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dollars ($20.00) issue to any suitable person resident in this State, or resident in any other State granting fire insurance brokers' licenses to residents of this State, a license to act as a fire insurance broker to negotiate contracts of fire insurance or reinsurance or place risks or effect fire insurance or reinsurance with any qualified domestic fire insurance company or its agents, or with the authorized agent in this State of any foreign fire insurance company duly admitted to do business in this State upon the following conditions: the applicant for such a license shall file with the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner an application which shall be in writing upon a form to be provided by the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, and shall be executed by the applicant under oath and kept on file by the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner. Such application shall state the name, age, residence and occupation of the applicant at the time of making application, his occupation for the five years next preceding the date of filing the application, and shall state that the applicant intends to hold himself out and carry on business in good faith. as a fire insurance broker, and shall give such other information as the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner may require. The application shall be accompanied by a statement upon a blank furnished by the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner as to the trustworthiness and competency of the applicant, signed by at least three reputable citizens of this State. If the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is trustworthy and competent and intends to hold himself out and carry on business in good faith as a fire insurance broker, he shall issue to him the license applied for. The Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner may at any time after the granting of a broker's license, for cause shown, and after a hearing, determine that the licensee has not complied with the insurance laws or is not trustworthy or competent, or is not holding himself out and actually carrying on business as a fire insurance broker; or is not a suitable person to act as such broker, and he shall thereupon revoke the license of such broker and notify him that his license has been revoked. A broker's license shall remain in force until the first day of the next April after its issue, unless sooner revoked by the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner for cause. The Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner shall publish a notice of the revocation of a broker's license in such manner as he deems proper for the protection of the public. No fee for the license aforesaid
shall be required of any agent of a foreign fire insurance company whose license fees as such agent amount to twenty dollars ($20.00), and in case his license fees as such agent are less than twenty dollars ($20.00), then he shall be required to pay such amount as with such fees shall amount to twenty dollars ($20.00). Broker's license issued on application as herein provided may, in the discretion of the Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, be renewed upon the payment of the proper fees without his requiring anew the details required in the original application. Contingent Fees to Adjusters Prohibited.
3771. [Sec. 1, Act 314, 1908, p. 481.] It shall be unlawful for any insurance company, doing business in this State, to pay to insurance adjusters or to companies engaged in the adjustment of losses, any fee or compensation in excess of a regular fixed salary or stipend, or to contract to pay to any insurance adjuster or to any company engaged in the business of adjusting losses, any portion of the amount saved to said insurance company, through the efforts of said adjuster or adjustment company, in lieu of salary.
3772. [Sec. 2.] Any insurance company violating any provisions of this Act shall, on conviction before any court of competent jurisdiction, be fined a sum not less than five hundred ($500.00) dollars, for the benefit of the Charity Hospitals of New Orleans and Shreveport.
FIRE PREVENTION BUREAU.
Fire Insurance Companies May Organize.
3773. [Act 189, 1904, p. 420.] It shall be lawful for the fire insurance companies regularly licensed and authorized to do business in this State, to organize a "Fire Prevention Bureau," the purpose of which shall be to make inspections as to physical care and condition of risks located in the State of Louisiana; to define the safest methods of construction of buildings, to supervise the installation of electric and heating apparatus and other devices involving fire hazard, as they may appear from time to time, in order that the chances of fire may be reduced to a minimum.
3774. [Sec. 2.] Every fire insurance company regularly licensed and authorized to do business in this State shall be
eligible to membership in said Association, and shall have one vote in any ballot taken concerning any of its proceedings.
What to be Filed With Fire Marshal.
3775. [Sec. 3.] When such an Association shall have been organized by a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of the State, and a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of other States or countries, and engaged in business in this State, it shall be the duty of the President, Secretary and Board of Directors, or Executive Committee of said Association to file with the Fire Marshal a certified copy of the Constitution and By-Laws, and a certified list of the fire insurance companies subscribing thereto, and if the organization be found to be in accord with the provisions of this Act, it shall be the duty of the Fire Marshal to furnish said Association with a certificate of approval.
Ex Officio Members.
3776. [Sec. 4.] When such an association has been duly and regularly organized under the provision of this Act, the Secretary of State and the Fire Marshal shall be ex-officio members of such Association and shall be members of the Board of Directors or Executive Committee of said Association and as such shall have one vote each in any proceedings transacted by said Association or such Board of Directors or Executive Committee. (Amd. Act. 174, 1912, p. 316.)
Collection of Assessments on Members.
3777. [Sec. 5.] It shall be the duty of the Secretary of such Association, upon receipt of said certificate, before the first day of March of every year, to furnish the Fire Marshal with a budget of the necessary expenses to operate the bureau for the following year. From the total sum of said budget shall be deducted such contributions as may be voluntarily made by fire insurance companies organized under the laws of this State, and subscribing to the By-Laws and Constitution of the said Association. It shall then be the duty of the Fire Marshal to furnish the State Tax Collectors with the amount of the pro rata assessments of each company to make the amount necessary to operate the said bureau for the following year, as shown by said budget. It shall then be the duty of the Tax Collector to levy and collect from every company offering to pay its license, the amount of its assessment as furnished him by the Fire Marshal. Any company refusing or neglecting to pay to the Tax Collector the amount so
levied and assessed shall forfeit its right to do business and the Tax Collector shall be prohibited from granting any license to such company. Such assessment shall be upon the net premiums collected from insurances upon property located in this State, as shown by the annual statements of the companies of the previous year, filed with the Secretary of State, and shall be in the same proportion of said premiums as the voluntary contributions of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of this State shall bear to the net premiums collected by said companies from insurance on property located within the State. It shall be the duty of the Tax Collector to pay over the sum or sums so collected to the State Treasurer in the same manner as other funds collected, to be warranted for by the Secretary of the said Association, approved by the Board of Directors or Executive Committee of such Association, and by the Fire Marshal; any balance remaining to the credit of this fund after payment of all expenses herein provided for, shall be carried forward by the Treasurer to the ensuing year's account.
Annual Continuance of Bureau
3778. [Sec. 6.] It shall be the duty of the said Association, through its regularly constituted officers, to furnish the Fire Marshal each year, on the 15th day of January, a certified extract from the minutes of the annual meeting of the aforesaid Association showing that a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of this State, and a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of other States, or countries, and licensed to do business in this State, have formally agreed in writing to continue such association for another year.
Domicile and Branch Offices; "Basic Cost."
3779. [Sec. 7.] The said association shall select its own domicile and shall have the right to establish branch offices throughout the State; provided, that the records of the Association shall during business hours be open to the inspection of the Fire Marshal, or the Secretary of State, or their representatives. It shall be lawful for the Association to indicate on the inspection reports furnished to its members the basic cost of the risk to be assumed, and the relative measure which each defect bears to the fire hazard as a whole and the consequent proportionate value of each improvement suggested to minimize the chances of fire, so that each assured may be correctly informed as to the relative importance of each defect found in the risk: "Pro
vided that the term basic cost as herein used shall be construed as meaning the cost to the insurance companies and shall not include any profit on the risk to be assumed." (Amd. Act 174, 1912, p. 316).
Duty to Show Property Holder Defects.
3780. [Sec. 8.] It shall be the duty of the said Association to furnish upon application and without cost to any property owner, a schedule giving in detail the defects either of construction or of occupancy existing in his risk, and such other information as may be deemed essential to an intelligent understanding of the fire hazard and the methods to be employed either in the case of new construction, or the remodeling of existing structures, to reduce such fire hazard and the cost of same to a minimum.
Less Than Majority May Organize Association.
3781. [Sec. 9.] If it be found inexpedient to secure the consent of a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of this State, and a majority of the fire insurance companies organized under the laws of other States, or countries, and engaged in business in this State to the formation of such an Association as is prescribed in Section 1 of this Act, then, under such circumstances, it shall be lawful for a lesser number to organize such an Association which may avail itself of the provisions of this Act by filing a copy of its Constitution and By-laws with the Fire Marshal, provided, however, that the expense for its maintenance and operation shall be met by voluntary subscriptions of the members thereof.
Compilation of Data, Etc., to be Advisory Only.
3782. [Sec. 10.] The compilation and publication of data contemplated by this Act are advisory only and are intended only for the information of the fire insurance companies and for the owners of property subject to loss by fire, with a view of decreasing the fire waste, and thereby the cost of fire insurance; nothing herein contained shall be construed as permitting the insurance companies forming the Fire Prevention Bureau to make any agreement, compact or combination as to the rate to be charged for fire insurance. (Amd. Act 174, 1912, p. 316).