The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 8: Banking and Insurance

Chapter 131: LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

Sub-Chapter 003A: Producer Licensing Requirements

8 V.S.A. § 4813m. Notification to Commissioner of termination



§ 4813m. Notification to Commissioner of termination

(a) Termination for cause. An insurer or authorized representative of the insurer that terminates the appointment, employment, contract, or other insurance business relationship with a producer shall notify the Commissioner within 30 days following the effective date of the termination, using a format prescribed by the Commissioner, if the reason for termination is one of the reasons set forth in section 4804 of this title or the insurer has knowledge the producer was found by a court, government body, or self-regulatory organization authorized by law to have engaged in any of the activities in section 4804 of this title. Upon the written request of the Commissioner, the insurer shall provide additional information, documents, records, or other data pertaining to the termination or activity of the producer.

(b) Termination without cause. An insurer or authorized representative of the insurer that terminates the appointment, employment, or contract with a producer for any reason not set forth in section 4804 of this title shall notify the Commissioner within 30 days following the effective date of the termination, using a format prescribed by the Commissioner. Upon written request of the Commissioner, the insurer shall provide additional information, documents, records, or other data pertaining to the termination.

(c) Ongoing notification requirement. The insurer or the authorized representative of the insurer shall promptly notify the Commissioner in a format acceptable to the Commissioner if, upon further review or investigation, the insurer discovers additional information that would have been reportable to the Commissioner in accordance with subsection (a) of this section had the insurer then known of its existence.

(d) Copy of notification to be provided to producer:

(1) Within 15 days after making the notification required by subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the insurer shall mail a copy of the notification to the producer at his or her last known address. If the producer is terminated for cause for any of the reasons listed in section 4804 of this title, the insurer shall provide a copy of the notification to the producer at his or her last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid or by overnight delivery using a nationally recognized carrier.

(2) Within 30 days after the producer has received the original or additional notification, the producer may file written comments concerning the substance of the notification with the Commissioner. The producer shall, by the same means, simultaneously send a copy of the comments to the reporting insurer, and the comments shall become a part of the Commissioner's file and accompany every copy of a report distributed or disclosed for any reason about the producer as permitted under subsection (f) of this section.

(e) Immunities.

(1) In the absence of actual malice, an insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, a producer, the Commissioner, or an organization of which the Commissioner is a member and that compiles the information and makes it available to other commissioners or regulatory or law enforcement agencies shall not be subject to civil liability, and a civil cause of action of any nature shall not arise against these entities or their respective agents or employees, as a result of any statement or information required by or provided pursuant to this section or any information relating to any statement that may be requested in writing by the Commissioner from an insurer or producer, or a statement by a terminating insurer or producer to an insurer or producer limited solely and exclusively to whether a termination for cause under subsection (a) of this section was reported to the Commissioner, provided the propriety of any termination for cause under subsection (a) of this section is certified in writing by an officer or authorized representative of the insurer or producer terminating the relationship.

(2) In any action brought against a person that may have immunity under subdivision (1) of this subsection for making any statement required by this section or providing any information relating to any statement that may be requested by the Commissioner, the party bringing the action shall plead specifically in any allegation that subdivision (1) of this subsection does not apply because the person making the statement or providing the information did so with actual malice.

(3) Subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection shall not abrogate or modify any existing statutory or common law privileges or immunities.

(f) Confidentiality.

(1) Any documents, materials, or other information in the control or possession of the Department of Financial Regulation that is furnished by an insurer, producer, or an employee or agent thereof acting on behalf of the insurer or producer, or obtained by the Commissioner in an investigation pursuant to this section shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to 1 V.S.A. chapter 5, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the Commissioner is authorized to use the documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the Commissioner's duties.

(2) Neither the Commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) In order to assist in the performance of the Commissioner's duties under this chapter, the Commissioner may:

(A) share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to subdivision (1) of this subsection, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliates or subsidiaries, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities, provided the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, or other information;

(B) receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliates or subsidiaries, and from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material, or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material, or information; and

(C) enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this subsection.

(4) No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the Commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in subdivision (3) of this subsection.

(5) Nothing in this act shall prohibit the Commissioner from

releasing final, adjudicated actions, including for cause terminations that are open to public inspection pursuant to 1 V.S.A. chapter 5 to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliates or subsidiaries.

(g) Penalties for failing to report. An insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, or producer that fails to report as required under the provisions of this section or that is found to have reported with actual malice by a court of competent jurisdiction may, after notice and hearing, have its license or certificate of authority suspended or revoked and may be assessed an administrative penalty of $10,000.00. (Added 2001, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; amended 2011, No. 78 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. April 2, 2012.)