400-A:16 Investigations, Enforcement.
I. The commissioner may conduct such investigations in addition to those specifically provided for as he or she may find necessary in order to promote the efficient administration of the provisions of this title.
II. Any individual or entity who transacts insurance in this state or is otherwise subject to the authority of the commissioner shall, upon request of the commissioner, provide the commissioner with all documents and information relevant to any investigation under this section within 10 working days, or shall request within the 10 working-day period, for good cause shown, additional time to respond.
III. Except as provided in subparagraphs (a)-(d), any documents, materials, or other information in the control or possession of the insurance department that is furnished by an insurer, producer, or an employee or agent thereof acting on behalf of the insurer or producer, or from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, its affiliates or subsidiaries, or from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, or is otherwise obtained by the commissioner in an investigation pursuant to this section shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to RSA 91-A, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. Neither the commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to this section. No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized herein. The following shall apply:
(a) The commissioner may use documents, materials, or other information obtained through an investigation in furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as part of the commissioner's duties.
(b) The commissioner may share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or other information under paragraph III, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies including the Bank for International Settlements, with the International Association of Insurance Supervisors or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, their affiliates or subsidiaries, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities; provided, that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, or other information.
(c) The commissioner may disclose to an insured or claimant who has filed a complaint against an insurer, a copy of the insurance company's letter to the department in response to the complaint. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, to identify those documents obtained from the company during the course of the investigation of the insured's or claimant's complaint that may be disclosed upon request to assist the insured or claimant in understanding the basis for the department's actions related to the investigation. The commissioner shall not disclose to an insured or claimant any information that would interfere with any civil, criminal, or administrative enforcement proceeding.
(d) The commissioner may disclose to the public the number and nature of complaints and inquiries filed by consumers with the department; provided, however, no information exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A shall be disclosed and no disclosure shall abridge the privacy interests of any consumer filing such a complaint or inquiry.
IV. The commissioner may institute suits or other legal proceedings as necessary for the enforcement of any rules, regulations, or provisions of this title.
V. If the commissioner has reason to believe that any person has violated any provision of this title for which criminal prosecution is provided, he or she shall so inform the attorney general. The attorney general shall promptly institute such action or proceedings against such person as in his or her opinion the information may require or justify.
VI. The attorney general, upon request of the commissioner, is authorized to proceed in the courts of any other state or in any federal court or agency to enforce an order or decision of any court, proceeding or in any administrative proceeding before the commissioner.
Source. 1971, 244:1. 1987, 411:5. 1988, 62:5. 2008, 67:1. 2009, 178:1. 2012, 100:4, eff. July 28, 2012.