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certificate, shall be received in all courts and places as presumptive legal evidence of the facts therein stated.
Sec. 641. TITLE AND FIRE INSURANCE COMPANIES MAY BECOME PERPETUAL.–Any company heretofore formed, agreeably to law, for the purpose of insuring titles to real estate, or for the purpose of carrying on fire insurance, may become perpetual by filing, in the office of the recorder of deeds, a certificate to that effect, in like manner as is provided by law for the filing of the original certificate of incorporation.
Sec. 642. SALE OF UNCLAIMED FREIGHT, AND SO FORTH.— Whenever any freight, baggage, or other property transported by a common carrier to, or deposited with a common carrier at, any point in the District of Columbia, shall remain unclaimed by the owner or consignee, or the charges thereon shall remain unpaid for the space of six months after arrival at the point to which the same shall have been directed or transported, or after deposit as aforesaid, and the owner or person to whom the same is consigned, or by whom the same shall have been deposited, shall, after notice of such arrival, or after notice to take away such property so deposited, neglect or refuse to receive the same and pay the charges thereon within such period of six months, then it shall be lawful for such carrier to sell such freight, baggage, or other property at public auction, after giving three weeks' notice of the time and place of sale, once a week for three successive weeks, in a newspaper published in the District of Columbia.
Sec. 643. Upon the application of such carrier, verified by affidavit, to the supreme court of the District of Columbia holding a special term, setting forth that the place of residence of the owner or consignee of any such freight, baggage, or other property is unknown, or that such freight, baggage, or other property is of such perishable nature, or so damaged, or showing any other cause that shall render it impracticable to give the notice or delay the sale for the period provided in the next preceding section, then it shall be lawful for such court to make an order authorizing the sale of such freight, baggage, or other property upon such terms as to notice as the nature of the case may admit of and to such court shall seem meet: Provided, That in case of perishable property the affidavit and proceedings required and authorized by this section may be had before a justice of the peace in cases where the value of the property involved does not exceed three hundred dollars.
Sec. 644. The residue of moneys arising from any such sale, under either of the two next preceding sections, after deducting the amount of charges, including charges for transportation, the cost of handling and storage, demurrage, and the costs and expenses of proceedings to authorize the sale, and of advertising and sale, shall be paid to the owner of such freight, baggage, or other property on demand.
Subchapter V.-INSURANCE COMPANIES.
Sec. 645. DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE.—There shall be, and is hereby, established in the District a department of insurance, under the direction of the Commissioners of the District. The said Commissioners are authorized and directed to appoint a superintendent of insurance, at an annual salary of [two] three thousand five hundred dollars, and one clerk, at an annual salary of one thousand dollars. The said superintendent and clerk shall devote their services exclusively to the business of said department. Said superintendent shall have supervision of all matters pertaining to insurance, insurance companies, and beneficial orders and associations, subject only to the general supervision of the Commissioners.
Sec. 646. DUTIES OF SUPERINTENDENT, AND SO FORTH.-It shall be the duty of said superintendent to see that all laws of the United States relating to insurance or insurance companies, benefit orders, and associations doing business in the District are faithfully executed; to keep on file in his office copies of the charters, declarations of organization, or articles of incorporation of every insurance company, benefit association or order, including life, fire, marine, accident, plate-glass, steam-boiler, burglary, cyclone, casualty, live-stock, credit, and maturity companies or associations doing business in the District; and before any such insurance company, association, or order shall be licensed to do business in the District it shall file with said superintendent a copy of its charter, declaration of organization, or articles of incorporation, duly certified in accordance with law by the insurance commissioners or other proper officer of the State, Territory, or nation where such company or association was organized; also a certificate setting forth that it is entitled to transact business and assume risks and issue policies of insurance therein; and if its principal office is located outside the District it shall appoint some suitable person, resident in said district, as its attorney, upon whom legal process may be served; and the fees for filing with the superintendent such papers as are required by this section shall be ten dollars, to be paid to the collector of taxes, and no other license fee shall be required of such insurance companies or associations except as provided in sections six hundred and fifty-four and six hundred and fifty-five of this subchapter. Said superintendent shall have power to make such rules and regulations, subject to the general supervision of the Commissioners, not inconsistent with law, as to make the conduct of each company in the same line of insurance conform in doing business in the District.
Sec. 647. ANNUAL STATEMENTS.—The said superintendent shall furnish, in December of each year, to every company or association hereinbefore mentioned, or its agent or attorney in the District, the necessary blank forms for the annual statements for such company or association, which shall be returned to the superintendent on or before the first day of March in each year, signed and sworn to by the president, or vice-president, and secretary, or assistant secretary, or if a foreign company by its manager or proper representative within the United States, showing its true financial condition as of the next preceding thirty-first day of December, which shall include a [detailed] classified statement of its assets and liabilities on that day, the amount and character of business transacted, losses sustained, and money received and expended during the year, and such other information as the said superintendent may deem necessary. Such annual statements shall be printed in at least one newspaper published in the District of Columbia, in the month of March in each year; and any such company or association failing to comply with the provisions aforesaid shall have its license to do business in the District revoked.
Sec. 648. PAID-UP CAPITAL REQUIRED), AND SO FORTH.—No fire insurance company, except mutual fire insurance companies organized in the District of Columbia under special act of Congress or the general laws of said District, or mutual companies of other States licensed to do business in the said District, which has a paid-up capital of less than one hundred thousand dollars, shall be permitted to do business therein, and all life and fire insurance companies or associations licensed to do business in said District shall be required to maintain a reinsurance reserve fund; and whenever any such company or association not excepted from the operations hereof shall become insolvent or impaired to the extent of twenty-five per centum of its capital stock it shall be the duty of the superintendent to suspend its license; and unless such impairment or insolvency shall be made good within sixty days thereafter, it shall be the duty of the superintendent of insurance to revoke its license to do business in the District; and it shall be unlawful for any insurance company, association, or order to do business in the District without a license, or to continue business after the revocation of its license, and any such company or association violating this provision shall be liable to a penalty of twenty dollars for each day it transacts business without such license, to be recovered by the Commissioners of the District by an action of debt in any court of the District of competent jurisdiction. And any person who shall aid in carrying on the business of any such company, or shall act as agent or solicitor for any company not licensed to do business in said District, or whose license is revoked, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and on conviction thereof in the police court of said District shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars, or, in default of payment thereof, by imprisonment in the jail of the District for not less than ten nor more than sixty days. And the superintendent of insurance shall issue such license to any such insurance company or association whenever it shall have complied with the provisions of section six hundred and forty-six of this subchapter, subject, however, to the provisions of sections six hundred and fifty-four and six hundred and fifty-five thereof: Provided, That the superintendent of insurance shall have power to make an official examination into the affairs of any insurance company or association organized under the laws of the District of Columbia, or having its principal office therein, at his discretion, for the purpose of ascertaining whether such company is impaired or insolvent, as aforesaid.
Sec. 649. DEPOSIT REQUIRED OF FOREIGN COMPANIES. —No insurance company or association organized outside the territorial limits of the United States shall be licensed to do business in the District until it shall have complied with the laws of some one of said States requiring a deposit of not less than one hundred thousand dollars, or deposited in the registry of the supreme court of the District United States or municipal bonds, the market value of which shall be not less than one hundred thousand dollars, to be approved by the superintendent of insurance and the Commissioners of the District, to be held and maintained unimpaired in the registry of said court as a reserve fund for the liquidation of any judgment or judgments that may be obtained against such insurance company or association in said court or any inferior court of competent jurisdiction in said District; and the financial statements of insurance companies or associations, required hereby to be filed annually with the superintendent of insurance, shall set forth specifically the assets, liabilities, and conduct of the affairs of such com
panies or associations within the United States, and such statement shall be verified under oath by the manager and assistant manager or other proper officers of such companies or associations within the United States; and so much of this subchapter as requires the publication of annual statements shall only extend to the statements respecting the affairs of such foreign companies or associations within the United States.
Sec. 650. STATEMENT OF BUSINESS IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Every insurance company and association doing business in the District of Columbia shall, through its local agents or representatives, furnish to the superintendent, during the month of January of each year, a statement of its business in said District, setting forth specifically the net amount of its premium receipts, the amount of losses paid, the amount of expenses incurred, respecting the business done in the District during the calendar year next preceding, and said superintendent shall preserve a separate record of the same in his office for convenient reference, showing the ratio of such losses and expenses, respectively, to said premium receipts, ["]and all insurance companies of every description, except mutual fire insurance companies, shall pay to the collector of taxes before March first of each year a sum equal to one and one-half per centum of said premium receipts of the last preceding calendar year, in lieu of all other taxes, except taxes upon real estate and any license fees provided for in sections six hundred and fifty-four and six hundred and fifty-five; and upon the failure of any company to pay said taxes before March first, as aforesaid, the license of said company shall be revoked and a penalty of eight per centum per month shall be charged against said company, which, together with said taxes, shall be collected before said company shall be allowed to resume business.["]
Sec. 651. SUPERINTENDENT TO MAKE ANNUAL REPORT.-The superintendent of insurance shall report annually to the Commissioners of the District, on or before the thirty-first day of March, the financial condition of each insurance company and association doing business in said District, as of the thirty-first day of December next preceding.
Sec. 652. INQUIRIES AS TO DISTRICT COMPANIES.-It shall be the duty of the said superintendent of insurance to ascertain whether the capital required by law or the charter of each insurance company or association organized under the laws of the District of Columbia has been actually paid up in cash and is held by its board of directors subject to their control, according to the provisions of their charter, or has been invested in property worth not less than the full amount of the capital stock required by its charter; or, if a mutual company, that it has received and is in actual possession of securities, as the case may be, to the full extent of the value required by its charter; and the president and secretary of such company or association shall make a declaration under oath to said superintendent, who is hereby empowered to administer oaths when hereby required, that the tangible assets exhibited to him represent bona fide the property of the company or association, which sworn declaration shall be filed and preserved in the office of said superintendent; and any such officer swearing falsely in regard to any of the provisions hereof shall be deemed guilty of perjury and shall be subject to all the penalties now prescribed by law in the District of Columbia for that crime.
Sec. 653. ASSESSMENT COMPANIES. -Insurance companies or associations transacting the business of life insurance on the assessment plan, organized under the laws of the District of Columbia or of any State of the United States, and doing business in said District, shall not be required to comply with the provisions of the next preceding section in regard to its assets; but such assessment companies or associations shall be required, as a condition of license to do business in said District, to file annually in the month of January with said superintendent a sworn statement setting forth that they are paying, and for the twelve months next preceding have paid, the maximum amount named in their policies or certificates of membership when and as the same become due and payable, and that one assessment upon their members is sufficient to pay the maximum amount for such certificate or policy issued, and such other information as he may require. Such assessment companies or associations shall also furnish said superintendent evidence that they hold an emergency or surplus fund as a guaranty for the payment of future death claims when the same is required by the charter or constitution of the company or association; and any such company or association licensed to do an insurance business refusing or neglecting to furnish such certificate shall have its license to do business in the District of Columbia revoked; but the provisions of this section shall apply only to associations transacting life insurance upon the assessment plan.
Sec. 654. INSURANCE AGENTS.—No person, firm, or corporation shall act as agent for any insurance company or association, or act as insurance broker or agent for procuring or placing insurance for commissions, compensation, gain, or protit, without first having obtained a license as an insurance agent or broker from the superintendent of insurance of the District. Every such license certificate shall have printed conspicuously upon its face the words “General insurance license,” and for such license the sum of fifty dollars shall be paid annually in the month of March to the collector of taxes of said District. All licenses for insurance companies, their agents, or solicitors, who may apply for permission to do business in the District of Columbia shall date from the first of the month in which application is made and expire on the thirtieth day of April following, and payment shall be made in proportion. No person, firm, or corporation, or association shall allow or pay any commission, rebate, or compensation whatever, directly or indirectly, to, for, or in behalf of any person, firm, or corporation doing business in the District of Columbia not licensed as herein provided. Any violation of this section shall be a misdemeanor and, on conviction in the police court of said District, be subject to the penalties provided in section six hundred and fortyeight aforesaid for the misdemeanor's therein described: Provided, That licenses to firms, corporations, or associations shall be held to extend only to the bona fide copartners, not exceeding two in one firm, and to the secretary and one assistant secretary of each corporation or association so licensed, any one of whom may be held and dealt with on behalf of such firm, corporation, or association for any violation of the provisions hereof: And provided further, That all moneys paid as fines under the provisions hereof shall be turned over to the proper custodian of the relief or pension fund of the fire department of the District, to be used and accounted for agreeably to the then existing rules for the use of such relief or pension fund.