§ 31–2703. Making of rates.
*NOTE: This section includes amendments by temporary legislation that will expire on March 1, 2024. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) Rates for insurance within the scope of this chapter shall not be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
(b) Due consideration shall be given to past and prospective loss experience within and outside the District, to physical hazards, to safety and loss prevention factors, to underwriting practice and judgment, to catastrophe hazards, if any, to a reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies; to dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by companies to their policyholders, members, or subscribers; to past and prospective expenses both country-wide and those specially applicable to the District; to whether classification rates exist generally for the risks under consideration; to the rarity or peculiar characteristics of the risks; and to all other relevant factors within and outside the District. Due consideration shall be given to the net investment income (including the realized capital gains) on all cash and invested assets held against all unearned premium reserves and loss reserves of any nature. Unrealized capital gains or losses shall not be considered in the rate-making process.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be taken to prohibit as unfairly discriminatory the establishment of classifications or modifications of classifications of risks based upon the size, expense, management, individual experience, location or dispersion of hazard, or any other reasonable considerations attributable to such risks provided such classifications and modifications apply to all risks under the same or substantially similar circumstances or conditions.
(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require uniformity in insurance rates, classifications, rating plans, or practices.
(e) Nothing in this chapter shall abridge or restrict the freedom of contract of companies, agents, brokers, or employees with reference to the commissions or salaries to be paid to such agents, brokers, or employees by companies.
(f)(1) Every classification plan fixed, established, and promulgated by the Commissioner shall be so structured as to produce rates or premium charges which are adequate, not excessive, and not unfairly discriminatory.
(2)(A)(i) Every final rate or premium charge proposed to be used by any private passenger or non-commercial motor vehicle insurer or homeowner insurer shall be filed with the Commissioner and shall be adequate, not excessive, and not unfairly discriminatory. Before a private passenger or non-commercial motor vehicle or homeowner rate filing shall become effective, the Commissioner shall have the authority to determine within 90 days after the filing date that a rate is excessive if the rate is unreasonably high for the insurance provided and is not actuarially justified based on commonly accepted actuarial principles.
(ii) In determining whether a rate complies with the standards under this subsection, due consideration shall be given to past and prospective loss experience within and outside the District, a reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies, dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders or members or subscribers, past and prospective expenses, both nationwide and in the District, and investment income earned or realized by insurers both from their unearned premiums and from their loss reserve funds.
(B)(i) If the Commissioner does not make a determination on a proposed rate within the 90-day period, the rate shall be deemed approved.
(ii) If the Commissioner determines, within the 90-day review period, that a private passenger or non-commercial motor vehicle or homeowner rate may be excessive or unfairly discriminatory, the Commissioner shall provide the insurer with notice of the determination and the reasons for the determination and an opportunity for a hearing.
(iii) A hearing must be requested by the insurer within 15 days after the notice is provided to the insurer by the Commissioner. A hearing shall be held by the Commissioner within 60 days after a written request is timely received from the insurer and the Commissioner shall issue a final order within 30 days after the close of the hearing record.
(iv) The cost of the hearing shall be borne by the insurer requesting the rate increase.
(C) Beginning on September 1, 2023, or such later date as determined by the Commissioner, the private passenger or non-commercial motor vehicle insurer or homeowner insurer shall provide the insured written notice at least 45 days, and not more than 90 days, before renewal of the policy. If the insurer fails to provide written notice at least 45 days before the end of the current term of the policyholder's policy, the insurer shall wait until the end of the subsequent term of the policyholder's policy to implement the rate or premium increase.
(f-1)(1)(A) Every final rate or premium charge proposed to be used by a medical malpractice insurer shall be filed with the Commissioner and shall be adequate, not excessive, and not unfairly discriminatory. A medical malpractice rate shall be excessive if the rate is unreasonably high for the insurance provided. In determining whether rates are adequate, not excessive, and not unfairly discriminatory, due consideration shall be given to:
(i) Past and prospective loss experience within the District;
(ii) A reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies;
(iii) Dividends, savings, or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members, or subscribers;
(iv) Past and prospective expenses in the District;
(v) All investment income reasonably attributable to medical malpractice insurance in the District.
(B) If District experience is not credible, the Commissioner may consider experience outside the District. The Commissioner shall promulgate rules setting forth the extent to which and the circumstances under which an insurer may rely on experience outside the District.
(2) If a medical malpractice insurer wishes to change a rate, it shall file a complete rate application with the Commissioner. A complete rate application shall include all information, including all actuarial data, projections, and assumptions, that the medical malpractice insurer has relied on in calculating its proposed rates. All such information shall be made available when filed in accordance with subchapter II of Chapter 5 of Title 2.
(3) The Commissioner shall notify the public of any application by a medical malpractice insurer for a rate change increase. The application shall be deemed approved 60 days after public notice unless the proposed rate change increase exceeds 10%. If the proposed rate change increase exceeds 10%, the Commissioner shall hold a hearing on the proposed change and shall issue an order approving, denying, or modifying the proposed change within 90 days after public notice of the proposed change. Any person shall have a right to testify in a hearing held by the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall promulgate rules governing the public hearing.
(4) If the Commissioner finds, after a hearing, that a rate used by a medical malpractice insurer does not comply with this subsection, the Commissioner shall order the insurer to discontinue using the rate and to issue a refund to any policyholder who has paid the rate to the extent that the Commissioner has found it excessive.
(g) No company, agent, or broker shall make, issue, or deliver, or knowingly permit the making, issuance, or delivery of any policy of insurance within the scope of this chapter contrary to pertinent filings which are in effect for the company as provided in this chapter, except that upon the written application of the insured stating his reasons therefor, filed with and approved by the Commissioner, a rate in excess of that provided by a filing otherwise applicable may be used on any specific risk.
(h) Every insurer writing motor vehicle insurance in the District shall file with the Commissioner, in such form as he shall order, complete financial records showing the amount of profit on every line of motor vehicle insurance during the previous year.
(i) The Office of the People’s Counsel shall serve as advocate for consumers in rate hearings before the Commissioner and the costs associated with such advocacy shall be borne by the insurer or insurers requesting the rate hearing.