General Laws

Section 45. The commissioner, or any person whom he may appoint, may examine any foreign or alien society transacting or applying for admission to transact business in this state. He may employ assistants, and he, or any person he may appoint, shall have free access to all books, papers and documents that relate to the business of the society. He may in his discretion accept, in lieu of such examination, the examination of the insurance department of the state, territory, district, province or country where such society is organized. The compensation and actual expenses of the examiners making any examination or general or special valuation shall be paid by the society examined or by the society whose certificate obligations have been valued, upon statements furnished by the commissioner.

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 foreign society 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 under this section or assisting the commissioner in the analysis of the financial condition or market conduct of a foreign society; or

(ii) disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries under 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.