General Processing Procedures for Form & Rate Filings

Insurance companies are required to file all of the policy forms used in Montana, as well as some types of rates and rating plans used in pricing their Montana insurance products. The Rates & Forms Section is responsible for the review of all of these filings to assure that these insurance company forms and rates comply with Montana law.

Analysts review policy forms to determine if they comply with Montana law or if they are inequitable, unfairly discriminatory, misleading, deceptive, obscure, unfair, encourage misrepresentation, or are not in the public interest. Actuaries are charged with examining and analyzing rates and rating plan filings to determine if they are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory as defined in statute. The actuaries also participate in the financial examination of insurance companies. This involvement includes but is not limited to the analysis of the adequacy of reserves.

Life/Disability Insurance Filing Instructions for Montana

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  1. IMPORTANT: Effective 1-1-2000 fees are no longer required (with one exception) for rate and form submissions. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE FEES WITH ANY RATES AND FORMS SUBMISSION except Health Service Corporations. Health Service Corporations fees are 1) filing of a membership contract, $25; 2) filing of a membership contact package, $100.
  2. Forms and rates must be filed separately. If a form and a rate are both being submitted, two separate filings must be submitted, one for the forms and one for the rates.
  3. Form filings will not be approved without Domiciliary Approval.
  4. Paper filings
    • Please make sure that the complete, exact, company name is included in your cover letter or General Instructions.
    • Your cover letter RE: line should contain the complete company name, NAIC number and a complete list of all forms submitted for approval (you may list them on an attached sheet if necessary). This also applies to any other correspondence after the initial cover letter.
    • Please submit an original cover letter with a transmittal sheet and one copy of the cover letter. Please only submit one (1) set of forms for review, duplicate copies are not stamped or returned
    • Please provide a self addressed stamped envelope with each submission and all correspondence.
  5. Cover letter or General Information tab ~ Filing Description ~ Include a brief description of what is being filed, why it is being filed, what it is for and if it is new, a replacement or a revision. If the form is to be used with a previously approved form, please include that form number and the date of approval. If the previously approved form was approved more than 3 years from the date of the new filing, please include a copy of the previously approved forms for review for compliance with current law.
  6. All submissions are handled in date order, including responses.
  7. If you are submitting any type of variable life or annuity product, application, etc., please submit one final printed dated effective prospectus. The applicable forms cannot be approved until the prospectus has been submitted. Please do not submit these forms until you have the prospectus available.
  8. Generally advertising is not required to be filed or approved, there are exceptions – Long Term Care, Medicare Supplement, and other senior market products, Viatical Settlement products, as well as any others upon request.
  9. If the filing is made on behalf of a (another) company, please attach a current letter of authorization.
  10. If there is a third party administrator (33-17-102 and 603 MCA), provide name and evidence of registration in the General Description or cover letter.
  11. Flesh reading: Per MCA 33-15-325, all forms filings must be accompanied by a certificate signed by an officer stating the Flesh reading ease score for the forms submitted.

Please note the time period given for response to an objection. The standard time is 10 days. If your response cannot be completed within the time period given, please contact the Forms Review Analyst and request an extension. If your filing has been closed we request you refile rather than reopening a file. However, please call or e-mail the reviewer.  We will on a case by case basis, consider reopening a file but you must call or e-mail. Please do not send the request via “Note to Reviewer” on SERFF.

All reports must be filed via SERFF.

Rate Review

Generally, rates are reviewed on a first in/first out basis. However, certain types of filings have other deadlines mandated by state law requiring earlier review. The procedure varies between life and disability insurance products and property and casualty insurance products.

Life and Disability Insurance Rates

Filing of rates is required for Medicare supplement insurance, long term care, individual health, small employer group health, credit life insurance and credit disability insurance. All life and disability insurance premium rates must be reasonable in relation to the benefits provided, must comply with Montana’s non-gender law, and must not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. Any life and disability insurance premium rates may be analyzed by the life and health actuary to check for compliance with these requirements.

Life and disability insurance rate filings must be accompanied by an actuarial memorandum, which describes the rating process. The information required in the actuarial memorandum varies by product.

The actuarial memorandum for Medicare supplement rate filings must include a loss ratio history and a loss ratio projection as required by 6.6.508 ARM (Administrative Rules of Montana), both on a national basis and on a Montana-only basis. Each loss ratio exhibit must show the actual or projected earned premiums and incurred claims and the number of insureds covered under the plan for each year for which the data is available. Including the trend assumption used in the rating and a history of past rate increases, both nationally and in Montana only, will aid the actuary in the analysis.

The actuarial memorandum for credit life and credit disability rate filings must show that the rates comply with the requirements of 6.6.1101 through 1110 ARM. Rates which are not higher than the prima facie rates published in 6.6.1101 and 1103 ARM and which are converted to another basis through the formulas in those sections are eligible for approval as long as the experience meets the loss ratio requirements of 6.6.1110 ARM. Any request for a rate deviation will require an actuarial justification showing why the increase is deemed to be necessary.

Property & Casualty Rate/Rating Plan Filings

All property and casualty rates and rating plans intended for use in the state are required by law to be filed by insurance companies with supporting data to substantiate the filing. The supporting data required varies by the type of filing. The supporting data needs to show that the rate/rating plan is not inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.

With the exception of certain kinds of workers compensation filings, all property and casual rates and rating plans are subject to “file and use” laws. Workers compensation rate filings that adopt the designated advisory organization loss costs with or without modification, which are at or above the designated advisory organization loss costs are subject to the “file and use” laws. All other workers compensation rates and rating plans must be filed 30 days before the effective date and are subject to prior approval. Crop-hail rate filings must be filed yearly and must be received by the office on or before March 15. With the exception of certain workers compensation filings, property and casualty rates may be used once filed with supporting data.

The general processing procedure of a rate or rating plan filing is similar in most respects to the process for form filings with a few exceptions. All property and casualty filings are reviewed for compliance with the law and administrative rules on a first in/first out basis with the exception of workers compensation filings.

Filing Fees

For most all filings, fees are not required.