2020 Georgia Code
Title 33 - Insurance
Chapter 3 - Authorization and General Requirements for Transaction of Insurance
§ 33-3-2. Certificate of Authority Required for Transaction of Insurance Within State; Exceptions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 33-3-2 (2020)
  1. No person shall act as an insurer and no insurer shall transact insurance in Georgia except as authorized by a subsisting certificate of authority granted to it by the Commissioner, except as to any transactions as are expressly otherwise provided for in this title.
  2. The mere investigation and adjustment of any claim in this state arising under an insurance contract and litigation in connection therewith shall not be deemed to constitute the transacting of insurance in this state.
  3. An insurer not transacting new insurance business in Georgia but continuing collection of premiums on and servicing of policies remaining in force as to residents of or risks located in Georgia is transacting insurance in Georgia for the purpose of premium tax requirements only and is not required to have a certificate of authority therefor.
  4. As to an insurance coverage on a subject of insurance not resident, located, or expressly to be performed in Georgia at time of issuance and solicited, written, and delivered outside Georgia, no certificate of authority shall be required of an insurer as to subsequent transactions in Georgia on account of such insurance; and this title shall not apply to such insurance or insurance coverage, except for the purpose of premium tax requirements.

(Code 1933, § 56-302, enacted by Ga. L. 1960, p. 289, § 1; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 33.)

Cross references.

- Persons deemed subject to laws regulating life insurance companies, § 33-7-10.

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, annotations decided under former Civil Code 1910, §§ 2414, 2415, and 2553; Ga. L. 1912, p. 119, § 4, former Code 1933, § 56-901; and Ga. L. 1935, p. 139 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

State may not restrict citizen from contracting for insurance outside state.

- There is a vital distinction between acts done within and acts done without the jurisdiction of the state; and since under the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution a citizen of a state has a right to contract outside of the state for insurance on his property, the power of the state does not extend to such extra-territorial transactions, and a statute imposing restrictions thereon is in violation of the due process provision of that amendment. Cooper Co. v. State, 187 Ga. 497, 1 S.E.2d 436 (1939) (decided under Ga. L. 1935, p. 139).

State may constitutionally impose conditions on intrastate business.

- As a necessary consequence of a state's possession of powers, the state has the right to enforce any conditions imposed by the laws as preliminary to the transaction of business within its confines by a foreign corporation, and the state has also the further right to prohibit a citizen from contracting within its jurisdiction with any foreign company which has not acquired the privilege of engaging in business therein, either in his own behalf or through an agent empowered to that end. Such an intrastate transaction does not fall within the guaranty of the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal Constitution. Cooper Co. v. State, 187 Ga. 497, 1 S.E.2d 436 (1939) (decided under Ga. L. 1935, p. 139).

Preservation of right to raise untimely notice of objection.

- Surplus insurers were authorized to file a declaratory judgment action to preserve their right to raise untimely notice of an occurrence as a defense to coverage even without a certificate of authority to conduct business in the State of Georgia. Kay-Lex Co. v. Essex Ins. Co., 286 Ga. App. 484, 649 S.E.2d 602 (2007).

Nonresident fidelity companies must comply with limitations on domestic companies.

- It is presumed that in providing for the licensing of nonresident companies it was the intention of the lawmakers to permit such companies to conduct a fidelity business only in the manner recognized by the Georgia laws and upon the terms and conditions prescribed for the conduct of such business by domestic companies. Nowell v. Mayor of Monroe, 177 Ga. 648, 171 S.E. 136, answer conformed to, 47 Ga. App. 665, 171 S.E. 143 (1933) (decided under former Civil Code 1910, §§ 2414, 2415).

Insurance on local property by unlicensed insurer unenforceable.

- No contract of insurance on property located in this state is enforceable in this state unless the insurer, when the policy was written, was duly licensed to do business in this state. Jalonick v. Greene County Oil Co., 7 Ga. App. 309, 66 S.E. 815 (1910) (decided under former Civil Code 1910, § 2414).

Regulatory provisions held applicable to companies issuing funeral-service contracts.

- Where it was shown that in consideration of the initial and installment payments provided by each contract the defendants had agreed that so long as the contract remained of force they would render to the person to whom the contract was issued all of the services customarily rendered by undertakers or funeral directors, including hearse service, all necessary embalming, directing, and conducting of funerals, etc., within a radius of 25 road miles, and to sell at wholesale cost price (plus transportation charges only) caskets, burial clothes, etc., to any contract holder for use in the funeral of any member of his or her family or dependents, the evidence authorized the grant of an interlocutory injunction on the ground that the contracts issued by the company constituted policies of life insurance, and that the company, in the issuance of such contracts, was doing a life insurance business contrary to law. Clark v. Harrison, 182 Ga. 56, 184 S.E. 620 (1936) (decided under former Code 1933, § 56-901, repealed by Ga. L. 1960, p. 289); South Ga. Funeral Homes v. Harrison, 182 Ga. 60, 184 S.E. 875, later appeal, 183 Ga. 379, 188 S.E. 529 (1936) (decided under former Code 1933, § 56-901, repealed by Ga. L. 1960, p. 289).

When undertaking business was executing contracts and issuing certificates to furnish funeral merchandise and funeral services upon death and purchasers were obligated to make installment payments, it was, for a consideration, assuming an obligation to be performed upon the death of the purchaser, namely, to furnish the goods and render the stipulated service, and the business was to be characterized as a life insurance business within the meaning of Ga. L. 1937, p. 702 (now repealed), and was subject to the legal regulatory provisions relating to life insurance generally. Harrison v. Tanner-Poindexter Co., 187 Ga. 678, 1 S.E.2d 646 (1939) (decided under former Code 1933, § 56-901, repealed by Ga. L. 1960, p. 289).

Regulatory provisions inapplicable to contracts insuring against breakage of automobile gears using insurer's lubricant.

- This section, requiring insurance companies to procure licenses, was not rendered applicable to the plaintiff by its contract insuring the defendants against breakage of gears of automobiles on which lubricant bought from it was used. Evans & Tate v. Premier Ref. Co., 31 Ga. App. 303, 120 S.E. 553 (1923) (decided under former Ga. L. 1912, p. 119, § 4).

Illegal marketing of self-insurance plan.

- Self-insured taxicab association's provision of insurance coverage to third parties involving the conveyance by taxicab owners of the title in their vehicles jointly to the association constituted the illegal sale or transaction of insurance without a license. Olukoya v. American Ass'n of Cab Cos., 219 Ga. App. 508, 465 S.E.2d 715 (1995).

Unauthorized insurer doing business in state is subject to suit therein.

- A life insurance company not authorized to transact business in Georgia because of failure to obtain a certificate of authority from the Insurance Commissioner is nevertheless doing business, although illegally, in the state by accepting an application for insurance from a resident of the state, delivering the application to the resident by mail, and by mailing premium notices to or accepting premiums from the resident during the life of the policy, so as to render it subject to suit and judgment in this state. Iowa State Travelers Mut. Ass'n v. Cadwell, 113 Ga. App. 128, 147 S.E.2d 461 (1966).

Venue of foreign insurer lies where it has agent or place of doing business.

- A foreign fidelity insurance company may be sued in any county in this state in which it has an agent or place of doing business; and the principal in a guardian's bond for which the company is surety, although living in another county, may be sued jointly with the surety in any county in which jurisdiction over the surety may be obtained. Gross v. Butler, 48 Ga. App. 750, 173 S.E. 866 (1934) (decided under former Civil Code 1910, § 2553).

Using mails to collect premiums constitutes subsequent transactions.

- Mere use of the mails to collect premiums from the insured was a "subsequent transaction" within the meaning of O.C.G.A. § 33-3-2. Bishopsgate Ins. Co. v. Cactus Club, Inc., 176 Ga. App. 354, 335 S.E.2d 685 (1985).

Cited in Chatham County Hosp. Auth. v. John Hancock Mut. Life Ins. Co., 325 F. Supp. 614 (S.D. Ga. 1971); Sollek v. Laseter, 126 Ga. App. 137, 190 S.E.2d 148 (1972); Sloan v. Continental Cas. Co., 131 Ga. App. 377, 205 S.E.2d 925 (1974); Ferguson v. United Ins. Co. of Am., 163 Ga. App. 282, 293 S.E.2d 736 (1982).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

National bank issuing debt cancellation contract must comply with title.

- A national bank operating in Georgia may not enter into a debt cancellation contract providing that the debt will be automatically canceled in the event of the borrower's death without complying with this title. 1963-65 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 457.

Credit unions may not issue insurance contracts.

- If a credit union is issuing insurance contracts, then there can be little question but that such activity is unauthorized; such contracts generally may be issued only by licensed insurers under the provisions of this title. 1967 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 67-170 (credit union may not guarantee or insure loans and deposits).

License necessary for group variable annuity contracts.

- Group variable annuity contracts must be issued by a life insurance company licensed to do business in this state. 1970 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 70-22.

Insurance license necessary for church property.

- An insurance company writing insurance policies only for the church property of a certain denomination may not enter into these insurance contracts within this state without having first obtained a certificate of authority to transact insurance. 1971 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 71-142.

An insurance company that has not met the requirements imposed upon risk retention groups by the state in which it is chartered as an insurance company may not underwrite homeowners' warranties in Georgia without a certificate of authority authorizing the transaction of insurance in Georgia. 1982 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 82-104.

RESEARCH REFERENCES

ALR.

- Full faith and credit provision as affecting contracts, 41 A.L.R. 1386; 114 A.L.R. 250; 119 A.L.R. 483; 173 A.L.R. 1138.

What constitutes insurance, 63 A.L.R. 711; 100 A.L.R. 1449; 119 A.L.R. 1241.

What constitutes doing business within state by foreign insurance corporation, 137 A.L.R. 1128.

Collateral business activities incident to, or in aid of, interstate transportation as related to interstate commerce, 152 A.L.R. 1078.

Decision of United States Supreme Court that insurance is interstate commerce as affecting state statutes relating to foreign insurance companies, 164 A.L.R. 500.

Right to enjoin business competitor from unlicensed or otherwise illegal acts or practices, 90 A.L.R.2d 7.

Right of insurance agent to sue in his own name for unpaid premium, 90 A.L.R.2d 1291.

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.