33-1-501. Filing of forms -- approval -- review of disapproval or withdrawal of approval -- application. (1) (a) An insurance policy or annuity contract form, certificate, enrollment form, application form, printed rider or endorsement form, or form of renewal certificate may not be delivered or issued for delivery in Montana unless the form and, for the purposes of disability insurance, an outline of coverage as required by 33-22-244 and 33-22-521 have been filed with and approved by the commissioner and, if required, the regulatory official of the state of domicile of the insurer or the interstate insurance product regulation commission provided for in 33-39-101. This provision does not apply to surety bonds or policies, riders, endorsements, or forms of unique character designed for and used with relation to insurance upon a particular subject or that relate to the manner of distribution of benefits or to the reservation of rights and benefits under life or disability insurance policies and are used at the request of the individual policyholder, contract holder, or certificate holder. Forms for use in property, marine, other than ocean marine and foreign trade coverages, casualty, and surety insurance coverages may be filed by a rating organization on behalf of its members and subscribers or by a member or subscriber on its own behalf.
(b) A filing required by subsection (1)(a) must be submitted by an officer of the insurer with a certification in a form prescribed by the commissioner. The certification must state that to the best of the officer's knowledge and belief, the policy, contract form, certificate, enrollment form, application form, printed rider or endorsement form, or form of renewal certificate complies with the applicable provisions of Title 33.
(c) The approval of an insurance policy or annuity contract form, certificate, enrollment form, application form, or other related insurance form by the state of domicile may be waived by the commissioner if the commissioner considers the requirements of subsection (1)(a) unnecessary for the protection of Montana insurance consumers. If the requirement is waived, an insurer shall notify the commissioner in writing within 10 days of disapproval, denial, or withdrawal of approval of a form by the state of domicile.
(2) (a) The filing must be made not less than 60 days before delivery and must be delivered by hand or sent by certified mail with a return receipt requested. The commissioner's office shall mark a filing with the date of receipt by the commissioner's office.
(b) (i) If after 60 days from the date of receipt by the commissioner's office the commissioner has not approved or disapproved the form by a notice pursuant to the provisions in subsection (4), the form is considered approved for all purposes, subject to subsection (2)(c).
(ii) The running of the 60-day period is tolled for a period commencing on the date that the commissioner notifies the insurer of problems or questions and requests additional information from the insurer concerning a form filed pursuant to subsection (1)(a) and ending on the date that the insurer submits its response to the commissioner.
(iii) For purposes of tolling the 60-day period as provided in subsection (2)(b)(ii), the commissioner's request notification may be made electronically.
(c) In a letter separate from the original filing and delivered by hand or sent by certified mail with return receipt requested, the insurer shall notify the commissioner, at least 10 days before the use of the form in the market, that the insurer believes that:
(i) the form has been or will be considered approved; and
(ii) the insurer will begin marketing the form in Montana.
(d) The commissioner's office shall mark a letter received pursuant to subsection (2)(c) with the date of receipt by the commissioner's office.
(3) Approval of a form by the commissioner constitutes a waiver of any unexpired portion of the waiting period.
(4) The commissioner may at any time, after notice and for cause shown, withdraw any approval. Notice by the commissioner disapproving a form or withdrawing a previous approval must state the grounds for disapproval or withdrawal in sufficient detail to inform the insurer of the specific reason or reasons for and the legal authority supporting the disapproval or withdrawal of approval in whole or in part. The disapproval or withdrawal of approval does not take effect unless it is issued after the commissioner has reviewed the form and provided notice to the person who filed the form pursuant to 33-1-314 and this subsection.
(5) After the date of the insurer's receipt of notice of disapproval or withdrawal of approval by the commissioner, the insurer may not deliver the form or issue the form for delivery in Montana.
(6) The insurer may request a hearing, as provided for in 33-1-701, for unresolved disputes regarding a disapproval or a withdrawal of approval.
(7) The commissioner may exempt from the requirements of this section, for so long as the commissioner considers proper, an insurance document, form, or type of document or form to which, in the commissioner's opinion, this section may not practicably be applied or the filing and approval of which are not desirable or necessary for the protection of the public.
(8) This section applies to a form used by a domestic insurer for delivery in a jurisdiction outside Montana if the insurance supervisory official of the jurisdiction informs the commissioner that the form is not subject to approval or disapproval by the official and upon the commissioner's order requiring the form to be submitted to the commissioner for the purpose. The same standards apply to these forms as apply to forms for domestic use.
(9) Section 33-1-502 and this section do not apply to:
(b) policies or contracts not issued for delivery in Montana or delivered in Montana, except as provided in subsection (8);
(c) ocean marine and foreign trade insurances.
(10) Except as provided in chapter 21, group certificates that are delivered or issued for delivery in Montana for group insurance policies effectuated and delivered outside Montana but covering persons resident in Montana must be filed with the commissioner upon request. The certificates must meet the minimum provisions mandated by Montana if Montana law prevails over conflicting provisions of other state law.
History: En. Secs. 258, 271, Ch. 286, L. 1959; R.C.M. 1947, 40-3701(part), 40-3714; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 303, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 518, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 156, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 451, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 379, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 295, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 336, L. 2001; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 409, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 360, L. 2013.