(A) The Ohio commercial market assistance plan is hereby established to assist in the placement of commercial insurance risks located in this state. The plan shall operate under the auspices of the department of insurance and shall attempt to be self-supporting. If, however, the fees collected pursuant to division (C) of this section are not adequate to make the plan self-supporting, the balance of the cost of operating the plan shall be borne by the department. The plan is not an insurer and is not authorized to assume insurance risks.
(B) Only written requests for assistance meeting all of the plan criteria shall be eligible for assistance by the plan.
(C) Each request for assistance shall be in writing and shall be submitted by a licensed Ohio agent or broker and accompanied by a fee, which shall be paid by the applicant for assistance and made payable to the "Ohio commercial market assistance plan." Each request also shall be accompanied by a statement of the agent or broker, in accordance with procedures, standards, and requirements set forth in rules adopted by the superintendent of insurance, that at least three insurance companies have been contacted for the issuance of insurance and that coverage was not available from those companies. The fee shall be reasonable and determined by the plan after consultation with the superintendent.
(1) In the event the coverage is placed through the plan with a request for assistance submitted by an agent not appointed by the insurer and the insurer assigns another agent to service the insured, the insurer shall pay the agent a producing fee from the commission with the remaining balance of the commission paid to the agent assigned by the insurer to service the insured.
(2) The plan shall not be considered a party to the relationship among insured, agent, and insurer.
(E) The superintendent of insurance shall appoint an executive committee, within thirty days of the effective date of this section, to administer the plan. The executive committee may appoint such other committees it considers appropriate to execute the purpose of the plan. The executive committee for the plan shall consist of nine members. Five members shall be representatives of commercial insurers and four shall be insurance agents, two of whom shall be representatives from excess surplus lines brokers. The superintendent shall serve as an ex-officio member of the executive committee. The executive committee shall develop a detailed written plan of operation. The plan of operation or any amendments thereto shall be submitted to the superintendent for approval within thirty days of the appointment of the executive committee. The plan of operation or amendments thereto shall be approved or disapproved by the superintendent within thirty days of submission by the executive committee or shall be deemed approved if the executive committee is not otherwise notified within the thirty-day period. The superintendent's disapproval shall be for specific reasons stated in writing. If the superintendent disapproves the proposed plan of operation, the executive committee shall, within fifteen days, submit for approval an appropriately revised plan of operation. If the executive committee fails to submit a revised plan, or if the revised plan submitted is unacceptable, the superintendent shall adopt a plan of operation.
(F) The superintendent may suspend or reactivate the plan of operation.
(1) The executive committee shall designate a fiscal agent for the plan. The fiscal agent is authorized to receive and hold funds submitted to the plan and to disburse them to pay reasonable and necessary expenses of the plan. The funds may be used for the necessary expenses of the plan, including but not limited to printing, postage, rent, mailing, telephone, and such other expenses incurred by the plan as the executive committee deems appropriate.
(2) The fiscal agent shall maintain books and records of all receipts and disbursements and shall submit financial statements as requested by the executive committee of the plan. The superintendent or any executive committee member shall have access to such books and records during normal business hours.
(3) The fiscal agent shall maintain a bank account under the name of the "Ohio commercial market assistance plan." All checks drawn upon the account of the plan shall bear the signatures of the fiscal agent and another person duly authorized by the executive committee.
(4) If a surplus of funds exists at any time the plan is suspended, the then existing surplus shall be disbursed to the state treasury to the credit of the operating fund of the department of insurance.
(5) Upon approval of the plan of operation and with the approval of the existing Ohio map committee established by the department of insurance and the executive committee of the Ohio commercial market assistance plan, all assets and all submitted questionnaires of the existing Ohio map committee may be transferred to the Ohio commercial market assistance plan and all questionnaires submitted to the existing Ohio map committee may be transferred to the Ohio commercial market assistance plan.
(6) There shall be no liability on the part of and no cause of action of any nature shall arise against any insurer, broker, agent, or any employee of the foregoing, employee or executive committee member of the Ohio commercial market assistance plan, or the superintendent of insurance or his representatives for any action taken by them in the performance of their powers and duties under sections 3930.01 to 3930.18 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 01-05-1988 .
Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4 .