Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–4304. Certificate of authority — Investigation of qualifications; effect; Issuance.

(a) The Commissioner shall issue a certificate of authority to a company when it shall have complied with the requirements of the laws of the District so as to be entitled to do business therein. The Commissioner may, however, satisfy himself by such investigation as he may consider proper or necessary that the company is duly qualified under the laws of the District to transact business therein, and may refuse to issue or renew a certificate to a company if the issuance or renewal of the certificate would adversely affect the public interest. In each case, the certificate shall be issued under the seal of the Commissioner, authorizing and empowering the company to transact the kind of business specified in the certificate, and the certificate shall expire on the 30th day of April next succeeding the date of its issuance.

(b) Repealed.

(c) No company shall transact any business of insurance in or from the District until it shall have received a certificate of authority as authorized by this section, and no company shall transact any business of insurance not specified in such certificate of authority.


(June 19, 1934, 48 Stat. 1131, ch. 672, ch. II, § 5; Feb. 22, 1958, 72 Stat. 19, Pub. L. 85-334, § 1; May 21, 1997, D.C. Law 11-268, § 10(i), 44 DCR 1730; Oct. 21, 2000, D.C. Law 13-190, § 2(a), 47 DCR 7261; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 602(a), 49 DCR 6968; Mar. 8, 2007, D.C. Law 16-232, § 205(a)(1), 54 DCR 368.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 35-404.

1973 Ed., § 35-404.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 31-301 and § 31-1501.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-190 inserted the fourth and fifth sentences.

D.C. Law 14-190 rewrote the section which had read as follows: “It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to issue a certificate of authority to a company when it shall have complied with the requirements of the laws of the District so as to be entitled to do business therein. The Commissioner may, however, satisfy himself by such investigation as he may deem proper or necessary that such company is duly qualified under the laws of the District to transact business therein, and may refuse to issue or renew any such certificate to a company if the issuance or renewal of such certificate would adversely affect the public interest. In each case the certificate shall be issued under the seal of the Commissioner, authorizing and empowering the company to transact the kind or kinds of business specified in the certificate, and each such certificate shall be made to expire on the 30th day of April next succeeding the date of its issuance. A company may, at its own option and expense, submit a statement from an independent organization acceptable to the Commissioner, attesting that it meets all the requirements of the laws and regulations of the District and is qualified to transact the business for which it seeks a certificate of authority. The statement shall be signed, under oath, by an officer or principal of the independent organization and shall be considered prima facie evidence by the Commissioner that the company is entitled to do business in the District, subject to (1) an investigation and review, and (2) the Commissioner’s authority to revoke or suspend a certificate of authority as provided in this subdivision. No company shall transact any business of insurance in or from the District until it shall have received a certificate of authority as authorized by this section, and no company shall transact any business of insurance not specified in such certificate of authority.”

D.C. Law 16-232 repealed subsec. (b), which formerly read:

“(b)(1) A company may, at its own option and expense, submit a statement from an independent organization acceptable to the Commissioner, attesting that it meets all the requirements of the laws and regulations of the District and is qualified to transact the business for which it seeks a certificate of authority. The statement shall be signed, under oath, by an officer or principal of the independent organization and shall be considered prima facie evidence by the Commissioner that the company is entitled to do business in the District, subject to an investigation and review and the Commissioner’s authority to revoke or suspend a certificate of authority as provided in this subdivision.

“(2) A company may, at its option, submit a certified copy of its current certificate of authority to do business from the jurisdiction where it is organized (’home jurisdiction’) and where it conducts its largest volume of business (’largest volume jurisdiction’), if different than its home jurisdiction, together with a statement by a corporate officer that it meets all the requirements of the laws and regulations of the District and is qualified to transact the business for which it seeks a certificate of authority; provided, that the company’s home jurisdiction and largest volume jurisdiction have been determined by the Commissioner to have legal and regulatory requirements that meet or exceed those applicable to insurance companies under District law. The statement of the corporate officer shall be signed, under oath, and shall, together with certified copies of the company’s certificates of authority, be considered prima facie evidence by the Commissioner that the company is entitled to do business in the District. Nothing in the preceding sentence shall limit the Commissioner’s authority to subject the applicant to investigation and review or to suspend a certificate of authority as provided in this subdivision. As a condition of obtaining a certificate of authority to do business in the District, the Commissioner may also require a company submitting a certificate of authority from an alien jurisdiction to submit a power of attorney and undertaking, in a form acceptable to the Commissioner, that provide that the company will not set up a defense to any claim, action, or proceeding brought against it arising from an insurance contract entered into in the District, refuse to obey any lawful order of the Commissioner, or pay any fine or penalty imposed upon it by the Commissioner or any court of competent jurisdiction, on the ground that it is not subject to the laws of the United States of America or the District. The Commissioner shall publish annually in the District of Columbia Register a list of foreign and alien jurisdictions that have been determined by the Commissioner as having legal and regulatory requirements that meet or exceed those applicable to insurance companies under District law. The Commissioner may at any time add or remove jurisdictions from the list and the additions and deletions shall be effective immediately until the next annual publication date.”

Cross References

Authority of the Council to regulate, modify, or eliminate license requirements and promulgate regulations, see §§ 47-2842, 47-2844.

Revocation of certificates of authority, see § 31-4305.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 602(a) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).

Short Title

Short title of title VI of Law 14-190: Section 601 of D.C. Law 14-190 provided that title VI of the act may be cited as the Insurer and Health Maintenance Organization Self-Certification Amendment Act of 2002.

Editor's Notes

Department of Insurance abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 31-4301.