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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 16. Virginia Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty Association

§ 38.2-1606. Duties and powers of Association.

A. The Association shall:

1. Be obligated to pay covered claims that existed prior to the determination of insolvency and which arose before the earliest of (i) ninety-one days after the determination of insolvency, (ii) the policy expiration date, or (iii) the date the insured replaces or cancels the policy.

a. Such obligation shall be satisfied by paying to the claimant an amount as follows:

(i) The full amount of a covered claim for benefits under a workers' compensation insurance coverage; or

(ii) An amount not exceeding $300,000 per claimant for all other covered claims.

b. In no event shall the Association be obligated to pay a claimant for an amount in excess of the insolvent insurer's obligation for a covered claim. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a covered claim shall not include any claim filed with the Guaranty Association after the final date set by the court for the filing of claims against the liquidator or receiver of an insolvent insurer. The Association shall pay only that amount of each unearned premium which is in excess of fifty dollars. A covered claim shall not include any claim filed with the Association after the final date set by the court for the filing of claims against the liquidator or receiver of an insolvent insurer.

2. Be deemed the insurer to the extent of the insolvent insurer's obligation on the covered claims and to that extent shall have all the rights, duties, and obligations of the insolvent insurer as if the insurer had not become insolvent.

3. Allocate claims paid and expenses incurred among the three accounts and assess member insurers separately for each account (i) the amounts necessary to pay the obligations of the Association under subdivision 1 of this subsection subsequent to an insolvency, (ii) the expenses of handling covered claims subsequent to an insolvency, and (iii) other expenses authorized by this chapter. The assessment of each member insurer shall be based on the ratio of the net direct written premiums of the member insurer to the net direct written premiums of all member insurers. This ratio shall be determined using the premiums for the calendar year preceding the assessment on the classes of insurance in the account. Each member insurer shall be notified of the assessment at least thirty days before it is due. No member insurer may be assessed in any year on any account an amount greater than two percent of that member insurer's net direct written premiums for the calendar year preceding the assessment on the classes of insurance in the account. If the sum of the maximum assessment and the assets of the account does not provide in any one year an amount sufficient to make all necessary payments from that account, the funds available shall be prorated and the unpaid portion shall be paid as soon as funds become available. The Association shall pay claims in any order which it may deem reasonable, including the payment of claims as such are received from the claimants or in groups or categories of claims. The Association may exempt or defer, in whole or in part, the assessment of any member insurer if payment of the assessment would cause the member insurer's financial statement to reflect an impairment of the insurer's minimum capital and surplus in any jurisdiction in which the member insurer is authorized to transact insurance; provided, that during the period of deferment, no dividends shall be paid to shareholders or policyholders. Deferred assessments shall be paid when the payments shall not cause an impairment of minimum capital and surplus. These payments shall be refunded to those members receiving larger assessments by virtue of the deferment, or at the election of any such company, credited against future assessments. Each member insurer may set off against any assessment, payments authorized by the Association and made on covered claims and expenses incurred in the payment of those claims. The offset shall be allowed only if the payments are chargeable to the account for which the assessment is made.

3a. The Association shall issue to each insurer paying an assessment under this chapter, other than assessments paid pursuant to subdivision 3 (iii) of this subsection, a certificate of contribution in a form prescribed by the Commission, for the amount of the assessment paid, excluding interest penalties. All outstanding certificates shall be of equal priority without reference to amounts or dates of issue. A certificate of contribution may be shown by the insurer on its financial statement as an asset. This shall be shown in a form, in an amount, and for a period of time approved by the Commission.

4. Investigate claims brought against the Association and adjust, compromise, settle, and pay covered claims to the extent of the Association's obligation and deny all other claims. The Association may review settlements, releases and judgments to which the insolvent insurer or its insureds were parties to determine the extent to which the settlements, releases and judgments may be properly contested.

5. Notify those persons as the Commission directs under subdivision 8 of this subsection.

6. Handle claims through its employees or through one or more insurers or other persons designated as servicing facilities. Designation of a servicing facility is subject to (i) the approval of the Commission and (ii) acceptance by the designated insurer.

7. Reimburse each servicing facility for the Association's obligations paid by the facility and for expenses incurred by the facility while handling claims on behalf of the Association. The Association shall pay the other expenses authorized by this chapter.

8. Notify the insureds of the insolvent insurer and any other interested parties of the determination of insolvency and of their rights under this chapter. Notification shall be sent by mail to the insureds' last known address. If the Association is unable to obtain the information required to mail the notice in a timely manner, the Association shall publish the notice in newspapers of general circulation likely to cover geographical areas occupied by the policyholders.

B. The Association may:

1. Employ or retain persons necessary to perform the duties of the Association.

2. Borrow funds necessary to effect the purposes of this chapter in accord with the plan of operation.

3. Sue or be sued.

4. Negotiate and become a party to those contracts necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.

5. Perform any other acts necessary or proper to achieve the purpose of this chapter.

6. Pay refunds to the member insurers in proportion to their contributions made to each account during the five years immediately preceding the date of the refund. The total refund shall be the amount by which the assets of the account are expected to exceed the liabilities for the coming year as determined by the board of directors.

7. Obtain commitments or lines of credit, and in the event a natural disaster such as an earthquake, windstorm or fire results in covered claims, with the approval of its board of directors and the Commission, secure indebtedness for borrowed money to be used for the purpose set forth in subsection A of § 38.2-1622 in an amount not to exceed the amount reasonably estimated by its board of directors and the Commission as the aggregate amount of assessments which the Association will be authorized to make during the succeeding calendar year, by pledge, assignment, transfer in trust or hypothecation of any or all of the assessments to be made against its member insurers.

1970, c. 766, §§ 38.1-763, 38.1-765; 1971, Ex. Sess., c. 1; 1982, c. 353; 1983, c. 486; 1986, c. 562; 1987, cc. 529, 565, 655; 1998, c. 230.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.