58-12-35. Confidentiality and prohibition on announcements.

(a) All risk-based capital reports, to the extent the information therein is not required to be set forth in a publicly available annual statement schedule, and the risk-based capital plans, including the results or report of any examination or analysis of an insurer performed pursuant hereto and any corrective order issued by the Commissioner pursuant to examination or analysis, with respect to any domestic insurer or foreign insurer that are filed with the Commissioner constitute information that shall be kept confidential by the Commissioner. This information shall not be made public and shall not be subject to subpoena, discovery, or admissible in evidence in any private civil action, other than by the Commissioner, and then only for the purpose of enforcement actions taken by the Commissioner under this Article or any other provision of this Chapter. In order to assist in the performance of the Commissioner's duties, the Commissioner may share and receive confidential and privileged risk-based capital information in a manner consistent with that information shared and received pursuant to G.S. 58-2-132(g) and (h). Neither the Commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the Commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to this subsection.

(b) The General Assembly finds that the comparison of an insurer's total adjusted capital to any of its risk-based capital levels is a regulatory tool that may indicate the need for possible corrective action with respect to the insurer, and is not intended as a means to rank insurers generally. Therefore, except as otherwise required under this Article, the making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or placing before the public, or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, or poster, or over any radio or television station, or in any other way, an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing an assertion, representation, or statement with regard to the risk-based capital levels of any insurer, or of any component derived in the calculation by any insurer, agent, broker, or other person engaged in any manner in the insurance business is prohibited; provided, however, that if any materially false statement with respect to the comparison regarding an insurer's total adjusted capital to its risk-based capital levels (or any of them) or an inappropriate comparison of any other amount to the insurers' risk-based capital levels is published in any written publication and the insurer is able to demonstrate to the Commissioner, with substantial proof, the falsity of the statement, or the inappropriateness, as the case may be, then the insurer may publish an announcement in a written publication if the sole purpose of the announcement is to rebut the materially false statement. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 678, s. 1; 1995, c. 193, s. 22; 2013-199, s. 5.)