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Section: Advisory organizations

Statute: 17:22-6.55a

a. Advisory surplus lines organizations of surplus lines agents may be formed to: (1) facilitate and encourage compliance by its members with the laws of this State and the rules and regulations of the commissioner relative to surplus lines insurance; (2) provide means for the examination, which shall remain confidential, of all surplus lines coverages written by its members to determine whether the coverages comply with the laws and regulations; (3) communicate with organizations of admitted insurers with respect to the proper use of the surplus lines market; and (4) receive and disseminate to its members information relative to surplus lines coverages. b. Every advisory organization shall file with the commissioner: (1) a copy of its constitution, its articles of agreement or association or its certificate of incorporation, (2) a copy of its bylaws, and the rules and regulations governing its activities, (3) a current list of its members, (4) the name and address of a resident of this State upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or processes issued at his direction may be served, and (5) an agreement that the commissioner may examine the advisory organization in accordance with the provisions of this section. c. The commissioner may, whenever he deems it necessary and at least once every three years, make or cause to be made an examination of each advisory organization. The reasonable cost of any examination shall be paid by the advisory organization upon presentation to it by the commissioner of a detailed account of the cost. The officers, managers, agents and employees of the advisory organization may be examined at any time, under oath, and shall exhibit all books, records, accounts, documents or agreements governing its method of operation. The commissioner shall furnish two copies of the examination report to the advisory organization examined and shall notify the organization that it may, within 20 days thereof, request a hearing on the report or on any facts or recommendations therein. If the commissioner finds the advisory organization or any member thereof to be in violation of this section, he may issue an order requiring the discontinuance of the violation, and may impose a penalty not exceeding $1,000.00 for the first offense and not exceeding $2,000.00 for each succeeding offense, to be enforced and collected by the commissioner in the name of the State in a summary proceeding in accordance with "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S. 2A:58-1 et seq.). d. The commissioner may contract with a surplus lines advisory organization, which shall render advice and assistance in carrying out the purposes of the surplus lines law, and whereby the affidavits, reports, certificates or statements required by the surplus lines law may be filed with and maintained by the advisory organization. The services performed by the advisory organization shall be funded by a stamping fee assessed on each surplus lines policyholder whose policy is submitted to the advisory organization, which stamping fee shall be established by the board of governors of the advisory organization from time to time and shall be subject to approval by the commissioner. e. The advisory organization may submit reports and make recommendations to the commissioner regarding the financial condition of any surplus lines insurer. These reports and recommendations shall not be considered to be public information or subject to any State or federal freedom of information law. There shall be no liability on the part of nor shall any cause of action of any nature be sustained against surplus lines insurers, the advisory organization or its members, agents or employees, the directors, or the commissioner or authorized representatives of the commissioner for statements in any reports or recommendations made by them in good faith under this section. L. 1985, c. 16, s. 2, eff. Jan. 23, 1985.

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