AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 41, TITLE 18, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO PROPERTY INSURANCE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:
Section 1. Sections 4104 and 4102, Title 41, Delaware Code, are designated as Subchapter I, Chapter 41, Delaware Code.
Section 2. Chapter 41, Title 18, Delaware Code, is amended by adding thereto a new subchapter to read:
SUBCHAPTER II. BASIC PROPERTY PROTECTION PLAN
§ 4103. Definitions
As used in this Subchapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(c) "Commissioner" means the Insurance Commissioner of the State of Delaware;
(d) "Basic Property Insurance" means insurance against direct loss to any property caused by perils as defined and limited in the Standard Fire Policy and Extended Coverage Endorsement as filed with the Commissioner;
(e) "Inspection Bureau" means any organization designated by the Commissioner to make inspections to determine the insurability and conditions of the properties for which basic property insurance is sought;
(f) "Qualified Property" means all real and tangible personal property at fixed locations, whether or not subject to exposure from an external hazard located on property not owned or controlled by the prospective insured, and whether or not subject to exposure from riot hazard which
(i) is not used for farming or manufacturing purposes; and
(ii) complies with applicable state laws and regulations and local building codes and ordinances; and
(iii) is not commonly owned or controlled, or combinable for rating purposes, with property insured for similar coverages elsewhere; and
(iv) has characteristics of ownership, condition or occupancy which do not violate public policy.
(e) "Premiums Written" means gross direct premiums charged on all policies of Basic Property Insurance and the Basic Property Insurance premium components of all multi-peril policies, less return premiums, dividends paid or credited to policyholders and the unabsorbed portion of premium deposits.
§ 4104. Purpose
The purposes of this Subchapter are:
(1) To assure stability in the property insurance market of this State;
(2) To make basic property insurance available for qualified property established by this section;
(3) To encourage maximum use in obtaining basic property insurance of the available, normal insurance market provided by the private property insurance industry;
(4) To provide for equitable distribution among authorized insurers of the responsibility for insuring qualified property for which basic property insurance cannot be obtained through the normal insurance market.
§ 4105. Inspection
(a) Any person having an insurable interest in real and tangible personal property at a fixed location who has made a diligent effort to obtain basic property insurance in the normal insurance market shall be entitled upon request to an inspection of the property by representatives of the inspection bureau. Such request shall be upon forms and in accordance with procedures reviewed by the Commissioner.
(b) The plan of operation of the inspection bureau, the manner and scope of the inspection, and the form of the inspection report shall be submitted by the inspection bureau in written report for review by the Commissioner.
(c) A copy of the inspection report shall be made available to the applicant or his agent or the insurer upon request.
§ 4106. Establishment of industry placement facility
An industry placement facility shall be established by authorized insurers to formulate and administer a program for the equitable distribution and placement of applications for basic property insurance for qualified property which has been so inspected. Separate classifications may be established for the purpose of equitable distribution but shall not include farm or manufacturing properties. Such program should be intended to conform with the applicable provisions of the National Insurance Development Corporation Act of 1968, or other such title as such federal legislation may bear upon enactment.
§ 4107. Review
Any faculty, plan, program, or form required under this Subsection shall be subject to review by the Commissioner and deemed to meet the requirements of this Subchapter unless disapproved.
§ 4108. Failure of industry placement facility program
If the Commissioner finds, after a reasonable period of time, that the plan of operation set forth in Section 4106 of this Title is not creating a market which meets the purposes of that Section, he may order the implementation of Sections 4109 and 4110 of this Title.
§ 4109. Joint underwriting association
(a) After hearing and upon promulgation of an order by the Commissioner pursuant to Section 4108 of this Title, a joint underwriting association shall be created consisting of all insurers authorized to write and engaged in writing within this State, on a direct basis, fire and extended coverage insurance, including insurers covering such perils in homeowners and commercial multiple peril package policies. Every such insurer shall be a member of the association and shall remain a member as a condition of its authority to continue to transact such kinds of insurance within this State.
(b) The association shall, pursuant to the provisions of this Chapter and the plan of operation and with respect to basic property insurance on qualified property, have the power to (1) cause its members to issue policies of insurance to applicants; (2) assume reinsurance from members; and (3) code reinsurance.
(c) Within ninety days following the effective date of the order of the Commissioner, the association shall submit to the Commissioner for his review a proposed plan of operation, consistent with the provisions of this Subchapter, which shall provide for economical, fair and nondiscriminatory administration and for the prompt and efficient provision of basic property insurance to promote orderly community development, including, but not limited to, preliminary assessment of all members for initial expenses necessary to commence operations, establishment of necessary facilities, management of the association, assessment of members to defray losses and expenses, commission arrangements, reasonable underwriting standards and limits of liability, acceptance and cession of reinsurance, and procedures for determining amounts of insurance to be provided.
(d) The plan of operation shall be subject to review by the Commissioner, after consultation with affected individuals and organizations, and shall take effect ten clays thereafter in the absence of any disapproval. If the Commissioner disapproves all or any part of the proposed plan of operation, the association shall, within thirty days, submit for review an appropriately revised plan of operation or part thereof, and, if the association fails to do so, or if the revised plan so filed is unacceptable, the Commissioner shall promulgate such a plan of operation or part thereof as he may deem necessary to carry out the purpose of this Subchapter.
(e) The association may, on its own initiative, or at the request of the Commissioner, amend the plan of operation or part thereof subject to review by the Commissioner.
§ 4110. Procedures
(a) Any member of the association may cede to the association basic property insurance written on qualified property, to the extent, if any, and on the terms and conditions set forth in the plan of operation.
(f) All members of the association shall participate in its writings, expenses, profits and losses in the proportion that the premiums written by each such member (but excluding (1) premiums on farm or manufacturing property, and (2) that portion of premiums attributable to the operation of the association) during the preceding calendar year bear to the aggregate premiums written in this State by all members of the association. Such participation by each insurer in the association shall be determined annually on the basis of such premiums written during the preceding calendar year as disclosed in the annual statements and other reports filed by the insurer with the Commissioner.
() The association shall be governed by a board of eleven directors, elected annually by cumulative voting by the members of the association, whose votes in such election shall be weighed in accordance with each member's premiums written during the preceding calendar year. The first board shall be elected at a meeting of the members or their authorized representatives, which shall be held within thirty days after approval of the plan of operation as provided in Section 4109 of this Title.
§ 4111. Examinations
The operation of the inspection bureau, the industry placement facility and any joint underwriting association shall at all times be subject to the supervision and regulation of the Commissioner. The Commissioner, or any person designated by him, shall have the power of visitation of and examination into such operations and free access to all books, records, files, papers, and documents that relate to such operations, may summon and qualify witnesses under oath, and may examine directors, officers, agents, or employees, or any other person having knowledge of such operations.
§ 4112. Appeals
Any person aggrieved by any action or decision of the inspection bureau or industry placement facility may appeal to the Commissioner within 30 days from the action or the decision. The Commissioner shall after hearing held upon not less than 10 days' written notice to the aggrieved person and the inspection bureau or the industry placement facility issue an order approving the action or decision, disapproving the action or decision, or directing the inspection bureau or the industry placement facility to reassign and place the application pursuant to said plan.
§ 4113. Nonliability as to information; statements
There shall be no liability on the part of, and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against insurers, the inspection bureau, the industry placement facility, the joint underwriting association, or their agents or employees, or the Commissioner or his authorized representatives, for any inspections undertaken or statements made by them in any reports and communications concerning the property to be insured, or at the time of the hearings conducted in connection therewith, or in the findings required by the provisions of this Chapter.
Section 3. The provisions of this Act shall become effective on November 1, 1968.
Approved August 12, 1968.