Code of the District of Columbia

§ 31–5201. Maintenance of reinsurance reserve fund by life and fire insurance companies or associations; suspension or revocation of license for insolvency or impairment of capital; aiding unlicensed companies or associations; issuance of license.

(a) All life and fire insurance companies or associations licensed to do business in said District shall be required to maintain a reinsurance reserve fund; and whenever any such company or association not excepted from the operations hereof shall become insolvent or impaired to the extent of 25% of its capital stock it shall be the duty of the Commissioner to suspend its license; and unless such impairment or insolvency shall be made good within 60 days thereafter, it shall be the duty of the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking to revoke its license to do business in the District; and it shall be unlawful for any insurance company, association, or order to do business in the District without a license, or to continue business after the revocation of its license, and any such company or association violating this provision shall be liable to a penalty of $20 for each day it transacts business without such license to be recovered by the Mayor of the District by an action of debt in any court of the District of competent jurisdiction. And any person who shall aid in carrying on the business of any such company, or shall act as agent or solicitor for any company not licensed to do business in said District, or whose license is revoked, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $100, or, in default of payment thereof, by imprisonment in the jail of the District for not less than 10 nor more than 60 days. And the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking shall issue such license to any such insurance company or association whenever it shall have complied with the provisions of § 31-202, subject, however, to the provisions of §§ 31-5901 [repealed] and 31-5902 [repealed]; provided, that the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking shall have power to make an official examination into the affairs of any insurance company or association organized under the laws of the District of Columbia, or having its principal office therein, at his discretion, for the purpose of ascertaining whether such company is impaired or insolvent, as aforesaid. Civil fines, penalties, and fees may be imposed as alternative sanctions for any infraction of the provisions of this section, or any rules or regulations issued under the authority of this section, pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2. Adjudication of any infraction of this section shall be pursuant to Chapter 18 of Title 2.

(b) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be issued as a Financial Services endorsement to a basic business license under the basic business license system as set forth in subchapter I-A of Chapter 28 of Title 47.


(Mar. 3, 1901, 31 Stat. 1290, ch. 854, § 648; Apr. 1, 1942, 56 Stat. 190, ch. 207, § 1; July 8, 1963, 77 Stat. 77, Pub. L. 88-60, § 1; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 570, Pub. L. 91-358, title I, § 155(a); Oct. 5, 1985, D.C. Law 6-42, § 470(d), 32 DCR 4450; May 21, 1997, D.C. Law 11-268, § 10(d), 44 DCR 1730; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(gg)(1), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 28, 2003, D.C. Law 15-38, § 3(t)(2), 50 DCR 6913; June 11, 2004, D.C. Law 15-166, § 4(ee), 51 DCR 2817.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 35-201.

1973 Ed., § 35-201.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-38, in subsec. (b), substituted “Financial Services endorsement to a basic business license under the basic” for “Class A Financial Services endorsement to a master business license under the master”.

D.C. Law 15-166, in subsec. (a), substituted “Commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking” for “Commissioner of Insurance and Securities” throughout the subsection.

Cross References

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

Claims of creditors, benefits from health and accident insurance, see § 31-4716.01.

Deposits of life insurance companies, see § 31-4315 et seq.

Fire, casualty, and marine insurance companies, capital requirements, see § 31-2502.13.

Fire, casualty, and marine insurance companies, licensing, see § 31-2502.02.

Impairment of capital, see § 31-5202.

Inspection and examination of insurance companies, see §§ 31-208 and 31-5202.

Minors’ contract for health and accident insurance, see § 31-4330.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 3(t)(2) of Streamlining Regulation Emergency Act of 2003 (D.C. Act 15-145, August 11, 2003, 50 DCR 6896).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 4(ee) of Consolidation of Financial Services Emergency Amendment Act of 2004 (D.C. Act 15-381, February 27, 2004, 51 DCR 2653).

Editor's Notes

Department of Insurance abolished: The Department of Insurance, including the Superintendent, was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Reorganization Order No. 43, dated June 23, 1953, as amended, established, under the direction and control of a Commissioner, a Department of Insurance headed by a Superintendent. The Order provided for the organization of the Department, abolished the previously existing Department of Insurance, and provided that all functions and positions of the previous Department would be transferred to the new Department of Insurance, including the duties, powers, and authorities of all officers and employees; and that all personnel, property, records and unexpended balances relating to the functions and positions transferred would also be transferred to the new Department. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. The functions of the Superintendent of Insurance were transferred to the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs by Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1983, effective March 31, 1983. Pursuant to the provisions of D.C. Law 11-268, the Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation was established and the duties of the Superintendent of Insurance and the Insurance Administration were assumed by the Commissioner of Insurance and Securities, and the Insurance Administration in the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs was abolished.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.