(3) Article III — Establishment of the Commission and Venue.
The compacting states hereby create the interstate insurance product regulation commission. Pursuant to sub. (4)
, the commission will have the power to develop uniform standards for product lines, receive and provide prompt review of products filed therewith, and give approval to those product filings satisfying applicable uniform standards; provided, that it is not intended for the commission to be the exclusive entity for receipt and review of insurance product filings. Nothing herein shall prohibit any insurer from filing its product in any state wherein the insurer is licensed to conduct the business of insurance, and any such filing shall be subject to the laws of the state where filed. The commission is a body corporate and politic, and an instrumentality of the compacting states. The commission is solely responsible for its liabilities except as otherwise specifically provided in this compact. Venue is proper and judicial proceedings by or against the commission shall be brought solely and exclusively in a court of competent jurisdiction where the principal office of the commission is located.
(4) Article IV — Powers of the Commission.
The commission shall have all of the following powers:
To promulgate rules, pursuant to sub. (7)
, which shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact.
To exercise its rule-making authority and establish reasonable uniform standards for products covered under the compact, and advertisement related thereto, which shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in the compacting states, but only for those products filed with the commission; provided, that a compacting state shall have the right to opt out of such uniform standard pursuant to sub. (7)
, to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact; and provided further, that any uniform standard established by the commission for long-term care insurance products may provide the same or greater protections for consumers as, but shall not provide less than, those protections set forth in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Long-Term Care Insurance Model Act and Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulation, respectively, adopted as of 2001. The commission shall consider whether any subsequent amendments to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Long-Term Care Insurance Model Act or Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulation adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners require amending of the uniform standards established by the commission for long-term care insurance products.
To receive and review in an expeditious manner products filed with the commission, and rate filings for disability income and long-term care insurance products, and give approval of those products and rate filings that satisfy the applicable uniform standard, where such approval shall have the force and effect of law and be binding on the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in the compact.
To receive and review in an expeditious manner advertisement relating to long-term care insurance products for which uniform standards have been adopted by the commission, and give approval to all advertisement that satisfies the applicable uniform standard. For any product covered under this compact, other than long-term care insurance products, the commission shall have the authority to require an insurer to submit all or any part of its advertisement with respect to that product for review or approval prior to use, if the commission determines that the nature of the product is such that an advertisement of the product could have the capacity or tendency to mislead the public. The actions of the commission as provided in this subsection shall have the force and effect of law and shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in the compact.
To exercise its rule-making authority and designate products and advertisement that may be subject to a self-certification process without the need for prior approval by the commission.
To promulgate operating procedures, pursuant to sub. (7)
, that shall be binding in the compacting states to the extent and in the manner provided in this compact.
To bring and prosecute legal proceedings or actions in its name as the commission; provided, that the standing of any state insurance department to sue or be sued under applicable law shall not be affected.
To issue subpoenas requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence.
To purchase and maintain insurance and bonds.
To borrow, accept, or contract for services of personnel, including, but not limited to, employees of a compacting state.
To hire employees, professionals, or specialists, and elect or appoint officers, and to fix their compensation, define their duties and give them appropriate authority to carry out the purposes of the compact, and determine their qualifications; and to establish the commission's personnel policies and programs relating to, among other things, conflicts of interest, rates of compensation, and qualifications of personnel.
To accept any and all appropriate donations and grants of money, equipment, supplies, materials, and services, and to receive, utilize, and dispose of the same; provided, that at all times the commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
To lease, purchase, accept appropriate gifts or donations of, or otherwise own, hold, improve, or use, any property, real, personal, or mixed; provided, that at all times the commission shall strive to avoid any appearance of impropriety.
To sell, convey, mortgage, pledge, lease, exchange, abandon, or otherwise dispose of any property, real, personal, or mixed.
To remit filing fees to compacting states as may be set forth in the bylaws, rules, or operating procedures.
To enforce compliance by compacting states with rules, uniform standards, operating procedures, and bylaws.
To provide for dispute resolution among compacting states.
To advise compacting states on issues relating to insurers domiciled or doing business in noncompacting jurisdictions, consistent with the purposes of this compact.
To provide advice and training to those personnel in state insurance departments responsible for product review, and to be a resource for state insurance departments.
To establish a budget and make expenditures.
To appoint committees, including advisory committees comprising members, state insurance regulators, state legislators or their representatives, insurance industry and consumer representatives, and such other interested persons as may be designated in the bylaws.
To provide and receive information from, and to cooperate with, law enforcement agencies.
To perform such other functions as may be necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this compact consistent with the state regulation of the business of insurance.
(5) Article V — Organization of the Commission. 601.58(5)(a)(a)
Each compacting state shall have one member. Each member shall be qualified to serve in such capacity under the applicable law of the compacting state. Any member may be removed or suspended from office as provided by the law of the state from which he or she shall be appointed. Any vacancy occurring in the commission shall be filled in accordance with the laws of the compacting state wherein the vacancy exists. Nothing herein shall be construed to affect the manner in which a compacting state determines the election or appointment and qualification of its own commissioner.
Each member shall be entitled to one vote and shall have an opportunity to participate in the governance of the commission in accordance with the bylaws. Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, no action of the commission with respect to the promulgation of a uniform standard shall be effective unless two-thirds of the members vote in favor thereof.
The commission shall, by a majority of the members, prescribe bylaws to govern its conduct as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes, and exercise the powers, of the compact, including, but not limited to:
Providing reasonable procedures for appointing and electing members, as well as holding meetings, of the management committee.
Providing reasonable standards and procedures for all of the following:
Governing any general or specific delegation of any authority or function of the commission.
Providing reasonable procedures for calling and conducting meetings of the commission that consist of a majority of commission members, ensuring reasonable advance notice of each such meeting, and providing for the right of citizens to attend each such meeting with enumerated exceptions designed to protect the public's interest, the privacy of individuals, and insurers' proprietary information, including trade secrets. The commission may meet in camera only after a majority of the entire membership votes to close a meeting en toto or in part. As soon as practicable, the commission must make public all of the following:
A copy of the vote to close the meeting revealing the vote of each member with no proxy votes allowed.
Establishing the titles, duties, and authority, and reasonable procedures for the election, of the officers of the commission.
Providing reasonable standards and procedures for the establishment of the personnel policies and programs of the commission. Notwithstanding any civil service or other similar laws of any compacting state, the bylaws shall exclusively govern the personnel policies and programs of the commission.
Promulgating a code of ethics to address permissible and prohibited activities of commission members and employees.
Providing a mechanism for winding up the operations of the commission and the equitable disposition of any surplus funds that may exist after the termination of the compact after the payment or reserving of all of its debts and obligations.
The commission shall publish its bylaws in a convenient form and file a copy thereof and a copy of any amendment thereto, with the appropriate agency or officer in each of the compacting states.
A management committee comprising no more than 14 members shall be established as follows:
One member from each of the 6 compacting states with the largest premium volume for individual and group annuities, life insurance, disability income, and long-term care insurance products, determined from the records of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for the prior year.
Four members from those compacting states with at least 2 percent of the market based on the premium volume described in subd. 1.
, other than the 6 compacting states with the largest premium volume, selected on a rotating basis as provided in the bylaws.
Four members from those compacting states with less than 2 percent of the market, based on the premium volume described in subd. 1.
, with one selected from each of the 4 zone regions of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners as provided in the bylaws.
The management committee shall have such authority and duties as may be set forth in the bylaws, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
Managing the affairs of the commission in a manner consistent with the bylaws and purposes of the commission.
Establishing and overseeing an organizational structure within, and appropriate procedures for, the commission to provide for the creation of uniform standards and other rules, receipt and review of product filings, administrative and technical support functions, review of decisions regarding the disapproval of a product filing, and the review of elections made by a compacting state to opt out of a uniform standard; provided, that a uniform standard shall not be submitted to the compacting states for adoption unless approved by two-thirds of the members of the management committee.
Planning, implementing, and coordinating communications and activities with other state, federal, and local government organizations in order to advance the goals of the commission.
The commission shall elect annually officers from the management committee, with each having such authority and duties as may be specified in the bylaws.
The management committee may, subject to the approval of the commission, appoint or retain an executive director for such period, upon such terms and conditions, and for such compensation as the commission determines appropriate. The executive director shall serve as secretary to the commission, but may not be a member of the commission. The executive director shall hire and supervise such other staff as may be authorized by the commission.
A legislative committee comprising state legislators or their designees shall be established to monitor the operations of, and make recommendations to, the commission, including the management committee; provided, that the manner of selection and term of any legislative committee member shall be as set forth in the bylaws. Prior to the adoption by the commission of any uniform standard, revision to the bylaws, annual budget, or other significant matter as may be provided in the bylaws, the management committee shall consult with and report to the legislative committee.
The commission shall establish 2 advisory committees, one of which shall comprise consumer representatives independent of the insurance industry, and the other comprising insurance industry representatives.
The commission may establish additional advisory committees as its bylaws may provide for the carrying out of its functions.
The commission shall maintain its corporate books and records in accordance with the bylaws.
The members, officers, executive director, employees, and representatives of the commission shall be immune from suit and liability, either personally or in their official capacity, for any claim for damage to or loss of property or personal injury or other civil liability caused by or arising out of or relating to any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred, within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided, that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to protect any such person from suit or liability for any damage, loss, injury, or liability caused by the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of that person.
The commission shall defend any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission in any civil action seeking to impose liability arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that the person against whom the claim is made had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided, that nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit that person from retaining his or her own counsel; and provided further, that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from that person's intentional or willful and wanton misconduct.
The commission shall indemnify and hold harmless any member, officer, executive director, employee, or representative of the commission for the amount of any settlement or judgment obtained against that person arising out of any actual or alleged act, error, or omission that occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities, or that such person had a reasonable basis for believing occurred within the scope of commission employment, duties, or responsibilities; provided, that the actual or alleged act, error, or omission did not result from the intentional or willful and wanton misconduct of that person.
(6) Article VI — Meetings and Acts of the Commission. 601.58(6)(a)(a)
The commission shall meet and take such actions as are consistent with the provisions of this compact and the bylaws.
Each member of the commission shall have the right and power to cast a vote to which that compacting state is entitled and to participate in the business and affairs of the commission. A member shall vote in person or by such other means as provided in the bylaws. The bylaws may provide for members' participation in meetings by telephone or other means of communication.
The commission shall meet at least once during each calendar year. Additional meetings shall be held as set forth in the bylaws.
(7) Article VII — Rules and Operating Procedures; Rule-making Functions of the Commission and Opting Out of Uniform Standards. 601.58(7)(a)(a)
The commission shall promulgate reasonable rules, including uniform standards, and operating procedures in order to effectively and efficiently achieve the purposes of this compact. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event the commission exercises its rule-making authority in a manner that is beyond the scope of the purposes of this section, or the powers granted hereunder, then such an action by the commission shall be invalid and have no force and effect.
Rules and operating procedures shall be made pursuant to a rule-making process that conforms to the Model State Administrative Procedure Act of 1981 as amended, as may be appropriate to the operations of the commission. Before the commission adopts a uniform standard, the commission shall give written notice to all relevant state legislative committees in each compacting state responsible for insurance issues of its intention to adopt the uniform standard. The commission in adopting a uniform standard shall consider fully all submitted materials and issue a concise explanation of its decision.
A uniform standard shall become effective 90 days after its promulgation by the commission or such later date as the commission may determine; provided, that a compacting state may opt out of a uniform standard as provided in this subsection. “Opt out" shall be defined as any action by a compacting state to decline to adopt or participate in a promulgated uniform standard. All other rules and operating procedures, and amendments thereto, shall become effective as of the date specified in each rule, operating procedure, or amendment.
A compacting state may opt out of a uniform standard either by legislation or regulation duly promulgated by the insurance department under the compacting state's administrative procedure act. If a compacting state elects to opt out of a uniform standard by regulation, it must give written notice to the commission no later than 10 business days after the uniform standard is promulgated, or at the time the state becomes a compacting state, and find that the uniform standard does not provide reasonable protections to the citizens of the state, given the conditions in the state. The commissioner shall make specific findings of fact and conclusions of law, based on a preponderance of the evidence, detailing the conditions in the state that warrant a departure from the uniform standard and determining that the uniform standard would not reasonably protect the citizens of the state. The commissioner must consider and balance all of the following factors and find that the conditions in the state and needs of the citizens of the state outweigh all of the following factors:
The intent of the legislature to participate in, and the benefits of, an interstate agreement to establish national uniform consumer protections for the products subject to this section.
The presumption that a uniform standard adopted by the commission provides reasonable protections to consumers of the relevant product.
Notwithstanding subd. 1.
, a compacting state may, at the time of its enactment of this compact, prospectively opt out of all uniform standards involving long-term care insurance products by expressly providing for such opt out in the enacted compact, and such an opt out may not be treated as a material variance in the offer or acceptance of any state to participate in this compact. Such an opt out shall be effective at the time of enactment of this compact by the compacting state and shall apply to all existing uniform standards involving long-term care insurance products and those subsequently promulgated.
If a compacting state elects to opt out of a uniform standard, the uniform standard shall remain applicable in the compacting state electing to opt out until such time as the opt out legislation is enacted into law or the regulation opting out becomes effective. Once the opt out of a uniform standard by a compacting state becomes effective as provided under the laws of that state, the uniform standard shall have no further force or effect in that state unless and until the legislation or regulation implementing the opt out is repealed or otherwise becomes ineffective under the laws of the state. If a compacting state opts out of a uniform standard after the uniform standard has been made effective in that state, the opt out shall have the same prospective effect as provided under sub. (14)
If a compacting state has formally initiated the process of opting out of a uniform standard by regulation, and while the regulatory opt out is pending, the compacting state may petition the commission, at least 15 days before the effective date of the uniform standard, to stay the effectiveness of the uniform standard in that state. The commission may grant a stay if it determines the regulatory opt out is being pursued in a reasonable manner and there is a likelihood of success. If a stay is granted or extended by the commission, the stay or extension thereof may postpone the effective date by up to 90 days, unless affirmatively extended by the commission; provided, that a stay may not be permitted to remain in effect for more than one year unless the compacting state can show extraordinary circumstances that warrant a continuance of the stay, including, but not limited to, the existence of a legal challenge that prevents the compacting state from opting out. A stay may be terminated by the commission upon notice that the rule-making process has been terminated.
Not later than 30 days after a rule or operating procedure is promulgated, any person may file a petition for judicial review of the rule or operating procedure; provided, that the filing of such a petition may not stay or otherwise prevent the rule or operating procedure from becoming effective unless the court finds that the petitioner has a substantial likelihood of success. The court shall give deference to the actions of the commission consistent with applicable law and shall not find the rule or operating procedure to be unlawful if the rule or operating procedure represents a reasonable exercise of the commission's authority.
(8) Article VIII — Commission Records and Enforcement. 601.58(8)(a)(a)
The commission shall promulgate rules establishing conditions and procedures for public inspection and copying of its information and official records, except such information and records involving the privacy of individuals and insurers' trade secrets. The commission may promulgate additional rules under which it may make available to federal and state agencies, including law enforcement agencies, records and information otherwise exempt from disclosure, and may enter into agreements with such agencies to receive or exchange information or records subject to nondisclosure and confidentiality provisions.
Except as to privileged records, data, and information, the laws of any compacting state pertaining to confidentiality or nondisclosure may not relieve any compacting state commissioner of the duty to disclose any relevant records, data, or information to the commission; provided, that disclosure to the commission shall not be deemed to waive or otherwise affect any confidentiality requirement; and provided further, that, except as otherwise expressly provided in this section, the commission shall not be subject to the compacting state's laws pertaining to confidentiality and nondisclosure with respect to records, data, and information in its possession. Confidential information of the commission shall remain confidential after such information is provided to any commissioner.
The commission shall monitor compacting states for compliance with duly adopted bylaws, rules, including uniform standards, and operating procedures. The commission shall notify any noncomplying compacting state in writing of its noncompliance with commission bylaws, rules, or operating procedures. If a noncomplying compacting state fails to remedy its noncompliance within the time specified in the notice of noncompliance, the compacting state shall be deemed to be in default under sub. (14)
The commissioner of any state in which an insurer is authorized to do business, or is conducting the business of insurance, shall continue to exercise his or her authority to oversee the market regulation of the activities of the insurer in accordance with the provisions of the state's law. The commissioner's enforcement of compliance with the compact is governed by the following provisions:
With respect to the commissioner's market regulation of a product or advertisement that is approved by or certified to the commission, the content of the product or advertisement shall not constitute a violation of the provisions, standards, or requirements of the compact except upon a final order of the commission, issued at the request of a commissioner after prior notice to the insurer and an opportunity for hearing before the commission.
Before a commissioner may bring an action for violation of any provision, standard, or requirement of the compact relating to the content of an advertisement not approved by or certified to the commission, the commission, or an authorized commission officer or employee, must authorize the action. However, authorization pursuant to this subdivision does not require notice to the insurer, opportunity for hearing, or disclosure of requests for authorization or records of the commission's action on such requests.
(9) Article IX — Dispute Resolution.
The commission shall attempt, upon the request of a member, to resolve any disputes or other issues that are subject to this compact and that may arise between 2 or more compacting states, or between compacting states and noncompacting states, and the commission shall promulgate an operating procedure providing for resolution of such disputes.
(10) Article X — Product Filing and Approval.