Chapter 48.18A RCW

VARIABLE CONTRACT ACT

Sections

48.18A.010Short titleIntent.
48.18A.020Separate accounts authorizedAllocationsBenefitsLimitationsValuationSale, transfer, or exchange of assets.
48.18A.030Statements required in contractsPayment on death, incidental benefit provision.
48.18A.035Return of policy and refund of premiumNotice requiredEffect of return.
48.18A.040Requirements for operation under this chapterConsiderationsAuthorization of subsidiary or affiliateExceptions.
48.18A.050Applicability of other code provisionsContract requirements.
48.18A.060Licensing requirement.
48.18A.070Authority of commissioner.
48.18A.900Effective date1969 c 104.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: Powers, duties, and functions of the department of licensing relating to securities were transferred to the department of financial institutions by 1993 c 472, effective October 1, 1993. See RCW 43.320.011.


Short titleIntent.

This chapter shall be known as the "Variable Contract Act" and is intended to authorize the sale of both individual and group variable contracts.



Separate accounts authorizedAllocationsBenefitsLimitationsValuationSale, transfer, or exchange of assets.

A domestic life insurer may, by or pursuant to resolution of its board of directors, establish one or more separate accounts, and may allocate thereto amounts (including without limitation proceeds applied under optional modes of settlement or under dividend options) to provide for life insurance or annuities (and other benefits incidental thereto), payable in fixed or variable amounts or both, subject to the following:
(1) The income, gains, and losses, realized or unrealized, from assets allocated to a separate account shall be credited to or charged against the account, without regard to other income, gains, or losses of the insurer.
(2)(a) Except as hereinafter provided, amounts allocated to any separate account and accumulations thereon may be invested and reinvested without regard to any requirements or limitations prescribed by the laws of this state governing the investments of life insurers: PROVIDED, That to the extent that the insurer's reserve liability with regard to (i) benefits guaranteed as to dollar amount and duration, and (ii) funds guaranteed as to principal amount or stated rate of interest is maintained in any separate account, a portion of the assets of such separate account at least equal to such reserve liability shall be invested under such conditions as the commissioner may prescribe. The investments in such separate account or accounts shall not be taken into account in applying the investment limitations applicable to the investments of the insurer.
(b) With respect to seventy-five percent of the market value of the total assets in a separate account no insurer shall purchase or otherwise acquire the securities of any issuer, other than securities issued or guaranteed as to principal or interest by the United States, if immediately after such purchase or acquisition the market value of such investment, together with prior investments of such separate account in such security taken at market value, would exceed ten percent of the market value of the assets of such separate account: PROVIDED, That the commissioner may waive such limitation if, in his or her opinion, such waiver will not render the operation of such separate account hazardous to the public or the policyholders in this state.
(c) Unless otherwise permitted by law or approved by the commissioner, no insurer shall purchase or otherwise acquire for its separate accounts the voting securities of any issuer if as a result of such acquisition the insurer and its separate accounts, in the aggregate, will own more than ten percent of the total issued and outstanding voting securities of such issuer: PROVIDED, That the foregoing shall not apply with respect to securities held in separate accounts, the voting rights in which are exercisable only in accordance with instructions from persons having interests in such accounts.
(d) The limitations provided in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this subsection shall not apply to the investment with respect to a separate account in the securities of an investment company registered under the United States Investment Company Act of 1940: PROVIDED, That the investments of such investment company shall comply in substance therewith.
(3) Unless otherwise approved by the commissioner, assets allocated to a separate account shall be valued at their market value on the date of valuation, or if there is no readily available market, then as provided under the terms of the contract or the rules or other written agreement applicable to such separate account: PROVIDED, That unless otherwise approved by the commissioner, the portion, if any, of the assets of such separate account equal to the insurer's reserve liability with regard to the guaranteed benefits and funds referred to in subsection (2) of this section shall be valued in accordance with the rules otherwise applicable to the insurer's assets.
(4) Amounts allocated to a separate account in the exercise of the power granted by this chapter shall be owned by the insurer and the insurer shall not be, nor hold itself out to be, a trustee with respect to such amounts. If and to the extent so provided under the applicable contracts, that portion of the assets of any such separate account equal to the reserves and other contract liabilities with respect to such account shall not be chargeable with liabilities arising out of any other business the insurer may conduct.
(5) No sale, exchange or other transfer of assets may be made by an insurer between any of its separate accounts or between any other investment account and one or more of its separate accounts unless, in case of a transfer into a separate account, such transfer is made solely to establish the account or to support the operation of the contracts with respect to the separate account to which the transfer is made, and unless such transfer, whether into or from a separate account, is made (a) by a transfer of cash, or (b) by a transfer of securities having a readily determinable market value: PROVIDED, That such transfer of securities is approved by the commissioner. The commissioner may approve other transfers among such accounts, if, in his or her opinion, such transfers would not be inequitable.
(6) To the extent such insurer deems it necessary to comply with any applicable federal or state law, such insurer, with respect to any separate account, including without limitation any separate account which is a management investment company or a unit investment trust, may provide for persons having interest therein, as may be appropriate, voting and other rights and special procedures for the conduct of the business of such account, including without limitation, special rights and procedures relating to investment policy, investment advisory services, selection of independent public accountants, and the selection of a committee, the members of which need not be otherwise affiliated with such insurer, to manage the business of such account.



Statements required in contractsPayment on death, incidental benefit provision.

(1) Every variable contract providing benefits payable in variable amounts delivered or issued for delivery in this state shall contain a statement of the essential features of the procedures to be followed by the insurer in determining the dollar amount of such variable benefits. Any such contract under which the benefits vary to reflect investment experience, including a group contract and any certificate in evidence of variable benefits issued thereunder, shall state that such dollar amount will so vary and shall contain on its first page a statement to the effect that the benefits thereunder are on a variable basis.
(2) Variable annuity contracts delivered or issued for delivery in this state may include as an incidental benefit provision for payment on death during the deferred period of an amount not in excess of the greater of the sum of the premiums or stipulated payments paid under the contract or the value of the contract at time of death. For this purpose such benefit shall not be deemed to be life insurance and therefore not subject to any statutory provisions governing life insurance contracts. A provision for any other benefits on death during the deferred period will be subject to such insurance law provisions.



Return of policy and refund of premiumNotice requiredEffect of return.

Every individual variable contract issued shall have printed on its face or attached thereto a notice stating in substance that the policy owner shall be permitted to return the policy within ten days after it is received by the policy owner and to have the market value of the assets purchased by its premium, less taxes and investment brokerage commissions, if any, refunded, if, after examination of the policy, the policy owner is not satisfied with it for any reason. An additional ten percent penalty shall be added to any premium refund due which is not paid within thirty days of return of the policy to the insurer or insurance producer. If a policy owner pursuant to such notice returns the policy to the insurer at its home or branch office or to the insurance producer through whom it was purchased, it shall be void from the beginning and the parties shall be in the same position as if no policy had been issued.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2008 c 217: See notes following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date1982 c 181 § 15: "Section 15 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect May 1, 1982." [ 1982 c 181 § 26.]
Severability1982 c 181: See note following RCW 48.03.010.



Requirements for operation under this chapterConsiderationsAuthorization of subsidiary or affiliateExceptions.

No insurer shall deliver or issue, for delivery within this state, contracts under this chapter unless it is licensed or organized to do a life insurance or annuity business in this state, and unless the commissioner is satisfied that its condition or method of operation in connection with the issuance of such contracts will not render its operation hazardous to the public or its policyholders in this state. In this connection, the commissioner shall consider among other things:
(1) The history and financial condition of the insurer;
(2) The character, responsibility and fitness of the officers and directors of the insurer; and
(3) The law and regulation under which the insurer is authorized in the state of domicile to issue variable contracts.
An insurer which issues variable contracts and which is a subsidiary of, or affiliated through common management or ownership with, another life insurer authorized to do business in this state may be deemed to have met the provisions of this section if either it or the parent or affiliated company meets the requirements hereof: PROVIDED, That no insurer may provide variable benefits in its contracts unless it is an admitted insurer having and continually maintaining a combined capital and surplus of at least five million dollars.

NOTES:

Severability1982 c 181: See note following RCW 48.03.010.



Applicability of other code provisionsContract requirements.

The provisions of RCW 48.23.020, 48.23.030, 48.23.080 through 48.23.120, 48.23.140, 48.23.150, 48.23.200 through 48.23.240, 48.23.310, and 48.23.360, and the provisions of chapters 48.24 and 48.76 RCW are inapplicable to variable contracts. Any provision in the code requiring contracts to be participating is not applicable to variable contracts. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all pertinent provisions of the insurance code apply to separate accounts and contracts relating thereto. Any individual variable life insurance or individual variable annuity contract delivered or issued for delivery in this state must contain grace, reinstatement, and nonforfeiture provisions appropriate to those contracts, and any variable life insurance contract must provide that the investment experience of the separate account may not operate to reduce the death benefit below an amount equal to the face amount of the contract at the time the contract was issued. Any individual variable life insurance contract may contain a provision for deduction from the death proceeds of amounts of due and unpaid premiums or of indebtedness which are appropriate to that contract. The reserve liability for variable annuities must be established in accordance with actuarial procedures that recognize the variable nature of the benefits provided and any mortality guarantees.



Licensing requirement.

No person shall be or act as an insurance producer for the solicitation or sale of variable contracts except while duly appointed and licensed under the insurance code as a variable life and variable annuity products insurance producer with respect to the insurer, and while duly licensed as a security salesperson or securities broker under a license issued by the director of financial institutions pursuant to the securities act of this state; except that any person who participates only in the sale or offering for sale of variable contracts which fund corporate plans meeting the requirements for qualification under sections 401 or 403 of the United States internal revenue code need not be licensed pursuant to the securities act of this state.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2008 c 217: See notes following RCW 48.03.020.



Authority of commissioner.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner shall have sole and exclusive authority to regulate the issuance and sale of variable contracts; except for the examination, issuance or renewal, suspension or revocation, of a security salesperson's license issued to persons selling variable contracts. To carry out the purposes and provisions of this chapter, he or she may independently, and in concert with the director of financial institutions, issue such reasonable rules and regulations as may be appropriate.



Effective date1969 c 104.

This 1969 act shall take effect July 1, 1969.