Section 8: Rating organizations; licensing; fee; powers; regulations
Section 8. (a) A corporation, an unincorporated association, a partnership or an individual, whether located within or outside this commonwealth, may make application to the commissioner for license as a rating organization for such kinds of insurance, or subdivision or class of risk or a part or combination thereof as are specified in its application and shall file therewith (1) a copy of its constitution, its articles of agreement or association or its certificate of incorporation, and of its by-laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business, (2) a list of its members and subscribers, (3) the name and address of a resident of this commonwealth upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or process affecting such rating organization may be served and (4) a statement of its qualifications as a rating organization. If the commissioner finds that the applicant is competent, trustworthy and otherwise qualified to act as a rating organization and that its constitution, articles of agreement or association or certificate of incorporation, and its by-laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business conform to the requirements of law, he shall issue a license specifying the kinds of insurance, or subdivision or class of risk or part or combination thereof for which the applicant is authorized to act as a rating organization. Every such application shall be granted or denied in whole or in part by the commissioner within sixty days of the date of its filing with him. Licenses issued pursuant to this section shall remain in effect for three years unless sooner suspended or revoked by the commissioner. The fee for said license shall be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven. Licenses issued pursuant to this section may be suspended or revoked by the commissioner, after hearing upon due notice, in the event the rating organization ceases to meet the requirements of this subsection. Every rating organization shall notify the commissioner promptly of every change in (1) its constitution, its articles of agreement or association, or its certificate of incorporation, and its by-laws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business, (2) its list of members and subscribers and (3) the name and address of the resident of this commonwealth designated by it upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or process affecting such rating organization may be served.
(b) Subject to rules and regulations which have been approved by the commissioner as reasonable, each rating organization shall permit any insurer qualifying thereunder, not a member, to be a subscriber to its rating services for any kind of insurance, subdivision, or class of risk or a part or combination thereof for which it is authorized to act as a rating organization. Notice of proposed changes in such rules and regulations shall be given to subscribers. Each rating organization shall furnish its rating services without discrimination to its members and subscribers. The reasonableness of any rule or regulation in its application to subscribers, or the refusal of any rating organization to admit a qualified insurer as a subscriber, shall, at the request of any subscriber or any such insurer, be reviewed by the commissioner at a hearing held upon at least ten days' written notice to such rating organization and to such subscriber or insurer. If the commissioner finds that such rule or regulation is unreasonable in its application to subscribers, he shall order that such rule or regulation shall not be applicable to subscribers. If the rating organization fails to grant or reject a qualified insurer's application for subscribership within thirty days after it was made, such insurer may request a review by the commissioner as if the application had been rejected. If the commissioner finds that such insurer has been refused admittance to the rating organization as a subscriber without justification, he shall order the rating organization to admit such insurer as a subscriber. If he finds that the action of the rating organization was justified, he shall make an order affirming its action.
(c) No rating organization shall adopt any rule the effect of which would be to prohibit or regulate the payment of dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members or subscribers.
(d) Co-operation among rating organizations or among rating organizations and insurers in rate making or in other matters within the scope of this chapter is hereby authorized, provided the filings resulting from such co-operation are subject to all the provisions of this chapter which are applicable to filings generally. The commissioner may review such co-operative activities and practices and if, after due notice and a hearing, he finds that any such activity or practice is unfair or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with this chapter, he may issue a written order specifying in what respects such activity or practice is unfair or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, and requiring the discontinuance of such activity or practice.
(e) Any rating organization may provide for the examination of policies, daily reports, binders, renewal certificates, endorsements or other evidences of insurance, or the cancellation thereof, and may make reasonable rules governing their submission. Such rules shall contain a provision that in the event any insurer does not within sixty days furnish satisfactory evidence to the rating organization of the correction of any error or omission previously called to its attention by the rating organization, it shall be the duty of the rating organization to notify the commissioner thereof. All information so submitted for examination shall be confidential.
(f) Any rating organization may subscribe for or purchase actuarial, technical or other services, and such services shall be available to all members and subscribers without discrimination.
(g) A rating organization may restrict its membership or subscribership if the commissioner deems it to be in the public interest.