1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
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  4. Article 73: Conversion to Different Type of Insurer


Section 7307 Conversion of domestic mutual property/casualty insurance companies or advance premium corporations into domestic stock property/casualty...

Insurance (ISC)

Conversion of domestic mutual property/casualty insurance companies or advance premium corporations into domestic stock property/casualty insurance companies; insurers not in rehabilitation. (a) In this article:

  (1) "Affiliate" of a mutual insurer means any person who controls, is controlled by or is under common control with, the mutual insurer being converted. A corporation is an affiliate of another corporation, regardless of ownership, if substantially the same group of persons manage the two corporations.

  (2) "Control" has the meaning assigned to it in paragraph two of subsection (a) of section one thousand five hundred one of this chapter.

  (3) A "domestic mutual insurer" or "mutual insurer" means a domestic mutual property/casualty insurance company organized under article twelve of this chapter and licensed under article forty-one of this chapter, or a domestic advance premium corporation organized and licensed under article sixty-six of this chapter, in either case authorized to issue non-assessable policies only and not operating under an order of rehabilitation.

  (4) A "holder of a section 1307 agreement" means the holder of an agreement executed pursuant to section one thousand three hundred seven of this chapter.

  (b) A domestic mutual insurer may apply to the superintendent for permission to convert into a domestic stock property/casualty insurer complying with the relevant organization and licensing provisions of articles twelve and forty-one of this chapter. The application to the superintendent shall be pursuant to a resolution, adopted by no less than a majority of the entire board of directors, specifying the reasons for and the purposes of the proposed conversion, and the manner in which the conversion is expected to benefit policyholders and the public. A copy of the resolution, together with a statement of its adoption, both certified by the president and secretary, or officers corresponding to either of them, and affirmed by them as true under the penalties of perjury and under the seal of the mutual insurer, shall accompany the application. The superintendent may thereafter request any additional documents and information which he may reasonably require. Unless the superintendent finds that:

  (1) the resolution is defective upon its face;

  (2) the proposed conversion is contrary to law or is not in the best interests of the policyholders or the public; or

  (3) the mutual insurer does not have a surplus to policyholders at least equal to the minimum capital and surplus required to be maintained for a newly organized stock insurer doing the same kinds of insurance, in which cases the proposed conversion shall terminate, the superintendent shall order an examination of the mutual insurer pursuant to section three hundred ten of this chapter as of the last day of the period covered in its latest filed statement. The superintendent may also examine any affiliate of the mutual insurer.

  (c) The superintendent shall also appoint one or more qualified disinterested persons to appraise and report to the superintendent the fair market value of the mutual insurer and, to the extent necessary, its affiliates, on the basis of its latest filed annual or quarterly statement, and of any significant subsequent developments. Such persons shall consider the assets and liabilities of the mutual insurer and any factors bearing on the value of the mutual insurer or its affiliates. The appraisers shall receive reasonable compensation and be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in discharging their duties. They may, as necessary, employ consultants to advise them on any technical matters.

  (d) The superintendent shall make copies of such examination report and appraisal report available to the board of directors within fifteen days of his receipt of the reports. After receiving such reports the superintendent may grant or deny permission to the board of directors to submit to him a plan of conversion. If permission is granted, the plan shall include the provisions, and be submitted in the manner and under the conditions, required by subsection (e) hereof. If permission is denied, the superintendent shall make a written statement of his findings and the board shall have the right to a hearing before the superintendent within thirty days of the date of denial.

  (e) Such plan shall be adopted by a majority of the entire board. It shall be signed by the president and attested by the secretary, or officers corresponding to either of them, under the corporate seal of the insurer. A copy of the plan and resolution, both certified by such officers as true under the penalties of perjury and under the seal of the insurer, shall be submitted to the superintendent not later than forty-five days after permission was granted under subsection (d) hereof. The plan shall include:

  (1) The proposed charter and by-laws of the insurer as a stock corporation set out in accordance with paragraph five of subsection (a) of section one thousand two hundred one of this chapter.

  (2) The manner of treating a holder of a section 1307 agreement, if any; such holder, if otherwise qualified, may, at its option, exchange such agreement for an equitable share of the securities or other consideration, or both, of the corporation into which the insurer is to be converted.

  (3) The manner and basis of exchanging the equitable share of each eligible mutual policyholder for securities or other consideration, or both, of the stock corporation into which the mutual insurer is to be converted and the disposition of any unclaimed shares. The plan shall also provide that each person who had a policy of insurance in effect at any time during the three year period immediately preceding the date of adoption of the resolution described in subsection (b) hereof shall be entitled to receive in exchange for such equitable share, without additional payment, consideration payable in voting common shares of the insurer or other consideration, or both. The equitable share of the policyholder in the mutual insurer shall be determined by the ratio which the net premiums (gross premiums less return premiums and dividend paid) such policyholder has properly and timely paid to the insurer on insurance policies in effect during the three years immediately preceding the adoption of the resolution by the board of directors under subsection (b) hereof bears to the total net premiums received by the mutual insurer from such eligible policyholders. In computing a policyholder's equitable share, no credit shall be given for any net premiums which result from an endorsement which is effective on or after the date of adoption of the resolution; except that credit shall be given for any net premiums resulting from an audit or retrospective premium adjustment which is billed within one hundred eighty days after such date, provided such premium is paid timely. If the equitable share of the eligible policyholder entitles such policyholder to the purchase of a fractional share of stock, the policyholder shall have the option to receive the value of the fractional share in cash or purchase a full share by paying the balance in cash.

  (4) The number of voting common shares proposed to be authorized for the stock corporation, their par value and the price at which they shall be offered, which price may not exceed one-half of the median equitable share of all policyholders under paragraph three hereof.

  (5) Any other features requested by the superintendent.

  (f) Prompt notice shall be given by the mutual insurer to all persons who become policyholders or holders of section 1307 agreements on or after the date of the adoption of the resolution described in subsection (b) hereof, of the pendency of a proposed conversion and of the effect thereof on them.

  (g) The superintendent shall hold a public hearing, adequate notice of which shall be mailed by the mutual insurer to each person who was a policyholder on the day preceding the date of adoption of the resolution described in subsection (b) hereof, accompanied by a copy of the plan of conversion and any comment the superintendent considers necessary for the adequate information of the policyholders. In addition, the insurer shall give notice of the hearing by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the insurer has its principal office and in the two largest cities in each state in which the insurer has underwritten insurance within the five years preceding the date of the adoption of the resolution described in subsection (b) hereof; such notice shall be accompanied by a summary approved by the superintendent of the plan and any comment the superintendent considers necessary for the adequate information of former policyholders and the public.

  (h) (1) After the hearing the superintendent shall approve the plan as submitted, refuse to approve the plan, or request modification of the plan before granting approval. If the superintendent finds that the plan does not violate this chapter, is not inconsistent with law, is fair and equitable and is in the best interests of the policyholders and the public, he shall approve such plan. If the superintendent finds that the plan does not meet the foregoing standards for approval he shall either refuse to approve the plan and the plan shall become null and void or return the plan to the mutual insurer for modification to meet his stated objections.

  (2) If within ninety days after receipt of the superintendent's request for modifications the insurer submits an amended plan which meets the superintendent's objections and complies with the standards for approval he shall approve such amended plan.

  (i) After approval by the superintendent the plan shall be submitted to a vote of the persons who were policyholders of the mutual insurer on the day preceding the date of adoption of the resolution described in subsection (b) hereof. The plan shall provide for proxy voting in a manner to be prescribed by the superintendent. The board shall submit the question of the plan to such policyholders at a meeting thereof, by causing a full, true and correct copy or a summary thereof approved by the superintendent, together with notice, stating the time, place and purpose of such meeting, to be delivered personally, or deposited in the post office, postage prepaid, at least thirty days (unless a shorter time, not less than ten days, be approved by the superintendent) prior to the time fixed for such meeting, addressed to each such policyholder at his last post office address appearing on the records of the insurer.

  (j) Each such policyholder eligible to vote pursuant to subsection (i) hereof shall be entitled to such number of votes as may be provided for in the by-laws of the mutual insurer. The votes of two-thirds of all the votes cast by policyholders represented at the meeting in person or by proxy, shall be necessary for the adoption of the plan. Upon the conclusion of the vote the insurer shall submit to the superintendent a certified copy of the plan voted on together with a certificate setting forth the results of the vote, both of which shall be subscribed by the president and attested by the secretary, or officers corresponding to either of them, under the corporate seal of the insurer, and affirmed by them as true under the penalties of perjury.

  (k) No domestic mutual insurer which is affiliated with other mutual companies may be converted to a stock company unless all such affiliated companies are converted to stock companies at the same time, except to the extent the superintendent may determine that the interests of the policyholders of any of the other mutual companies can be permanently protected by limitations on the corporate powers of the stock corporation or on its authority to do business.

  (l) If at any stage in the process of a conversion under this section the superintendent finds that the mutual insurer is impaired or that the further transaction of business will be hazardous to its policyholders, its creditors, or the public, the proposed conversion shall terminate.

  (m) If the conversion plan is adopted pursuant to subsection (j) hereof, the superintendent, upon being satisfied that the insurer will have at least the minimum capital and surplus required to be maintained for a newly organized domestic stock insurer doing the same kinds of insurance, shall issue a new certificate of authority to the insurer, thereby converting the mutual insurer into a stock insurer. At the same time, the superintendent may issue such license as may be required pursuant to section one thousand two hundred four of this chapter.

  (n) Upon such conversion, the stock insurer shall give notice thereof by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the insurer has its principal office and in the two largest cities in each state in which the insurer shall be licensed to do business. The notice shall include a correct copy of the plan, or a summary thereof approved by the superintendent.

  (o) Upon the conversion of the mutual insurer in the manner herein provided, all the rights, franchises and interests of the former mutual insurer, in and to every species of property, real, personal and mixed, and things in action thereunto belonging, shall be deemed as transferred to and vested in the stock insurer, without any other deed or transfer; and simultaneously therewith such company shall be deemed to have assumed all of the obligations and liabilities of the former mutual insurer.

  (p) No action or proceeding, pending at the time of the conversion to which the mutual insurer may be a party shall be abated or discontinued by reason of such conversion, but the same may be prosecuted to final judgment in the same manner as if the conversion had not taken place, or the stock corporation may be substituted in place of such mutual insurer by order of the court in which the action or proceeding may be pending.

  (q) The directors and officers of the mutual insurer shall serve until new directors and officers have been duly elected and qualified pursuant to the charter and by-laws of the stock insurer.

  (r) The insurer, whether before or after conversion, shall pay no compensation of any kind to any person other than regular salaries to existing personnel, in connection with the proposed conversion, other than for clerical and mailing expenses, except that, with the superintendent's approval, payment may be made at reasonable rates for printing costs, and for legal and other professional fees for services actually rendered. All expenses of the conversion, including the expenses incurred by the department of financial services, shall be borne by the insurer.

  (s) No voting common shares shall be subscribed by or issued to persons other than eligible policyholders or holders of section 1307 agreements until all subscriptions by such policyholders or agreement holders have been filled or other consideration has been provided in accordance with the plan. Thereafter, any new issue of common shares within three years after the conversion shall first be offered to the persons who have become voting common shareholders, pursuant to subsection (e) hereof in proportion to their holdings of such shares.

  (t) No insurer becoming a domestic stock insurer under the provisions of this section shall: for a period of ten years after conversion, redomesticate directly or indirectly or remove its principal offices from within the state; or for a period of five years after conversion:

  (1) enter into any agreement by the terms of which any person, partnership or corporation agrees to pay all or a portion of the expenses of management of the insurer in consideration of the insurer's agreement to pay him or it either commissions on premiums due the insurer or any other compensation for his or its services, or

  (2) enter into any agreement with an officer or director of the insurer or with any firm or corporation in which any officer or director of the insurer is pecuniarily interested, directly or indirectly, under which agreement the insurer agrees to pay, for the acquisition of business, any commissions or other compensation which by the terms of such agreement varies with the amount of such business or with the earnings of the insurer on such business.

  (u) Any action taken pursuant to the provisions of this section shall in no way impede or impair the exercise by the superintendent of his authority under any other provision of this chapter.