Law:Insurance Code General Provisions (California)

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Ca Codes (ins:1-48) Insurance Code Section 1-48



1. This act shall be known as the Insurance Code.


2. The provisions of this code in so far as they are substantially the same as existing statutory provisions relating to the same subject matter shall be construed as restatements and continuations thereof, and not as new enactments.

3. All persons who, at the time this code goes into effect, hold office under any of the acts repealed by this code, which offices are continued by this code, continue to hold the same according to the former tenure thereof.

4. No action or proceeding commenced before this code takes effect, and no right accrued, is affected by the provisions of this code, but all procedure thereafter taken therein shall conform to the provisions of this code so far as possible.


5. Unless the context otherwise requires, the general provisions hereinafter set forth shall govern the construction of this code.


6. Division, part, chapter, article, and section headings contained herein shall not be deemed to govern, limit, modify or in any manner affect the scope, meaning, or intent of the provisions of any division, part, chapter, article, or section hereof.


7. Whenever, by the provisions of this code, a power is granted to a public officer or a duty imposed upon such an officer, the power may be exercised or the duty performed by a deputy of the officer or by a person authorized pursuant to law by the officer, unless it is expressly otherwise provided.

8. Writing includes any form of recorded message capable of comprehension by ordinary visual means. Whenever any notice, report, statement or record is required or authorized by this code, it shall be made in writing in the English language unless it is otherwise expressly provided.


9. Whenever any reference is made to any portion of this code or of any other law of this State, such reference shall apply to all amendments and additions thereto now or hereafter made.


10. "Section" means a section of this code unless some other statute is specifically mentioned and "subdivision" or "subsection" means a subdivision or subsection of the section in which that term occurs unless some other section is expressly mentioned.


11. The present tense includes the past and future tenses; and the future, the present.


12. The masculine gender includes the feminine and neuter.


13. The singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular.

14. "County" includes "city and county."


15. "City" includes "city and county."


16. As used in this code the word "shall" is mandatory and the word "may" is permissive, unless otherwise apparent from the context.


17. "Oath" includes affirmation.


18. "Signature" or "subscription" includes mark when the signer or subscriber can not write, such signer's or subscriber's name being written near the mark by a witness who writes his own name near the signer's or subscriber's name; but a signature or subscription by mark can be acknowledged or can serve as a signature or subscription to a sworn statement only when two witnesses so sign their own names thereto.


19. "Person" means any person, association, organization, partnership, business trust, limited liability company, or corporation.

20. "Commissioner" means the Insurance Commissioner of this State.


20.5. Whenever in this code the terms "State Industrial Accident Commission" or "Industrial Accident Commission" or "commission," relating to the said "State Industrial Accident Commission" or the said "Industrial Accident Commission," appear, said terms shall mean "Division of Industrial Accidents," including "administrative director" of said division or "appeals board," or both, as the context may require.


21. "Division," and "department," in reference to the government of this state, mean the Department of Insurance of this state.


21.5. (a) "Administrative law bureau" or "administrative hearing bureau" means the unit within the Department of Insurance that provides administrative hearings. (b) An administrative law judge appointed by the commissioner pursuant to civil service rules shall be employed within the administrative law bureau and shall not be supervised directly by the commissioner or supervised directly or indirectly by an employee in the legal branch of the department.


22. Insurance is a contract whereby one undertakes to indemnify another against loss, damage, or liability arising from a contingent or unknown event.

23. The person who undertakes to indemnify another by insurance is the insurer, and the person indemnified is the insured.


24. "Admitted," in relation to a person, means entitled to transact insurance business in this state, having complied with the laws imposing conditions precedent to transaction of such business. The State Compensation Insurance Fund shall be deemed to be admitted pursuant to authority to transact workers' compensation insurance granted by the Legislature. The commissioner shall not revoke or suspend the State Compensation Insurance Fund's authority to transact workers' compensation insurance.


25. "Nonadmitted," in relation to a person, means not entitled to transact insurance business in this State, whether by reason of failure to comply with conditions precedent thereto, or by reason of inability so to comply.

26. "Domestic" means organized under the laws of this State, whether or not admitted.


27. "Foreign" means not organized under the laws of this State, whether or not admitted.


28. "State" means the State of California, unless applied to the different parts of the United States. In the latter case, it includes the District of Columbia, the commonwealths and the territories.


29. "Mortgage" includes a trust deed, "mortgagor" includes a trustor under such trust deed, "mortgagee" includes a beneficiary under such trust deed, or a trustee exercising powers or performing duties granted to or imposed upon him thereunder, and "lien" in respect to real or personal property includes a charge or incumbrance arising out of a trust deed.


30. "Resident" means residing in this State, "nonresident" means not residing in this State.


31. "Insurance agent" means a person authorized, by and on behalf of an insurer, to transact all classes of insurance other than life, disability, or health insurance, on behalf of an admitted insurance company.

32. (a) A life licensee is a person authorized to act as a life agent on behalf of a life insurer or a disability insurer to transact any of the following: (1) Life insurance. (2) Accident and health insurance. (3) Life and accident and health insurance. (b) Licenses to act as a life agent under this chapter shall be of the types as set forth in Section 1626. (c) A life agent may be authorized to transact 24-hour care coverage, as defined in Section 1749.02, pursuant to the requirements of subdivision (d) of Section 1749 or subdivision (b) of Section 1749.33.


32.5. "Life and disability insurance analyst" means a person who, for a fee or compensation of any kind, paid by or derived from any person or source other than an insurer, advises, purports to advise, or offers to advise any person insured under, named as beneficiary of, or having any interest in, a life or disability insurance contract, in any manner concerning that contract or his or her rights in respect thereto.


33. "Insurance broker" means a person who, for compensation and on behalf of another person, transacts insurance other than life, disability, or health with, but not on behalf of, an insurer.


33.5. "Fire and casualty broker-agent" means a person licensed pursuant to Section 1625.


34. "Insurance solicitor" means a natural person employed to aid a property and casualty broker-agent acting as an insurance agent or insurance broker in transacting insurance other than life, disability, or health.

35. "Transact" as applied to insurance includes any of the following: (a) Solicitation. (b) Negotiations preliminary to execution. (c) Execution of a contract of insurance. (d) Transaction of matters subsequent to execution of the contract and arising out of it.


36. "Paid-in capital" or "capital paid-in" means: (a) In the case of a foreign mutual insurer not issuing or having outstanding capital stock, the value of its assets in excess of the sum of its liabilities for losses reported, expenses, taxes, and all other indebtedness and reinsurance of outstanding risks as provided by law. Such foreign mutual insurer shall not be admitted, however, unless its paid-in capital is composed of available cash assets amounting to at least two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000.00). (b) In the case of a foreign joint stock and mutual insurer, its paid-in capital computed, according to its desire, pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (a) or subdivision (c) of this section. If computed pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (a), its admission is subject to the qualification therein expressed. (c) In the case of all other insurers, the lower of the following amounts: (1) The value of its assets in excess of the sum of its liabilities for losses reported, expenses, taxes, and all other indebtedness and reinsurance of outstanding risks as provided by law. (2) The aggregate par value of its issued shares of stock, including treasury shares. For the purpose of computing paid-in capital or capital paid-in, shares of stock are not taken as liabilities.


37. Provisions of this code relating to a particular class of insurance or a particular type of insurer prevail over provisions relating to insurance in general or insurers in general.


38. Unless expressly otherwise provided, any notice required to be given to any person by any provision of this code may be given by mailing notice, postage prepaid, addressed to the person to be notified, at his residence or principal place of business in this State. The affidavit of the person who mails the notice, stating the facts of such mailing, is prima facie evidence that the notice was thus mailed.


38.5. Any written notice required to be given or mailed to any person by an insurer relating to any insurance on risks or on operations in this state not excepted by Section 1851 from the coverage of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 1850.4) of Part 2 of Division 1 of this code may, if not excluded by subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 1633.3 of the Civil Code, be provided by electronic transmission pursuant to Title 2.5 (commencing with Section 1633.1) of Part 2 of Division 3 of the Civil Code, if each party has agreed to conduct the transaction by electronic means pursuant to Section 1633.5 of the Civil Code. The affidavit of the person who initiated the electronic transmission, stating the facts of that transmission into an information processing system outside of the control of the sender or of any person that sent the electronic record on behalf of the sender, is prima facie evidence that the notice was transmitted and shall be sufficient proof of notice. Any notice provided by electronic transmission shall be treated as if mailed or given for the purposes of any provision of this code, except as provided by subdivision (g) of Section 1633.15 of the Civil Code. The insurance company shall maintain a system for confirming that any notice or document that is to be provided by electronic means has been sent in a manner consistent with Section 1633.15 of the Civil Code. A valid electronic signature shall be sufficient for any provision of law requiring a written signature. The insurance company shall retain a copy of the confirmation and electronic signature, when either is required, with the policy information so that they are retrievable upon request by the Department of Insurance while the policy is in force and for five years thereafter.


38.8. Insurers shall maintain a system for electronically confirming a policyholder's decision to opt in to an agreement to conduct transactions electronically and a system that will allow the policyholder to electronically opt out of the agreement to conduct business electronically as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 1633.5. The insurer shall maintain the electronic records for the same amount of time the insurer would be required to maintain those records if the records were in written form.


39. If any provision of this code, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of the code, or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected thereby.


40. The existence of insurers formed prior to the date this code takes effect shall not be affected by the enactment of this code nor by any repeal of the laws under which they were formed, but such insurers shall thereafter operate under the provisions of this code.


41. All insurance in this State is governed by the provisions of this code.

42. The designation of insurance coverage as "group" in any code or law of this State other than this code does not authorize its representation as a group coverage or as a group policy, certificate or contract by any person licensed or certificated by the commissioner unless the policy providing the coverage is defined as group insurance by a specific provision of this code or of the laws of the state in which the policy, certificate or contract is issued. This section shall apply only to life, disability and workmen's compensation insurance.

44. Any person who willfully and knowingly makes, circulates, or transmits to another any false written or printed statement for the purpose of damaging the financial condition or stability of any insurance company doing business in this state is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).


45. (a) "Electronic funds transfer" means any transfer of funds, other than a transaction originated by check, draft, or similar paper instrument, that is initiated through an electronic terminal, telephonic instrument, or computer or magnetic tape, so as to order, instruct, or authorize a financial institution to debit or credit an account. Electronic funds transfer shall be accomplished by an automated clearinghouse debit, an automated clearinghouse credit, a Federal Reserve Wire Transfer (Fedwire), or an international funds transfer, at the option of the insurer. (b) For purposes of this section: (1) "Automated clearinghouse" means any federal reserve bank, or an organization established by agreement with the National Automated Clearing House Association, that operates as a clearinghouse for transmitting or receiving entries between banks or bank accounts and that authorizes an electronic transfer of funds between those banks or bank accounts. (2) "Automated clearinghouse debit" means a transaction in which any department of the state, through its designated depository bank, originates an automated clearinghouse transaction debiting the taxpayer's bank account and crediting the state's bank account for the amount of tax. Banking costs incurred for the automated clearinghouse debit transaction by the taxpayer shall be paid by the state. (3) "Automated clearinghouse credit" means an automated clearinghouse transaction in which the taxpayer, through its own bank, originates an entry crediting the state's bank account and debiting its own bank account. Banking costs incurred by the state for the automated clearinghouse credit transaction may be charged to the taxpayer. (4) "Fedwire" means any transaction originated by the taxpayer and utilizing the national electronic payment system to transfer funds through federal reserve banks, pursuant to which the taxpayer debits its own bank account and credits the state's bank account. Electronic funds transfers may be made by Fedwire only if prior approval is obtained from the department and the taxpayer is unable, for reasonable cause, to make payments pursuant to paragraph (2) or (3). Banking costs charged to the taxpayer and to the state may be charged to the taxpayer. (5) "International funds transfer" means any transaction originated by the taxpayer and utilizing "SWIFT," the international electronic payment system to transfer funds in which the taxpayer debits its own bank account, and credits the funds to a United States bank that credits the state's bank account. Banking costs charged to the taxpayer and to the state may be charged to the taxpayer.


46. The Legislature hereby declares its intent that the term "workmen's compensation" shall hereafter also be known as "workers' compensation." In furtherance of this policy it is the desire of the Legislature that references to the term "workmen's compensation" in this code be changed to "workers' compensation" when such code sections are being amended for any purpose. This act is declaratory and not amendatory of existing law.


47. "Surplus line broker" means a person licensed under Section 1765 and authorized to do business under Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 1760) of Part 2 of Division 1.


48. A "surplus line broker certificate" means a certificate issued by a surplus line broker to an insurance purchaser as evidence of the placement of insurance with an eligible nonadmitted insurer in accordance with the requirements of Sections 1764, 1764.1, and 1764.2.


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