61-12-304. Deposits required. The commissioner may not grant a license to a company until it has deposited with the commissioner the sum of $25,000 in cash or in lieu thereof a bond in a form prescribed by the commissioner payable to the state of Montana in the sum of $25,000, with surety approved by the commissioner, conditioned upon the faithful performance of its service contracts and payment of any fines or penalties levied against it for failure to comply with this part. However, when any company proves to the commissioner that it has been in continuous, active operation in the state for a period of more than the preceding 5 years and has a paid membership of more than 5,000 members within the state or that there are more than 5,000 holders of its service contracts within the state and that it is being properly managed, is rendering to its members the services promised to them, and is financially responsible, the commissioner may not require a cash deposit or bond while the company remains in that condition. The cash deposit or bond is not a penalty but is for the protection of the public only.