The purpose of this bulletin is to notify all regulated entities and other interested parties that the Commissioner of Insurance has adopted rules relating to form filings and fees. These changes affect many aspects of the current form filing system, the most prominent of which are:
- the acceptance of Individual and Group Annuity filings using the System for Electronic Rate & Form Filing (SERFF)
- the unification of the transmittal checklists into a single document
- the recognition of matrix filings
- changes to regulatory fees
The Commissioner adopted the proposed rules with changes on May 5, 2003. They take effect June 1, 2003, and will be published in the May 16, 2003 edition of the Texas Register. Companies may view the rules as adopted via the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) website at www.tdi.state.tx.us/rules/parules.html.
SERFF is an initiative of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), which uses a browser-based system to provide a secure and flexible method for creating, submitting, and reviewing filings online.
The information and guidance outlined in this bulletin do not replace the filing requirements of 28 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 3, Subchapter A. Companies may elect either to file policy forms via SERFF or file directly with the Texas Department of Insurance under the requirements of Subchapter A. Companies may obtain information regarding SERFF via the NAIC's SERFF website at www.serffcentral.com.
On August 1, 2003, TDI will begin accepting SERFF filings only for Individual and Group Annuity contracts. TDI anticipates expanding its capacity for accepting SERFF filings to include other lines of insurance in the near future.Form Filing Requirements
On May 5, 2003, TDI adopted new 28 TAC §3.1 through §3.8, concerning requirements for filing policy forms, riders, amendments, and endorsements for life, accident and health insurance and annuities. The new rules take effect June 1, 2003. TDI adopted the new rules to streamline and clarify the overall process for filing forms for review.
The new rules:
- Modify the filing process and establish new transmittal forms. Modifications include combining the existing filing requirements for the regular, general, and expedited review processes into a single filing process by consolidating the information into one transmittal checklist with a transmittal form for miscellaneous documents.
- Specify general submission requirements
- Clarify required filing fees
- Acknowledge matrix filings. Due to the ability to create multiple contracts or policies from matrix provisions, the fee will be $50 per form with a maximum fee of $500.00.
- Remove the requirement for duplicate copies of filings. TDI will accept one copy of the filing and will no longer stamp an extra copy to send back to the company.
- Change the method by which the department will notify companies of the final disposition of forms. Companies will receive written notification of departmental action.
Regulatory Fee Requirements
On May 5, 2003, TDI amended TAC §7.1301 and added §7.1302 concerning the establishment of a billing system for certain filings submitted under 28 TAC Chapters 3 and 11 to streamline the receipt and collection of filing fees. The rule changes take effect June 1, 2003.
Upon adoption of new §7.1302 and implementation of a billing system, the fee(s) will no longer be required to be submitted with the filing; instead, the department will bill the regulated entity submitting the filing monthly by itemized invoice. Companies should continue to submit filing fees with the filing until notification of the billing system implementation date.
TDI will provide, in a separate bulletin, notification of the date when the billing system for filings pursuant to these provisions takes effect.
Questions regarding Texas's participation in SERFF may be directed to Ms. Sharalyn Hargrove at 512/305-7423 or Sharalyn.Hargrove@tdi.state.tx.us.
Questions regarding the new Filing Requirement Rules and Regulatory Fees may be directed to Ms. Belinda Reveles at 512/305-7290 or by e-mail at LifeHealth@tdi.texas.gov
Angelia Johnson, Deputy Commissioner
Filing & Operations Division
Texas Department of Insurance