The articles of a nonassessable mutual may authorize mutual bonds of one or more classes and shall specify the amount of each class of bonds the corporation is authorized to issue, their designations, preferences, limitations, rates of interest, relative rights and other terms, subject to the following provisions:
During the first year after the initial issuance of a certificate of authority, the corporation may issue only a single class of bonds with identical rights;
After the first year but within 5 years after the initial issuance of a certificate of authority, additional classes of bonds may be authorized after approval of the commissioner, who shall approve if he or she finds that policyholders and prior bondholders will not be prejudiced;
The rate of interest shall be fair and reasonable; and
The bonds shall bear a maturity date not later than 10 years from the date of issuance, when principal and accrued interest shall be due and payable, subject to par. (d)
Any mutual may issue contribution notes if the commissioner approves. The commissioner may approve only if he or she finds that:
The notes will not be the subject of a public offering;
Their terms are not prejudicial to policyholders, holders of mutual bonds or of prior contribution notes; and
The mutual's articles or bylaws do not forbid their issuance.
If it has any outstanding obligations on mutual bonds or contribution notes, borrow on contribution notes from, or sell bonds to, any other insurer without approval of the commissioner; or
Make any loan to another insurer except a fully secured loan at usual market rates of interest.
Payment of the principal or interest on mutual bonds or contribution notes may be made in whole or in part only after approval of the commissioner. Approval shall be given if all financial requirements of the issuer to do the insurance business it is then doing will continue to be satisfied after payment and if the interests of its insureds and the public are not endangered. In the event of liquidation under ch. 645
unpaid amounts of principal and interest on contribution notes shall be subordinated to the payment of principal and interest on any mutual bonds issued by the corporation at any time.
Nothing in this section prevents a mutual from borrowing money on notes which are its general obligations, nor from pledging any part of its disposable assets therefor.
Corporate repurchase of shares.
No stock corporation may repurchase any of its own shares within 5 years after initial issuance of the certificate of authority, except pursuant to a plan for the repurchase which has been approved by the commissioner. After 5 years a stock corporation may repurchase its own shares under ss. 180.0631
, and 180.1708 (2)
, but within 10 days after the end of any month in which it purchases more than one percent of any class of its outstanding shares the corporation shall report the price and the names of the registered shareholders from whom the shares are acquired and of any other persons beneficially interested, so far as the latter are known to the corporation. The corporation shall make a like report within 10 days after the end of any 3-month period in which it purchases more than 2 percent of any class of its outstanding shares or within 10 days after the end of any 12-month period in which it purchases more than 5 percent of any class of its outstanding shares.
Number of shareholders.
applies to stock corporations for purposes of this chapter.
History: 1989 a. 303
MANAGEMENT OF INSURANCE CORPORATIONS
Shareholders' meetings. 611.40(1)(1)
Meetings, notices, quorums and voting.
and 180.1708 (3)
apply to stock corporations. Each director of a stock corporation shall be elected by a plurality of the votes cast by the shares entitled to vote in the election at a meeting at which a quorum is present.
Communications to shareholders or policyholders and commissioner's attendance at meetings. 611.41(1)(1)
Copies of communications.
The commissioner may by rule prescribe that copies of specified classes of communications circulated generally by a corporation to shareholders or policyholders shall be communicated to the commissioner at the same time.
Attendance at meetings.
The commissioner has the right to attend any shareholders' or policyholders' meeting.
and, so far as it relates to communications to shareholders, sub. (1)
do not apply to stock corporations all of whose voting shares are owned by a single person, or all of whose shareholders are either members of the board or are represented on it.
History: 1971 c. 260
; 1979 c. 102
s. 236 (21)
Mutual policyholders' voting rights. 611.42(1b)(a)(a)
A mutual may hold an annual, regular, or special meeting of policyholders in or outside this state at the place stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws. If no place is stated in or fixed in accordance with the bylaws, the mutual shall hold the annual meeting at its principal office.
Notwithstanding par. (a)
, a mutual's bylaws may authorize the board of directors, in its sole discretion, to determine that an annual, regular, or special meeting of policyholders may be held solely by means of remote communication as authorized under s. 611.426
The circuit court for the county where a mutual's principal office is located, or, if the mutual does not have its principal office in this state, where its registered office is located, may, after notice and an opportunity to be heard, order a meeting to be held on petition of a policyholder of the mutual who meets any of the following conditions:
The policyholder is entitled to participate in an annual meeting and the annual meeting has not been held within 15 months after the mutual's last annual meeting.
The policyholder has signed a demand for a special meeting that meets the requirements of s. 181.0702
and the mutual has failed to do any of the following:
Give notice of the special meeting within 30 days after the date that the demand was delivered to the mutual.
The court may fix the time and place of the meeting or determine that the meeting shall be held solely by means of remote communication as provided under s. 611.426
. The court shall require that the meeting be called and conducted in accordance with the mutual's articles of incorporation and bylaws, in so far as possible, except that the court may do all of the following:
Fix the quorum required for specific matters to be considered at the meeting or direct that the votes represented at the meeting constitute a quorum for action on those matters.
Enter any other orders necessary to accomplish the purpose of the meeting.
A mutual shall give notice of meetings of policyholders as provided in its bylaws or, if the bylaws are silent, in a manner that is fair and reasonable.
A notice that conforms to the requirements of par. (c)
is fair and reasonable. Except for matters referred to in par. (c) 2.
, other means of giving notice may also be fair and reasonable when all of the circumstances are considered. Section 181.0141
applies to notices provided under this subsection.
Notice safe harbor.
Notice is fair and reasonable if all of the following conditions exist:
The mutual notifies its policyholders of the date, time, and, if applicable, place of each annual, regular, and special meeting of policyholders not more than 60 days and not less than 10 days, or, if notice is mailed by any type other than first class or registered mail, 30 days, before the meeting date. If the board of directors has authorized participation by means of remote communication under s. 611.426
, the notice shall describe the means of remote communication to be used.
Notice of an annual or regular meeting includes a description of any matter or matters that must be approved by the policyholders under s. 181.0723 (2)
, 181.0873 (4)
, or 181.1401
[s. 181.0723 (2)
, 181.0873 (4)
, or 181.1401
The correct cross-references are shown in brackets. 2021 Wis. Act 258
made substantial revisions to ch. 181. Corrective legislation is pending.
Notice of a special meeting includes a description of the matter or matters for which the meeting is called.
Unless the bylaws require otherwise, if an annual, regular, or special meeting of policyholders is adjourned to a different date, time, or place or will be held by a new means of remote communication, notice need not be given of the new date, time, place, or means of remote communication if the new date, time, place, or means of remote communication is announced at the meeting before adjournment. If a new record date for the adjourned meeting is or must be fixed under s. 181.0707
, notice of the adjourned meeting must be given under this subsection to the policyholders of record as of the new record date.
Mandatory voting rights.
Policyholders in all mutuals have the right to vote on conversion, voluntary dissolution, amendment of the articles, and the election of all directors except public directors appointed under s. 611.53 (1)
. Voting may be conducted by mail, by electronic means, or by any other method or combination of methods prescribed by the articles or bylaws. Directors may be divided into classes, and in that case one class shall be elected at least every 4 years for terms not exceeding 6 years.
Optional voting rights.
The articles of any mutual may give the policyholders additional voting rights.
The articles or bylaws shall contain rules governing voting eligibility consistent with sub. (2)
and voting procedures. No amendment to the rules may be effective until at least 30 days after it has been filed with the commissioner.
The articles may provide for regular or special meetings of the policyholders, or elections in lieu of meetings.
Notice of the time and place of regular meetings or elections shall be given to each policyholder by printing it conspicuously on each policy or in such other reasonable manner as the commissioner approves or requires.
The articles may provide that representatives or delegates be selected by the policyholders to represent specific geographical districts, or otherwise to represent defined classes of policyholders, determined on a reasonable basis. After the representative assembly has been selected by the policyholders, the assembly may choose replacements for members unable to complete their terms, if the articles so provide. The vote of a representative shall be treated as the vote of the policyholders he or she represents.
Mutual policyholders' proxy voting. 611.425(1)(1)
In this section, “electronic transmission" means transmission by the Internet, telephone, electronic mail, telegram, cablegram, datagram, or any other form or process of communication that does not directly involve the physical transfer of paper and that is capable of retention, retrieval, and reproduction of information by the recipient.
Unless the articles of incorporation or bylaws prohibit or limit proxy voting, a policyholder may appoint another person as proxy to vote or otherwise act for the policyholder at a meeting of policyholders or to express consent or dissent in writing to any corporate action without a meeting of policyholders.
A policyholder or the policyholder's authorized officer, director, employee, agent, or attorney-in-fact may validly appoint a proxy by signing or causing the policyholder's signature to be affixed to an appointment form by any reasonable means, including by facsimile signature.
To the extent authorized by the mutual's bylaws, a policyholder or the policyholder's authorized officer, director, employee, agent, or attorney-in-fact may validly appoint a proxy by transmitting or authorizing the transmission of an electronic transmission of the appointment to the person who will be appointed as proxy or to a proxy solicitation firm, proxy support service organization, or like agent authorized to receive the transmission by the person who will be appointed as proxy. Every electronic transmission shall contain, or be accompanied by, information that can be used to reasonably determine that the policyholder transmitted or authorized the transmission of the electronic transmission. Any person charged with determining whether a policyholder transmitted or authorized the transmission of the electronic transmission shall specify the information upon which the determination is made.
Any copy, facsimile telecommunication, or other reliable reproduction of the information in the appointment form under par. (b)
or the electronic transmission under par. (c)
may be substituted or used in lieu of the original appointment form or electronic transmission for any purpose for which the original appointment form or electronic transmission may be used, but only if the copy, facsimile telecommunication, or other reliable reproduction is a complete reproduction of the information in the original appointment form or electronic transmission.
An appointment of a proxy is effective when a signed appointment form or, if authorized, an electronic transmission of the appointment is received by the inspector of election or the officer or agent of the mutual authorized to tabulate votes. An appointment is valid for 11 months unless a different period is expressly provided in the appointment.
An appointment of a proxy is revocable unless the appointment form or, if authorized, electronic transmission states that it is irrevocable.
The appointment of a proxy is revoked if the policyholder appointing the proxy does any of the following:
Signs and delivers to the secretary or other officer or agent authorized to tabulate proxy votes either a written statement that the appointment of the proxy is revoked or a subsequent appointment form.
Effect of death or incapacity.
The death or incapacity of the policyholder appointing a proxy does not affect the right of the mutual to accept the proxy's authority unless the secretary or other officer or agent of the mutual authorized to tabulate votes receives notice of the death or incapacity before the proxy exercises his or her authority under the appointment.
Acceptance by mutual.
Subject to s. 181.0727
and to any express limitation on the proxy's authority stated in the appointment form or, if authorized, electronic transmission, a mutual may accept the proxy's vote or other action as that of the policyholder making the appointment.
History: 2013 a. 279
Remote participation in policyholder meetings. 611.426(1)(1)
If authorized by the board of directors in its sole discretion, and subject to sub. (2)
and any guidelines and procedures adopted by the board of directors, policyholders and proxies of policyholders not physically present at a meeting of policyholders may participate in the meeting by means of remote communication.
If policyholders and proxies of policyholders participate in a meeting of policyholders by means of remote communication, the participating policyholders and proxies of policyholders shall be considered to be present in person and permitted to vote at the meeting, whether the meeting is held at a designated place or solely by means of remote communication, if all of the following apply:
The mutual has implemented reasonable measures to verify that each person considered to be present and permitted to vote at the meeting by means of remote communication is a policyholder or proxy of a policyholder.
The mutual has implemented reasonable measures to provide policyholders and proxies of policyholders a reasonable opportunity to participate in the meeting and to vote on matters submitted to the policyholders, including an opportunity to read or hear the proceedings of the meeting concurrently with the proceedings.
The mutual maintains a record of voting and other actions by any policyholder or proxy of a policyholder that votes or takes another action at the meeting by means of remote communication.
History: 2021 a. 114