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Frequently Asked Questions


Click on the area/topic below that you have a question about.

Licensing
Continuing Education (CE)
Surplus Lines
Prem Finance Companies
Insurance Companies
Premium Tax
Fire Marshal
Life & Health
Property & Casualty
Preneed
Legal (Privacy Issues)
Service of Process
Receivership

Surplus Lines               Return to top

Q. Do you accept courtesy filings?
A. No. All surplus lines brokers who do business in Alabama, including non-residents, must hold an Alabama surplus lines license and are responsible for their own filings.

Q. Where can I obtain a list of eligible surplus lines companies?
A. We do not maintain a list of eligible surplus lines companies. A company must meet the criteria that are stated in Alabama Code Section 27-10-26 to be eligible to do business in Alabama.

Q. Do both the agency and the individual broker have to be licensed?
A. The individual surplus lines broker must be licensed and is responsible for making the affidavit and tax filings with this Dept. If commissions are paid to the agency, it must hold a surplus lines license, in addition to an individual within that agency holding a surplus lines license. The agency is not required to make affidavit and tax filings as those are made by the individual licensed surplus lines broker only.

Q. I’ve made a mistake on my ID-12 filing. Can I correct it?
A. Certain fields on the ID-12 can be corrected by the broker. You should log on to your account, view your submitted ID-12s, click on the ID-12 that is to be corrected, make your changes and then click on the “Update ID-12” button.

Prem Finance Companies               Return to top

Q. Can a premium finance company pay a fee to an agent to place business with it?
A. No. Pursuant to Alabama Code Section 27-40-16, rebates are illegal.

Insurance Companies               Return to top

Q. How do I locate an insurance company?
A. You can obtain the address and telephone number of currently licensed companies from our website or you can search for a particular company. If the company is not listed, please call 334-241-4151 and we will assist you.

Premium Tax               Return to top

Q. Do filings have to be received on the due date or postmarked by the due date?
A. Filings must be received on or before the due date to be timely.

Q. Does my company have to file a quarterly tax return if it owes no tax?
A. Yes. Quarterly tax returns must be timely filed even if no premium tax is due.

Q. Where do I mail my company’s quarterly tax return if it owes no tax?
A. It still should be mailed to the lockbox address that is on the tax return or filed through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) OPTins program. Instructions for OPTins are located on the NAIC’s website at www.naic.org.

Q. How does my company obtain a refund?
A. We do not issue automatic refunds of premium tax overpayments. You must submit a completed refund claim form in order for your overpayment to be refunded.Click on the following link to download the refund claim form. Please mail the completed claim form to the attention of Ann Strickland, Examiner, at 201 Monroe St., Ste. 502, Montgomery, AL 36104 or P. O. Box 303351, Montgomery, AL 36130-3351. In lieu of a refund, you may apply the overpayment to the next period’s tax return.

Q. Can I pay my company’s premium tax by EFT?
A. Yes. Premium tax can be paid and your premium tax return can be filed using the NAIC OPTins program. Instructions are on the NAIC’s website at www.naic.org.

Q. Where do I send my premium tax return?
A. The addresses are stated on the tax returns located on our website under Foreign Insurance Companies or Domestic Insurance Companies. The addresses are Postal Service: c/o Compass Bank, P. O. Box 830691, Birmingham, AL 35283-0691 and Courier Service: c/o Compass Bank, 701 S. 32nd St., Birmingham, AL 35233. You may also file your premium tax return and pay your premium tax using the NAIC OPTins program.

Q. Can you tell me where to send my municipal taxes?
A. No. The Department of Insurance does not administer or collect municipal taxes. The Alabama League of Municipalities may be able to assist you. Its' telephone number is 334-262-2566 and its' website address is www.alalm.org.

Fire Marshal              Return to top

Q. What are the requirements to become a blaster?
A. The person must have two (2) years of experience, must be 21 years of age, and have no felonies.A background check will be performed on each applicant.Click on the following link for the application and laws.

Q. What do we need to submit to the State Fire Marshal's Office for a new Blaster's permit and a Contractor's permit?
A. Blaster - Blaster Application, Work Resume form, copies of other state licenses, 2x2 passport picture along with a check or money order for $100 made payable to the State Fire Marshal's Fund.
Contractor - Contractor Application along with a check or money order for $2,000 made payable to the State Fire Marshal's Fund.
These forms are located on our website.

Q. What is the difference between a Retailer and Seasonal Retailer Fireworks Permit?
A. A retailer can sell fireworks any time during the year as long as the building does not move.A seasonal retailer for the season 6/15 to 7/10 or 12/15 to 01/02 can sell only during these two times.If the building or stand is moved, an individual must reapply for a permit. A seasonal retailer for the season of 12/15 to 01/02 can only sell during the Christmas and New Year's season.

Q. What are the codes and requirements for having a fireworks stand?
A. Please see the Alabama Code of Law on our website.

Q. What are the requirements for sprinkler permits?
A. The applicant must have passed the NICET level III test in order to apply for a permit.

Q. Can I make an appointment for a daycare?
A. The individual must call the State Fire Marshal's office and put in a request for an inspection to be performed. This can take two (2) weeks to 30 working days to complete.

Q. I need a copy of an investigation.
A. A person must submit this request in writing to our office.Please include the owner's name, address and the date of the fire along with a phone number that you can be reached at if we have any questions.There is a charge of $1.00 per page for copies. We will send a copy of the report along with an invoice for you to remit to our office.

National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS)

Q. Who can I contact if I have a question or need information about NFIRS?
A. Assistant State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen at (334) 241-4166 or
Scott.Pilgreen@insurance.alabama.gov.

Service of Process               Return to top

Q. How do I serve legal process on an insurance company?
A. The simplest, quickest, and cheaper way in most cases is to serve the company's designated agent for service of process. The name and address of the registered agent may be obtained from our website at Agent Service of Process Search. Service of process upon the Commissioner may be made by any means authorized under the Alabama or Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as applicable. A fee of $50.00, plus $1.00 per page for a copy to serve on the company unless an extra copy is provided at the time of service, is charged for service on the Commissioner. The department will forward the papers to the designated agent. The company will have 30 days to answer the suit beginning when the agent receives the papers. If you have further questions, contact Lucie McLemore or any attorney in the Legal Division at 334-241-4117.

Receivership               Return to top

Q. What does Receivership mean?
A. When insurance companies encounter legal or financial troubles which deems them insolvent (unable to pay policyholder claims), state insurance regulators obtain court orders placing them into receivership, a judicial proceeding similar to bankruptcy protection to protect policyholders and creditors. While a company is in Receivership, all of that company's assets are placed under the control of the department's Receiver, whose official actions are supervised by the court. Receivership proceedings can be used to rehabilitate troubled companies, or to liquidate them. The Receiver's primary responsibility is the protection of the policyholders and creditors. The Receivership Division is established in accordance with Section 27-2-50; Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended.

Q. What is a Receiver?
A. The Receiver is the rehabilitator, liquidator or conservator of an insolvent company. The Chief of the Receivership Division (the Receiver) is appointed by the Commissioner of Insurance in accordance with Section 27-2-53, Code of Alabama, 1975, as amended. The receiver is appointed to marshal all assets and attempts to rehabilitate the company if possible and liquidate if necessary. The Receiver's primary responsibility is the protection of policyholders and Alabama's insurance consumers. The Chief Receiver for the State of Alabama is Denise B. Azar.

Q. How does the Receivership Process work?
A. When the Commissioner of Insurance institutes delinquency proceedings against any insurer domiciled in Alabama, the proper circuit court having jurisdiction appoints the Chief of the Receivership Division as Receiver of the insurer. Typically, these proceedings begin with an Order of Rehabilitation, whereby the financial affairs of the insurer, during which time the regular operations of the company may or may not be suspended. If it is determined that the insurer can not be rehabilitated, the Receiver will suspend all operations that can be stopped and will liquidate the assets of the insolvent company in accordance with the court's directions.