The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has issued a bulletin to inform surplus lines agents about new requirements which include late-filing fees, a safe harbor provision, and possible enforcement actions. The department is offering a December 2011 settlement program for resolving pending disciplinary matters regarding late-filed surplus lines policies.
Texas Insurance Code requires a surplus lines agent to file a new or renewal surplus lines policy with the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas within 60 days of the date a policy is issued or becomes effective. The new law provides two regulatory options (fees and penalties) for surplus lines agents who have filed policies late. The official bulletin lists the fee schedule. For more information about the calculation or remittance of fees, contact Kathy Wilcox at the insurance department at (512) 322-3535 or Kathy.Wilcox@tdi.state.tx.us.
Until January 1, 2012, agents may self-report late-filed policies with effective or issue dates before January 1, 2010, and pay a $50 fee per policy. This provision does not apply to policies that have already been listed on an SLSOT late-filers report.
To help resolve pending surplus lines late-filed policies disciplinary matters, TDI’s Enforcement Section will offer special incentives for settlement during December 2011. Staff will contact agents with pending disciplinary matters to offer resolution through Consent Orders.
For more information or questions about the settlement program, please contact Stephen Chen at 512-322-3428 or Stephen.Chen@tdi.state.tx.us. After the December 2011 Settlement Program, penalties for late filers will be assessed based on the guidelines in the Texas Insurance Code Section.