Uniform Certificate of Authority Application (UCAA)

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UCAA Primary Application

The ALERT Subgroup designed the Primary Application to the Uniform Certificate of Authority Application (UCAA) for use in the formation of a new insurer, or for an existing insurer to use in making application to redomesticate to another state. A Uniform State is one that is committed to using the UCAA review process for company licensing and admissions.

The following pages contain detailed explanations of the various licensing requirements, along with instructions designed to assist with preparing and submitting the necessary documentation. Each state's review process may follow slightly different time lines to complete a comprehensive and detailed operational and financial review of the Applicant Company’s business. It is the goal of all Uniform States to complete their review of Primary Applications within 90 calendar days of receipt. The 90-day review process includes two weeks to determine if the application is complete and acceptable for filing. During the remaining time-span, the application will receive a financial and operational review. A state may not achieve the 90-day processing goal in instances where substantial follow-up is required or in states with limited resources, or in instances when the Applicant Company files an application during peak business periods such as year-end and annual statement filing periods.

Based on the circumstances of a particular application, it may be necessary for the reviewing state to request additional information. Typically, a state will request any additional information that it needs within 30 days after the state accepts the application.

The UCAA Primary Application has four sections designed to guide the Applicant Company through the licensing process:

  1. Application Review Process
  2. Filing Requirements (New Insurers and Redomestications)
  3. Filing Requirements (Redomestications Only)
  4. How to File

The goal of the UCAA is to provide a streamlined approval process. However, some states have state-specific filing requirements based on either statutory requirements or internal procedures. The uniform states are working to eliminate non-essential state-specific requirements. All Applicant Companies must be familiar with the insurance laws of the state to which they submit an application. Please see the UCAA website for information related to obtaining a copy of the laws, regulations and bulletins for the state in which an application is filed.

If the Applicant Company has any questions about the uniform admission process, a list of contact names, addresses and telephone numbers is provided on the Addresses and Contacts for Submission of Application chart. It is highly recommended that the Applicant Company contact each state with any questions before submitting the application for review.

Primary Application Section I
Application Review Process

The ALERT Subgroup designed the Primary Application of the UCAA to provide a uniform process for the formation of a new insurer. An existing insurer that desires to redomesticate to another state should also use this application package. Existing insurers that wish to gain admission in additional states should file the Expansion Application of the UCAA. It is the goal of each Uniform State to process all Primary applications within 90 calendar days of receipt. The 90-day review process includes two weeks to determine if the application is complete and acceptable for filing. During the remaining time-span, the application will receive a financial and operational review. A state may not achieve the 90-day processing goal in instances where the application requires substantial follow-up, or in states with limited resources, or in instances when the Applicant Company files an application during peak business periods such as year-end and annual statement filing periods.

Based on the circumstances of a particular application, it may be necessary for the reviewing state to request additional information. Typically, a state will request any additional information it needs within 30 days after the state accepts the application.

Proprietary Information

Both regulators and the Applicant Company should note that the Applicant Company might deem confidential any communications with insurance regulatory agencies in conjunction with the Primary Application concerning proprietary information about the Applicant Company. States may only share information determined to be confidential with other persons as authorized by law. By law, the state will not disclose to the public any information determined to be proprietary and trade secret. Each Applicant Company needs to expressly identify all information, in the application and in any subsequent correspondence, that the Applicant Company considers proprietary or trade secret.

The UCAA website explains the requirements and filing process for the Primary Application. Please do not hesitate to contact the appropriate state regulators with any questions before filing any Uniform Application.

Step One: Filing An Application
Processing Goal: 2 Weeks

The Applicant Company may submit Primary Applications anytime during the year. The state immediately reviews Primary Applications to ensure that the Applicant Company submitted the application in the required format as outlined in these instructions.

Generally, within two weeks from the date the state receives the application, the state will notify the Applicant Company whether or not the state has accepted the application for filing. If the state accepts the application for filing, it will assign an official filing date.

If the state does not accept the application for filing due to a deficiency in the application’s format, the state will contact the Applicant Company. Depending upon the nature of the deficiency, the state may give the Applicant Company two weeks from the date of receipt of notification from the department reviewing the application to correct the deficiency. Some states may return to the Applicant Company any applications that are deficient and not accepted for filing.

Step Two: Application Review
Processing Goal: 90 Days

A Primary Application will undergo a rigorous financial and operational review in the state to which the Applicant Company submitted the application. While the goal of each state is to complete this review in 90 days, the states cannot guarantee review within this period. Due to varying levels of resources available in each state, a substantive review of the Primary Application may take longer than 90 days in some cases. Furthermore, if the state needs additional information to complete a substantive review of an application, the review may also take longer to complete. Once the state requests additional information, the state suspends the 90-day goal until it receives the requested information. The purpose of the Primary Application is to streamline application processing and the state will make every effort to process a Primary Application as quickly as possible.

At the conclusion of the substantive review by the reviewing state, the state will grant the Applicant Company a Certificate of Authority as a domestic company, allow the Applicant Company to withdraw the application, or will deny the application.

If the application is denied, the state will notify the Applicant Company and provide a detailed explanation for the denial. After the denial, if the Applicant Company wishes to re-file a Primary Application, the state will require a new application and filing fee.

Primary Application Section II
Filing Requirements (New Insurers and Redomestications)

This section provides a guide to understanding the focus of each document of the Primary Application. However, the application typically uses the documents for multiple purposes. Therefore, it is important that applications be complete.

All documents submitted in support of the application must be current. However, in certain instances, some states have limited latitude to accept older documents, although generally no more than five (5) years old. Please contact the states individually if there are questions about a specific document.

All forms required for the Primary Application are available on the UCAA website under the Primary Application tab and UCAA Forms and the Applicant Company can download these documents for printing and submission.

Table of Contents

  1. Application Form and Attachments
  2. Filing Fee
  3. Minimum Capital and Surplus Requirements
  4. Statutory Deposit Requirements
  5. Name Approval
  6. Plan of Operation
  7. Holding Company Act Filings
  8. Statutory Membership(s)
  9. SEC Filings or Consolidated GAAP Financial Statement
  10. Debt-to-Equity Ratio Statement
  11. Custody Agreements
  12. Public Records Package
  13. NAIC Biographical Affidavits
  14. State-Specific Information

1. Application Form and Attachments 

The application must identify all lines of insurance the Applicant Company is requesting authority to transact, as identified by the Applicant Company’s plan of operation. Only the Applicant Company using this application for a redomestication filing need to complete the section listing the lines of business that the Applicant Company is currently licensed to transact and is transacting in all jurisdictions. Submit a completed checklist (Form 1P) and original executed application form (Form 2P and Form 3) as Item 1 of the application.

2. Filing Fee

The application must include a filing fee for the state in which an application is being submitted. The payee name and the instructions for submitting the filing fee are included in the Filing Fees - Primary and Expansion Applications chart located on the UCAA website. Submit a copy of the Applicant Company’s check as Item 2 of the application.

3. Minimum Capital and Surplus Requirements

The application must show that the Applicant Company meets the state’s statutory minimum capital and surplus requirements. In some states, the minimum capital and surplus requirements are determined by the classes of insurance that the Applicant Company is requesting authority to transact and the classes of insurance the Applicant Company is authorized to transact in all other jurisdictions. The state will determine the level of surplus required after considering the Applicant Company’s product line, operating record and financial condition. Compliance with the statutorily prescribed minimum surplus requirement may not be sufficient for all applicants. The UCAA website contains a chart that identifies the Minimum Capital and Surplus Requirements for each Uniform State. It also provides a contact person or a link to a state-specific format or RBC requirements and instructions. Submit an explanation of the Applicant Company’s compliance with the capital and surplus requirements as Item 3 of the application.

4. Statutory Deposit Requirements 

The domiciliary state may require a statutory deposit. The Statutory Deposit Requirements chart located on the UCAA website provides state-specific requirements and identifies those states that require a Statutory Deposit. Submit as Item 4 of the Application, documentation explaining how the Applicant Company meets or is meeting the statutory deposit requirements. Unless otherwise indicated, the Statutory Deposit is for the benefit of all policyholders.

5. Name Approval 

Each state has different guidelines and procedures for name approval. The Name Approval Requirements chart located on the UCAA website is intended to serve as a guide for the various name approval requirements of each Uniform State. The Applicant Company should check with the state to ensure compliance with all applicable name approval requirements. Where applicable, submit evidence of name approval request as Item 5 of the application.

6. Plan of Operation 

The plan of operation has three components, a brief narrative, proforma financial statements/projections and a completed Questionnaire (Form 8). The narrative should include significant information not captured as part of the Questionnaire that the Applicant Company submits in support of the application, such as the reason for redomestication. The proforma is one of the three (3) components in the Plan of Operation. The forms are located on the UCAA website under the Primary Application tab. There is a proforma for Life, Property/Casualty, Health and Title companies.  Provide a company-wide, three-year proforma balance sheet and income statement. The proforma workbook should be the same business type as the financial statement blank filed with the NAIC. For the lines requested, provide three-year premium and loss projections by line for the application state. Projections must support all aspects of the proposed plan of operation, including reinsurance arrangements and any delegated function agreements. Include the assumptions used to arrive at these projections.

The proforma when applied to the primary application is projected data. As such, the projected amounts need not balance with historical NAIC financial filings. The projected data, however, should be relevant to the Applicant Company’s history of growth and losses as contemplated by the NAIC Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual.

The proforma should be completed by statutory accounting or financial reporting professionals that should be available to answer any questions or concerns from reviewing regulatory staff. The proforma is completed on an annual basis, typically for a three year time period, however, some states may require five years. The proforma should start with the first full year of operation that the Applicant Company anticipates actively writing business in the state(s) receiving the application.

Submit the completed Questionnaire and all attachments as Item 6 of the application.

7.  Holding Company Act Filings

If the Applicant Company is a member of a holding company system, the application must include either the most recent Holding Company Act (HCA) filings, including the Annual Form B Registration Statement and related Form F or a statement substantially similar to the NAIC Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act (#440) The filing should include all attachments, exhibits and appendices referenced in the HCA filings. Submit the HCA filings as Item 7 of the application, include all attachments and any amendments up to the application filing date and include copies of all advisory, management and service agreements.

8.  Statutory Memberships

In some states, the Applicant Company is required to join one or more rating, guarantee or other organizations before transacting insurance. Generally, the Applicant Company’s authorized lines of insurance govern statutorily mandated memberships. The Statutory Membership Requirements chart is located on the UCAA website. Inquire with the licensure state about any required statutory memberships before transacting insurance. Submit documentation supporting membership application(s) as indicated, in states where required, as Item 8 of the application.

9.  SEC Filings or Consolidated GAAP Financial Statement

If the Applicant Company, its parent or its ultimate holding company has made a filing or registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with a public offering within the last three years, or filed an 8K, 10K or 10Q within the last 12 months, the application must note that the filing, including any supplements or amendments, is available electronically from the SEC. If the Applicant Company, its parent or its ultimate holding company is not publicly traded, the application must include a copy of the Applicant Company’s most recent Consolidated GAAP financial statement. Submit the notice of SEC filings or copy of a Consolidated GAAP statement as Item 9 of the application.

10.  Debt-to-Equity Ratio Statement

Members of a holding company system must submit debt-to-equity information as Item 10 of the application. The application must include a comprehensive debt-to-equity ratio statement that includes the following information.

  1. Provide the consolidated outside debt to consolidated equity ratio on a GAAP basis for the holding company. *

    Debt Duration

    Debt Amount ($)

    Debt to Consolidated Equity Ratio

    Up to 5 years

     

     

    Up to 10 years

     

     

    Up to 20 years

     

     



  2. Provide the most recent consolidated holding company financial statement.

  3. State if the holding company, on a consolidated basis, has a tangible net worth: a) for the past three years; b) at present; and c) provide projections with assumptions for a three-year period.

  4. The Applicant Company must clearly substantiate the sources of repayment of any debt, including, but not limited to, whether the source of repayment is independent from the future income of the insurers.

  5. Calculate the debt service (as reported in D above) required of each insurer as a percentage of the Applicant Company’s capital and surplus.

  6. List the assets of the holding company, if any, that are pledged to fund the debt service or debt repayment of an affiliate or parent (include the assets or stock of any insurer subsidiaries)

  7. List any guarantees (personal or otherwise) from the shareholders for repayment of the debt.
     *Some states may require re-statement based upon statutory equity

11.  Custody Agreements

The Applicant Company should include a statement setting forth whether or not any of the Applicant Company’s stocks, bonds, or other physical or book entry securities are in the physical possession of another entity.

If any of the Applicant Company’s stocks, bonds or other securities are not in the Applicant Company’s actual physical possession or in a safe deposit box under the exclusive control of the Applicant Company (except as shown in the Schedule of Special Deposits in the Applicant Company’s Annual Statement), the application must include the written agreement with each entity holding and/or administering these securities. The written agreement should include appropriate safeguards for the handling of the securities, in accordance with those specified in the NAIC Financial Condition Examiners Handbook (Handbook).

Some states have additional requirements for these custody agreements, beyond those called for in the Handbook. Submit the statement and copies of the custody agreements as Item 11 of the application.

12.  Public Records Package 

Most states have requirements to disclose information to the public under a Public Records Act. To meet these public disclosure requirements certain items must accompany the application. While these documents may or may not be part of the substantive review, please be sure to include the required documents with the application. Please see the Public Records Package chart on the UCAA website for each state’s document list. The chart contains requirements for financial and operational filings. An Applicant Company seeking to redomesticate should provide both financial and operational documents for the application state. An Applicant Company that is seeking to form a new insurer should include all documents listed in the operational section of the chart for the application state. Submit all documents required by the application state as Item 12 of the application.

13.   NAIC Biographical Affidavits

  1. The Applicant Company is required to submit an NAIC Biographical Affidavit in connection with pending or future application(s) for licensure or a permit to organize with a department of insurance in one or more states. The Applicant Company must submit an NAIC Biographical Affidavit on behalf of all officers, directors and key managerial personnel of the Applicant Company and individuals with a ten percent (10%), or more, beneficial ownership in the Applicant Company and the Applicant Company’s ultimate controlling parent (“Affiant”).

  2. The UCAA defines "Independent Third Party" as:

    1. A consumer reporting agency (“CRA”) overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and, therefore, subject to the FCRA, which have been vetted and is currently on the approved list;
    2. Has the ability to perform international background investigations; and
    3. One whose officers and directors have no material affiliation with the Applicant Company other than stock ownership amounting to less than one percent (1%) of total stock outstanding, unless prior approval is given by the department of insurance to which application is being made.

  3. The NAIC Biographical Affidavit requests information with respect to your employment history, education, personal information and character. The NAIC Biographical Affidavit also includes the Disclosure and Authorization Concerning Background Reports (the “Disclosure & Authorization Form”). The signature of the Affiant on the Disclosure & Authorization Form permits an Independent Third Party to conduct a background investigation on the Affiant.

  4. The NAIC Biographical Affidavit includes three types of the Disclosure & Authorization Form. There are three different Disclosure & Authorization Forms since certain state laws, regulations and rules require different kinds of disclosures and wording within such form. An Affiant must sign the corresponding Disclosure & Authorization Form(s) for the respective state(s) where the affiant has lived or worked within the last ten (10) years. Refer to the Disclosure & Authorization Forms for further information.

  5. The NAIC Biographical Affidavit is used to evaluate the suitability, competency, character and integrity of the Affiant in connection with an Applicant Company’s pending or future application(s) for licensure or a permit to organize with a department of insurance in one or more states.

    The Independent Third Party uses information contained in the NAIC Biographical Affidavit as a tool to perform a background investigation to determine an individual’s fitness and propriety. The background investigation may contain information bearing on the Affiant’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, mode of living and credit standing (if required by the state). The Independent Third Party shall use the background investigation to create a background report (the “Background Report”).

  6. The Disclosure & Authorization Form is valid for a maximum of one year.  Additionally, an Affiant may revoke the authorization at any time by delivering a written revocation to the Applicant Company. Refer to the Disclosure & Authorization Form for further information.

  7. The Background Reports are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). Pursuant to FCRA, the state departments of insurance and an Applicant Company who is seeking admission are “users” of consumer reports. The FCRA requires that the Applicant Company provide the Affiant with a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” The Applicant Company should provide a copy of the “Summary of Your Rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act” to each Affiant. This summary can be found at the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC") website

  8. The Applicant Company and state departments of insurance are required to comply with FCRA, especially as it relates to confidentiality of the information contained in such consumer reports. To the extent required by law, the states and Third-Party Vendors should maintain the Background Reports procured under the Disclosure & Authorization Form as confidential. A copy of the FCRA is located here.

  9. The department of insurance in the state where an Applicant Company files, or intends to file, an application and the Applicant Company may require the Background Report. An Affiant who desires a copy of their Background Report may request a copy from the Applicant Company or the CRA as indicated on the Disclosure & Authorization Form. Refer to the Disclosure & Authorization Form for further information.

  10. Please check state requirements for those states that require additional background information, such as fingerprints, in place of, or in addition to, NAIC Biographical Affidavits. If applying in one of those states, necessary fingerprints and  processing fees should be included.

Refer to the UCAA website for a list of currently approved Independent Third-Party Vendors/CRAs.

NAIC Biographical Affidavits must be completed on the most current form [Word | PDF], in effect at the time the affidavit was signed and the affiant shall not sign the Affidavits more than one year before the date the Applicant Company files the application.

Submit original Biographical Affidavits (Form 11) that contain the Disclosure & Authorization Forms to the state department(s) of insurance as Item 13 of the application

14.  State-Specific Information

Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements  before a Certificate of Authority is issued. Before completing a UCAA Primary Application, the Applicant Company should review the list of requirements for the application state. State-specific requirements are listed on the UCAA website. Submit state-specific requirements as Item 14 of the application

Primary Application Section III
Filing Requirements - Redomestications Only

The requirements of this section are only for those Applicant Company’s seeking to redomesticate from one state to another and are in addition to the requirements of Section II, Items 1 through 14 of the Primary Application. A redomestication is the process whereby any insurer organized under the laws of any state may become a domestic insurer that transfers its domicile to another state by merger or consolidation or any other lawful method. The Applicant Company files the Primary Application with the Applicant Company’s new state of domicile when used for a redomestication.

Table of Contents

  1. Annual Statements with Attachments
  2. Quarterly Financial Statements
  3. Risk-Based Capital Report
  4. Independent CPA Audit Report
  5. Reports of Examination
  6. Certificate of Compliance

15. Annual Statement with Attachments

Include a copy of the Applicant Company’s most recent annual statement as filed in the current state of domicile including all statements and supplements in accordance with the Annual Statement Instructions, including the Statement of Actuarial Opinion and Management’s Discussion and Analysis. The annual statement should be signed and verified, and include an original certification from the state insurance regulatory agency of the Applicant Company’s domiciliary state.

Include one copy of the Applicant Company’s annual statement for the two (2) preceding years in addition to the most recent annual statement.

Property/Casualty insurers must attach the Insurance Expense Exhibit, Accident and Health Policy Experience Exhibit and/or Schedule P to the annual statement.

Life insurers must include a Certificate of Valuation from the domiciliary state insurance regulatory agency.

Members of a holding company system must attach a copy of the most recent consolidated annual statement, if filed with its current state of domicile. Submit the annual statement, with the necessary attachments, as Item 15 of the application.

16. Quarterly Statements

Include one (1) copy of each quarterly statement that follows the most recent annual statement. In addition, the Applicant Company must immediately forward any new quarterly statements that become available while the application is pending to all states in which applications are pending. Submit the quarterly statements as Item 16 of the application.

17. Risk-Based Capital Report

Include a Risk-Based Capital Report, submitted in the level of detail required by the NAIC, as Item 17 of the application. Please note that the states will maintain confidentiality of these reports.

18. Independent CPA Audit Report

Include a CPA Audit Report, performed by a certified public accountant that is not an employee of the Applicant Company. Submit the CPA Audit Report as Item 18 of the application. Some states allow exemptions to this requirement for small insurers. Please contact the states individually regarding exemptions.

19. Reports of Examination

The application must include a copy of the Applicant Company’s most recent Report of Financial Examination from its domiciliary state. The Applicant Company must also note all more recent examinations completed by any state, including market conduct examinations, and provide a description of each examination. The Reports of Examination Requirements chart is available on the UCAA website. Submit the Report of Financial Examination and a list of more recent examinations with descriptions as Item 19 of the application.

20. Certificate of Compliance

Include a Certificate of Compliance (Form 6) with the application. Please refer to the Certificate of Compliance and Certificate of Deposit Requirements chart on the UCAA website for specific requirements for the date of issuance of the Certificate of Compliance (Form 6) from the file date of the application. The current domiciliary state must complete the Certificate of Compliance. Submit as Item 20 of the application.

Primary Application Section IV
How to File

To facilitate the prompt review of the Primary Application, please ensure that the application adheres to the formatting instructions provided in this section. States will not accept for filing any applications that fail to meet these formatting requirements. Section IV will address the following areas:

  1. Communication Between Applicant Company and Agency
  2. Questions
  3. Application Checklist
  4. Application and Supporting Documents
  5. Addresses for Submission of Application
  6. Updates/Changes
  7. Filing Fee
  8. Forms
  9. State-Specific Information

1. Communication Between Applicant Company and Agency

Once the state accepts a Primary Application for filing, the state will notify the Applicant Company of the official filing date and agency contact person. The state will provide names, addresses, email (if available) and telephone numbers of the individual(s) assigned to the application.

Prior to receiving the name of the agency contact person, an Applicant Company may contact the agency personnel listed on the Addresses and Contacts for Submission of Application chart located on the UCAA website to obtain information regarding the status of a Primary Application.

2. Questions

Section II and Section III, Filing Requirements, provide detailed guidelines regarding both the type and format of information required for the Primary Application. In most cases, the state provides an agency contact person for each item in the Filing Requirements section. For additional information, or clarification, Applicant Company’s may use the contact names provided in the Addresses and Contacts for Submission of Application chart located on the UCAA website.

3. Application Checklist

The application checklist (Form 1P) is available on the UCAA website and provides a guide for assembling a complete application. Complete the checklist before submitting a Primary Application for review. Attach a completed checklist to the top of each application.

4. Application and Supporting Documents

Submit one copy of the Checklist, completed application and all supporting documentation to the reviewing state. California, Kentucky and New York require two (2) complete copies. Each item identified in Section II and Section III of the Filing Requirements should have a cover sheet as specified below.

Each cover sheet should be on paper suitable for use as a cover sheet, such as binder divider pages.

The Applicant Company needs to tab each cover sheet on the right-hand side of the page with a number corresponding to the document’s item number in the Primary Application checklist.

If a particular item is not included with the cover sheet, the Applicant Company must attach to the cover sheet a written explanation stating the reason the item has not been included. Set forth below are examples of why the Applicant Company may not attach a particular item to the cover sheet.

  • “Item not applicable to this application for the following reason ... (state reason).”
  • “Item has been attached separately because of size.”

5. Addresses for Submission of Application

Submit the application by mailing it to the appropriate address noted on the chart,  Addresses and Contact Information for Submission of Application, on the UCAA website.

6. Updates/Changes

The Applicant Company is responsible for informing states of any significant changes that occur or that the Applicant Company discovers during the application review period. Examples of significant changes include: changes in officers and directors, material acquisition or disposal of assets, changes in reinsurance, acquisition of the insurer, change in proposed shareholders, regulatory actions taken against the insurer, change in current business plan, etc.

The Applicant Company must supply revised forms promptly if any changes occur that materially affect the accuracy of the forms filed in support of the application. For example, the Applicant Company must forward new quarterly statements as soon as they become available.

7. Filing Fee

Please see the Filing Fees - Primary and Expansion Applications located on the UCAA website to determine the correct fee and filing instructions for the application state.

8. Forms

All forms are available on the UCAA website under the Primary Application tab and UCAA Forms. All forms can be downloaded, printed and submitted with a completed application. The forms MUST NOT be altered. At this time, the forms cannot be submitted electronically.

9. State-Specific Information

Some jurisdictions may have additional requirements that the Applicant Company must meet before a state can issue a Certificate of Authority. Before completing a UCAA Primary Application, the Applicant Company should review a listing of requirements for the application state. State requirements are on the UCAA website under State-Specific Requirements.