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General Laws

Section 80. From time to time the directors of a mutual fire company may by vote fix and determine the percentages of dividend or expiration return of premium to be paid on expiring or cancelled policies, or to be paid upon anniversary dates of policies having a term of more than one year or having no expiration dates, which may, in their discretion, and with the written approval of the commissioner, and upon such conditions, if any, as he may prescribe, be different for policies insuring for the same term against the different kinds of risks mentioned in the several provisions of the clause or clauses of section forty-seven under which such a company may transact business; and the percentage aforesaid for fire policies insuring farm risks, fireproof risks, including risks equipped with automatic sprinkler and fire alarm systems, or manufacturing or storage risks, or manufacturing or storage risks confined to lumber and woodworking only, risks subject to special inspection, special underwriting and special reinsurance treatment, insured under either (A) policies issued by ten or more such companies or (B) policies issued by one such company which by joint underwriting cedes a portion of the risk to nine or more other such companies in a group, may in like manner be different from that for policies insuring other risks against fire for the same term; and the percentage aforesaid for policies written on an indivisible premium basis, which for the purposes of this section, with the written approval of the commissioner, and upon such conditions, if any, as he may prescribe, may be constituted a separate classification or classifications of business, insuring for the same term against more than one of the kinds of risks mentioned in the several provisions of the clauses of section forty-seven, may in like manner be different from that for other policies of such company written on a divisible premium basis insuring for the same term against some or all of the same kinds of risks. Policies insuring risks in this commonwealth in the same classification shall have an equal rate of dividend or return of premium. If an assessment is levied under section eighty-three the rate thereof may be different for policies insuring risks in any classification from that for policies insuring other classifications of risks for the same term; but policies insuring risks in the same classification shall have the same rate of assessment, and all funds of the company, actual and contingent, shall be available for the payment of any claim against it. Every policy placed in any classification made under this section shall, when issued, bear an endorsement, satisfactory to the commissioner, to the effect that it is so classified; provided, however, that this requirement shall not apply to policies written on an indivisible premium basis nor shall it apply to policies not written on an indivisible premium basis if all such policies are in one classification.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, (a) policies insuring only against credit risks arising from foreign trade which are shared with other insurers not under the same management, and on which each insurer shall be severally liable for a specified percentage of any loss or claim, and (b) policies insuring risks which are shared with other insurers not under the same management and on which each insurer shall be severally liable for a specified percentage of any loss or claim, insuring only against loss by reason of (1) loss of or damage to aircraft, missiles or spacecraft, (2) liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of aircraft, missiles or spacecraft, (3) the existence of any condition in aircraft, missiles or spacecraft or parts thereof, or (4) other extra-hazardous risks arising out of the manufacture or development for national defense of products which involve the potential of catastrophic losses and which cannot be evaluated by prior experience, may, in like manner, and with the written approval of the commissioner, and upon such conditions, if any, as he may prescribe, be placed in a classification or classifications separate from those for policies classified under the first paragraph of this section. Any dividends on policies separately classified under this paragraph shall not be at a greater percentage than for policies classified under the provision of the clause of section forty-seven which would apply were it not for the separate classification under this paragraph, and no separate classification under subdivisions (2), (3) or (4) of this paragraph shall include any coverage for liability under any workers’ compensation or occupational disease law, whether state or federal. The provision of the first paragraph of this section requiring the endorsing of policies shall not apply to policies classified under this paragraph, nor shall it apply to other policies if all such other policies except policies written on an indivisible premium basis are in one classification.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, (a) policies insuring only against legal liability for loss or damage to person or property caused by nuclear energy hazards, (b) policies insuring against loss or damage by radioactive contamination, whether or not also insuring against one or more other perils proper to insure against in this commonwealth, to production or utilization facilities as defined in section eighty-five of chapter six or to other nuclear reactors, and the structures appurtenant to such facilities or reactors and designed for use in connection therewith, or to any property designed or used for the separation of the isotopes of uranium or plutonium or for the processing, fabricating or alloying of special nuclear material or for the processing or storage of used nuclear fuel or by-product material, and (c) policies insuring only against loss or damage to property by flood or loss or damage to property by waves or overflow of tidal water, and (d) policies authorized by section one hundred and ten C, may, in like manner, and with the written approval of the commissioner, and upon such conditions, if any, as he may prescribe, be placed in a classification or classifications separate from those for policies classified under the first paragraph of this section, and the percentages of dividend for policies placed in any classification made under this paragraph may be different from those for policies placed in any other classification made under this or the first paragraph. The provision of the first paragraph of this section requiring the endorsing of policies shall not apply to policies classified under this paragraph, nor shall it apply to other policies if all such other policies except policies written on an indivisible premium basis are in one classification.

Whenever any such insurance company, whose business is confined chiefly to the insurance of sprinklered risks and which is conducted solely for the benefit and protection of its members and which pays no commissions or brokerage for the acquirement of its business, shall reinsure in a like company the whole or any portion of a risk covered by its policy or policies of insurance, it may do so either (1) by existing methods of reinsurance or (2) by agreement with its policyholder or policyholders attached to and made a part of such policy or policies, which agreement shall contain a schedule giving (a) the name and location of each reinsuring company and (b) the portion of the risk reinsured in each such company. Such agreement may also provide that the dividend or return of premium to be paid or credited upon termination of such policy or policies shall be the sum of (1) the dividend or return of premium to be paid or credited upon that portion of the premium or premium deposit retained by the company issuing such policy or policies and (2) the aggregate amount of such dividends or returns of premium paid or credited upon all portions of the premium or premium deposit ceded to all such reinsuring companies.

Any such company may accumulate and hold profits, but only until such profits equal four per cent of its insurance in force; and such accumulation shall be subject to the laws relative to the investment of the capital stock of domestic companies, except that it may also be invested in shares of co-operative banks, in deposits in savings banks, and in savings deposits in trust companies, chartered under the laws of this commonwealth, subject as to such deposits to the laws, rules and regulations governing the same. Such accumulation may be used from time to time in the payment of losses, dividends and expenses.

Every policyholder of a domestic company and every policyholder in this commonwealth of a foreign company shall be notified, at his last known address, within six months after the expiration of his policy, of the amount of any dividend declared and payable thereon, unless in the meantime such dividend has been paid in cash or applied in payment of the premium on the renewal of the policy.

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