CHAPTER 731

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 18, DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE SPECIAL TAX ON GROSS PREMIUMS FOR BENEFIT OF FIREMEN AND FIRE COMPANIES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (three-fourths of all the members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):

Section 1. Section 705, Title 18, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting in their entirety Sections 705 and 706 thereof and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 705 as follows:

§ 705. Reporting by insurers of gross premiums and payments to fire companies based thereon

(a) Every insurance company receiving premiums for covering risks of loss on any real or personal property within the limits of this State from fire, extended coverage, other allied lines, homeowner (package policy), commercial multiple peril, growing crops, ocean marine, inland marine, automobile physical damage, and aircraft physical damage, shall annually, at the same time that such company files its annual report as required by law, deliver to the Insurance Commissioner a full detailed statement of the amount of gross premiums of all such business done by such a company in the City of Wilmington; in the County of New Castle, outside the City of Wilmington; in Kent County; and in Sussex County; less return and reinsurance premiums received from other companies or by any agent or agents of such company, in cash or otherwise, for the year ending on the previous thirty-first day of December, including therein an allocation of the portion of the said gross premiums coverage allocable to each of the above areas. This statement shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the insurance Company's president or vice-president and secretary or other officer and the statement shall be on a form prepared and furnished by the Insurance Commissioner for that purpose. The Insurance Commissioner shall have the power and authority to request and receive any additional information regarding any insurance company's business of covering the hereinabove stated types of risk of loss. Failure to give the Insurance Commissioner the requested information shall be good cause under Section 520 of this Title for revocation of any certificate of authority of any insurance company so ignoring the request.

(b) The Insurance Commissioner shall ascertain and report to the State Treasurer on or before the first day of April of each year, the information contained in the statements and such other information as the Insurance Commissioner has obtained from the insurance companies pursuant to subsection (a) and after receipt of such report, the State Treasurer shall pay a total sum equivalent to three and three-quarters per cent (3 3/4 %) of all such premiums obtained for writing in Delaware the types of coverage stated in subsection (a), from a special fund which shall consist of a sum equivalent to three and three-quarters per cent (3 3/4 % ) of all such premiums obtained for writing in Delaware the types of coverage stated in subsection (a), to the Treasurer of the City of Wilmington and to the fire companies registering as provided in section (c), in the proportions stated in subsection (d). Such payment shall be made by the State Treasurer from this special fund on or before the first day of May of each year. Payments to the special fund shall be made out of fees and taxes deposited with the State Treasurer by the Insurance Commissioner, not including those funds per section 708 of this Chapter.

(c) All active fire companies or departments in this State outside the limits of the City of Wilmington, shall register with the Insurance Commissioner on or before the first day of March in each year, on a form provided by the Insurance Commissioner, giving their location, apparatus and equipment maintained.

(d) The Insurance Commissioner shall then ascertain the proportions of the above described three and three-quarters percent (3 3/4%) sum and the actual amount thereby due to be paid to the Treasurer of the City of Wilmington and to the other fire departments registering with the Insurance Commissioner pursuant to subsection (c) and the State Treasurer shall then make payments in the such amounts, which funds shall be used for assisting and maintaining the fire departments or companies of this State. The payment to the City of Wilmington shall be used only for its Firemen's Pension Fund of the Bureau of Fire in the City of Wilmington.

(e) All insurance companies writing the hereinabove described types of coverage within the State of Delaware, shall be required to reduce their premiums on all such coverage written in Delaware, under the rate filing in effect on the effective date of this act, by the sum of three and one-half per cent (31/2%) of all such premiums, unless such rate filing then in effect shall have made allowance for no more than a two per cent (2% ) premium tax. All future rate filings covering the hereinabove described types of coverage within the State of Delaware shall make allowance for no more than two per cent (2%) premium tax unless the premium tax shall be changed after the effective date of this Act; in which case they may make allowance therein for no more than the then effective premium tax.

(f) This Act shall take effect on January 1, 1972.

Approved July 20, 1970.