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The priority of payment of distributions on unsecured claims must be in accordance with the order in which each class of claims is set forth in this section. Every claim in each class shall be paid in full, or adequate funds retained for their payment, before the members of the next class receive payment, and all claims within a class must be paid substantially the same percentage of the amount of the claim. Except as provided by Subsections (a)(2), (a)(3), (i), and (k), subclasses may not be established within a class. No claim by a shareholder, policyholder, or other creditor shall be permitted to circumvent the priority classes through the use of equitable remedies. The order of distribution of claims shall be:
(a) Class 1. (1) The costs and expenses of administration expressly approved or ratified by the liquidator, including the following:
(A) the actual and necessary costs of preserving or recovering the property of the insurer;
(B) reasonable compensation for all services rendered on behalf of the administrative supervisor or receiver;
(C) any necessary filing fees;
(D) the fees and mileage payable to witnesses;
(E) unsecured loans obtained by the receiver; and
(F) expenses, if any, approved by the rehabilitator of the insurer and incurred in the course of the rehabilitation that are unpaid at the time of the entry of the order of liquidation.
(2) The reasonable expenses of a guaranty association, including overhead, salaries and other general administrative expenses allocable to the receivership to include administrative and claims handling expenses and expenses in connection with arrangements for ongoing coverage, other than expenses incurred in the performance of duties under Section 462.002(3), 463.108, 463.111, 463.113, 463.353, or 2602.113 or similar duties under the statute governing a similar organization in another state. In the case of the Texas Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association and other property and casualty guaranty associations, the expenses shall include loss adjustment expenses, including adjusting and other expenses and defense and cost containment expenses. In the event that there are insufficient assets to pay all of the costs and expenses of administration under Subsection (a)(1) and the expenses of a guaranty association, the costs and expenses under Subsection (a)(1) shall have priority over the expenses of a guaranty association. In this event, the expenses of a guaranty association shall be paid on a pro rata basis after the payment of costs and expenses under Subsection (a)(1) in full.
(3) For purposes of Subsection (a)(1)(E), any unsecured loan obtained by the receiver, unless by its terms it otherwise provides, has priority over all other costs of administration. Absent agreement to the contrary, all claims in this subclass share pro rata.
(4) Except as expressly approved by the receiver, any expenses arising from a duty to indemnify the directors, officers, or employees of the insurer are excluded from this class and, if allowed, are Class 5 claims.
(b) Class 2. (1) All claims under policies of insurance, including third-party claims; claims under annuity contracts, including funding agreements, guaranteed investment contracts, and synthetic guaranteed investment contracts; claims under nonassessable policies for unearned premium; claims of obligees and, subject to the discretion of the receiver, completion contractors, under surety bonds and surety undertakings other than bail bonds, mortgage or financial guaranties, or other forms of insurance offering protection against investment risk; claims by principals under surety bonds and surety undertakings for wrongful dissipation of collateral by the insurer or its agents; and claims incurred during the extension of coverage provided for in Section 443.152. For purposes of this subdivision, “annuity contract,” “funding agreement,” “guaranteed investment contract,” and “synthetic guaranteed investment contract” have the meanings assigned by Section 1154.003.
(2) All other claims incurred in fulfilling the statutory obligations of a guaranty association not included in Class 1, including indemnity payments on covered claims and, in the case of the Life, Accident, Health, and Hospital Service Insurance Guaranty Association or another life and health guaranty association, all claims as a creditor of the impaired or insolvent insurer for all payments of and liabilities incurred on behalf of covered claims or covered obligations of the insurer and for the funds needed to reinsure those obligations with a solvent insurer.
(3) Claims for benefits under a health care plan issued by a health maintenance organization.
(4) Claims under insurance policies or contracts for benefits issued by an unauthorized insurer.
(5) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter, the following claims are excluded from Class 2 priority:
(A) obligations of the insolvent insurer arising out of reinsurance contracts;
(B) obligations, excluding unearned premium claims on policies other than reinsurance agreements, incurred after:
(i) the expiration date of the insurance policy;
(ii) the policy has been replaced by the insured or canceled at the insured's request; or
(iii) the policy has been canceled as provided by this chapter;
(C) obligations to insurers, insurance pools, or underwriting associations and their claims for contribution, indemnity, or subrogation, equitable or otherwise;
(D) any claim that is in excess of any applicable limits provided in the insurance policy issued by the insurer;
(E) any amount accrued as punitive or exemplary damages unless expressly covered under the terms of the policy;
(F) tort claims of any kind against the insurer and claims against the insurer for bad faith or wrongful settlement practices; and
(G) claims of the guaranty associations for assessments not paid by the insurer, which must be paid as claims in Class 5.
(c) Class 3. Claims of the federal government not included in Class 2.
(d) Class 4. Debts due employees for services or benefits to the extent that the debts do not exceed $5,000 or two months salary, whichever is the lesser, and represent payment for services performed within one year before the entry of the initial order of receivership. This priority is in lieu of any other similar priority that may be authorized by law as to wages or compensation of employees.
(e) Class 5. Claims of other unsecured creditors not included in Classes 1 through 4, including claims under reinsurance contracts, claims of guaranty associations for assessments not paid by the insurer, and other claims excluded from Class 2.
(f) Class 6. Claims of any state or local governments, except those specifically classified elsewhere in this section. Claims of attorneys for fees and expenses owed them by an insurer for services rendered in opposing a formal delinquency proceeding. In order to prove the claim, the claimant must show that the insurer that is the subject of the delinquency proceeding incurred the fees and expenses based on its best knowledge, information, and belief, formed after reasonable inquiry, indicating opposition was in the best interests of the insurer, was well grounded in fact, and was warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law, and that opposition was not pursued for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of the litigation.
(g) Class 7. Claims of any state or local government for a penalty or forfeiture, but only to the extent of the pecuniary loss sustained from the act, transaction, or proceeding out of which the penalty or forfeiture arose, with reasonable and actual costs occasioned thereby. The balance of the claims must be treated as Class 9 claims under Subsection (i).
(h) Class 8. Except as provided in Sections 443.251(b) and (d), late filed claims that would otherwise be classified in Classes 2 through 7.
(i) Class 9. Surplus notes, capital notes or contribution notes or similar obligations, premium refunds on assessable policies, and any other claims specifically assigned to this class. Claims in this class are subject to any subordination agreements related to other claims in this class that existed before the entry of the liquidation order.
(j) Class 10. Interest on allowed claims of Classes 1 through 9, according to the terms of a plan proposed by the liquidator and approved by the receivership court.
(k) Class 11. Claims of shareholders or other owners arising out of their capacity as shareholders or other owners, or any other capacity, except as they may be qualified in Class 2, 5, or 10. Claims in this class are subject to any subordination agreements related to other claims in this class that existed before the entry of the liquidation order.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Texas Insurance Code - INS § 443.301. Priority of Distribution - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/insurance-code/ins-sect-443-301/
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