(1) It shall be unlawful for any insurer to transact insurance business in this state, as set forth in subsection (2) of this section, without a certificate of authority from the director. This section shall not apply to:
(a) The lawful transaction of surplus lines insurance;
(b) The lawful transaction of reinsurance by insurers;
(c) Transactions in this state involving a policy lawfully solicited, written, and delivered outside of this state covering only subjects of insurance not resident, located, or expressly to be performed in this state at the time of issuance, and which transactions are subsequent to the issuance of such policy;
(d) Attorneys acting in the ordinary relation of attorney and client in the adjustment of claims or losses;
(e) Transactions in this state involving group life and group sickness and accident or blanket sickness and accident insurance or group annuities when the master policy of such groups was lawfully issued and delivered in and pursuant to the laws of a state in which the insurer was authorized to do an insurance business, to a group organized for purposes other than the procurement of insurance, and when the policyholder is domiciled or otherwise has a bona fide situs; or
(f) Transactions in this state relative to a policy issued or to be issued outside this state involving insurance on vessels, craft or hulls, cargoes, marine builder's risk, marine protection, and indemnity or other risk, including strikes and war risks commonly insured under ocean or wet marine forms of policy.
(2) Any of the following acts in this state effected by mail or otherwise by or on behalf of an unauthorized insurer shall constitute the transaction of an insurance business in this state. The venue of an act committed by mail shall be at the point where the matter transmitted by mail is delivered and takes effect. For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires, insurer shall include all corporations, associations, partnerships, and individuals engaged as principals in the business of insurance and shall also include interinsurance exchanges and mutual benefit societies:
(a) The making of or proposing to make, as an insurer, an insurance contract;
(b) The making of or proposing to make, as guarantor or surety, any contract of guaranty or suretyship as a vocation and not merely incidental to any other legitimate business or activity of the guarantor or surety;
(c) The taking or receiving of any application for insurance;
(d) The receiving or collection of any premium, commission, membership fees, assessments, dues, or other consideration for any insurance or any part thereof;
(e) The issuance or delivery of contracts of insurance to residents of this state or to persons authorized to do business in this state;
(f) Directly or indirectly acting as an agent for or otherwise representing or aiding on behalf of another any person or insurer in the solicitation, negotiation, procurement, or effectuation of insurance or renewals thereof or in the dissemination of information as to coverage or rates, or forwarding of applications, or delivery of policies or contracts, or inspection of risks, a fixing of rates or investigation or adjustment of claims or losses or in the transaction of matters subsequent to effectuation of the contract and arising out of it, or in any other manner representing or assisting a person or insurer in the transaction of insurance with respect to subjects of insurance resident, located, or to be performed in this state. This subsection shall not operate to prohibit full-time salaried employees of a corporate insured from acting in the capacity of an insurance manager or buyer in placing insurance in behalf of such employer;
(g) The transaction of any kind of insurance business specifically recognized as transacting an insurance business within the meaning of the statutes relating to insurance; or
(h) The transacting or proposing to transact any insurance business in substance equivalent to any of the provisions of subdivisions (a) through (g) of this subsection in a manner designed to evade the provisions of the statutes.
(3)(a) The failure of an insurer transacting insurance business in this state to obtain a certificate of authority shall not impair the validity of any act or contract of such insurer and shall not prevent such insurer from defending any action at law or suit in equity in any court of this state, but no insurer transacting insurance business in this state without a certificate of authority shall be permitted to maintain an action in any court of this state to enforce any right, claim, or demand arising out of the transaction of such business until such insurer shall have obtained a certificate of authority.
(b) In the event of failure of any such unauthorized insurer to pay any claim or loss within the provisions of any insurance contract, any person who assisted or in any manner aided directly or indirectly in the procurement of such insurance contract shall be liable to the insured for the full amount of the claim or loss in the manner provided by the provisions of such insurance contract.