Under current law, with certain exceptions, an insurance company that is formed by authority of any other state or government (foreign insurance company) may not transact business in Colorado until it has first appointed, in writing, the commissioner of insurance (commissioner) to be the true and lawful attorney of the company in and for Colorado, upon whom all lawful process in any action or proceeding against the company may be served with the same effect as if the company existed in Colorado. However, an insurance company that maintains a home office or regional home office in Colorado is not subject to this requirement but must instead file with the commissioner the name of a person designated to receive service of process.
The bill removes the requirement that a foreign insurance company appoint the commissioner as its lawful attorney for receipt of service of process and instead requires each insurance company to designate a registered agent for receipt of service of process regardless of whether the insurance company maintains a home office or regional home office in Colorado. However, service of process may be made on the commissioner if:
- An insurance company fails to appoint or maintain a registered agent as required;
- An insurance company's registered agent cannot be found with reasonable diligence; or
- An insurance company's certificate of authority is revoked.
If an individual reasonably relies on the list of registered agents maintained by the commissioner and serves otherwise valid process on the registered agent of an insurance company so designated in the list, and it is later determined that the registered agent listed by the commissioner is not the correct registered agent properly designated by the company, then:
- The individual may serve process upon the commissioner; and
- If the individual uses due diligence to serve the commissioner, the applicable statute of limitations is tolled for the period of time beginning when the incorrect registered agent received service of process and ending when the commissioner receives service of process.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)