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      RS 22:290     


§290.  Organization

A domestic society organized pursuant to this Subpart shall be formed as follows:

(1)  Seven or more citizens of the United States, a majority of whom are citizens of this state, who desire to form a fraternal benefit society, may execute by authentic act or by private act duly acknowledged articles of incorporation, in which shall be stated:

(a)  The proposed corporate name of the society, which shall not so closely resemble the name of any other society or insurance company as to be misleading or confusing.

(b)  The purposes for which it is being formed and the mode in which its corporate powers are to be exercised.  Such purposes shall not include more liberal powers than are granted by this Subpart.

(c)  The names and resident addresses of the incorporators and the names, resident addresses, and official titles of all the officers, trustees, directors, or other persons who are to exercise general control of the management of the affairs and funds of the society for the first year or until the ensuing election at which all such officers shall be elected by the supreme governing body, which election shall be held not later than one year from the date of issuance of the permanent certificate of authority.

(2)  The articles of incorporation, certified copies of the society's bylaws and rules, copies of all proposed forms of certificates, applications therefor, and circulars to be issued by the society and a bond conditioned upon the return to applicants of the advanced payments if the organization is not completed within one year shall be filed with and approved by the commissioner of insurance, who may require such further information as the commissioner deems necessary.  The articles of incorporation, bylaws, and rules shall also be filed with the secretary of state.  The bond with sureties approved by the commissioner of insurance shall be in such amount, but not less than three hundred thousand dollars nor more than one million five hundred thousand dollars, as required by the commissioner of insurance of which the minimum must be maintained if the association is to maintain its certificate of authority.  All documents filed are to be in the English language.  If the purposes of the society conform to the requirements of this Subpart and all provisions of the law have been complied with, the commissioner of insurance shall so certify, and the secretary of state shall file the articles of incorporation in the manner provided in R.S. 22:64.  The commissioner of insurance shall furnish the incorporators a preliminary certificate of authority authorizing the society to solicit members as hereinafter provided.

(3)  No preliminary certificate of authority granted under the provisions of this Section shall be valid after one year from its date or after such further period, not exceeding one year, as may be authorized by the commissioner of insurance upon cause shown, unless the five hundred applicants hereinafter required have been secured and the organization has been completed as provided herein.  The articles of incorporation and all other proceedings thereunder shall become null and void in one year from the date of the preliminary certificate of authority, or at the expiration of the extended period, unless the society shall have completed its organization and received a certificate of authority to do business as provided hereinafter.

(4)  Upon receipt of a preliminary certificate of authority from the commissioner of insurance, the society may solicit members for the purpose of completing its organization, shall collect from each applicant the amount of not less than one regular monthly premium in accordance with its table of rates, and shall issue to each such applicant a receipt for the amount so collected.  No society shall incur any liability other than for the return of such advance premium, nor issue any certificate, nor pay, or allow, or offer or promise to pay or allow, any benefit to any person until all of the following conditions are met:

(a)  Actual bona fide applications for benefits have been secured on not less than five hundred applicants, and any necessary evidence of insurability has been furnished to and approved by the society.

(b)  At least ten subordinate lodges have been established into which the five hundred applicants have been admitted.

(c)  There has been submitted to the commissioner of insurance, under oath of the president or secretary, or corresponding officer of the society, a list of such applicants, giving their names and addresses, the date each was admitted, the name and number of the subordinate lodge of which each applicant is a member, the amount of benefits to be granted and the premiums collected therefor.

(d)  It shall have been shown to the commissioner of insurance, by sworn statement of the treasurer, or corresponding officer of such society, that at least five hundred applicants have each paid in cash at least one regular monthly premium as herein provided, which premiums in the aggregate shall amount to at least one hundred and fifty thousand dollars.  The advance premiums shall be held in trust during the period of organization and if the society has not qualified for a certificate of authority within one year, as provided herein, the premiums shall be returned to said applicants.

(5)  The commissioner of insurance may make such examination and require such further information as the commissioner deems advisable.  Upon presentation of satisfactory evidence that the society has complied with all the provisions of law, the commissioner shall issue to the society a certificate of authority to that effect and that the society is authorized to transact business pursuant to the provisions of this Subpart.  The certificate of authority shall be prima facie evidence of the existence of the society at the date of issuance of such certificate.  The commissioner of insurance shall cause a record of the certificate of authority to be made.  A certified copy of such record may be given in evidence with like effect as the original certificate of authority.

(6)  Any incorporated society authorized to transact business in this state shall not be required to reincorporate.  Any voluntary fraternal benefit association may incorporate hereunder.

Acts 1958, No. 125; Acts 1987, No. 470, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1988; Redesignated from R.S. 22:550 by Acts 2008, No. 415, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 503, §1.

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