§431:16-208 Powers and duties of the association. (a) If a member insurer is an impaired insurer, the association may, in its discretion, and subject to any conditions imposed by the association that do not impair the contractual obligations of the impaired insurer, that are approved by the commissioner, and that are, except in cases of court ordered conservation or rehabilitation, also approved by the impaired insurer:
(1) Guarantee, assume, or reinsure, or cause to be guaranteed, assumed, or reinsured, any or all of the policies or contracts of the impaired insurer;
(2) Provide such moneys, pledges, notes, guarantees, or other means as are proper to effectuate subsection (a)(1) and assure payment of the contractual obligations of the impaired insurer pending action under subsection (a)(1); or
(3) Loan money to the impaired insurer.
(b) If a member insurer is an insolvent insurer, the association shall, in its discretion:
(1) (A) Guarantee, assume, or reinsure, or cause to be guaranteed, assumed, or reinsured, the policies or contracts of the insolvent insurer; or
(B) Assure payment of the contractual obligations of the insolvent insurer; and
(C) Provide such moneys, pledges, guarantees, or other means as are reasonably necessary to discharge such duties; or
(2) Provide benefits and coverages in accordance with the following provisions:
(A) With respect to life and accident and health or sickness insurance policies and annuities, assure payment of benefits for premiums identical to the premiums and benefits (except for terms of conversion and renewability) that would have been payable under the policies of the insolvent insurer, for claims incurred:
(i) With respect to group policies and contracts, not later than the earlier of the next renewal date under the policies or contracts or forty-five days, but in no event less than thirty days, after the date on which the association becomes obligated with respect to the policies;
(ii) With respect to non-group policies, contracts, and annuities, not later than the earlier of the next renewal date (if any) under the policies or contracts or one year, but in no event less than thirty days, from the date on which the association becomes obligated with respect to the policies or contracts.
(B) Make diligent efforts to provide all known insureds or annuitants (for non-group policies and contracts), or group policy owners with respect to group policies and contracts, thirty days notice of the termination of the benefits provided.
(C) With respect to non-group life and accident and health or sickness insurance policies and annuities covered by the association, make available to each known insured or annuitant, or owner if other than the insured or annuitant, and with respect to an individual formerly insured or formerly an annuitant under a group policy who is not eligible for replacement group coverage, make available substitute coverage on an individual basis in accordance with subparagraph (D), if the insureds or annuitants had a right under law or the terminated policy to convert coverage to individual coverage or to continue an individual policy or annuity in force until a specified age or for a specified time, during which the insurer had no right unilaterally to make changes in any provision of the policy or annuity or had a right only to make changes in premium by class.
(D) (i) In providing the substitute coverage required under subparagraph (C), the association may offer either to reissue the terminated coverage or to issue an alternative policy.
(ii) Alternative or reissued policies shall be offered without requiring evidence of insurability, and shall not provide for any waiting period or exclusion that would not have applied under the terminated policy.
(iii) The association may reinsure any alternative or reissued policy.
(E) (i) Alternative policies adopted by the association shall be subject to the approval of the domiciliary commissioner or the receivership court. The association may adopt alternative policies of various types for future issuance without regard to any particular impairment or insolvency.
(ii) Alternative policies shall contain at least the minimum statutory provisions required in this State and provide benefits that shall not be unreasonable in relation to the premium charged. The association shall set the premium in accordance with a table of rates which it shall adopt. The premium shall reflect the amount of insurance to be provided and the age and class of risk of each insured, but shall not reflect any changes in the health of the insured after the original policy was last underwritten.
(iii) Any alternative policy issued by the association shall provide coverage of a type similar to that of the policy issued by the impaired or insolvent insurer, as determined by the association.
(F) If the association elects to reissue terminated coverage at a premium rate different from that charged under the terminated policy, the premium shall be set by the association in accordance with the amount of insurance provided and the age and class of risk, subject to approval of the domiciliary insurance commissioner or by a court of competent jurisdiction.
(G) The association's obligations with respect to coverage under any policy of the impaired or insolvent insurer or under any reissued or alternative policy shall cease on the date such coverage or policy is replaced by another similar policy by the policyholder, the insured, or the association.
(H) When proceeding under subsection (b)(2) with respect to any policy or contract carrying guaranteed minimum interest rates, the association shall assure the payment or crediting of a rate of interest consistent with section 431:16-203(b)(2)(C).
(c) Nonpayment of premiums within thirty-one days after the date required under the terms of any guaranteed, assumed, alternative, or reissued policy or contract or substitute coverage shall terminate the association's obligations under the policy or coverage under this part with respect to the policy or coverage, except with respect to any claims incurred or any net cash surrender value which may be due in accordance with the provisions of this part.
(d) Premiums due for coverage after entry of an order of liquidation of an insolvent insurer shall belong to and be payable at the direction of the association, and the association shall be liable for unearned premiums due to policy or contract owners arising after the entry of such order.
(e) The protection provided by this part shall not apply where any guaranty protection is provided to residents of this State by the laws of the domiciliary state or jurisdiction of the impaired or insolvent insurer other than this State.
(f) In carrying out its duties under subsection (b), the association may, subject to approval by a court in this State:
(1) Impose permanent policy or contract liens in connection with any guarantee, assumption, or reinsurance agreement, if the association finds that the amounts which can be assessed under this part are less than the amounts needed to assure full and prompt performance of the association's duties under this part, or that the economic or financial conditions as they affect member insurers are sufficiently adverse to render the imposition of such permanent policy or contract liens, to be in the public interest; and
(2) Impose temporary moratoriums or liens on payments of cash values and policy loans, or any other right to withdraw funds held in conjunction with policies or contracts, in addition to any contractual provisions for deferral of cash or policy loan value. In addition, the association may defer the payment of cash values, policy loans, or other rights by the association for the period of any moratorium or moratorium charge imposed by the receivership court on the payment of cash values or policy loans, or on any other right to withdraw funds held in conjunction with policies or contracts, out of the assets of the impaired or insolvent insurer, except that the association may not defer the payment for claims covered by the association to be paid in accordance with a hardship procedure established by the liquidator or rehabilitator and approved by the receivership court.
(g) If the association fails to act within a reasonable period of time as provided in subsection (b), the commissioner shall have the powers and duties of the association under this part with respect to the insolvent insurer.
(h) The association may render assistance and advice to the commissioner, upon the commissioner's request, concerning rehabilitation, payment of claims, continuance of coverage, or the performance of other contractual obligations of any impaired or insolvent insurer.
(i) The association shall have standing to appear or intervene before any court or agency in this State with jurisdiction over an impaired or insolvent insurer concerning which the association is or may become obligated under this part or with jurisdiction over any person or property against which the association may have rights through subrogation or otherwise. Such standing shall extend to all matters germane to the powers and duties of the association, including, but not limited to, proposals for reinsuring, modifying, or guaranteeing the policies or contracts of the impaired or insolvent insurer and the determination of the policies or contracts and contractual obligations. The association shall also have the right to appear or intervene before any court or agency in another state with jurisdiction over an impaired or insolvent insurer for which the association is or may become obligated or with jurisdiction over any person or property against whom the association may have rights through subrogation or otherwise.
(j)(1) Any person receiving benefits under this part shall be deemed to have assigned the rights under, and any causes of action against any person for losses arising under, resulting from, or otherwise relating to, the covered policy or contract to the association to the extent of the benefits received because of this part, whether the benefits are payments of or on account of contractual obligations, continuation of coverage, or provision of substitute or alternative coverages. The association may require an assignment to it of such rights and causes of action by any payee, policy or contract owner, beneficiary, insured, or annuitant as a condition precedent to the receipt of any right or benefits conferred by this part upon such person.
(2) The subrogation rights of the association under this section shall have the same priority against the assets of the impaired or insolvent insurer as that possessed by the person entitled to receive benefits under this part.
(3) In addition to paragraphs (1) and (2), the association shall have all common law rights of subrogation and any other equitable or legal remedy that would have been available to the impaired or insolvent insurer, or owner, beneficiary, or payee of a policy or contract with respect to the policy or contracts.
(4) If the preceding provisions of this subsection are invalid or ineffective with respect to any person or claim for any reason, the amount payable by the association with respect to the related covered obligations shall be reduced by the amount realized by any other person with respect to the person or claim that is attributable to the policies, or portion thereof, covered by the association.
(5) If the association has provided benefits with respect to a covered obligation and a person recovers amounts to which the association has rights as described in the preceding paragraphs of this subsection, the person shall pay to the association the portion of the recovery attributable to the policies, or portion thereof, covered by the association.
(k) The association may:
(1) Enter into such contracts as are necessary or proper to carry out the provisions and purposes of this part;
(2) Sue or be sued, including taking any legal actions necessary or proper to recover any unpaid assessments under section 431:16-209 and to settle claims or potential claims against it;
(3) Borrow money to effect the purposes of this part; any notes or other evidence of indebtedness of the association not in default shall be legal investments for domestic insurers and may be carried as admitted assets;
(4) Employ or retain such persons as are necessary to handle the financial transactions of the association, and to perform such other functions as become necessary or proper under this part;
(5) Take such legal action as may be necessary to avoid payment of improper claims or recover payment of improper claims;
(6) Exercise, for the purposes of this part and to the extent approved by the commissioner, the powers of a domestic life or accident and health or sickness insurer, but in no case may the association issue insurance policies or annuity contracts other than those issued to perform its obligations under this part;
(7) Organize itself as a corporation or in other legal form permitted by the laws of the State;
(8) Request information from a person seeking coverage from the association in order to aid the association in determining its obligations under this part with respect to the person, and the person shall promptly comply with the request; and
(9) Take other necessary or appropriate action to discharge its duties and obligations under this part or to exercise its powers under this part.
(l) The association may join an organization of one or more other state associations of similar purposes, to further the purposes and administer the powers and duties of the association.
(m) With respect to covered policies for which the association becomes obligated after an entry of an order of liquidation or rehabilitation, the association may elect to succeed to the rights of the insolvent insurer arising after the date of the order of liquidation or rehabilitation under any contract of reinsurance to which the insolvent insurer was a party, to the extent that the contract provides coverage for losses occurring after the date of the order of liquidation or rehabilitation. As a condition to making this election, the association shall pay all unpaid premiums due under the contract for coverage relating to periods before and after the date of the order of liquidation or rehabilitation.
(n) The board of directors of the association shall have discretion and shall exercise reasonable business judgment to determine the means by which the association is to provide the benefits of this part in an economical and efficient manner.
(o) Where the association has arranged or offered to provide the benefits of this part to a covered person under a plan or arrangement that fulfills the association's obligations under this part, the person shall not be entitled to benefits from the association in addition to or other than those provided under the plan or arrangement.
(p) Venue in a suit against the association arising under this part shall be in the circuit court of the first circuit. The association shall not be required to give an appeal bond in an appeal that relates to a cause of action arising under this part.
(q) In carrying out its duties in connection with guaranteeing, assuming, or reinsuring policies or contracts under subsection (a) or (b), the association may, subject to approval of the receivership court, issue substitute coverage for a policy or contract that provides an interest rate, crediting rate, or similar factor determined by use of an index or other external reference stated in the policy or contract employed in calculating returns or changes in value by issuing an alternative policy or contract in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) In lieu of the index or other external reference provided for in the original policy or contract, the alternative policy or contract provides for a fixed interest rate, payment of dividends with minimum guarantees, or a different method for calculating interest or changes in value;
(2) There is no requirement for evidence of insurability, waiting period, or other exclusion that would not have applied under the replaced policy or contract; and
(3) The alternative policy or contract is substantially similar to the replaced policy or contract in all other material terms. [L 1987, c 347, pt of §2; am L 2002, c 155, §94; am L 2012, c 250, §7]