Nebraska Revised Statute 44-5149

Chapter 44

44-5149.

Hedging transactions; derivative instruments.

(1) An insurer may use derivative instruments in hedging transactions if:

(a) The aggregate statement value of options, caps, floors, and warrants not attached to any financial instrument and used in hedging transactions does not exceed the lesser of seven and one-half percent of the insurer's admitted assets or seventy-five percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus;

(b) The aggregate statement value of options, caps, and floors written in hedging transactions does not exceed the lesser of three percent of the insurer's admitted assets or thirty percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus; and

(c) The aggregate potential exposure of collars, swaps, forwards, and futures used in hedging transactions does not exceed the lesser of six and one-half percent of the insurer's admitted assets or sixty-five percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus.

(2)(a) An insurer may use derivative instruments in income-generation transactions by selling:

(i) Covered call options on non-callable fixed income securities or callable fixed income securities if the option expires by its terms prior to the end of the non-callable period;

(ii) Covered call options on equity securities if the insurer holds in its portfolio, or can immediately acquire through the exercise of options, warrants, or conversion rights already owned, the equity securities subject to call during the complete term of the call option sold;

(iii) Covered puts on investments that the insurer is permitted to acquire under the Insurers Investment Act if the insurer has escrowed, or entered into a custodian agreement segregating, cash or cash equivalents with a market value equal to the amount of its purchase obligations under that put during the complete term of the put option sold; and

(iv) Covered caps or floors if the insurer holds in its portfolio the investments generating the cash flow to make the required payments under such caps or floors during the complete term that the cap or floor is outstanding.

(b) An insurer may enter into income-generation transactions under this subsection if the aggregate statement value of the fixed income assets that are subject to call or that generate the cash flows for payments under the caps or floors, plus the face value of fixed income securities underlying any derivative instrument subject to call, does not exceed the lesser of ten percent of the insurer's admitted assets or one hundred percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus.

(3) An insurer may use derivative instruments in replication transactions if:

(a) The aggregate statement value of options, caps, floors, and warrants not attached to any financial instrument and used in replication transactions does not exceed the lesser of seven and one-half percent of the insurer's admitted assets or seventy-five percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus;

(b) The aggregate statement value of options, caps, and floors written in replication transactions does not exceed the lesser of three percent of the insurer's admitted assets or thirty percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus;

(c) The aggregate potential exposure of collars, swaps, forwards, and futures used in replication transactions does not exceed the lesser of six and one-half percent of the insurer's admitted assets or sixty-five percent of the insurer's policyholders surplus;

(d) The replication transactions are limited to the replication of investments or instruments otherwise permitted under the Insurers Investment Act; and

(e) The insurer engages in hedging transactions or income generation transactions pursuant to this section and has sufficient experience with derivatives generally such that its performance and procedures reflect that the insurer has been successful in adequately identifying, measuring, monitoring, and limiting exposures associated with such transactions and that the insurer has superior corporate controls over such activities as well as a sufficient number of dedicated staff who are knowledgeable and skilled with these sophisticated financial instruments.

(4) An insurer may purchase or sell one or more derivative instruments to offset any derivative instrument previously purchased or sold, as the case may be, without regard to the quantitative limitations of this section, provided that the derivative instrument is an exact offset to the original derivative instrument being offset.

(5) An insurer shall demonstrate to the director upon request the intended hedging, income-generation, or replication characteristics and the ongoing effectiveness of the derivative transaction or combination of the transactions through cash flow testing or other appropriate analysis.

(6) An insurer shall include all counterparty exposure amounts in determining compliance with the limitations in section 44-5115.

(7) The director may approve additional transactions involving the use of derivative instruments pursuant to rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the director.

(8) For purposes of this section:

(a) Derivative instrument means an agreement, option, instrument, or a series or combination thereof:

(i) To make or take delivery of, or assume or relinquish, a specified amount of one or more underlying interests or to make a cash settlement in lieu thereof; or

(ii) That has a price, performance, value, or cash flow based primarily upon the actual or expected price, level, performance, value, or cash flow of one or more underlying interests.

Derivative instrument includes all investment instruments or contracts that derive all or almost all of their value from the performance of an underlying market, index, or financial instrument, including, but not limited to, options, warrants, caps, floors, collars, swaps, credit default swaps, swaptions, forwards, and futures. Derivative instrument does not include investments authorized under any other section of the Insurers Investment Act;

(b) Hedging transaction means a derivative transaction which is entered into and maintained to reduce:

(i) The risk of a change in value, yield, price, cash flow, or quantity of assets or liabilities which the insurer has acquired or incurred or anticipates acquiring or incurring; or

(ii) The currency exchange rate risk or the degree of exposure as to assets or liabilities which an insurer has acquired or incurred or anticipates acquiring or incurring;

(c) Income-generation transaction means a derivative transaction involving the writing of covered call options, covered put options, covered caps, or covered floors that is intended to generate income or enhance return; and

(d) Replication transaction means a derivative transaction or combination of derivative transactions effected either separately or in conjunction with cash market investments included in the insurer's portfolio in order to replicate the investment characteristic of another authorized transaction, investment, or instrument or that may operate as a substitute for cash market investments. A derivative transaction entered into by the insurer as a hedging or income-generation transaction authorized pursuant to this section shall not be considered a replication transaction.

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