Section 9. The association established pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall prepare and submit to the commissioner of insurance a market assistance plan to assist applicants to obtain homeowners insurance in the voluntary market. All members of the association may, but shall not be required to, participate in the plan. The plan shall be approved by the commissioner if he finds that it is consistent with the purposes of this chapter and will assist applicants in obtaining insurance in the voluntary market.
The plan shall provide that, upon request, any applicant or licensed broker on behalf of such applicant who contacts the plan shall be directed to an insurer which has elected to participate in the plan and shall be advised of an appropriate means to contact such insurer. Upon being contacted by the applicant or broker, the participating insurer shall evaluate the insurance risk posed by such application and may accept or decline to underwrite the insurance coverage. An insurer which declines to underwrite such coverage shall have the duty of informing the applicant and his broker of the process for obtaining coverage from the association.
The association shall publicize the availability of the plan to insurance consumers and brokers in credit-eligible territories and all other areas in which the association believes that the availability of homeowners insurance is particularly constrained due to exposure to hurricanes or other catastrophic natural disasters.