Current through 2021-2022 Regular Session Chapter 307
Section 33-1-17 - Special Insurance Fraud Fund(a) The General Assembly finds that the proper and expeditious investigation and prosecution of fraudulent insurance acts are beneficial to the public interest. The General Assembly further finds that proper investigation of fraudulent insurance acts, followed by vigorous prosecution of insurance fraud, will bring about lower insurance rates for the citizens of this state.(b) There is created a Special Insurance Fraud Fund for the purpose of funding the investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud.(c)(1) The Commissioner shall prepare, on an annual basis, a separate budget request to the General Assembly which sets forth the anticipated cost and expense of funding the investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud in this state for the ensuing 12 months. Such budget request shall set forth the annual cost and expense of the investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud in Georgia for the preceding 12 months.(2) There is imposed upon each foreign, alien, and domestic insurance company doing business in the state an annual assessment under a formula to be established by regulation promulgated by the Commissioner. The formula shall be calculated such that the total proceeds paid or collected from such assessments for any year shall not exceed the amounts appropriated by the General Assembly pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, which appropriation shall be based upon the budget request setting forth the applicable annual cost and expense of the investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud in Georgia submitted by the Commissioner. Such assessments may be measured by kind of company, kind of insurance, income, volume of transactions, or such other factors as the Commissioner determines appropriate. Assessments based on the annual appropriation shall be due on September 1 of the year of the assessment. Any insurance company which fails to report and pay any such assessment shall be subject to penalties and interest as provided by subsection (d) of Code Section 33-8-6. The Commissioner shall provide by regulation for such other terms and conditions for the payment or collection of such assessments as may be necessary to ensure the proper payment and collection thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this Code section shall not apply to an agency captive insurance company, dormant captive insurance company, industrial insured captive insurance company, sponsored captive insurance company (including a protected cell thereof), or pure captive insurance company. Foreign and alien captive insurance companies doing business in Georgia shall, however, pay a fixed amount of $100.00 per year into the Special Insurance Fraud Fund without regard to the amount of the Georgia premium written by such foreign or alien captive. No additional amount shall be assessed against the foreign or alien captive insurance company.(3) The General Assembly may appropriate funds to the department for the investigation of insurance fraud and for the funding of the prosecution of insurance fraud. The Commissioner is authorized to use such funds for investigation of insurance fraud and to reimburse prosecuting attorneys for some or all of the costs of retaining assistant prosecuting attorneys to prosecute insurance fraud cases. The Commissioner shall provide by regulation for such other terms and conditions for the use of the funds for the investigation, reimbursement, and prosecution contemplated by the terms of this paragraph.(d) Insurers shall make personnel involved in investigating insurance fraud and any files relating to insurance fraud investigation available to the Commissioner, the Attorney General, local prosecuting officials, special prosecuting attorneys, or other law enforcement agencies as needed in order to further the investigation and prosecution of insurance fraud. Information supplied by an insurer and contained in such files shall upon receipt become part of the investigative file and subject to the provisions of Code Section 50-18-72. The insurer and its employees and agents shall be entitled to immunity as provided in Code Section 33-1-16.(e) Any expenses incurred by insurers as a result of this Code section shall be defrayed by such insurers from their own funds and shall not be borne by the state or by the Special Insurance Fraud Fund.Amended by 2020 Ga. Laws 407,§ 1, eff. 7/1/2020.Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 186,§ 2-15, eff. 7/1/2019.Amended by 2019 Ga. Laws 139,§ 1-7, eff. 7/1/2019.