Nebraska Revised Statute 44-1107

Chapter 44 Section 1107

44-1107.

Examination; investigation.

(1)(a) The director may conduct an examination of a licensee under the Viatical Settlements Act as often as the director, in his or her sole discretion, deems appropriate. In scheduling and determining the nature, scope, and frequency of examination, the director shall consider such matters as consumer complaints, results of financial statement analyses and ratios, changes in management or ownership, actuarial opinions, reports of independent certified public accountants, and other relevant criteria as determined by the director.

(b) For purposes of completing an examination of a licensee under the act, the director may examine or investigate any person or the business of any person, insofar as the examination or investigation is, in the sole discretion of the director, necessary or material to the examination of the licensee.

(c) In lieu of an examination under the act of any foreign or alien licensee licensed in this state, the director may, in his or her sole discretion, accept an examination report on the licensee as prepared by the director for the licensee's state of domicile or port-of-entry state.

(d) As far as is practical, the examination of a foreign or alien licensee shall be made in cooperation with the insurance regulatory officials of other states in which the licensee transacts business.

(2)(a) A person required to be licensed under the act shall for five years retain copies of all:

(i) Proposed, offered, or executed contracts, purchase agreements, underwriting documents, policy forms, and applications from the date of the proposal, offer, or execution of the contract, purchase agreement, underwriting document, policy form, or application, whichever is later;

(ii) Checks, drafts, or other evidence and documentation related to the payment, transfer, deposit, or release of funds from the date of the transaction; and

(iii) Other records and documents related to the requirements of the act.

(b) This section does not relieve a person of the obligation to produce documents under subdivision (a) of this subsection to the director after the retention period has expired if the person has retained the documents.

(c) Records required to be retained by this section must be legible and complete and may be retained in paper, photograph, microprocess, magnetic, mechanical, or electronic media or by any process that accurately reproduces or forms a durable medium for the reproduction of a record.

(3)(a) Upon determining that an examination should be conducted, the director shall appoint one or more examiners to perform the examination and instruct them as to the scope of the examination. In conducting the examination, the examiner shall observe those guidelines and procedures set forth in the Examiners' Handbook adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The director may also employ such other guidelines or procedures as he or she deems appropriate.

(b) Every licensee or person from whom information is sought and its officers, directors, employees, and agents shall provide to the examiner timely, convenient, and free access at all reasonable hours at its offices to all books, records, accounts, papers, documents, assets, and computer or other recordings relating to the property, assets, business, and affairs of the licensee being examined. The officers, directors, employees, and agents of the licensee or person shall facilitate the examination and aid in the examination so far as it is in their power to do so. The refusal of a licensee, by its officers, directors, employees, or agents, to submit to examination or to comply with any reasonable written request of the director shall be grounds for the suspension, refusal, or nonrenewal of any license or authority held by the licensee to engage in the viatical settlement business or other business subject to the director's jurisdiction. Any proceedings for the suspension, revocation, or refusal of any license or authority shall be conducted pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

(c) The director may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, and examine under oath any person as to any matter pertinent to the examination. Upon the failure or refusal of a person to obey a subpoena, the director may petition a court of competent jurisdiction, and upon proper showing, the court may enter an order compelling the witness to appear and testify or produce documentary evidence. Failure to obey the court order shall be punishable as contempt of court. A person who is subpoenaed shall attend as a witness at the place specified in the subpoena anywhere within the state. He or she shall be entitled to the same fees and mileage, if claimed, as a witness in the district court, with mileage to be computed at the rate provided in section 81-1176, which fees, mileage, and actual expense, if any, necessarily incurred in securing the attendance of witnesses, and their testimony, shall be itemized, charged against, and paid by the licensee being examined.

(d) When making an examination under the Viatical Settlements Act, the director may retain attorneys, appraisers, independent actuaries, independent certified public accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, the cost of which will be borne by the licensee that is the subject of the examination.

(e) Nothing contained in the act shall be construed to limit the director's authority to terminate or suspend an examination in order to pursue other legal or regulatory action pursuant to the insurance laws of this state. Findings of fact and conclusions of law made pursuant to any examination shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or regulatory action.

(f) Nothing contained in the act shall be construed to limit the director's authority to use, and, if appropriate, to make public, any final or preliminary examination report, any examiner or licensee workpapers or other documents, or any other information discovered or developed during the course of any examination in the furtherance of any legal or regulatory action which the director may, in his or her sole discretion, deem appropriate.

(4)(a) Examination reports shall be comprised of only facts appearing upon the books, records, or other documents of the licensee or its agents or other persons examined, or as ascertained from the testimony of its officers or agents or other persons examined concerning its affairs, and such conclusions and recommendations as the examiners find reasonably warranted from the facts.

(b) No later than forty-five days following completion of the examination, the examiner in charge shall file with the director a verified written report of examination under oath. Upon receipt of the verified report, the director shall transmit the report to the licensee examined, together with a notice that shall afford the licensee examined a reasonable opportunity of not more than thirty days to make a written submission or rebuttal with respect to any matters contained in the examination report.

(c) Within thirty days after the end of the period allowed for the receipt of written submissions or rebuttals, the director shall fully consider and review the report, together with any written submissions or rebuttals and any relevant portions of the examiner's workpapers, and shall:

(i) Adopt the examination report as submitted or with modifications or corrections. If the examination report reveals that the licensee is operating in violation of any law, rule, regulation, or prior order of the director, the director may order the licensee to take any action the director considers necessary and appropriate to cure such violation; or

(ii) Reject the examination report with directions to the examiner to reopen the examination for purposes of obtaining additional data, documentation, or information and to resubmit a report pursuant to subdivision (4)(b) of this section.

(d) Any licensee aggrieved by any action of the director pursuant to subdivision (4)(c) of this section may, within ten days after such action, make written request to the director for a hearing. Upon receipt of the licensee's request for a hearing, the director shall provide notice of the hearing no less than ten nor more than thirty days after the date of the licensee's request. The notice shall identify the subject of the hearing and the specific issues.

(e) Any hearing on an examination report shall be held in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(f) The examination report, with any modifications and corrections thereof, shall be accepted by the director and filed for public inspection immediately after the expiration of the times specified in subdivision (4)(d) of this section in the event that the licensee has not requested a hearing. Within thirty days after the filing of the examination report for public inspection, the licensee shall file affidavits executed by each of its directors stating under oath that they have received a copy of the examination report and related orders.

(5)(a) Names and individual identification data for all viators shall be considered private and confidential information and shall not be disclosed by the director unless required by law.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in the Viatical Settlements Act, all examination reports, working papers, recorded information, documents, and copies thereof produced by, obtained by, or disclosed to the director or any other person in the course of an examination made under the act, or in the course of analysis or investigation by the director of the financial condition or market conduct of a licensee, shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to disclosure pursuant to sections 84-712 to 84-712.09, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. The director is authorized to use the documents, materials, communications, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as part of the director's official duties.

(c) Documents, materials, communications, or other information, including all working papers and copies thereof, in the possession or control of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action if they are:

(i) Created, produced, or obtained by or disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries in the course of assisting an examination made under the act or the law of another state or jurisdiction that is substantially similar to the act or assisting the director or the chief insurance regulatory official of another state in the analysis or investigation of the financial condition or market conduct of a licensee; or

(ii) Disclosed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries under subdivision (e) of this subsection by the director or the chief insurance regulatory official of another state.

(d) Neither the director nor any person that received the documents, materials, communications, or other information while acting under the authority of the director, including the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, shall be permitted to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, communications, or other information subject to this subsection.

(e) In order to assist in the performance of his or her duties, the director:

(i) May share documents, materials, communications, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, communications, or other information subject to this subsection, with other state, federal, foreign, and international regulatory agencies, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and with state, federal, foreign, and international law enforcement authorities, if the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the documents, materials, communications, or other information;

(ii) May receive documents, materials, communications, or other information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, communications, or other information, from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any documents, materials, communications, or other 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 documents, materials, communications, or other information; and

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

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

(g) A privilege established under the law of any state or jurisdiction that is substantially similar to the privilege established under this subsection shall be available and enforced in any proceeding in, and in any court of, this state.

(h) Nothing contained in the act shall prevent or be construed as prohibiting the director from disclosing the content of an examination report, preliminary report or results, or any matter relating thereto to the director or chief insurance regulatory official of any other state or country, to any law enforcement official of this state or any other state, to any agency of the federal government at any time, or to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners so long as the agency or office receiving the examination report or matters relating thereto agrees in writing to hold the examination report or matters confidential and in a manner consistent with the act.

(6)(a) An examiner may not be appointed by the director if the examiner, either directly or indirectly, has a conflict of interest or is affiliated with the management of or owns a pecuniary interest in any person subject to examination under the Viatical Settlements Act. This subsection shall not be construed to automatically preclude an examiner from being:

(i) A viator;

(ii) An insured in a viaticated insurance policy; or

(iii) A beneficiary in an insurance policy that is proposed to be viaticated.

(b) Notwithstanding the requirements of this subsection, the director may retain from time to time, on an individual basis, qualified actuaries, certified public accountants, or other similar individuals who are independently practicing their professions, even though these persons may from time to time be similarly employed or retained by persons subject to examination under the act.

(7) The reasonable expenses of the examination of a licensee conducted under the Viatical Settlements Act shall be fixed and determined by the director who shall collect the same from the licensee examined. The licensee shall reimburse the amount thereof upon presentation of a statement by the director. Reimbursement shall be limited to a reasonable allocation for the salary of each examiner plus actual expenses. All money collected by the director for examination of licensees shall be remitted in accordance with section 44-116.

(8)(a) No cause of action shall arise nor shall any liability be imposed against the director, the director's authorized representatives, or any examiner appointed by the director for any statements made or conduct performed in good faith while carrying out the provisions of the Viatical Settlements Act.

(b) No cause of action shall arise nor shall any liability be imposed against any person for the act of communicating or delivering information or data to the director or the director's authorized representative or an examiner pursuant to an examination made under the act, if the act of communication or delivery was performed in good faith and without fraudulent intent or the intent to deceive. This subdivision does not abrogate or modify in any way common-law or statutory privilege or immunity heretofore enjoyed by any person identified in this subsection.

(c) A person identified in this subsection is entitled to an award of attorney's fees and costs if he or she is the prevailing party in a civil cause of action for libel, slander, or any other relevant tort arising out of activities in carrying out the provisions of the Viatical Settlements Act and the party bringing the action was not substantially justified in doing so. For purposes of this section, a proceeding is substantially justified if it had a reasonable basis in law or fact at the time that it was initiated.

(9) The director may investigate suspected fraudulent viatical settlement acts and persons engaged in the business of viatical settlements.

Cross References

  • Administrative Procedure Act, see section 84-920.