Consumer Information

Industry Information


Commissioner's Corner

Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
840 Helena Ave.
Helena, Montana 59601

(800) 332-6148
(406) 444-2040

(406) 444-3497
(406) 444-3413

(406) 444-3426

Insurance Rates & Forms
General Processing Procedures

General Processing Procedure for Form and Rate Filings

General Processing Procedure for Form Filing
Rate Review
Life and Disability Insurance Rates
Property & Casualty Rate/Rating Plan Filings
Filing Fees

Insurance companies are required to file all of the policy forms used in Montana, as well as some types of rates and rating plans used in pricing their Montana insurance products. The Rates & Forms Section is responsible for the review of all of these filings to assure that these insurance company forms and rates comply with Montana law.

Analysts review policy forms to determine if they comply with Montana law or if they are inequitable, unfairly discriminatory, misleading, deceptive, obscure, unfair, encourage misrepresentation, or are not in the public interest. Actuaries are charged with examining and analyzing rates and rating plan filings to determine if they are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory as defined in statute. The actuaries also participate in the financial examination of insurance companies. This involvement includes but is not limited to the analysis of the adequacy of reserves.

General Processing Procedure for Form Filing:
Note: Prior approval is required for use of all forms as well as some types of rates.

1. A filing is received and stamped with a "received" date stamp, indicating it has passed through our mailroom.

2. The filing is then stored in date order until review.

3. The filing is examined on a first in/first out basis to determine if the submission is in compliance with applicable laws.

4. If a submission passes examination, it is stamped "Forms approved for use".

5. If the submission does not pass examination, a form letter will be sent to the company identifying problems, requesting additional information, etc. to facilitate compliance. If no response is received within 10 days, the file is disapproved, and a new submission is required if any additional review is expected. A form cannot be used until it is approved for use.

6. Responses to objection letters received are reviewed in date order to determine if the problems have been corrected.

6a. If appropriate corrections have been made, the submission will
be stamped "forms approved for use".

6b. If the appropriate corrections have not been made, the submission
will be stamped "Disapproved".

6b(1). Disapproved submissions are dead files at this point.
A complete new submission must be filed to be considered for review.


Rate Review

Generally, rates are reviewed on a first in/first out basis. However, certain types of filings have other deadlines mandated by state law requiring earlier review. The procedure varies between life and disability insurance products and property and casualty insurance products.


Life and Disability Insurance Rates

All life and disability insurance premium rates must be reasonable in relation to the benefits provided, must comply with Montana's non-gender law, and must not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. Any life and disability insurance premium rates may be analyzed by the life and health actuary to check for compliance with these requirements.

Filing of rates is required for only 3 life and disability products--Medicare supplement insurance, credit life insurance and credit disability insurance. Premium rates for these 3 products may not be used until they are approved for use.

Life and disability insurance rate filings must be accompanied by an actuarial memorandum, which describes the rating process. The information required in the actuarial memorandum varies between Medicare supplement insurance and credit life and credit disability insurance.

The actuarial memorandum for Medicare supplement rate filings must include a loss ratio history and a loss ratio projection as required by 6.6.508 ARM (Administrative Rules of Montana), both on a national basis and on a Montana-only basis. Each loss ratio exhibit must show the actual or projected earned premiums and incurred claims and the number of insureds covered under the plan for each year for which the data is available. Including the trend assumption used in the rating and a history of past rate increases, both nationally and in Montana only, will aid the actuary in the analysis.

The actuarial memorandum for credit life and credit disability rate filings must show that the rates comply with the requirements of 6.6.1101 through 1110 ARM. Rates which are not higher than the prima facie rates published in 6.6.1101 and 1103 ARM and which are converted to another basis through the formulas in those sections are eligible for approval as long as the experience meets the loss ratio requirements of 6.6.1110 ARM. Any request for a rate deviation will require an actuarial justification showing why the increase is deemed to be necessary.

Property & Casualty Rate/Rating Plan Filings

All property and casualty rates and rating plans intended for use in the state are required by law to be filed by insurance companies with supporting data to substantiate the filing. The supporting data required varies by the type of filing. The supporting data needs to show that the rate/rating plan is not inadequate, excessive or unfairly discriminatory.

With the exception of certain kinds of workers compensation filings, all property and casual rates and rating plans are subject to "file and use" laws. Workers compensation rate filings that adopt the designated advisory organization loss costs with or without modification, which are at or above the designated advisory organization loss costs are subject to the "file and use" laws. All other workers compensation rates and rating plans must be filed 30 days before the effective date and are subject to prior approval. Crop-hail rate filings must be filed yearly and must be received by the office on or before March 15. With the exception of certain workers compensation filings, property and casualty rates may be used once filed with supporting data.

The general processing procedure of a rate or rating plan filing is similar in most respects to the process for form filings with a few exceptions. All property and casualty filings are reviewed for compliance with the law and administrative rules on a first in/first out basis with the exception of workers compensation filings. 

Filing Fees

For most all filings, fees are not required.