. The trust instrument must provide that contested claims are valid and enforceable upon the final order of any court of competent jurisdiction in the United States. The trust must vest legal title to its assets in its trustees for the benefit of the assuming insurer's United States ceding insurers and their assigns and successors in interest. The trust and the assuming insurer are subject to examination as determined by the insurance regulator.
c. The trust remains in effect for as long as the assuming insurer has outstanding obligations due under the reinsurance agreements subject to the trust. No later than February 28 of each year, the trustee of the trust shall report to the insurance regulator in writing the balance of the trust and list the trust's investments at the preceding year end, and shall certify that the trust will not expire prior to the following December 31.
3. The following requirements apply to the following categories of assuming insurer:
a. The trust fund for a single assuming insurer consists of funds in trust in an amount not less than the assuming insurer's liabilities attributable to reinsurance ceded by United States ceding insurers, and, in addition, the assuming insurer shall maintain a trusteed surplus of not less than $20 million. The funds in the trust and trusteed surplus consist of assets of a quality substantially similar to that required in part II of chapter 625.
b.(I) In the case of a group including incorporated and individual unincorporated underwriters:
(A) For reinsurance ceded under reinsurance agreements with an inception, amendment, or renewal date on or after August 1, 1995, the trust consists of a trusteed account in an amount not less than the group's several liabilities attributable to business ceded by United States domiciled ceding insurers to any member of the group;
(B) For reinsurance ceded under reinsurance agreements with an inception date on or before July 31, 1995, and not amended or renewed after that date, notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the trust consists of a trusteed account in an amount not less than the group's several insurance and reinsurance liabilities attributable to business written in the United States; and
(C) In addition to these trusts, the group shall maintain in trust a trusteed surplus of which $100 million must be held jointly for the benefit of the United States domiciled ceding insurers of any member of the group for all years of account.
(II) The incorporated members of the group must not be engaged in any business other than underwriting of a member of the group, and are subject to the same level of regulation and solvency control by the group's domiciliary regulator as the unincorporated members.
(III) Within 90 days after its financial statements are due to be filed with the group's domiciliary regulator, the group shall provide to the insurance regulator an annual certification by the group's domiciliary regulator of the solvency of each underwriter member or, if a certification is unavailable, financial statements, prepared by independent public accountants, of each underwriter member of the group.
(d) Credit must be allowed when the reinsurance is ceded to an assuming insurer not meeting the requirements of paragraph (a), paragraph (b), or paragraph (c), but only as to the insurance of risks located in jurisdictions in which the reinsurance is required to be purchased by a particular entity by applicable law or regulation of that jurisdiction.
(e) If the assuming insurer is not authorized or accredited to transact insurance or reinsurance in this state pursuant to paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), the credit permitted by paragraph (c) must not be allowed unless the assuming insurer agrees in the reinsurance agreements:
1.a. That in the event of the failure of the assuming insurer to perform its obligations under the terms of the reinsurance agreement, the assuming insurer, at the request of the ceding insurer, shall submit to the jurisdiction of any court of competent jurisdiction in any state of the United States, will comply with all requirements necessary to give the court jurisdiction, and will abide by the final decision of the court or of any appellate court in the event of an appeal; and
b. To designate the Chief Financial Officer, pursuant to s. 48.151, or a designated attorney as its true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served any lawful process in any action, suit, or proceeding instituted by or on behalf of the ceding company.
2. This paragraph is not intended to conflict with or override the obligation of the parties to a reinsurance agreement to arbitrate their disputes, if this obligation is created in the agreement.
(f) If the assuming insurer does not meet the requirements of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b), the credit permitted by paragraph (c) is not allowed unless the assuming insurer agrees in the trust agreements, in substance, to the following conditions:
1. Notwithstanding any other provisions in the trust instrument, if the trust fund is inadequate because it contains an amount less than the amount required by paragraph (c), or if the grantor of the trust has been declared insolvent or placed into receivership, rehabilitation, liquidation, or similar proceedings under the laws of its state or country of domicile, the trustee shall comply with an order of the insurance regulator with regulatory oversight over the trust or with an order of a United States court of competent jurisdiction directing the trustee to transfer to the insurance regulator with regulatory oversight all of the assets of the trust fund.
2. The assets must be distributed by and claims must be filed with and valued by the insurance regulator with regulatory oversight in accordance with the laws of the state in which the trust is domiciled which are applicable to the liquidation of domestic insurance companies.
3. If the insurance regulator with regulatory oversight determines that the assets of the trust fund or any part thereof are not necessary to satisfy the claims of the United States ceding insurers of the grantor of the trust, the assets or part thereof must be returned by the insurance regulator with regulatory oversight to the trustee for distribution in accordance with the trust agreement.
4. The grantor shall waive any right otherwise available to it under United States law which is inconsistent with this provision.
(4) An asset allowed or a deduction from liability taken for the reinsurance ceded by an insurer to an assuming insurer not meeting the requirements of subsections (2) and (3) is allowed in an amount not exceeding the liabilities carried by the ceding insurer. The deduction must be in the amount of funds held by or on behalf of the ceding insurer, including funds held in trust for the ceding insurer, under a reinsurance contract with the assuming insurer as security for the payment of obligations thereunder, if the security is held in the United States subject to withdrawal solely by, and under the exclusive control of, the ceding insurer, or, in the case of a trust, held in a qualified United States financial institution, as defined in paragraph (5)(b). This security may be in the form of:
(a) Cash in United States dollars;
(b) Securities listed by the Securities Valuation Office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and qualifying as admitted assets pursuant to part II of chapter 625;
(c) Clean, irrevocable, unconditional letters of credit, issued or confirmed by a qualified United States financial institution, as defined in paragraph (5)(a), effective no later than December 31 of the year for which the filing is made, and in the possession of, or in trust for, the ceding company on or before the filing date of its annual statement; or
(d) Any other form of security acceptable to the office.
(5)(a) For purposes of paragraph (4)(c) regarding letters of credit, a "qualified United States financial institution" means an institution that:
1. Is organized or, in the case of a United States office of a foreign banking organization, is licensed under the laws of the United States or any state thereof;
2. Is regulated, supervised, and examined by United States or state authorities having regulatory authority over banks and trust companies; and
3. Has been determined by either the office or the Securities Valuation Office of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to meet such standards of financial condition and standing as are considered necessary and appropriate to regulate the quality of financial institutions whose letters of credit will be acceptable to the office.
(b) For purposes of those provisions of this law which specify institutions that are eligible to act as a fiduciary of a trust, a "qualified United States financial institution" means an institution that is a member of the Federal Reserve System or that has been determined by the office to meet the following criteria:
1. Is organized or, in the case of a United States branch or agency office of a foreign banking organization, is licensed under the laws of the United States or any state thereof and has been granted authority to operate with fiduciary powers; and
2. Is regulated, supervised, and examined by federal or state authorities having regulatory authority over banks and trust companies.
(6) For the purposes of this section only, the term "ceding insurer" includes any health maintenance organization operating under a certificate of authority issued under part I of chapter 641.
(7) After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the office may disallow any credit that it finds would be contrary to the proper interests of the policyholders or stockholders of a ceding domestic insurer.
(8) Credit must be allowed to any ceding insurer for reinsurance otherwise complying with this section only when the reinsurance is payable by the assuming insurer on the basis of the liability of the ceding insurer under the contract or contracts reinsured without diminution because of the insolvency of the ceding insurer. Such credit must be allowed to the ceding insurer for reinsurance otherwise complying with this section only when the reinsurance agreement provides that payments by the assuming insurer will be made directly to the ceding insurer or its receiver, except when:
(a) The reinsurance contract specifically provides payment to the named insured, assignee, or named beneficiary of the policy issued by the ceding insurer in the event of the insolvency of the ceding insurer; or
(b) The assuming insurer, with the consent of the named insured, has assumed the policy obligations of the ceding insurer as direct obligations of the assuming insurer in substitution for the obligations of the ceding insurer to the named insured.
(9) No person, other than the ceding insurer, has any rights against the reinsurer which are not specifically set forth in the contract of reinsurance or in a specific written, signed agreement between the reinsurer and the person.
(10) An authorized insurer may not knowingly accept as assuming reinsurer any risk covering subject of insurance which is resident, located, or to be performed in this state and which is written directly by any insurer not then authorized to transact such insurance in this state, other than as to surplus lines insurance lawfully written under part VIII of chapter 626.
(11)(a) Any domestic or commercially domiciled insurer ceding directly written risks of loss under this section shall, within 30 days after receipt of a cover note or similar confirmation of coverage, or, without exception, no later than 6 months after the effective date of the reinsurance treaty, file with the office one copy of a summary statement containing the following information about each treaty:
1. The contract period;
2. The nature of the reinsured's business;
3. An indication as to whether the treaty is proportional, nonproportional, coinsurance, modified coinsurance, or indemnity, as applicable;
4. The ceding company's loss retention per risk;
5. The reinsured limits;
6. Any special contract restrictions;
7. A schedule of reinsurers assuming the risks of loss;
8. An indication as to whether payments to the assuming insurer are based on written premiums or earned premiums;
9. Identification of any intermediary or broker used in obtaining the reinsurance and the commission paid to such intermediary or broker if known; and
10. Ceding commissions and allowances.
(b) The summary statement must be signed and attested to by either the chief executive officer or the chief financial officer of the reporting insurer. In addition to the summary statement, the office may require the filing of any supporting information relating to the ceding of such risks as it deems necessary. If the summary statement prepared by the ceding insurer discloses that the net effect of a reinsurance treaty or treaties (or series of treaties with one or more affiliated reinsurers entered into for the purpose of avoiding the following threshold amount) at any time results in an increase of more than 25 percent to the insurer's surplus as to policyholders, then the insurer shall certify in writing to the office that the relevant reinsurance treaty or treaties comply with the accounting requirements contained in any rule adopted by the commission under subsection (14). If such certificate is filed after the summary statement of such reinsurance treaty or treaties, the insurer shall refile the summary statement with the certificate. In any event, the certificate must state that a copy of the certificate was sent to the reinsurer under the reinsurance treaty.
(c) This subsection applies to cessions of directly written risk or loss. This subsection does not apply to contracts of facultative reinsurance or to any ceding insurer with surplus as to policyholders that exceeds $100 million as of the immediately preceding December 31. Additionally, any ceding insurer otherwise subject to this section with less than $500,000 in direct premiums written in this state during the preceding calendar year or with less than 1,000 policyholders at the end of the preceding calendar year is exempt from the requirements of this subsection. However, any ceding insurer otherwise subject to this section with more than $250,000 in direct premiums written in this state during the preceding calendar quarter is not exempt from the requirements of this subsection.
(d) An authorized insurer not otherwise exempt from the provisions of this subsection shall provide the information required by this subsection with underlying and supporting documentation upon written request of the office.
(e) The office may, upon a showing of good cause, waive the requirements of this subsection.
(12) If the office finds that a reinsurance agreement creates a substantial risk of insolvency to either insurer entering into the reinsurance agreement, the office may by order require a cancellation of the reinsurance agreement.
(13) No credit shall be allowed for reinsurance with regard to which the reinsurance agreement does not create a meaningful transfer of risk of loss to the reinsurer.
(14) The commission may adopt rules implementing the provisions of this section. Rules are authorized to protect the interests of insureds, claimants, ceding insurers, assuming insurers, and the public. These rules shall be in substantial compliance with:
(a) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners model regulations relating to credit for reinsurance;
(b) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual as of March 2002 and subsequent amendments thereto if the methodology remains substantially consistent; and
(c) The National Association of Insurance Commissioners model regulation for Credit for Reinsurance and Life and Health Reinsurance Agreements.
The commission may further adopt rules to provide for transition from existing requirements for the approval of reinsurers to the accreditation of reinsurers pursuant to this section.
(15) Any reinsurer approved pursuant to s. 624.610(3)(a)2., as such provision existed prior to July 1, 2000, which fails to obtain accreditation pursuant to this section prior to December 30, 2003, shall have its approval terminated by operation of law on that date.
(16) This act shall apply to all cessions on or after January 1, 2001, under reinsurance agreements that have an inception, anniversary, or renewal date on or after January 1, 2001.
History.--s. 108, ch. 59-205; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 74-203; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 85, 86, 809(1st), ch. 82-243; s. 1, ch. 83-165; s. 2, ch. 85-177; s. 10, ch. 85-245; s. 1, ch. 86-86; s. 8, ch. 86-160; s. 14, ch. 87-226; s. 37, ch. 89-360; ss. 45, 187, 188, ch. 91-108; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 5, ch. 92-146; s. 9, ch. 93-410; s. 200, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 97-214; s. 89, ch. 98-199; s. 17, ch. 99-3; s. 2, ch. 2000-168; s. 13, ch. 2001-213; s. 855, ch. 2003-261.