20-279.33A. Religious organizations; self-insurance.

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article or Article 13 of this Chapter, any recognized religious organization having established tenets or teachings and that has been in existence at all times since December 31, 1950, may qualify as a self-insurer by obtaining a certificate of self-insurance from the Commissioner as provided in subsection (c) of this section if the Commissioner determines that all of the following conditions are met:

(1) Members of the religious organization operate five or more vehicles that are registered in this State and are either owned or leased by them.

(2) Members of the religious organization hold a common belief in mutual financial assistance in time of need to the extent that they share in financial obligations of other members who would otherwise be unable to meet their obligations.

(3) The religious organization has met all of its insurance obligations for the five years preceding its application.

(4) The religious organization is financially solvent and not subject to any actions in bankruptcy, trusteeship, receivership, or any other court proceeding in which the financial solvency of the religious organization is in question.

(5) Neither the religious organization nor any of its participating members has any judgments arising out of the operation, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle taken against them that have remained unsatisfied for more than 30 days after becoming final.

(6) There are no other factors that cause the Commissioner to believe that the religious organization and its participating members are not of sufficient financial ability to pay judgments against them.

(7) The religious organization and its participating members meet other requirements that the Commissioner by administrative rule prescribes.

(b) The Commissioner may, in the Commissioner's discretion, upon the application of a religious organization, issue a certificate of self-insurance when the Commissioner is satisfied that the religious organization is possessed and will continue to be possessed of an ability to pay any judgments that might be rendered against the religious organization. The certificate shall serve as evidence of insurance for the purposes of G.S. 20-7(c1), 20-13.2(e), 20-16.1, 20-19(k), and 20-179.3(l).

(c) A group issued a certificate of self-insurance under this section shall notify the Commissioner in writing if any person ceases to be a member of the group. The group shall notify the Commissioner within 10 days of the person's removal or departure from the group.

(d) The Commissioner may, at any time after the issuance of a certificate of self-insurance under this subsection, cancel the certificate by giving 30 days' written notice of cancellation to the religious organization whenever there is reason to believe that the religious organization to whom the certificate was issued is no longer qualified as a self-insurer under this section. (2006-145, s. 5.)