Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–202. General duties of Commissioner; companies or associations to file certain information; service of legal process; rules and regulations.

(a) It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to see that all laws of the United States relating to insurance or insurance companies, benefit orders, associations, and others doing insurance business in the District are faithfully executed, to keep on file in the Insurance Administration office copies of the charters, declarations of organizations, or articles of incorporation of every company, association, or order doing business in the District.

(b) Before any such insurance company, association, or order shall be licensed to do business in the District it shall file with the Commissioner a copy of its charter, declaration of organization, or articles of incorporation duly certified in accordance with the law by the Commissioner of Insurance and Securities [Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking], Insurance Commissioner, or other proper officers of the state, territory, or nation where the company, association, group, or organization was organized, a certificate setting forth that it is entitled to transact business and assume risks and issue policies of insurance therein and any other information required by the Commissioner; and a duly executed instrument appointing some suitable person in the District of Columbia, or not 10 miles beyond the territorial limits of the District of Columbia, as the agent for such company, upon whom all lawful process in any action or legal proceeding against it in the District may be served and shall register with the Commissioner the address of its principal office and the name and address of its agent for service of process in the District, including any changes in address.

(c) Should said company refuse to appoint such agent, or should any person, after making reasonable efforts to do so (which efforts shall be documented), be unable to serve such agent, said legal process shall be served upon the Commissioner and shall be deemed service upon the company. The Commissioner may by regulation establish fees to be paid when legal process is served upon the Commissioner pursuant to this section. Whenever the Commissioner is served pursuant to this section, he or she shall forward forthwith such process by certified mail to the company named therein, and shall maintain a log showing when such process was served upon the Commissioner and when it was forwarded to the person named therein. The Commissioner shall provide to any person, upon request, the name and address of the agent for any company, or in the alternative, a list of all such agents.

(d) Any company, association, group, or organization that fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $500 a day for each violation. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions on any company, association, group, or organization that fails to comply with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section, or any rules or regulations issued pursuant to this section. Any company, association, group, or organization against which a fine, penalty, or fee has been imposed may, within 30 days after notice of the penalty is sent, contest the imposition or the amount of the civil fine, penalty, or fee. The hearing shall commence not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days from the date the request for the hearing is received by the Commissioner. The hearing shall be conducted according to the rules for contested cases enumerated in Title 26 (Insurance) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (26 DCMR).

(e) The Commissioner shall maintain as confidential any documents or information received from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or insurance departments of other states which is confidential in such other jurisdictions. The Commissioner may share information, including otherwise confidential information, with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners or insurance departments of other states so long as such other jurisdictions agree to maintain the same level of confidentiality as is available under District of Columbia law.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1290, ch. 854, § 646; Jan. 17, 1912, 37 Stat. 53, ch. 11; June 14, 1994, D.C. Law 10-128, § 404, 41 DCR 2096; Mar. 21, 1995, D.C. Law 10-233, § 2, 42 DCR 24; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110, § 35, 43 DCR 530; May 24, 1996, D.C. Law 11-121, § 2, 43 DCR 1538; May 21, 1997, D.C. Law 11-268, § 10(d), 44 DCR 1730; Mar. 24, 1998, D.C. Law 12-81, § 19, 45 DCR 745.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 35-102.

1973 Ed., § 35-102.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-501, § 31-1802, § 31-2502.22, § 31-3503, § 31-3931.11, § 31-4103, § 31-4107, § 31-4446, § 31-4501, and § 31-5201.

Cross References

Certificate of authority of fire, casualty, or marine insurance company, revocation or suspension, see § 31-2502.03.

Domestic ceding insurers, compliance with this section, see § 31-501.

Election to convert stock company to mutual company, rules and regulations governing, see § 31-4419.

Failure of domestic company to keep books, records, and files within District, effect, see § 31-5204.

Failure to file annual statements, effect, see § 47-2607.

Foreign and alien life companies, proof of compliance with this section, see § 31-4501.

Foreign or alien fire, casualty and marine insurers, proof of compliance with this section, see § 31-2502.22.

Hospital and medical services corporation, proof of compliance with this section, see § 31-3503.

Insurance under Employees’ Compensation Act, see § 31-5205.

Licenses for insurance companies, see § 47-2603.

Life and fire insurance, compliance with this section, see § 31-5201.

Merger or consolidation, foreign and domestic companies, agent for service of process, see § 31-4446.

Organization permits of domestic life companies, revocation or suspension, see § 31-4406.

Reinsurance intermediary, compliance with this section, see § 31-1802.

Revocation or suspension of license or certificate of authority of life insurance companies, see § 31-4305.

Revocation or suspension of permit for impairment of capital, see § 31-5202.

Risk retention groups doing business in district not chartered in district, compliance with requirements of this section, see § 31-4103.

Risk retention purchasing groups, proof of compliance with this section, see § 31-4107.

Editor's Notes

Department of Insurance abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 31-201.