§ 1911 Placement of insurance business.
(a) An insurer shall not engage in the transaction of insurance in this State unless authorized by a certificate of authority in force pursuant to the laws of this State, or exempted by this chapter or otherwise exempted by the insurance laws of this State.
(b) A person shall not engage in a transaction of insurance or in this State directly or indirectly act as agent for, or otherwise represent or aid on behalf of another, a nonadmitted insurer in the solicitation, negotiation, procurement or effectuation of insurance, or renewals thereof, or forwarding of applications, or delivery of policies or contracts or inspection of risks, or fixing of rates, or investigation or adjustment of claims or losses, or collection or forwarding of premiums, or in any other manner represent or assist the insurer in the transaction of insurance.
(c) A person who represents or aids a nonadmitted insurer in violation of this section shall be subject to the penalties set forth in § 106 of this title. No insurance contract entered into in violation of this section shall preclude the insured from enforcing his or her rights under the contract in accordance with the terms and provisions of the contract of insurance and the laws of this State, to the same degree those rights would have been enforceable had the contract been lawfully procured.
(d) If the nonadmitted insurer fails to pay a claim or loss within the provisions of the insurance contract and the laws of this State, a person who assisted or in any manner aided directly or indirectly in the procurement of the insurance contract, shall be liable to the insured for the full amount under the provisions of the insurance contract.
(e) Subsection (b) or (d) of this section shall not apply to an insured who independently procures insurance.
(f) This section shall not apply to a person, properly licensed as a producer in this State who, for a fee and pursuant to a written agreement, is engaged solely to offer to the insured advice, counsel or opinion, or service with respect to the benefits, advantages or disadvantages promised under any proposed or in-force policy of insurance if the person does not, directly or indirectly, participate in the solicitation, negotiation or procurement of insurance on behalf of the insured.
(g) This section shall not apply to a surplus lines broker duly licensed in this State who is acting in material compliance with the insurance laws of this State in the placement of surplus lines insurance as provided in this chapter.
§ 1912 Conditions for export.
(a) If certain insurance coverage cannot be procured from authorized insurers, such coverage, hereinafter designated "surplus lines," may be procured from nonadmitted insurers, subject to the following conditions:
(1) Each insurer is an eligible surplus lines insurer; and
(2) Each insurer is authorized to write the type of insurance in its domiciliary jurisdiction; and
(3) The full amount of insurance required must not be procurable, after diligent effort has been made to do so, from among the insurers authorized to transact and actually writing that kind and class of insurance in this State, and the amount of insurance exported shall be only the excess over or other than the amount procurable from authorized insurers; and
(4) The insurance must not be so exported for the purpose of securing advantages either as to:
a. A lower premium rate than would be accepted by an authorized insurer; or
b. Terms of the insurance contract.
(5) All other requirements of this chapter are met.
(b) For purposes of this section, "type of insurance" means the hazard or combination of hazards covered by a contract of insurance.
(c) Each surplus line broker shall be responsible to ensure that a diligent effort is made among insurers that are admitted to transact and are actually writing the particular type of insurance in this State before procuring the insurance for a home state insured from a nonadmitted insurer.
(1) A diligent search shall only be performed by a surplus lines broker or a producer licensed in this State that holds an active property and casualty insurance producer license.
(2) An insurance producer or surplus lines broker is exempt from the diligent effort requirements of this section if the producer or surplus lines broker is procuring insurance for a risk purchasing group as provided in Chapter 80 of this title.
(d) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(2) of this section and § 1914 of this title, the Commissioner shall by regulation establish the degree of effort required to comply with paragraphs (a)(3) and (4) of this section and the means to certify to the accuracy of the facts supporting the surplus line broker's diligent search effort.
§ 1913 Duty of inquiry by surplus lines broker.
(a) The surplus lines broker shall be responsible for determining whether an applicant for nonadmitted insurance is a Delaware home state insured. A surplus lines broker who reasonably relies on information provided in good faith by the applicant, whether directly or through the producer, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this requirement.
(b) A broker shall not knowingly place surplus lines insurance with an insurer that is unsound financially or that does not meet the eligibility requirements under subchapter III of this chapter.
(c) Before placing insurance with a nonadmitted insurer, all surplus lines brokers shall make a thorough inquiry into the financial condition and operating history of such insurer in order that the interests of the citizens of Delaware may be protected.
(d) During the course of placing business with a nonadmitted insurer, either foreign or alien, each surplus lines broker shall be under a continuous duty to apprise himself or herself that such insurer maintains a condition of solvency and general financial health, and that the company processes claims and pays losses expeditiously.
(e) Whenever any reasonable doubt arises as to the capacity, competence, stability or good faith of a nonadmitted insurer with which a surplus lines broker places insurance on behalf of the public of Delaware, the broker is under a further duty to inform the Insurance Commissioner of the basis of such doubt. Any broker in a position of doubt shall immediately cease and desist placing further business with such insurer.
§ 1914 Streamlined application for commercial purchasers.
(a) A surplus lines broker seeking to procure or place nonadmitted insurance in this State for an exempt commercial purchaser whose home state is this State shall not be required to satisfy any requirement to make a diligent effort to determine whether the full amount or type of insurance sought by such exempt commercial purchaser can be obtained from admitted insurers if:
(1) The broker procuring or placing the surplus lines insurance has disclosed to the exempt commercial purchaser that such insurance may or may not be available from the admitted market that may provide greater protection with more regulatory oversight; and
(2) The exempt commercial purchaser has subsequently requested in writing the broker to procure or place such insurance from a nonadmitted insurer.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term "exempt commercial purchaser" means any person purchasing commercial insurance that, at the time of placement, meets the following requirements:
(1) The person employs or retains a qualified risk manager to negotiate insurance coverage.
(2) The person has paid aggregate nationwide commercial property and casualty insurance premiums in excess of $100,000 in the immediately preceding 12 months.
(3) The person meets at least 1 of the following criteria:
a. The person possesses a net worth in excess of $20,000,000; as such amount is adjusted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
b. The person generates annual revenues in excess of $50,000,000; as such amount is adjusted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
c. The person employs more than 500 full-time or full-time equivalent employees per individual insured or is a member of an affiliated group employing more than 1,000 employees in the aggregate.
d. The person is a not-for-profit organization or public entity generating annual budgeted expenditures of at least $30,000,000; as such amount is adjusted pursuant to subsection (c) of this section.
e. The person is a municipality with a population in excess of 50,000 persons.
(c) Effective January 1, 2016, and each fifth January 1 occurring thereafter, the amounts in paragraphs (b)(3)a., b. and d. of this section shall be adjusted to reflect the percentage change for such 5-year period in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor.
§ 1915 Open lines for export.
(a) The Commissioner may by order declare eligible for export for a home state insured, generally and without compliance with the provisions of § 1912 of this title, any class or classes of insurance coverage or risk for which the Commissioner finds, after a hearing of which notice was given to each insurer authorized to transact such class or classes in this State, that there is not a reasonable or adequate market among authorized insurers either as to acceptance of the risk, contract terms, or premium rate. Any such order shall continue in effect during the existence of the conditions upon which predicated, but subject to earlier termination by the Commissioner.
(b) The broker shall file as directed by the Commissioner a memorandum as to each such coverage placed by him or her in a nonadmitted insurer for a home state insured, in such form and context as the Commissioner may reasonably require for the identification of the coverage and determination of the tax payable to the state relative thereto.
(c) The broker or a licensed Delaware producer of the authorized insurer may also place with authorized insurers any insurance coverage made eligible for export generally under subsection (a) of this section above, and without regard to rate or form filings which may otherwise be applicable as to the authorized insurer. As to coverage so placed in an authorized insurer, the premium tax thereon shall be reported and paid by the insurer as required generally under Chapter 7 of this title.
§ 1916 Evidence of the insurance; changes; penalty.
(a) Upon placing a surplus lines coverage for a home state insured, the broker shall promptly issue and deliver to the insured evidence of the insurance consisting either of the policy as issued by the insurer or, if such policy is not then available, the surplus line broker's certificate. Such a certificate shall be executed by the broker and shall show the name and license number of the individual surplus lines broker, the description and location of the subject of the insurance, coverage, conditions and term of the insurance, the premium and rate charged, taxes collected from the insured, and the name and address of the insured and insurer. If the risk is assumed by more than 1 insurer, the certificate shall state the name and address and proportion of the entire risk assumed by each such insurer.
(b) No broker shall issue any such certificate or any cover note, or purport to insure or represent that insurance will be or has been granted by any nonadmitted insurer, unless he or she has prior written authority from the insurer for the insurance, or has received information from the insurer in the regular course of business that such insurance has been granted, or an insurance policy providing the insurance actually has been issued by the insurer and delivered to the insured.
(c) If after the issuance and delivery of any such certificate there is any change as to the identity of the insurers, or the proportion of the direct risk assumed by an insurer as stated in the broker's original certificate, or in any other material respect as to the insurance evidenced by the certificate, the broker shall promptly issue and deliver to the insured or the original producing agent a substitute for, or endorsement of, the original document, accurately showing the current status of the coverage and the insurers responsible for the coverage.
(d) As soon as reasonably possible after the placement of the insurance, the surplus lines broker shall deliver a copy of the policy or, if not available, a certificate of insurance to the insured or producing agent to replace any evidence of insurance previously issued. Each certificate or policy of insurance shall contain or have attached a complete record of all policy insuring agreements, conditions, exclusions, clauses, endorsements or any other material facts that would regularly be included in the policy.
(e) Any surplus lines broker, who knowingly or negligently issues a false certificate of insurance or who fails promptly to notify the insured of any material change with respect to such insurance by delivery to the insured of a substitute certificate as provided in subsection (c) of this section, shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalty provided by § 106 of this title or to any greater applicable penalty otherwise provided by law.
§ 1917 Endorsement of contract.
(a) Licensee's duty to notify insured. —
(1) No contract of insurance placed by a surplus lines broker under this chapter for a home state insured shall be binding upon the insured and no premium charged shall be due and payable until the surplus lines broker shall have notified the insured in writing, in a form acceptable to the Commissioner, a copy of which shall be maintained by the surplus lines broker with the records of the contract and available for possible examination, that:
a. The insurer with which the broker places the insurance is not licensed by this State and is not subject to its supervision; and
b. In the event of the insolvency of the surplus lines insurer, losses will not be paid by the state insurance guaranty fund.
(2) Nothing herein contained shall nullify any agreement by any insurer to provide insurance.
(3) This subsection shall not apply to an insured in this State who independently procures insurance.
(b) Every insurance contract procured and delivered as surplus lines coverage pursuant to this law shall have stamped or printed upon it, initialed by and bearing the name of the individual surplus lines broker who procured it, the following disclosure statement:
"This insurance contract is issued pursuant to the Delaware Insurance Laws by an insurer neither licensed by nor under the jurisdiction of the Delaware Insurance Department. This insurer does not participate in insurance guaranty funds created by state law. In the event of the insolvency of the surplus lines insurer, losses will not be paid by the state insurance guaranty fund."
(c) When a contract is issued to an exempt commercial insurer as described in § 1914 of this title, neither the nonadmitted insurer nor the surplus line broker is required to provide the notice required in this section except on the confirmation of insurance, the certificate of placement, or the policy, whichever is first provided to the insured, nor is the insurer or surplus line broker required to obtain the insured's signature. The producer shall ensure that the notice affixed to the confirmation of insurance, certificate of placement, or the policy is provided to the insured.
(d) Paragraph (a)(1)a. and subsection (b) of this section shall not apply when the surplus lines coverage is procured from a domestic surplus lines insurer pursuant to § 1932 of this title.
§ 1918 Surplus line insurance valid.
Insurance contracts procured as surplus lines coverage from nonadmitted insurers in accordance with this law, whether so procured by a surplus lines broker or directly by the insured by means of independent procurement, shall be fully valid and enforceable as to all parties, and shall be given recognition in all matters and respects to the same effect as like contracts issued by authorized insurers.
§ 1919 Liability of insurer.
(a) A payment of premium to a surplus lines broker acting for a person other than himself or herself in procuring, continuing or renewing any policy of insurance procured under this law shall be deemed to be payment to the insurer, whatever conditions or stipulations may be inserted in the policy or contract notwithstanding.
(b) As to a surplus lines risk which has been assumed by a nonadmitted insurer pursuant to this surplus lines insurance law, and if the premium thereon has been received by the surplus line broker who placed such insurance, in all questions thereafter arising under the coverage as between the insurer and the insured the insurer shall be deemed to have received the premium due to it for such coverage, and the insurer shall be liable to the insured as to losses covered by such insurance and for unearned premiums which may become payable to the insured upon cancellation of such insurance, whether or not in fact the broker is indebted to the insurer with respect to such insurance or for any other cause.
(c) Each nonadmitted insurer assuming a surplus lines risk under this surplus lines insurance law shall be deemed thereby to have subjected itself to the terms of this section.
§ 1920 Surplus line brokers; licensing.
(a) No individual is required to be licensed pursuant to this chapter as a surplus lines broker if the home state of the insured is a state other than Delaware.
(b) The penalty in Chapter 17 of this title for selling, soliciting, negotiating, or procuring surplus lines insurance in this State without a surplus lines license shall be waived if the Insurance Commissioner receives an application for licensure as a surplus lines broker within 45 days from the effective date of a multi-state policy for which this State is the insured's home state.
(c) Any individual, while licensed in this State as a resident or nonresident producer, who is deemed by the Commissioner to be competent and trustworthy with respect to the handling of surplus lines may be licensed as a surplus lines broker.
(d) Application for the license shall be made to the Commissioner on forms as designated by the Commissioner.
(e) The license fee shall be as specified in § 701 of this title.
(f) The license and licensee shall be subject to the applicable provisions of Chapter 17 of this title.
(g) For the purposes of implementing the NRRA [Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010, 15 U.S.C. § 8201 et seq.], the Commissioner shall participate in the National Insurance Producer Database of the NAIC or any other equivalent national database for the licensure and license renewal of surplus lines brokers on and after July 21, 2012.
§ 1921 Suspension, revocation, of broker's license.
(a) Subject to § 1712 of this title, the Commissioner may also suspend or revoke any surplus line broker's license:
(1) If the broker fails to file the annual statement as required by § 1924 of this title, or to remit the tax as required by § 1925 of this title; or
(2) If the broker fails to keep the records, or to allow the Commissioner to examine his or her records as required by this law; or
(3) If the broker places a surplus line coverage in an insurer other than as authorized under subchapter III of this chapter; or
(4) For violation of any provision of this chapter; or
(5) For any cause for which an insurance license could be denied, revoked, suspended or renewal refused under Chapter 17 of this title.
(b) The procedures provided by Chapter 17 of this title for suspension or revocation of licenses shall apply to suspension or revocation of a surplus lines broker's license.
(c) Upon suspending or revoking the broker's surplus lines license the Commissioner shall also suspend or revoke all other licenses of or as to the same individual under this title.
§ 1922 Broker may compensate agents and other licensed producers.
A licensed surplus lines broker may accept and place surplus lines business for any insurance producer licensed in this State for the kind of insurance involved, and may compensate the producer for the business.
§ 1923 Records of broker.
(a) Each broker shall keep in his or her office a full and true record of each surplus lines coverage procured by him or her for a home state insured, including a copy of each daily report, if any, a copy of each certificate of insurance issued by him or her, and such of the following items as may be applicable:
(1) Verification that the insured is a Delaware home state insured;
(2) Whether or not a policy is a single-state policy or a multi-state policy;
(3) Verification that a commercial insured qualifies under the provisions of § 1914 of this title;
(4) Amount of the insurance;
(5) Gross premium charged;
(6) Return premium paid, if any;
(7) Rate of premium charged upon the several items of property;
(8) Effective date of the contract and the terms thereof;
(9) Name and address of each insurer on the direct risk and the proportion of the entire risk assumed by such insurer if less than the entire risk;
(10) Name and address of the insured;
(11) Brief general description of the property or risk insured and where located or to be performed;
(12) A tax allocation spreadsheet detailing the portion of premium attributable to properties, risks, or exposures located in each state;
(13) Other information as may be required by the Commissioner; and
(14) An affidavit on a form prescribed by the Commissioner as to the diligent effort to place the coverage with admitted insurers as set forth in § 1912 of this title and the results of that effort, except where the transaction is pursuant to § 1905(c)(2) [sic] or § 1914 of this title. The affidavit must be open to public inspection. The affidavit must affirm that the insured was expressly advised in writing prior to placement of the insurance that:
a. The surplus lines insurer with whom the insurance was to be placed is not licensed in this State and is not subject to the State's supervision; and
b. In the event of the insolvency of the surplus lines insurer, losses will not be paid by the State Insurance Guaranty Fund.
(b) The broker's record shall be open to examination by the Commissioner at all times within 5 years after issuance of the coverage to which it relates.
(c) After notice and hearing, the Commissioner may promulgate reasonable rules and regulations specifying the manner and type of records to be maintained by surplus lines brokers and the location or locations where those records shall be kept.
§ 1924 Annual statement of broker.
(a) Unless the Commissioner determines that more frequent reporting is necessary, each broker shall on or before March 1 of each year file with the Commissioner a statement verified by the broker of all surplus lines insurance transacted by him or her during the preceding calendar year.
(b) The statement shall be on forms as prescribed by the Commissioner and shall contain an account of the business done by the surplus lines broker placing business for a home state insured, showing:
(1) Gross amount of each kind of insurance transacted;
(2) Total amount of gross premiums charged for business conducted;
(3) Total amount of gross premiums charged for single state risks where 100% of the premium is attributable to risks in Delaware;
(4) Total amount of gross premiums charged for multi-state risks and the percentage of premium allocated to Delaware and each other state;
(5) Aggregate of returned premiums paid to insureds;
(6) Aggregate of net premiums;
(7) The amount of gross premiums of all business procured by him or her covering risks as described in § 705 of this title in the City of Wilmington, in the County of New Castle outside the City of Wilmington, in Kent County and in Sussex County, including allocation of the portion of the gross premiums for coverage types listed in § 705 of this title and allocable to each of the above geographic areas.
(8) Additional information as required by the Commissioner.
(c) For purposes of this section, "business done" or "business transacted" means all surplus lines insurance business conducted by the surplus lines broker for a home state insured. If 2 or more persons licensed as surplus lines brokers are involved in placing a policy, only the one who is responsible for negotiating, effecting the placement, and remitting the premium to the nonadmitted insurer or its representatives, shall be considered transacting business.
§ 1925 Tax on surplus lines.
(a) The Commissioner shall ensure that reasonable measures are developed to recover insurance taxes and other amounts due this State during each year.
(b) Every surplus lines broker shall collect and pay to the State Treasurer through the Commissioner a 2 percent tax on the gross premiums charged, less any returned premiums and exclusive of sums collected to cover federal and state taxes and examination fees, for insurance placed or procured under his or her surplus lines license in which this State is the home state of the insured.
(c) For the purposes of this section, if a surplus lines policy procured through a surplus lines broker covers properties, risks, or exposures only partially located or to be performed in this State, but this State is the home state of the insured, all premium for the policy shall be considered written on properties, risks, or exposures located or to be performed in this State.
(d) The tax on any portion of the premium unearned at termination of insurance having been credited by the State to the surplus lines producer must be returned to the policyholder directly by the surplus lines producer. The surplus lines producer is prohibited from rebating, for any reason, any part of the tax.
(e) Annually, on or before March 1, unless more frequent reporting and payment is ordered by the Commissioner, each surplus lines broker shall pay the premium tax due according to subsection (b) of this section for the policies written during the preceding calendar year as shown by his or her annual statement filed with the Commissioner pursuant to § 1924 of this title. Payment shall accompany such forms and shall be made in such manner as is prescribed by the Commissioner.
§ 1926 Independently procured insurance.
(a) Any person whose home state is this State may directly procure or directly renew insurance with a nonadmitted insurer, as defined in § 1904 of this title, without the involvement of a surplus lines licensee, on a risk located or to be performed, in whole or in part, in this State.
(b) Each insured whose home state is this State that independently procures or continues or renews insurance with a nonadmitted insurer on properties, risks, or exposures located or to be performed in whole or in part in this State, other than insurance procured through a surplus lines broker, is subject to the same tax reporting requirements under this chapter as apply to a surplus lines broker.
(c) On or before March 1 each year, the insured that independently procures insurance must file a written report with the Commissioner, upon forms prescribed by the Commissioner, showing the name and address of the insured or insureds, name and address of the insurer, the subject of the insurance, a general description of the coverage, the amount of premium currently charged, and additional pertinent information reasonably requested by the Commissioner.
(d) At the time of filing the report required in subsection (b) of this section, the insured shall pay to the State Treasurer through the Commissioner a tax at the same rate and in the same manner as surplus lines brokers, as required in § 1925(e) of this title.
§ 1927 Failure to file statement or remit tax; penalty.
(a) If any broker fails to file his or her annual statement or fails to remit the tax as required in §§ 1924 and 1925 of this title, or if any insured who independently procured insurance fails to file the report and remit the tax provided by § 1926 of this title prior to or on the date the tax is due, and, if in the Commissioner's opinion such failure is without just cause, he or she shall be liable for a fine of $25 for each day of delinquency commencing with the first day after the tax is due.
(b) The tax may be collected by distraint, or the tax and fine may be recovered by an action instituted by the Commissioner in any court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) Any fine collected by the Commissioner shall be paid to the State Treasurer and credited to the General Fund.