Current as of: 2013
(1) General permission. A nondomestic insurer which has not obtained a certificate of authority to do business in this state under s. 618.12 may negotiate for and make insurance contracts with persons in this state and on risks located in this state, subject to the limitations and requirements specified in this section.
(2) Incidental acts permitted. With respect to contracts made under this section, the insurer may in this state also inspect risks to be insured, collect premiums and adjust losses, and do all other acts reasonably incidental to the contract.
(3) Solicitation prohibited. Nothing in subs. (1) and (2) permits the solicitation of business in this state by or on behalf of an insurer without a certificate of authority. The commissioner may by rule prescribe the manner in which insurance agents or brokers may advertise the availability of their services in procuring, on behalf of persons seeking insurance, contracts with insurers without a certificate of authority.
(4) Information to policyholder. The insurer and any agent or broker are obligated promptly to furnish the policyholder a statement in a form prescribed or approved by the commissioner, informing the policyholder that the insurer has not obtained a certificate of authority to do business in this state and is not regulated in this state except as provided in this section.
(5) Trade practices. With respect to contracts made under this section, nondomestic insurers are subject to s. 628.34 and rules promulgated thereunder.
(6) Prohibited and restricted surplus lines business.
(a) Prohibited classes. The commissioner may by rule prohibit the making of contracts under sub. (1) in a specified class of insurance if authorized insurers provide an established market for the class in this state which is adequate and reasonably competitive with reputable unauthorized insurers.
(b) Restricted classes. The commissioner may by rule place restrictions and limitations on and create special procedures for the making of contracts under sub. (1) for a specified class of insurance if there have been abuses of placements in the class or if the policyholders in the class, because of limited financial resources, business experience or knowledge, cannot be expected to protect their own interests adequately.
(c) Exclusion of individual insurers. The commissioner may prohibit an individual insurer or group policyholder, including but not limited to a risk purchasing group, from making any contracts under sub. (1) or issuing evidence of coverage and may prohibit all insurance agents and brokers from dealing with the insurer or group policyholder, if:
1. It has willfully violated this section, ss. 610.11 (1), 628.34, or any rule promulgated under any of them; or
2. It has failed to pay the fees and taxes specified in s. 618.43; or
3. The commissioner has reason to believe that the insurer, or the insurer which issued the policy to a group policyholder, is in an unsound condition or the insurer or group policyholder is operated in a fraudulent, dishonest or incompetent manner or in violation of the law of its domicile.
(d) Evaluations. The commissioner may issue lists of unauthorized nondomestic insurers whose solidity he or she believes to be doubtful or whose practices he or she believes to be objectionable. The commissioner may issue lists of unauthorized nondomestic insurers he or she believes to be reliable and solid. The commissioner may also issue other relevant evaluations of unauthorized insurers. No action may lie against the commissioner or any employee of the office for anything said in the issuance of such lists and evaluations.
(6m) Rustproofing warranties insurance. An insurer issuing a policy of insurance under this section to cover a warranty, as defined in s. 100.205 (1) (g), shall comply with s. 632.18 and the policy shall be on a form approved by the commissioner under s. 631.20.
(7) Surplus lines agent's license.
(a) The commissioner may, pursuant to s. 628.04 (2), issue to any licensed agent or broker a surplus lines license granting authority to procure insurance under this section.
(b) The fee for issuance of a surplus lines license is the fee required by s. 601.31 (1) (L) 3.
(7m) Risk purchasing groups; licensed agents. A natural person may not solicit, negotiate or obtain liability insurance for a risk purchasing group from an unauthorized insurer unless the natural person is licensed as a surplus lines agent under sub. (7).
(8) Surplus lines agents, brokers and group policyholders.
(a) Responsibility. An agent or broker may not place insurance under this section with, and a person who offers liability insurance coverage under a group policy may not solicit the purchase of coverage under a group policy issued by, an unauthorized insurer if all of the following exist:
1. The insurer is financially unsound, engaging in unfair practices or otherwise substandard.
2. The agent, broker or other person fails to give the applicant written notice of the insurer's deficiencies.
3. The agent, broker or other person either knows of, or fails to adequately investigate, the insurer's financial condition and general reputation.
(b) Retention of notice. An agent, broker or group policyholder shall keep in its office for at least 5 years any notice provided under par. (a) 2.
(c) Financially sound. To be financially sound for purposes of par. (a) 1., an insurer must be able to satisfy standards comparable to those applied under the laws of this state to authorized insurers, unless this state is the insured's home state, in which case s. 618.416 applies.
(9) Requirements for surplus lines policies.
(a) Required information. Every new or renewal insurance policy procured and delivered under this section shall bear the name and address of the insurance agent or broker who procured it and shall have stamped or affixed upon it the following: "This insurance contract is with an insurer which has not obtained a certificate of authority to transact a regular insurance business in the state of Wisconsin, and is issued and delivered as a surplus line coverage pursuant to s. 618.41 of the Wisconsin Statutes. Section 618.43 (1), Wisconsin Statutes, requires payment by the policyholder of 3 percent tax on gross premium."
(b) Additional required information. The policy shall include a description of the subject of the insurance, and indicate the coverage, conditions and term of the insurance, the premium charged and premium taxes to be collected from the policyholder, and the name and address of the policyholder and insurer. If the direct risk is assumed by more than one insurer, the policy shall state the names and addresses of all insurers and the portion of the entire direct risk each has assumed.
(10) Issuance of evidence of insurance. Upon placing a new or renewal coverage under this section, the agent or broker shall promptly deliver to the policyholder or his or her agent evidence of the insurance consisting either of the policy as issued by the insurer or, if the policy is not then available, a certificate, cover note or other confirmation of insurance.
(11) Form regulation. The commissioner may by rule subject policies written under this section to as much of the regulation provided by chs. 600 to 646 and 655 for comparable policies written by authorized insurers as the commissioner finds to be necessary to protect the interests of insureds and the public in this state.
(12) Application when this state is not the insured's home state. The placement of insurance under this section is not subject to subs. (4), (7m), (8), (9), or (10) if this state is not the insured's home state and the placement complies with the laws of the insured's home state.
Questions & Answers: Insurance
U.S. Code Provisions: Insurance
Federal Regulations: Insurance