58-22-35. Purchasing groups; exemption from certain laws relating to the group purchase of insurance.

(a) Any purchasing group meeting the criteria established under the provisions of 15 U.S.C. 3901 et seq. is exempt from any law of this State relating to the creation of groups for the purchase of insurance, prohibition of group purchasing, or any law that discriminates against a purchasing group or its members. In addition, an insurer is exempt from any law of this State that prohibits providing, or offering to provide, to a purchasing group or its members, advantages based on their loss and expense experience not afforded to other persons with respect to rates, policy forms, coverages, or other matters. A purchasing group is subject to all other applicable laws of this State.

(b) Taxes on premiums paid for coverage of risks resident or located in this State by a purchasing group or any members of the purchasing group shall be:

(1) Imposed at the same rate and subject to the same interest, fines, and penalties as those applicable to premium taxes on similar coverage from a similar insurance source by other insureds. For example, coverage provided by a surplus lines licensee is taxed under Article 21 of this Chapter, coverage provided by an insurance company is taxed under Article 8B of Chapter 105 of the General Statutes, and coverage provided by an unlicensed insurer is taxed under G.S. 58-28-5(b).

(2) Paid first by such insurance source, and if not by such source then by the agent or broker for the purchasing group, and if not by such agent or broker then by the purchasing group, and if not by such group then by each of its members. (1987, c. 310, s. 1; c. 727, s. 9; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 747, s. 10.)