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The 189th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 14: Rating organizations, etc.; examination; confidentiality and privilege; power of commissioner; costs

Section 14. The commissioner shall, at least once in five years, make or cause to be made an examination of each rating organization licensed in this commonwealth as provided in section eight and he may, as often as he may deem it expedient, make or cause to be made an examination of each advisory organization referred to in section twelve and of each group, association or other organization referred to in section thirteen. The reasonable costs of any such examination shall be paid by the rating organization, advisory organization, or group, association or other organization examined upon presentation to it of a detailed account of such costs. The officers, manager, agents and employees of such rating organization, advisory organization or group, association or other organization may be examined at any time under oath and shall exhibit all books, records, accounts, documents, or agreements governing its method of operation. In lieu of any such examination the commissioner may accept the report of an examination made by the insurance supervisory official of another state, pursuant to the laws of such state.

Notwithstanding any other provision of the General Laws, including clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 and chapter 66, documents, materials or other information, including but not limited to, all working papers and copies thereof created, produced or obtained by or disclosed to the commissioner or any other person in the course of an examination made pursuant to this section or in the course of analysis by the commissioner of the financial condition or market conduct of a rating organization licensed in this commonwealth as provided in section 8, an advisory organization as provided in section 12 or of each group, association or other organization referred to in section 13 shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be a public record under said clause Twenty-sixth, shall not be subject to subpoena and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. The commissioner may use the documents, materials or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as part of the commissioner's official duties.

Documents, materials or other information, including but not limited to, all working papers and copies thereof in the possession or control of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to subpoena and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action if they are:

(i) created, produced, obtained by or disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries in the course of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries assisting an examination made pursuant to this section, or assisting the commissioner in the analysis of the financial condition or market conduct of a rating organization licensed in this commonwealth as provided in section 8, an advisory organization as provided in section 12 or of each group, association or other organization referred to in section 13; or

(ii) disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries pursuant to this section by any member of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Neither the commissioner nor any person who received the documents, material or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, shall be permitted to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials or information subject to this section.

In order to assist in the performance of the commissioner's duties, the commissioner:

(i) may share documents, materials or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials or information subject to this section, with other state, federal and international regulatory agencies, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries and state, federal and international law enforcement authorities provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, communication or other information;

(ii) may receive documents, materials, communications or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials or information, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries and regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material or information; and

(iii) may enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this section.

No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in this section.

A privilege established under the law of any state or jurisdiction that is substantially similar to the privilege established under this section shall be available and enforced in any proceeding in and in any court of the commonwealth.