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610.001   Purposes.
610.01   Definitions.
610.11   Qualified insurers.
610.21   Other business.
610.23   Power to hold property in other than own name.
610.24   Insurers as fundholders.
610.40   Continued effect of transitional provisions.
610.50   Vital records.
610.60   Electronic delivery of notices and documents.
610.61   Duty of life insurers to report abandoned property.
610.65   Uniform claim processing form.
610.70   Disclosure of personal medical information.
610.80   Corporate governance annual disclosure.
Ch. 610 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See definitions in ss. 600.03 and 628.02.
Ch. 610 Note NOTE: Chapter 260, laws of 1971, which created this chapter, contains explanatory notes.
610.001 610.001 Purposes. The purposes of chs. 611 to 616 are:
610.001(1) (1)To provide an orderly procedure by which insurers may be created, governed and dissolved;
610.001(2) (2)To provide for procedures to merge, consolidate or convert various kinds of insurers;
610.001(3) (3)To provide for structure and management that will maximize democratic participation in the operation of insurers; and
610.001(4) (4)To prevent or control self-dealing by management in order to protect the interests of shareholders, policyholders, members, subscribers and the public.
610.001 History History: 1971 c. 260; 1979 c. 102 s. 237; 1979 c. 261.
610.01 610.01 Definitions. In chs. 610 to 620 and 644, unless the context requires otherwise:
610.01(1) (1)“Director" includes “trustee".
610.01(2) (2)“Officer" does not include “director".
610.01(3) (3)“Promoter stock" means shares issued by a domestic stock corporation under ss. 611.18 (2) (a) 2. and 611.32 (1), and shares issued within 5 years after the initial issuance of the certificate of authority, to incorporators, directors, principal officers, members of the families of any of these persons, and to any corporations controlled by, or any trustee acting in behalf of, any of these persons.
610.01(4) (4)In any provision of ch. 180 or 181 made applicable by any section of chs. 600 to 646, “department" shall be read “commissioner of insurance".
610.11 610.11 Qualified insurers. No person may do an insurance business as defined in s. 618.02 (2) on the person's own account in this state, either in person, or through agents or brokers, or through the mail or any other method of communication, except:
610.11(1) (1)An insurer authorized to do business in this state, within the limits of its certificate of authority; or
610.11(2) (2)An insurer doing business under s. 618.41.
610.11 History History: 1971 c. 260; 1991 a. 316.
610.21 610.21 Other business.
610.21(1)(1)Prohibition for domestic insurers. No domestic insurer may engage, directly or indirectly, in any business other than insurance and business reasonably incidental to its insurance business, except as specifically authorized by s. 611.26 (4), 611.26 (4) as incorporated by s. 614.24 (1), or s. 613.26 or any other provision of chs. 600 to 646; except that a domestic insurer not restricted under s. 620.03 may engage directly in any activity to the extent it is authorized to do so through a subsidiary.
610.21(2) (2) Prohibition for nondomestic insurers. No nondomestic insurer may engage in this state in any business forbidden to a domestic insurer, nor may the insurer engage in such business elsewhere if:
610.21(2)(a) (a) The law of the insurer's domicile forbids an insurer to engage in such business; or
610.21(2)(b) (b) The statutes of this state specifically prohibit a nondomestic insurer to engage in such business elsewhere; or
610.21(2)(c) (c) The commissioner orders it to cease doing such business upon finding that doing such business is not consistent with the interests of its insureds, creditors or the public in this state; or that it gives the insurer a substantial competitive advantage in relation to domestic insurers.
610.21(3) (3) Incidental business. “Incidental business" includes:
610.21(3)(a) (a) The business of preparing and selling abstracts of title and related documents, if done by an insurer authorized to transact title insurance;
610.21(3)(b) (b) Business that could be done through ancillary subsidiaries authorized under s. 611.26 (3), or, in the case of a nondomestic insurer, through corporations that would be so authorized if the insurer were domestic.
610.21(4) (4) Annuities. For purposes of this section, “insurance" includes “annuities".
610.21 History History: 1971 c. 260; 1975 c. 373; 1979 c. 102, 177; 1981 c. 307.
610.23 610.23 Power to hold property in other than own name. An insurer shall hold all investments and deposits of its funds in its own name except that:
610.23(1) (1) Custodial or trust arrangements. Securities kept under a custodial agreement or trust arrangement with a bank or banking and trust company may be issued in the name of a nominee of the bank or banking and trust company; and
610.23(2) (2) Bearer securities. Any insurer may acquire and hold securities in bearer form.
610.23 History History: 1975 c. 373.
610.23 Annotation Legislative Council Note, 1975: This section continues s. 201.24 (4), made applicable to all insurers. The power certainly exists under ss. 180.04 (17) and 181.04 (16) as incorporated in ss. 611.07 (1), 612.03 and 614.07 (1), but this section places it beyond doubt for all insurers and permits the repeal of s. 201.24 (4). [Bill 643-S]
610.24 610.24 Insurers as fundholders. All assets shall be held, invested and disbursed for the use and benefit of the insurer and no policyholder, member or beneficiary may have or acquire individual rights in such assets or become entitled to any apportionment or the surrender of any part of such assets, except as provided in the contract. An insurer may create, maintain, invest, disburse and apply any special funds necessary to carry out any purpose permitted by the laws of this state and the articles and bylaws of the insurer.
610.24 History History: 1979 c. 102.
610.40 610.40 Continued effect of transitional provisions. Sections 610.41 to 610.53, 1981 stats., continue to apply to insurers affected by those sections before April 27, 1984.
610.40 History History: 1983 a. 215.
610.50 610.50 Vital records. An insurer or an employee, agent or attorney of an insurer is not subject to s. 69.24 (1) (a) for copying a certified copy of a vital record for the insurer's own internal administrative use in connection with the payment of insurance claims or benefits if the copy is marked “FOR ADMINISTRATIVE USE" and is retained in the files of the insurer or attorney.
610.50 History History: 1987 a. 247.
610.60 610.60 Electronic delivery of notices and documents.
610.60(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
610.60(1)(a) (a) “Applicable law" means applicable statutory law and rules and regulations having the force of law.
610.60(1)(b) (b) “Deliver by electronic means" includes any of the following:
610.60(1)(b)1. 1. Delivery to an electronic mail address at which a party has consented to receive notices or documents.
610.60(1)(b)2. 2. Posting on an electronic network or site that is accessible via the Internet by using a mobile application, computer, mobile device, tablet, or any other electronic device and sending separate notice of the posting to a party, directed to the electronic mail address at which the party has consented to receive notice of the posting.
610.60(1)(c) (c) “Party" means a recipient of a notice or document required as part of an insurance transaction, including an applicant, an insured, or a policyholder.
610.60(2) (2) Electronic delivery permitted; equivalent to other methods.
610.60(2)(a)(a) Subject to par. (c), subs. (3) and (5) (b), and s. 137.12 (2r) (c), notice to a party, and any other document that is required under applicable law in an insurance transaction or that serves as evidence of insurance coverage, may be stored, presented, and delivered by electronic means, as long as the notice or other document meets the requirements of ch. 137.
610.60(2)(b) (b) Delivery of a notice or document in accordance with this section shall be considered equivalent to any delivery method required under applicable law, including delivery by 1st class mail; 1st class mail, postage prepaid; certified mail; or registered mail.
610.60(2)(c) (c) If a provision of, or rule promulgated under, chs. 600 to 655 that requires a notice or document to be provided to a party expressly requires verification or acknowledgment of receipt of the notice or document, the notice or document may be delivered by electronic means only if the method used provides for verification or acknowledgment of receipt and the verification or acknowledgment of receipt can be documented.
610.60(3) (3) Conditions precedent for electronic delivery.
610.60(3)(a) (a) Unless sub. (5) (b) applies, an insurer may deliver notices and documents to a party by electronic means under this section if all of the following are satisfied:
610.60(3)(a)1. 1. The party affirmatively consented to that method of delivery and has not withdrawn the consent.
610.60(3)(a)2. 2. Before the party gave consent, the insurer provided the party with a statement of the hardware and software requirements for access to and retention of notices and documents delivered by electronic means.
610.60(3)(a)3. 3. The party consented electronically, or confirmed consent electronically, in a manner that reasonably demonstrates that the party is able to access information in the electronic form that the insurer will use for delivery of notices and documents by electronic means.
610.60(3)(a)4. 4. Before the party gave consent, the insurer provided the party with a clear and conspicuous statement informing the party of all of the following:
610.60(3)(a)4.a. a. The right or option of the party to have notices and documents provided or made available in paper or another nonelectronic form instead.
610.60(3)(a)4.b. b. The right of the party to withdraw consent to have notices and documents delivered by electronic means and any fees, conditions, or consequences that are imposed if consent is withdrawn.
610.60(3)(a)4.c. c. That the party's consent applies to any notices or documents that may be delivered by electronic means during the course of the relationship between the party and the insurer.
610.60(3)(a)4.d. d. After consent for delivery by electronic means is given, the means, if any, by which a party may obtain a paper copy of a notice or document that has been delivered by electronic means and the fee, if any, for the paper copy.
610.60(3)(a)4.e. e. The procedure a party must follow to withdraw consent to have notices and documents delivered by electronic means and to update information needed to contact the party electronically.
610.60(3)(b) (b) If the conditions under par. (a) or sub. (5) (b) are satisfied, the insurer may elect to deliver all notices and documents by electronic means or only those notices and documents selected by the insurer.
610.60(3)(c) (c) Even if the conditions under par. (a) or sub. (5) (b) are satisfied, the insurer may deliver any notice or document by 1st class mail; 1st class mail, postage prepaid; certified mail; or registered mail.
610.60(4) (4) Miscellaneous related provisions.
610.60(4)(a) (a) This section does not affect any requirement related to the content or timing of a notice or document required under applicable law.
610.60(4)(b) (b) The legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of any contract or policy of insurance executed by a party may not be denied solely because the contract or policy was delivered by electronic means if the insurer has obtained the electronic consent or confirmation of consent of the party in accordance with sub. (3) (a) 3. or has complied with sub. (5) (b).
610.60(4)(c)1.1. A withdrawal of consent by a party becomes effective 30 days after the insurer receives the withdrawal.
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