Chapter 48.36A RCW

FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETIES

Sections

48.36A.010Fraternal benefit society defined.
48.36A.020Lodge systemLodges for children.
48.36A.030Representative form of government.
48.36A.040Definitions.
48.36A.050Beneficial operationsLaws and rules.
48.36A.060Membership classes, rights, grievances.
48.36A.070Location of office and meetingsOfficial publications, annual statement.
48.36A.080Immunity of officersIndemnification of person responsibleInsurance for liability.
48.36A.090Nonwaiver provisions.
48.36A.100Formation of domestic societyProcedures and requirements.
48.36A.110Amendment of society's laws.
48.36A.120Not-for-profit institutions authorizedFuneral homes prohibited.
48.36A.130Reinsurance.
48.36A.140Consolidation and merger.
48.36A.150Conversion to mutual life insurance company.
48.36A.160Contractual benefits.
48.36A.170Designation of beneficiaryFuneral benefits.
48.36A.180Protection of benefits.
48.36A.190Benefit certificatesImpaired reserves.
48.36A.200Paid-up nonforfeiture benefits and cash surrender values.
48.36A.210Authorized investments.
48.36A.220AssetsInvestment and disbursement.
48.36A.230Chapter exclusive.
48.36A.240Funds tax exempt, exception.
48.36A.250Valuation standardsReserves.
48.36A.260Annual financial statement.
48.36A.263Filing of financial statements.
48.36A.270Licenses and renewalsFeesExisting societies.
48.36A.272Notice of intent to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license.
48.36A.274Duration of suspension.
48.36A.276Reauthorization of license.
48.36A.278Notice to agents of loss of authority.
48.36A.280Examinations.
48.36A.282Transactions hazardous to certificate holders or creditorsStandards for consideration.
48.36A.284Determination of financial conditionHazardous to certificate holdersCommissioner's orderHearing.
48.36A.286Rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of societySame as insurance companiesPriority of distribution of claims.
48.36A.290License requiredObtaining.
48.36A.310Deficiencies, noncompliance by societiesActions against license.
48.36A.320Requirements for injunction.
48.36A.330Insurance producers.
48.36A.340Unfair trade practices.
48.36A.350Service of process upon commissioner.
48.36A.360Penalties.
48.36A.370Exemptions.
48.36A.380World War I societies.
48.36A.390Fraternal mutual insurers.
48.36A.400Fraternal mutual life insurers.
48.36A.410Review of commissioner's decisions and findings.
48.36A.901Effective date1987 c 366.


Fraternal benefit society defined.

Any incorporated society, order, or supreme lodge, without capital stock, including one exempted under the provisions of RCW 48.36A.370(1)(b) whether incorporated or not, conducted solely for the benefit of its members and their beneficiaries and not for profit, operated on a lodge system with ritualistic form of work, having a representative form of government, and which provides benefits in accordance with this chapter, is hereby declared to be a fraternal benefit society.



Lodge systemLodges for children.

(1) A society is operating on the lodge system if it has a supreme governing body and subordinate lodges into which members are elected, initiated, or admitted in accordance with its laws, rules, and ritual. Subordinate lodges shall be required by the laws of the society to hold regular meetings at least once in each month in furtherance of the purposes of the society.
(2) A society may, at its option, organize and operate lodges for children under the minimum age for adult membership. Membership and initiation in local lodges shall not be required of the children, nor shall they have a voice or vote in the management of the society.



Representative form of government.

A society has a representative form of government when:
(1) It has a supreme governing body constituted in one of the following ways:
(a) The supreme governing body is an assembly composed of delegates elected directly by the members or at intermediate assemblies or conventions of members or their representatives, together with other delegates as may be prescribed in the society's laws. A society may provide for election of delegates by mail. The elected delegates shall constitute a majority in number and shall not have less than two-thirds of the votes and not less than the number of votes required to amend the society's laws. The assembly shall be elected and shall meet at least once every four years and shall elect a board of directors to conduct the business of the society between meetings of the assembly. Vacancies on the board of directors between elections may be filled in the manner prescribed by the society's laws; or
(b) The supreme governing body is a board composed of persons elected by the members, either directly or by their representatives in intermediate assemblies, and any other persons prescribed in the society's laws. A society may provide for election of the board by mail. Each term of a board member may not exceed four years. Vacancies on the board between elections may be filled in the manner prescribed by the society's laws. Those persons elected to the board shall constitute a majority in number and not less than the number of votes required to amend the society's laws. A person filling the unexpired term of an elected board member shall be considered to be an elected member. The board shall meet at least quarterly to conduct the business of the society;
(2) The officers of the society are elected either by the supreme governing body or by the board of directors;
(3) Only benefit members are eligible for election to the supreme governing body and the board of directors; and
(4) Each voting member shall have one vote. No vote may be cast by proxy.



Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
(1) "Benefit contract" means the agreement for provision of benefits authorized by RCW 48.36A.160, as that agreement is described in RCW 48.36A.190(1).
(2) "Benefit member" means an adult member who is designated by the laws or rules of the society to be a benefit member under a benefit contract.
(3) "Certificate" means the document issued as written evidence of the benefit contract.
(4) "Premiums" means premiums, rates, dues or other required contributions by whatever name known, which are payable under the certificate.
(5) "Laws" means the society's articles of incorporation, constitution, and bylaws, however designated.
(6) "Rules" means all rules, regulations, or resolutions adopted by the supreme governing body or board of directors which are intended to have general application to the members of the society.
(7) "Society" means fraternal benefit society, unless otherwise indicated.
(8) "Lodge" means subordinate member units of the society, known as camps, courts, councils, branches, or by any other designation.



Beneficial operationsLaws and rules.

(1) A society shall operate for the benefit of members and their beneficiaries by:
(a) Providing benefits as specified in RCW 48.36A.160; and
(b) Operating for one or more social, intellectual, educational, charitable, benevolent, moral, fraternal, patriotic, or religious purposes for the benefit of its members, which may also be extended to others.
These purposes may be carried out directly by the society, or indirectly through subsidiary corporations or affiliated organizations.
(2) Every society may adopt laws and rules for the government of the society, the admission of its members, and the management of its affairs. It may change, alter, add to, or amend such laws and rules and has such other powers as are necessary and incidental to carrying into effect the objects and purposes of the society.



Membership classes, rights, grievances.

(1) A society shall specify in its laws or rules:
(a) Eligibility standards for each and every class of membership, provided that if benefits are provided on the lives of children, the minimum age for adult membership shall be set at not less than age fifteen and not greater than age twenty-one;
(b) The process for admission to membership for each membership class; and
(c) The rights and privileges of each membership class, provided that only benefit members shall have the right to vote on the management of the insurance affairs of the society.
(2) A society may also admit social members who have no voice or vote in the management of the insurance affairs of the society.
(3) Membership rights in the society are personal to the member and are not assignable.
(4) A society may provide in its laws or rules for grievance or complaint procedures for members.



Location of office and meetingsOfficial publications, annual statement.

(1) The principal office of any domestic society shall be located in this state. The meetings of its supreme governing body may be held in any state, district, province, or territory where the society has at least one subordinate lodge, or in such other location as determined by the supreme governing body, and all business transacted at the meetings is as valid in all respects as if the meetings were held in this state. The minutes of the proceedings of the supreme governing body and of the board of directors shall be in the English language.
(2) (a) A society may provide in its laws for an official publication in which any notice, report, or statement required by law to be given to members, including notice of election, may be published. Required reports, notices, and statements shall be printed conspicuously in the publication. If the records of a society show that two or more members have the same mailing address, an official publication mailed to one member is deemed to be mailed to all members at the same address unless a member requests a separate copy.
(b) Not later than June 1st of each year, a synopsis of the society's annual statement providing an explanation of the facts concerning the condition of the society thereby disclosed shall be printed and mailed to each benefit member of the society or, in lieu thereof, the synopsis may be published in the society's official publication.



Immunity of officersIndemnification of person responsibleInsurance for liability.

(1) The officers and members of the supreme governing body or any subordinate body of a society shall not be personally liable for any benefits provided by a society.
(2) Any person may be indemnified and reimbursed by any society for expenses reasonably incurred by, and liabilities imposed upon, the person in connection with or arising out of any action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative, or threat thereof, in which the person may be involved by reason of the fact that the person is or was a director, officer, employee, or agent of the society or of any firm, corporation, or organization which the person served in any capacity at the request of the society. A person shall not be so indemnified or reimbursed (a) in relation to any matter in such action, suit, or proceeding as to which the person shall finally be adjudged to be or have been guilty of breach of a duty as a director, officer, employee, or agent of the society; or (b) in relation to any matter in the action, suit, or proceeding, or threat thereof, which has been made the subject of a compromise settlement; unless in either case the person acted in good faith for a purpose the person reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the society and, in a criminal action or proceeding, in addition, had no reasonable cause to believe that their conduct was unlawful. The determination whether the conduct of the person met the standard required in order to justify indemnification and reimbursement in relation to any matter described in (a) or (b) of this subsection may only be made by the supreme governing body or board of directors by a majority vote of a quorum consisting of persons who were not parties to the action, suit, or proceeding or by a court of competent jurisdiction. The termination of any action, suit, or proceeding by judgment, order, settlement, conviction, or upon a plea of no contest, as to the person shall not in itself create a conclusive presumption that the person did not meet the standard of conduct required in order to justify indemnification and reimbursement. The foregoing right of indemnification and reimbursement shall not be exclusive of other rights to which the person may be entitled as a matter of law and shall inure to the benefit of the person's heirs, executors, and administrators.
(3) A society may purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of any person who is or was a director, officer, employee, or agent of the society, or who is or was serving at the request of the society as a director, officer, employee, or agent of any other firm, corporation, or organization against any liability asserted against the person and incurred by the person in any capacity or arising out of the person's status as such, whether or not the society would have the power to indemnify the person against the liability under this section.



Nonwaiver provisions.

The laws of the society may provide that no subordinate body, nor any of its subordinate officers or members shall have the power or authority to waive any of the provisions of the laws of the society. Such provision shall be binding on the society and every member and beneficiary of a member.



Formation of domestic societyProcedures and requirements.

A domestic society organized on or after January 1, 1988, shall be formed as follows, but not until it has and continues to maintain unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340:
(1) Seven or more citizens of the United States, a majority of whom are citizens of this state, who desire to form a fraternal benefit society, may make, sign, and acknowledge before some officer competent to take acknowledgment of deeds, articles of incorporation, in which shall be stated:
(a) The proposed corporate name of the society, which shall not so closely resemble the name of any society or insurance company as to be misleading or confusing;
(b) The purposes for which it is being formed and the mode in which its corporate powers are to be exercised. The purposes shall not include more liberal powers than are granted by this chapter;
(c) The names and residences of the incorporators and the names, residences, and official titles of all the officers, trustees, directors, or other persons who are to have and exercise the general control of the management of the affairs and funds of the society for the first year or until the ensuing election at which all the officers shall be elected by the supreme governing body, which election shall be held not later than one year from the date of issuance of the permanent certificate of authority.
(2) The articles of incorporation, duly certified copies of the society's bylaws and rules, copies of all proposed forms of certificates, applications therefor, and circulars to be issued by the society, and a bond conditioned upon the return to applicants of the advanced payments if the organization is not completed within one year shall be filed with the commissioner, who may require further information as the commissioner deems necessary. The bond with sureties approved by the commissioner shall be in an amount, not less than three hundred thousand dollars nor more than one million five hundred thousand dollars as required by the commissioner. All documents filed are to be in the English language. If the purposes of the society conform to the requirements of this chapter and all provisions of the law have been complied with, the commissioner shall so certify, retain, and file the articles of incorporation and furnish the incorporators a preliminary certificate of authority authorizing the society to solicit members as hereinafter provided.
(3) No preliminary certificate of authority granted under the provisions of this section shall be valid after one year from its date or after a further period, not exceeding one year, as may be authorized by the commissioner upon cause shown, unless the five hundred applicants required by subsection (4) of this section have been secured and the organization has been completed under this chapter. The articles of incorporation and all other proceedings thereunder shall become null and void in one year from the date of the preliminary certificate of authority, or at the expiration of the extended period, unless the society shall have completed its organization and received a certificate of authority to do business under this chapter.
(4) Upon receipt of a preliminary certificate of authority from the commissioner, the society may solicit members for the purpose of completing its organization, shall collect from each applicant the amount of not less than one regular monthly premium in accordance with its table of rates, and shall issue to each applicant a receipt for the amount collected. No society shall incur any liability other than for the return of the advance premium, nor issue any certificate, nor pay, allow, or offer or promise to pay or allow, any benefit to any person until:
(a) Actual bona fide applications for benefits have been secured on not less than five hundred applicants, and any necessary evidence of insurability has been furnished to and approved by the society;
(b) At least ten subordinate lodges have been established into which the five hundred applicants have been admitted;
(c) There has been submitted to the commissioner, under oath of the president or secretary, or corresponding officer of the society, a list of the applicants, giving their names, addresses, date each was admitted, name and number of the subordinate lodge of which each applicant is a member, amount of benefits to be granted, and premiums therefor; and
(d) It has been shown to the commissioner, by sworn statement of the treasurer, or corresponding officer of the society, that at least five hundred applicants have each paid in cash at least one regular monthly premium and the total amount of collected premiums equals at least one hundred fifty thousand dollars. The advance premiums shall be held in trust during the period of organization and if the society has not qualified for a certificate of authority within one year, the premiums shall be returned to the applicants.
(5) The commissioner may make such examination and require such further information as the commissioner deems advisable. Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that the society has complied with all the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner shall issue to the society a certificate of authority to that effect and that the society is authorized to transact business pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The certificate of authority shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the society at the date of the certificate. The commissioner shall cause a record of the certificate of authority to be made. A certified copy of the record may be given in evidence with like effect as the original certificate of authority.
(6) Any incorporated society authorized to transact business in this state at the time this chapter becomes effective shall not be required to reincorporate.
(7) The commissioner may, by rule, require domestic fraternal societies to have and maintain a larger amount of surplus than the minimum amount of capital and surplus prescribed under RCW 48.05.340, based upon the type, volume, and nature of insurance business transacted, consistent with the principles of risk-based capital modified to recognize the special characteristics of fraternal benefit societies.



Amendment of society's laws.

(1) A domestic society may amend its laws in accordance with the provisions thereof by action of its supreme governing body at any regular or special meeting thereof or, if its laws so provide, by referendum. The referendum may be held in accordance with the provisions of its laws by the vote of the voting members of the society, by the vote of delegates or representatives of voting members, or by the vote of local lodges. A society may provide for voting by mail. No amendment submitted for adoption by referendum shall be adopted unless, within six months from the date of submission, a majority of the members voting shall have signified their consent to the amendment by one of the specified methods.
(2) No amendment to the laws of any domestic society shall take effect unless approved by the commissioner. The commissioner shall approve the amendment if the commissioner finds that it has been duly adopted and is not inconsistent with any requirement of the laws of this state or with the character, objects, and purposes of the society. Unless the commissioner disapproves any amendment within sixty days after the filing of same, the amendment shall be considered approved. The approval or disapproval by the commissioner shall be in writing and mailed to the secretary or corresponding officer of the society at its principal office. In case the commissioner disapproves the amendment, the reasons for the disapproval shall be stated in the written notice.
(3) Within ninety days from the approval by the commissioner, all amendments, or a synopsis thereof, shall be furnished to all members of the society either by mail or by publication in full in the official publication of the society. The affidavit of any officer of the society or of anyone authorized by it to mail any amendments or synopsis thereof, stating facts which show that same have been duly addressed and mailed, shall be prima facie evidence that the amendments or synopsis thereof, have been furnished to the addressee.
(4) Every foreign or alien society authorized to do business in this state shall file with the commissioner a certified copy of all amendments of, or additions to, its laws within ninety days after their enactment.
(5) Printed copies of the laws as amended, certified by the secretary or corresponding officer of the society, shall be prima facie evidence of their legal adoption.



Not-for-profit institutions authorizedFuneral homes prohibited.

(1) A society may create, maintain, and operate, or establish organizations to operate, not-for-profit institutions to further the purposes permitted by RCW 48.36A.050(1)(b). The institutions may furnish services free or at a reasonable charge. Any real or personal property owned, held or leased by the society for this purpose shall be reported in every annual statement.
(2) No society shall own or operate funeral homes or undertaking establishments.



Reinsurance.

(1) A domestic society may, by a reinsurance agreement, transfer any individual risk or risks in whole or in part to an insurer, other than another fraternal benefit society, having the power to make such reinsurance and authorized to do business in this state, or if not so authorized, one which is approved by the commissioner, but no domestic society may reinsure substantially all of its insurance in force without the written permission of the commissioner. It may take credit for the reserves on the transferred risks to the extent reinsured, but no credit shall be allowed as an admitted asset or as a deduction from liability, to a transferring society for reinsurance made, transferred, renewed, or otherwise becoming effective after January 1, 1988, unless the reinsurance is payable by the assuming insurer on the basis of the liability of the transferring society under the contract or contracts reinsured without diminution because of the insolvency of the transferring society.
(2) Notwithstanding the limitation in subsection (1) of this section, a society may reinsure the risks of another society in a consolidation or merger approved by the commissioner under RCW 48.36A.140.



Consolidation and merger.

(1) A domestic society may consolidate or merge with any other society by complying with the provisions of this section. It shall file with the commissioner:
(a) A certified copy of the written contract containing in full the terms and conditions of the consolidation or merger;
(b) A sworn statement by the president and secretary or corresponding officers of each society showing their financial condition on a date fixed by the commissioner but not earlier than December 31st next preceding the date of the contract;
(c) A certificate of the officers, duly verified by their respective oaths, that the consolidation or merger has been approved by a two-thirds vote of the supreme governing body of each society, such vote being conducted at a regular or special meeting of each such body, or, if the society's laws so permit, by mail; and
(d) Evidence that at least sixty days prior to the action of the supreme governing body of each society, the text of the contract has been furnished to all members of each society either by mail or by publication in full in the official publication of each society.
(2) If the commissioner finds that the contract is in conformity with the provisions of this section, that the financial statements are correct, and that the consolidation or merger is just and equitable to the members of each society, the commissioner shall approve the contract and issue a certificate to that effect. Upon approval, the contract shall be in full force and effect unless any society which is a party to the contract is incorporated under the laws of any other state or territory. In such event, the consolidation or merger shall not become effective unless and until it has been approved as provided by the laws of such state or territory and a certificate of such approval is filed with the commissioner of this state or, if the laws of the state or territory contain no such provision, then the consolidation or merger shall not become effective unless and until it has been approved by the commissioner of insurance of the state or territory and a certificate of such approval is filed with the commissioner of this state.
(3) Upon the consolidation or merger becoming effective, all the rights, franchises, and interests of the consolidated or merged societies in and to every species of property, real, personal, or mixed, and things in action thereunto belonging shall be vested in the society resulting from or remaining after the consolidation or merger without any other instrument, except that conveyances of real property may be evidenced by proper deeds, and the title to any real estate or interest therein, vested under the laws of this state in any of the societies consolidated or merged, shall not revert or be in any way impaired by reason of the consolidation or merger, but shall vest absolutely in the society resulting from or remaining after the consolidation or merger.
(4) The affidavit of any officer of the society or of anyone authorized by it to mail any notice or document, stating that the notice or document has been duly addressed and mailed, shall be prima facie evidence that the notice or document has been furnished to the addressees.



Conversion to mutual life insurance company.

Any domestic fraternal benefit society may be converted and licensed as a mutual life insurance company by compliance with all the requirements of the insurance laws of this state for mutual life insurance companies. A plan of conversion shall be prepared in writing by the board of directors setting forth in full the terms and conditions of conversion. The affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members of the supreme governing body at a regular or special meeting shall be necessary for the approval of such plan, or if the society is organized under the direct election method pursuant to RCW 48.36A.030(1)(b), the plan of conversion shall be submitted by mail to the benefit members or the plan may be published in the official publication authorized by RCW 48.36A.070(2)(a). The affirmative vote of two-thirds of the benefit members voting thereon shall be necessary for the approval of the plan. No conversion shall take effect unless and until approved by the commissioner who may give approval if the commissioner finds that the proposed change is in conformity with the requirements of law and not prejudicial to the certificate holders of the society.



Contractual benefits.

(1) A society may provide the following contractual benefits in any form:
(a) Death benefits;
(b) Endowment benefits;
(c) Annuity benefits;
(d) Temporary or permanent disability benefits;
(e) Hospital, medical, or nursing benefits;
(f) Monument or tombstone benefits to the memory of deceased members; and
(g) Such other benefits as authorized for life insurers and which are not inconsistent with this chapter.
(2) A society shall specify in its rules those persons who may be issued, or covered by, the contractual benefits in subsection (1) of this section, consistent with providing benefits to members and their dependents. A society may provide benefits on the lives of children under the minimum age for adult membership upon application of an adult person.



Designation of beneficiaryFuneral benefits.

(1) The owner of a benefit contract shall have the right at all times to change the beneficiary or beneficiaries in accordance with the laws or rules of the society unless the owner waives this right by specifically requesting in writing that the beneficiary designation be irrevocable. A society may, through its laws or rules, limit the scope of beneficiary designations and shall provide that no revocable beneficiary shall have or obtain any vested interest in the proceeds of any certificate until the certificate has become due and payable in conformity with the provisions of the benefit contract.
(2) A society may make provision for the payment of funeral benefits to the extent of such portion of any payment under a certificate as might reasonably appear to be due to any person equitably entitled thereto by reason of having incurred expense occasioned by the burial of the member, provided the portion paid shall not exceed the sum of one thousand dollars.
(3) If, at the death of any person insured under a benefit contract, there is no lawful beneficiary to whom the proceeds shall be payable, the amount of the benefit, except to the extent that funeral benefits may be paid under this section, shall be payable to the personal representative of the deceased insured, provided that if the owner of the certificate is other than the insured, the proceeds shall be payable to the owner.



Protection of benefits.

No money or other benefit, charity, relief, or aid to be paid, provided or rendered by any society, shall be liable to attachment, garnishment, or other process, or to be seized, taken, appropriated, or applied by any legal or equitable process or operation of law to pay any debt or liability of a member or beneficiary, or any other person who may have a right thereunder, either before or after payment by the society.



Benefit certificatesImpaired reserves.

(1) Every society authorized to do business in this state shall issue to each owner of a benefit contract a certificate specifying the amount of benefits provided. The certificate, together with any riders or endorsements attached thereto, the laws of the society, the application for membership, the application for insurance and declaration of insurability, if any, signed by the applicant, and all amendments, shall constitute the benefit contract, as of the date of issuance, between the society and the owner, and the certificate shall so state. A copy of the application for insurance and declaration of insurability, if any, shall be endorsed upon or attached to the certificate. All statements on the application shall be representations and not warranties. Any waiver of this provision shall be void.
(2) Except as provided in RCW 48.36A.220, any changes, additions, or amendments to the laws of the society duly made or enacted subsequent to the issuance of the certificate, shall bind the owner and the beneficiaries, and shall govern and control the benefit contract in all respects the same as though the changes, additions, or amendments had been made prior to and were in force at the time of the application for insurance, except that no change, addition, or amendment shall destroy or diminish benefits which the society contracted to give the owner as of the date of issuance.
(3) Any person upon whose life a benefit contract is issued prior to attaining the age of majority shall be bound by the terms of the application and certificate and by all the laws and rules of the society to the same extent as though the age of majority had been attained at the time of application.
(4) Except as provided in RCW 48.36A.220, a society shall provide in its laws that if its reserves as to all or any class of certificates become impaired, its board of directors or corresponding body may require that there shall be paid by the owner to the society the amount of the owner's equitable proportion of the deficiency as ascertained by its board, and that if the payment is not made, either (a) it shall stand as an indebtedness against the certificate and draw interest not to exceed the rate specified for certificate loans under the certificates; or (b) in lieu of or in combination with (a) of this subsection, the owner may accept a proportionate reduction in benefits under the certificate. The society may specify the manner of the election and which alternative is to be presumed if no election is made.
(5) Copies of any of the documents mentioned in this section, certified by the secretary or corresponding officer of the society, shall be received in evidence of the terms and conditions thereof.
(6) No certificate shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this state unless a copy of the form has been filed with the commissioner in the manner provided for like policies issued by life insurers in this state. Every life, accident, health, or disability insurance certificate and every annuity certificate issued on or after one year from January 1, 1988, shall be approved by the commissioner and shall meet the standard contract provision requirements not inconsistent with this chapter for like policies issued by life insurers in this state, except that a society may provide for a grace period for payment of premiums of one full month in its certificates. The certificates shall also contain a provision stating the amount of premiums which are payable under the certificate and a provision reciting or setting forth the substance of any sections of the society's laws or rules in force at the time of issuance of the certificate which, if violated, will result in the termination or reduction of benefits payable under the certificate. If the laws of the society provide for expulsion or suspension of a member, the certificate shall also contain a provision that any member so expelled or suspended, except for nonpayment of a premium or within the contestable period for material misrepresentation in the application for membership or insurance, shall have the privilege of maintaining the certificate in force by continuing payment of the required premium.
(7) Benefit contracts issued on the lives of persons below the society's minimum age for adult membership may provide for transfer of control or ownership to the insured at an age specified in the certificate. A society may require approval of an application for membership in order to effect this transfer, and may provide in all other respects for the regulation, government, and control of such certificates and all rights, obligations, and liabilities incident thereto and connected therewith. Ownership rights prior to the transfer shall be specified in the certificate.
(8) A society may specify the terms and conditions on which benefit contracts may be assigned.



Paid-up nonforfeiture benefits and cash surrender values.

(1) For certificates issued prior to one year after January 1, 1988, the value of every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and the amount of any cash surrender value, loan, or other option granted shall comply with the provisions of law applicable immediately prior to January 1, 1988.
(2) For certificates issued on or after one year from January 1, 1988, for which reserves are computed on the commissioner's 1941 standard ordinary mortality table, the commissioner's 1941 standard industrial table or the commissioner's 1958 standard ordinary mortality table, or the commissioner's 1980 standard mortality table, or any more recent table made applicable to life insurers, every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and the amount of any cash surrender value, loan, or other option granted shall not be less than the corresponding amount ascertained in accordance with the laws of this state applicable to life insurers issuing policies containing like benefits based upon such tables.
(3) For annuity certificates issued on or after one year from January 1, 1988, every paid-up nonforfeiture benefit and the amount of any cash surrender value, loan, or other option granted shall not be less than the corresponding amount ascertained in accordance with the laws of this state applicable to life insurers issuing annuities.



Authorized investments.

A society shall invest its funds only in investments that are authorized by the laws of this state for the investment of assets of life insurers and subject to the limitations thereon. Any foreign or alien society permitted or seeking to do business in this state which invests its funds in accordance with the laws of the state, district, territory, country, or province in which it is incorporated, shall be deemed to have met the requirements of this section for the investment of funds.



AssetsInvestment and disbursement.

(1) All assets shall be held, invested, and disbursed for the use and benefit of the society and no member or beneficiary shall have or acquire individual rights therein or become entitled to any apportionment on the surrender of any part thereof, except as provided in the benefit contract.
(2) A society may create, maintain, invest, disburse, and apply any special fund or funds necessary to carry out any purpose permitted by the laws of the society.
(3) A society may, pursuant to resolution of its supreme governing body, establish and operate one or more separate accounts and issue contracts on a variable basis, subject to all the provisions of law regulating life insurers establishing such accounts and issuing such contracts, as provided in chapter 48.18A RCW. To the extent the society deems it necessary in order to comply with any applicable federal or state laws, or any rules issued thereunder, the society may adopt special procedures for the conduct of the business and affairs of a separate account, may, for persons having beneficial interests therein, provide special voting and other rights, including without limitation special rights and procedures relating to investment policy, investment advisory services, selection of certified public accountants, and selection of a committee to manage the business and affairs of the account, and may issue contracts on a variable basis to which RCW 48.36A.190 (2) and (4) shall not apply.



Chapter exclusive.

Societies shall be governed by this chapter and shall be exempt from all other provisions of the insurance laws of this state unless they are expressly designated therein, or unless it is specifically made applicable by this chapter.



Funds tax exempt, exception.

Every society organized or licensed under this chapter is hereby declared to be a charitable and benevolent institution, and all of its funds shall be exempt from all and every state, county, district, municipal, and school tax, other than taxes on real estate and office equipment.



Valuation standardsReserves.

(1) Standards of valuation for certificates issued prior to one year after January 1, 1988, shall be those provided by the laws applicable immediately prior to January 1, 1988.
(2) The minimum standards of valuation for certificates issued on or after one year from January 1, 1988, shall be based on the following tables:
(a) For certificates of life insurance: The commissioner's 1941 standard ordinary mortality table, the commissioner's 1941 standard industrial mortality table, the commissioner's 1958 standard ordinary mortality table, the commissioner's 1980 standard ordinary mortality table, or any more recent table made applicable to life insurers;
(b) For annuity and pure endowment certificates, for total and permanent disability benefits, for accidental death benefits, and for noncancellable accident and health benefits: Such tables as are authorized for use by life insurers in this state.
All of the above shall be under valuation methods and standards, including interest assumptions, in accordance with the laws of this state applicable to life insurers issuing policies containing like benefits.
(3) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, accept other standards for valuation if the commissioner finds that the reserves produced thereby will not be less in the aggregate than reserves computed in accordance with the minimum valuation standard herein prescribed. The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, vary the standards of mortality applicable to all benefit contracts on substandard lives or other extra hazardous lives by any society authorized to do business in this state.
(4) Any society, with the consent of the commissioner of insurance of the state of domicile of the society and under the conditions, if any, which the commissioner may impose, may establish and maintain reserves on its certificates in excess of the reserves required by this section, but the contractual rights of any benefit member shall not be affected thereby.



Annual financial statement.

(1) Every domestic society shall annually, on or before the first day of March, unless for cause shown such time has been extended by the commissioner, file with the commissioner a true statement of its financial condition, transactions, and affairs for the preceding calendar year and pay a fee of ten dollars for filing. The statement shall be in general form and context as approved by the national association of insurance commissioners for fraternal benefit societies and as supplemented by additional information required by the commissioner.
(2) All domestic, foreign, and alien societies transacting business in this state shall annually, on or before March 1st of each year, file with the national association of insurance commissioners a copy of its annual statement convention blank in electronic form.
(3) As part of the required annual statement, each society shall, on or before the first day of March, file with the commissioner a valuation of its certificates in force on December 31st last preceding, provided the commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion for cause shown, extend the time for filing the valuation for not more than two calendar months. The valuation shall be done in accordance with the standards specified in RCW 48.36A.250. The valuation and underlying data shall be certified by a qualified actuary or, at the expense of the society, verified by the actuary of the department of insurance of the state of domicile of the society.
(4) A society neglecting to file the annual statement in the form and within the time provided by this section shall forfeit one hundred dollars for each day during which the neglect continues, and, upon notice by the commissioner, its authority to do business in this state shall cease while the default continues.



Filing of financial statements.

Every fraternal benefit society holding a certificate of authority shall file its financial statements as required by this code and by the commissioner in accordance with the accounting practices and procedures manuals as adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners, unless otherwise provided by law.



Licenses and renewalsFeesExisting societies.

A license under this chapter continues in force until suspended, revoked, or not renewed. A license is subject to renewal annually on the first day of July upon payment of the fee for the license. If not so renewed, the certificate expires as of the thirtieth day of June of the same year. Licenses existing on June 9, 1994, continue in force until July 1, 1995, unless revoked or suspended. For each license or renewal the society shall pay the commissioner the fee established pursuant to RCW 48.14.010, subject to the retaliatory provision of RCW 48.14.040. A certified copy or duplicate of the license shall be prima facie evidence that the licensee is a fraternal benefit society within the meaning of this chapter.



Notice of intent to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew a license.

The commissioner shall give a society notice of his or her intention to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew its license not less than ten days before the effective date of the order of suspension, revocation or refusal, except that advance notice of intention is not required where the order results from a domestic society's failure to make good a deficiency of assets as required by the commissioner.



Duration of suspension.

The commissioner shall not suspend a society's license for a period in excess of one year, and shall state in his or her order of suspension the period during which the order is effective.



Reauthorization of license.

A society whose license has been suspended, revoked, or refused may not subsequently be authorized unless the grounds for the suspension, revocation, or refusal no longer exist and the society is otherwise fully qualified.



Notice to agents of loss of authority.

Upon the suspension, revocation, or refusal of a society's license, the commissioner shall give notice to the society and shall suspend, revoke, or refuse the authority of its agents to represent it in this state and give notice to the agents.



Examinations.

(1) The commissioner, or any person the commissioner may appoint, may examine any domestic, foreign, or alien society transacting or applying for admission to transact business in this state in the same manner as authorized by chapter 48.03 RCW. Requirements of notice and an opportunity to respond before findings are made public as provided in the laws regulating insurers shall also be applicable to the examination of societies.
(2) The expense of each examination and of each valuation, including the compensation and actual expense of examiners, shall be paid by the society examined or whose certificates are valued. The payments shall be made upon receipt of statements furnished by the commissioner.



Transactions hazardous to certificate holders or creditorsStandards for consideration.

The following standards may be considered by the commissioner to determine whether the continued operation of any society transacting an insurance business in this state might be deemed to be hazardous to the certificate holders or creditors. The commissioner may consider:
(1) Adverse findings reported in either a financial condition or market conduct examination report, or both, of a state insurance department that could lead to impairment of surplus;
(2) The national association of insurance commissioners insurance regulatory information system and its related reports;
(3) The ratios of commission expense, general insurance expense, policy benefits, and reserve increases as to annual premium and net investment income that could lead to an impairment of surplus;
(4) The society's asset portfolio when viewed in light of current economic conditions is not of sufficient value, liquidity, or diversity to assure the society's ability to meet its outstanding obligations as they mature;
(5) The ability of an assuming reinsurer to perform and whether the society's reinsurance program provides sufficient protection for the society's remaining surplus after taking into account the society's cash flow and the classes of business written as well as the financial condition of the assuming reinsurer;
(6) The society's operating loss in the last twelve-month period or any shorter period of time, including but not limited to net capital gain or loss, change in nonadmitted assets, and cash refunds paid to members, is greater than fifty percent of the society's remaining surplus as regards certificate holders in excess of the minimum required;
(7) Whether any affiliate, subsidiary, or reinsurer is insolvent, threatened with insolvency, or delinquent in payment of its monetary or other obligation;
(8) Contingent liabilities, pledges, or guaranties which either individually or collectively involve a total amount that in the opinion of the commissioner may affect the solvency of the society;
(9) The age and collectibility of receivables;
(10) Whether the management of a society, including officers, trustees, directors, or any other person who directly or indirectly controls the operation of the society, fails to possess and demonstrate the competence, fitness, and reputation deemed necessary to serve the society in such a position;
(11) Whether management of a society has failed to respond to inquiries relative to the condition of the society or has furnished misleading information concerning an inquiry;
(12) Whether management of a society either has filed any false or misleading sworn financial statement, or has released a false or misleading financial statement to lending institutions or to the general public, or has made a false or misleading entry, or has omitted an entry of material amount in the books of the society;
(13) Whether the society has grown so rapidly and to such an extent that it lacks adequate financial and administrative capacity to meet its obligations in a timely manner; and
(14) Whether the society has experienced or will experience in the foreseeable future, either cash flow problems or liquidity problems, or both.



Determination of financial conditionHazardous to certificate holdersCommissioner's orderHearing.

(1) For the purpose of making a determination of a society's financial condition, the commissioner may:
(a) Disregard any credit or amount receivable resulting from transactions with a reinsurer that is insolvent, impaired, or otherwise subject to a delinquency proceeding;
(b) Make appropriate adjustments to asset values attributable to investments in or transactions with parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates;
(c) Refuse to recognize the stated value of accounts receivable if the ability to collect receivables is highly speculative in view of the age of the account or the financial condition of the debtor; or
(d) Increase the society's liability in an amount equal to any contingent liability, pledge, or guarantee not otherwise included if there is a substantial risk that the society will be called upon to meet the obligation undertaken within the next twelve-month period.
(2) If the commissioner determines that the continued operation of the society authorized to transact business in this state may be hazardous to the certificate holders, then the commissioner may, in conjunction with or in lieu of a notice required or permitted by RCW 48.36A.272, issue an order requiring the society to:
(a) Reduce the total amount of present and potential liability for policy benefits by reinsurance;
(b) Reduce, suspend, or limit the volume of business being accepted or renewed;
(c) Reduce general insurance and commission expenses by specified methods;
(d) Increase the society's surplus;
(e) Suspend or limit the declaration and payment of refunds by a society to its members;
(f) File reports in a form acceptable to the commissioner concerning the market value of a society's assets;
(g) Limit or withdraw from certain investments or discontinue certain investment practices to the extent the commissioner deems necessary;
(h) Document the adequacy of premium rates in relation to the risks insured; or
(i) File, in addition to regular annual statements, interim financial reports on the form adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners or on a format promulgated by the commissioner.
(3) Any society subject to an order under subsection (2) of this section may make a written demand for a hearing, subject to the requirements of RCW 48.04.010, by specifying in what respects it is aggrieved and the grounds to be relied upon as basis for the relief to be demanded at the hearing.



Rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of societySame as insurance companiesPriority of distribution of claims.

(1) Any rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of a domestic fraternal benefit society is the same as the rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of an insurance company and shall be conducted under the supervision of the commissioner pursuant to the law governing the rehabilitation, liquidation, or conservation of insurance companies. The commissioner may apply for an order directing the commissioner to rehabilitate, liquidate, or conserve a domestic fraternal benefit society upon any one or more of the following grounds: That the domestic fraternal benefit society:
(a) Is insolvent; or
(b) Has ceased transacting insurance business for a period of one year; or
(c) Is insolvent and has commenced voluntary liquidation or dissolution, or attempts to commence or prosecute any action or proceeding to liquidate its business or affairs, or to dissolve its corporate charter, or to procure the appointment of a receiver, trustee, custodian, or sequestrator under any law except this code; or
(d) Any of the matters set forth in RCW 48.36A.310.
(2) The priority of the distribution of claims from a domestic fraternal benefit society's estate shall be as set forth in RCW 48.31.280.



License requiredObtaining.

(1) No foreign or alien society shall transact business in this state without a license issued by the commissioner. Any society desiring admission to this state shall comply substantially with the requirements and limitations of this chapter applicable to domestic societies and must have and continue to maintain unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340. A society may be licensed to transact business in this state upon filing with the commissioner:
(a) A duly certified copy of its articles of incorporation;
(b) A copy of its bylaws, certified by its secretary or corresponding officer;
(c) A power of attorney to the commissioner as prescribed in RCW 48.36A.410;
(d) A statement of its business under oath by its president and secretary, or corresponding officers, in a form prescribed by the commissioner, verified by an examination made by the supervising insurance official of its home state or other state, territory, province, or country, satisfactory to the commissioner;
(e) Certification from the proper official of its home state, territory, province, or country that the society is legally incorporated and licensed to transact business;
(f) Copies of its certificate forms; and
(g) Such other information as the commissioner may deem necessary; and upon a showing that its assets are invested in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2) After June 30, 1997, a foreign or alien society which does not have unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340 may not issue any new policies or certificates until the society has unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340; however, a foreign or alien society may continue to issue new policies or certificates to members of the society who have an existing policy or certificate in force with the society on June 30, 1997. Once such a foreign or alien society obtains unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340, the society must continue to maintain unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340.
(3) After June 30, 1997, a foreign or alien society which had unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340 on December 31, 1996, must continue to maintain unimpaired surplus in the minimum amount of total capital and surplus required by RCW 48.05.340.
(4) The commissioner may, by rule, require foreign or alien fraternal societies to have and maintain a larger amount of surplus than the minimum amount of capital and surplus prescribed under RCW 48.05.340, based upon the type, volume, and nature of insurance business transacted, consistent with the principles of risk-based capital modified to recognize the special characteristics of fraternal benefit societies.



Deficiencies, noncompliance by societiesActions against license.

(1) The commissioner may refuse, suspend, or revoke a fraternal benefit society's license, if the society:
(a) Has exceeded its powers;
(b) Has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter;
(c) Is not fulfilling its contracts in good faith;
(d) Is conducting its business fraudulently;
(e) Has a membership of less than four hundred after an existence of one year or more;
(f) Is found by the commissioner to be in such a condition that its further transaction of insurance in this state would be hazardous to certificate holders and the people in this state;
(g) Refuses to remove or discharge a trustee, director, or officer who has been convicted of any crime involving fraud, dishonesty, or like moral turpitude;
(h) Refuses to be examined, or if its trustees, directors, officers, employees, or representatives refuse to submit to examination or to produce its accounts, records, and files for examination by the commissioner when required, or refuse to perform any legal obligation relative to the examination;
(i) Fails to pay any final judgment rendered against it in this state upon any certificate, or undertaking issued by it, within thirty days after the judgment became final or within thirty days after time for taking an appeal has expired, or within thirty days after dismissal of an appeal before final determination, whichever date is the later;
(j) Is found by the commissioner, after investigation or upon receipt of reliable information, to be managed by persons, whether by its trustees, directors, officers, or by any other means, who are incompetent or untrustworthy or so lacking in fraternal benefit society managerial experience as to make a proposed operation hazardous to its members; or that there is good reason to believe it is affiliated directly or indirectly through ownership, control, or business relations, with any person or persons whose business operations are or have been found to be in violation of any law or rule, to the detriment of the members of the society or of the public, by bad faith or by manipulation of the assets, or of accounts, or of reinsurance of the society; or
(k) Does business through insurance producers or other representatives in this state or in any other state who are not properly licensed under applicable laws and rules.
(2) Nothing in this section shall prevent a society from continuing, in good faith, all contracts made in this state during the time the society was legally authorized to transact business herein.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2008 c 217: See notes following RCW 48.03.020.



Requirements for injunction.

No application or petition for injunction against any domestic, foreign, or alien society, or lodge thereof, shall be maintained in any court of this state unless made by the attorney general upon request of the commissioner.



Insurance producers.

(1) Insurance producers of societies shall be licensed in accordance with the applicable provisions of chapter 48.17 RCW regulating the licensing, revocation, suspension, or termination of licenses of resident and nonresident insurance producers.
(2) The following individuals shall not be deemed an insurance producer of a fraternal benefit society within the provisions of subsection (1) of this section:
(a) Any regular salaried officer or employee of a licensed society who devotes substantially all of their services to activities other than the solicitation of fraternal insurance contracts from the public, and who receives for the solicitation of such contracts no commission or other compensation directly dependent upon the amount of business obtained; or
(b) Any insurance producer or representative of a society who devotes, or intends to devote, less than fifty percent of their time to the solicitation and procurement of insurance contracts for such society: PROVIDED, That any person who in the preceding calendar year has solicited and procured life insurance contracts on behalf of any society in an amount of insurance in excess of fifty thousand dollars shall be conclusively presumed to be devoting, or intending to devote, fifty percent of the person's time to the solicitation or procurement of insurance contracts for such society.

NOTES:

SeverabilityEffective date2008 c 217: See notes following RCW 48.03.020.



Unfair trade practices.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, every society authorized to do business in this state shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 48.30 RCW relating to unfair trade practices.
(2) Nothing in chapter 48.30 RCW shall be construed as applying to or affecting the right of any society to determine its eligibility requirements for membership, or be construed as applying to or affecting the offering of benefits exclusively to members or persons eligible for membership in the society by a subsidiary corporation or affiliated organization of the society.



Service of process upon commissioner.

(1) Every society authorized to do business in this state must appoint the commissioner as its attorney to receive service of, and upon whom must be served, all legal process issued against it in this state upon causes of action arising within this state. Service upon the commissioner as attorney constitutes service upon the society.
(2) With the appointment the society must designate the person to whom the commissioner must forward legal process so served upon him or her.
(3) The appointment of the commissioner as attorney is irrevocable, binds any successor in interest or to the assets or liabilities of the society, and remains in effect as long as there is in force in this state any contract made by the society or liabilities or duties arising therefrom.
(4) The service of process must be accomplished and processed in the manner prescribed under RCW 48.02.200.



Penalties.

(1) Any person who wilfully makes a false or fraudulent statement in or relating to an application for membership or for the purpose of obtaining money from or a benefit in any society, shall upon conviction be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment in the county jail not less than thirty days nor more than three hundred sixty-four days, or both.
(2) Any person who wilfully makes a false or fraudulent statement in any verified report or declaration under oath required or authorized by this chapter, or of any material fact or thing contained in a sworn statement concerning the death or disability of an insured for the purpose of procuring payment of a benefit named in the certificate, shall be guilty of false swearing and shall be subject to the penalties under RCW 9A.72.040.
(3) Any person who solicits membership for, or in any manner assists in procuring membership in, any society not licensed to do business in this state shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars.
(4) Any person guilty of a wilful violation of, or neglect or refusal to comply with, the provisions of this chapter for which a penalty is not otherwise prescribed, shall upon conviction, be subject to a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 c 96: See note following RCW 9A.20.021.



Exemptions.

(1) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be so construed as to affect or apply to:
(a) Grand or subordinate lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, Improved Order of Red Men, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Loyal Order of Moose, or Knights of Pythias, exclusive of the insurance department of the Supreme Lodge of Knights of Pythias, the Grand Aerie Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, exclusive of the beneficiary degree of insurance branch of the National Council Junior Order [of] United American Mechanics, or similar societies which do not issue insurance certificates;
(b) Orders, societies, or associations which admit to membership only persons engaged in one or more crafts or hazardous occupations, in the same or similar lines of business, insuring only their own members and their families, and the ladies' societies or ladies' auxiliaries to such orders, societies, or associations;
(c) Any association of local lodges of a society now doing business in this state which provides death benefits not exceeding three hundred dollars to any one person, or disability benefit not exceeding three hundred dollars in any one year to any one person, or both; or any contracts of reinsurance business on such plan in this state;
(d) Domestic societies which limit their membership to the employees of a particular city or town, designated firm, business house, or corporation;
(e) Domestic lodges, orders, or associations of a purely religious, charitable, and benevolent description, which do not provide for a death benefit of more than one hundred dollars, or for disability benefits of more than one hundred fifty dollars to any one person in any one year: PROVIDED, That any such domestic order or society which has more than five hundred members and provides for death or disability benefits, and any such domestic lodge, order, or society which issues to any person a certificate providing for the payment of benefits, shall not be exempt by the provisions of this section, but shall comply with all the requirements of this chapter.
The commissioner may require from any society such information as will enable the commissioner to determine whether the society is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(2) No society, which is exempt by the provisions of this section from the requirements of this chapter shall give or allow or promise to give or allow to any person any compensation for procuring new members.
(3) Any fraternal benefit society, heretofore organized and incorporated and operating as set forth in RCW 48.36A.010, 48.36A.020, and 48.36A.030, providing for benefits in case of death or disability resulting solely from accidents, but which does not obligate itself to pay other death or sick benefits, may be licensed under the provisions of this chapter, and shall have all the privileges and shall be subject to all the provisions and regulations of this chapter, except that the provisions of this chapter requiring medical examinations, valuations of benefit certificates, and that the certificate shall specify the amount of benefits, shall not apply to such society.
(4) The commissioner may require from any society or association, by examination or otherwise, such information as will enable the commissioner to determine whether the society or association is exempt from the provisions of this chapter.
(5) Societies, exempted under the provisions of this section, shall also be exempt from all other provisions of the insurance laws of this state.



World War I societies.

Any corporation, society, order, or voluntary association operating as set forth in RCW 48.36A.010, 48.36A.020, and 48.36A.030, organized during the war in which the United States entered on April 6, 1917, with the purposes of assisting the government of the United States in maintaining and increasing the production of commodities essential for the prosecution of that war, and of developing loyalty to the United States, or whose membership is limited to veterans of that war, may be licensed under the provisions of this chapter and shall have all the privileges and shall be subject to all the provisions and regulations of this chapter, except that the provisions of this chapter requiring death benefits of at least one thousand dollars, medical examinations, and valuations of benefit certificates, shall not apply to such society, but the society may provide benefits in case of death or disability resulting solely from accidents in an amount not exceeding one thousand dollars and may also provide for death or funeral benefits, or both, not exceeding one hundred dollars each, and for sick or disability benefits not exceeding five hundred dollars to any one person, in any one year. Any corporation, society, order, or voluntary association organized under the provisions of this section shall file with the insurance commissioner a copy of all its rates and policy forms. Rates and policy forms must be approved by the insurance commissioner before becoming effective. All rates and forms approved by the commissioner shall be observed by the society until amended rates or forms shall have been filed with and approved by the insurance commissioner.



Fraternal mutual insurers.

(1) A domestic mutual property insurer which is affiliated with and is comprised exclusively of members of a specified fraternal society that conducts its business and secures its membership on the lodge system, having ritualistic work and ceremonies, is herein designated as a fraternal mutual insurer.
(2) Only fraternal mutual property insurers which were authorized insurers immediately prior to October 1, 1947, may hereafter be so authorized.
(3) A fraternal mutual insurer shall be subject to the applicable provisions of this title governing domestic mutual insurers except only as to the provisions relative to taxes, fees, and licenses. The bylaws of such insurer shall be as adopted or amended by majority vote of its members present at a duly held meeting of its members, and a copy thereof shall be filed with the commissioner. Such an insurer shall pay for its annual license and filing its annual statement, the sum of ten dollars. Such an insurer shall pay the expense of examinations of it by the commissioner. The payment shall be made upon receipt of statements furnished by the commissioner.
(4) A fraternal mutual insurer may insure corporations, associations, and firms owned by and affiliated with such society and operated for the benefit of its members, and may insure corporations and firms a majority of whose shareholders or members are members of such society.
(5) A fraternal mutual insurer shall participate in and accept its equitable share of insurance to be issued to applicants under any assigned risk plan operating pursuant to RCW 48.22.020, and may participate in and accept its equitable share of insurance to be issued to applicants under any similar plan lawfully existing in any state in which the insurer is authorized to transact insurance, notwithstanding that the applicants are not otherwise qualified for insurance under subsection (4) of this section. Applicants who are not qualified by membership or otherwise for acceptance by the insurer, shall be so assigned to the insurer except to make up the deficiency, if any, between the number of qualified applicants available for assignment and the maximum quota of applicants to be assigned to the insurer within the current period.
(6) A fraternal mutual insurer doing business on the assessment premium plan:
(a) Shall be exempt also from the provisions of this chapter governing financial qualifications;
(b) Shall not be authorized to transact any kind of insurance other than property insurance, nor have authority to accept reinsurance.
(7) A fraternal mutual insurer doing business on the cash premium plan:
(a) May be authorized to transact additional kinds of insurance, other than life or title insurance, subject to the same requirements as to surplus funds and reserves as apply to domestic mutual insurers on the cash premium plan;
(b) May accept reinsurance only of such kinds of insurance as it is authorized to transact direct and only from insurers likewise affiliated with and composed solely of the members of the same designated fraternal society.



Fraternal mutual life insurers.

(1) A mutual life insurer which is affiliated with and insures exclusively members of a specified fraternal society, which society conducts its business and secures its membership on the lodge system, having ritualistic work and ceremonies, is herein designated as a fraternal mutual life insurer.
(2) Such an insurer shall be subject to the applicable provisions of this title governing mutual life insurers except only as to the provisions relative to annual meeting, taxes, fees, and licenses. Such an insurer shall pay for its annual license and filing its annual statement, the sum of ten dollars. Such an insurer shall pay the expense of examinations of it by the commissioner, upon statement furnished by the commissioner.



Review of commissioner's decisions and findings.

All decisions and findings of the commissioner made under the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to review as provided in chapter 34.05 RCW.



Effective date1987 c 366.

This act shall take effect January 1, 1988.