Section 73: Mutual fire companies; solicitation of business; issuance of policies; restrictions; penalties
Section 73. No policy shall be issued by a mutual fire company having no guaranty capital or having a guaranty capital of less than the combined capital and surplus provisions required under section forty-eight, until not less than one million dollars of insurance, in not less than four hundred separate risks upon property located in the commonwealth, has been subscribed for and entered on its books, nor until a list of the subscribers for insurance, with such other information as the commissioner may require, shall have been filed with him, nor until the president and secretary of the company shall have certified on oath that every subscription for insurance in the list so filed is genuine and that all premiums thereon have been actually paid to it in full in cash. If such officers shall make a false oath relative to such list or premium payments they shall be guilty of perjury.
No such company and no officer, director, agent or other representative thereof shall solicit any subscriptions for insurance until a copy of the form of subscription agreement and of the receipt hereinafter mentioned has been filed with and approved by the commissioner, nor until it has furnished security in such form and such amount as the commissioner may require for the repayment of any premiums paid to it or any of its officers, directors, agents or representatives in advance as hereinafter provided nor until it has received from the commissioner a preliminary certificate, in such form as he may prescribe, authorizing it to solicit subscriptions.
If any subscriber shall pay in whole or in part the premium on the policy for which he has subscribed, prior to the issue of the certificate required by section thirty-two, the company or the officer, director, agent or other representative receiving such payment shall at the time of such payment deliver to the subscriber a receipt in a form approved by the commissioner evidencing such payment signed by the officer, director, agent or other representative, and any payment so made, shall be deemed payment to the company.
All premiums or parts thereof paid in advance by the subscribers shall be held in trust by the company pending the issue of the certificate required by said section thirty-two, shall not be used for any purpose prior to the issue thereof and shall, if such certificate is not issued within the time fixed by section forty-four, be refunded in full to the subscribers. Such premiums shall not be deemed a liability under said section thirty-two.
The president and treasurer of the company shall execute under oath and file with the commissioner whenever he shall require in writing a statement in such form as he may prescribe of all moneys received by the company or its officers, directors, agents or other representatives from subscribers prior to the issue of a certificate under said section thirty-two.
The commissioner may at any time prior to the issue of such certificate examine the books, records and accounts of any such company and for this purpose he shall have all of the powers conferred by section four.
The provisions of section one hundred and sixty-three shall apply to all persons, except the officers or directors of the company, soliciting subscriptions on behalf of such company.
Any officer or director who uses or permits the use of such advance payments in violation of this section shall be personally liable to any subscriber for the amount of his payment and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than one thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not less than one month nor more than two and one half years, or by both.
Any officer, director, agent or other representative who solicits subscriptions in violation of this section, or who uses a form of subscription agreement or receipt not approved by the commissioner, or who accepts a payment in whole or in part of a premium from a subscriber and does not give to such subscriber a receipt as hereinbefore provided, shall be personally liable to any subscriber for the amount of his payment. A company, or any officer, director, agent or other representative thereof violating any provision of this section shall, except as otherwise provided herein, be punished by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both.