Arkansas Code Title 23. Public Utilities and Regulated Industries § 23-61-103. Insurance Commissioner--Powers and duties

(a) The Insurance Commissioner shall enforce the provisions of the Arkansas Insurance Code and shall execute the duties imposed upon him or her by the Arkansas Insurance Code.

(b) The commissioner shall have the powers and authority expressly conferred upon him or her by or reasonably implied from the provisions of the Arkansas Insurance Code.

(c) The commissioner is authorized to enter into regulatory cooperation and coordination agreements with other governmental regulatory agencies within and outside of this state with respect to the regulation of the business of insurance, including, but not limited to:

(1) Licensing of insurance companies;

(2) Licensing of producers;

(3) Regulation of premium rates and policy forms;

(4) Regulation of insurer solvency and insurance receiverships;  and

(5) Other matters relating to the effective regulation of the business of insurance.

(d)(1) The commissioner may conduct such examinations and investigations of insurance matters, in addition to examinations and investigations expressly authorized, as he or she may deem proper to determine whether any person has violated any provision of the Arkansas Insurance Code or to secure information useful in the lawful administration of any such provision.  The cost of these additional examinations or investigations shall be borne by the state.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, active investigatory or examination files as maintained by the State Insurance Department shall be deemed confidential and privileged and shall not be made open to the public until:

(A) The matter under investigation or examination is deemed closed by the commissioner;  or

(B) Referred to any law enforcement authority and made subject to public disclosure by the authority.

(3) At such time that any matter investigated or examined has been set for an administrative hearing pursuant to § 23-61-304 or § 25-15-208 , investigation or examination information shall be made available as provided in § 25-15-208 .

(4) Unless otherwise exempted by subdivision (d)(5) of this section, actuarial formulas and assumptions certified by a qualified actuary are confidential and privileged when submitted to comply with a rate or form filing requirement of the department, including, but not limited to, any actuarial report:

(A) Required, submitted, or attached to any filing made to the department under § 23-67-211 , for rate and form filings of an insurer, or to those submitted under § 23-63-216 for annual statements of an insurer; or

(B) Submitted to the department to comply with any form and rate filing requirement imposed by statute or rule upon licensed insurers, health maintenance organizations, fraternal benefit societies, and hospital and medical service corporations.

(5)(A) Subdivisions (d)(2) and (d)(4) of this section do not prohibit release by the commissioner of active investigatory or examination files:

(i) At the discretion of the commissioner, to a person or persons that the commissioner determines to be aggrieved or affected by the examination or investigation;  or

(ii) To state, federal, or local law enforcement or regulatory agencies or private organizations established for tracking or preventing insurance violations, or to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

(6) Release of active investigatory or examination files under subdivision (d)(5) of this section does not abrogate or modify the confidential nature of investigatory or examination files under subdivision (d)(2) of this section.

(e)(1) The commissioner may delegate to any assistant, deputy, examiner, or employee of the department the exercise or discharge in the commissioner's name of any power, duty, or function, whether ministerial, discretionary, or of whatever character which may be vested by the Arkansas Insurance Code in the commissioner.

(2) The commissioner shall be responsible for the official acts of his or her deputy, assistant, examiner, or employee acting in the commissioner's name and by his or her authority.

(f)(1)(A) To the extent not otherwise governed by the Trade Practices Act, § 23-66-201 et seq. , § 23-65-101 et seq. , or a law or rule providing specific injunctive powers to the commissioner, if it appears to the commissioner upon sufficient grounds or evidence that any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of an insurance law, rule, or order of this state, the commissioner may summarily order the person to cease and desist from the act or practice.

(B)(i) Upon the entry of the cease and desist order under subdivision (f)(1)(A) of this section, the commissioner shall promptly notify the person who is the subject of the order:

(a) That the order has been entered;  and

(b) Of his or her right to a hearing concerning the order.

(ii) The notification shall include a copy of the order or a detailed statement of the reasons for the order.

(2)(A) A hearing shall be held under § 23-61-301 et seq. on the written request of the person aggrieved by the cease and desist order under subdivision (f)(1)(A) of this section if the request is received by the commissioner within thirty (30) days of the date of the entry of the order or if ordered by the commissioner.

(B) If no hearing is requested and none is ordered by the commissioner, the order shall remain in effect until it is modified or vacated by the commissioner.

(C) If a hearing is requested or ordered, the commissioner after notice and opportunity for hearing:

(i) May affirm, modify, or vacate the order;  and

(ii) Shall conduct the hearing within ten (10) days of the date a hearing is requested or ordered by the commissioner.

(3)(A) After issuance of an order under this subsection, the commissioner may apply to the Pulaski County Circuit Court to temporarily or permanently enjoin the act or practice and to enforce compliance with the insurance laws of this state.

(B) However, without issuing such an order, the commissioner may apply directly to the Pulaski County Circuit Court for relief.

(4) Upon a proper showing, a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or writ of mandamus shall be granted.

(5)(A) The commissioner may also seek and the appropriate court shall grant, upon proper showing, any other ancillary relief that may be in the public interest.

(B) The relief may include:

(i) The appointment of a receiver, temporary receiver, or conservator;

(ii) A declaratory judgment;

(iii) An accounting;

(iv) A disgorgement of profits;

(v) The assessment of a fine not to exceed the total amount of money, property, or other value received in connection with an insurance law violation;  or

(vi) Any other relief appropriate to protect the public interest.

(6) The commissioner is not required to post a bond as a condition for obtaining relief under this subsection.

(7) This subsection does not prohibit or restrict the informal disposition of a proceeding or allegations that might give rise to a proceeding by stipulation, settlement, consent, or default in lieu of a formal or informal hearing on the allegations or in lieu of the sanctions authorized by this subsection.


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