The California Department of Insurance (DOI) has adopted a set of amendments, effective January 1, 2018, to its regulations regarding reinsurance accounting, agreements and oversight. These changes were made to conform the regulations with the requirements of the federal Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA), changes to the California Insurance Code, NAIC Model #787, and the practices of the DOI.
The amendments include several changes that clarify which regulations apply only to California domestic insurers versus which apply to both domestic and foreign (i.e., domiciled outside of California) insurers. This is a response to the preemption by the NRRA of certain state laws regarding reinsurance agreements when applied to nondomestic insurers. Among other things, the amendments make it clear that foreign insurers no longer have to file indemnity reinsurance transactions for commissioner approval. The amendments also include changes conforming the regulations to a 2013 change in the California Insurance Code that prevents the Commissioner from denying financial statement credit to a foreign ceding insurer if that credit is recognized by the ceding insurer’s domestic state and that state’s solvency requirement have been accredited by the NAIC or are substantially similar to the NAIC standards.
The largest additions made by the amendments adopt NAIC Model #787, which the NAIC created to establish uniform minimum standards for securing the obligations under captive reinsurance treaties and reserve financing arrangements. Model #787 is expected to become part of the NAIC’s accreditation standards within the next few years, and the adoption of its provisions in these regulations is intended to ensure that California will meet those accreditation standards whenever that occurs.
Additionally, in the section of the regulations providing that a domestic insurer must generally “retain at least 10% of direct premium written per line of business,” the amendments replace the phrase “per line of business” with “per reinsurance agreement,” as the Commissioner has historically exercised his discretion to apply this retention requirement to reinsurance agreements as a whole, which often include multiple lines of business. Further, the amendments remove all references to and requirements for “volume insurers,” a concept that no longer exists under California law.
Cal. Code Regs. tit. 10, §§ 2303 – 2303.29; , 2017-1012-04 (Nov. 27, 2017); , REG-2016-00024 (May 1, 2017)