Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 4. Examinations by Department

Conduct Of Examinations -- Records -- Correction Of Accounts -- Appraisals

33-1-408. Conduct of examinations -- records -- correction of accounts -- appraisals. (1) Upon determining that an examination should be conducted, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall issue an examination warrant appointing one or more examiners to perform the examination and instructing them as to the scope of the examination. In conducting the examination, an examiner shall observe the guidelines and procedures set forth in the examiners' handbook adopted by the NAIC. The commissioner may also employ other guidelines or procedures as the commissioner considers appropriate.

(2) Every company or person from whom information is sought and its officers, directors, employees, and agents shall provide to the examiners appointed under subsection (1) timely, convenient, and free access at all reasonable hours to all books, records, accounts, papers, documents, and any or all computer or other recordings relating to the property, assets, business, and affairs of the company being examined, including but not limited to access at its offices. The officers, directors, employees, and agents of the company or person shall facilitate the examination and aid in the examination so far as it is in their power to do so. The refusal of any company, by its officers, directors, employees, or agents, to submit to examination or to comply with any reasonable written request of the examiners is grounds for suspension, refusal, or nonrenewal of any license or authority held by the company to engage in an insurance or other business subject to the commissioner's jurisdiction. A proceeding for suspension, revocation, or refusal of any license or authority must be conducted pursuant to 33-1-318 and 33-1-701.

(3) The commissioner or any examiner has the power to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, and examine under oath any person concerning any matter pertinent to the examination. Upon the failure or refusal of a person to obey a subpoena, the commissioner may petition a court of competent jurisdiction and, upon proper showing, the court may enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or to produce documentary evidence. Failure to obey the court order is punishable as contempt of court.

(4) When making an examination under this part, the commissioner may retain attorneys, appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners. The cost of retaining the personnel must be borne by the company that is the subject of the examination.

(5) This part may not be construed to limit the commissioner's authority to terminate or suspend any examination in order to pursue other legal or regulatory action pursuant to this title. Findings of fact and conclusions made pursuant to an examination are prima facie evidence in any legal or regulatory action.

(6) This part may not be construed to limit the commissioner's authority to use and, if appropriate, to make public any final or preliminary examination report, any examiner or company workpapers or other documents, or any other information discovered or developed during the course of any examination in the furtherance of any legal or regulatory action that the commissioner may consider appropriate.

History: En. Sec. 31, Ch. 596, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 380, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 157, L. 2023.