Senate Bill 203
151st General Assembly (2021 - 2022)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 8 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE GENERAL CORPORATION LAW.
Section 1. Section 1 of this Act amends Sections 145(c) and 145(g). Amended Section 145(c) corrects a typographical error but otherwise makes no substantive changes. The amendments to Section 145(g) expressly authorize a corporation to purchase and maintain insurance on behalf of its directors, officers, employees and other indemnifiable persons by or through a “captive insurance company,” which, in general, is an insurer directly or indirectly owned, controlled and funded by the corporation. The captive insurer may be licensed in Delaware or another jurisdiction. Like third-party insurance, the captive insurance may provide coverage for liabilities incurred by directors, officers, employees and others whether or not the corporation would have the power to indemnify them under Section 145. Thus, captive insurance could be used to provide coverage for, among other things, amounts paid to satisfy judgments and settlements of claims brought by or in the right of the corporation, even though the corporation would not have the power to indemnify the covered persons against such amounts. Amended Section 145(g) contemplates that captive insurance may be procured pursuant to any “fronting” or other reinsurance arrangement (such as when a corporation obtains insurance from a third-party insurer but, through a reinsurance policy, all or part of the risk of loss is transferred to a captive insurer). Section 145(g)(1) requires that a captive insurance policy must exclude from coverage, and must provide that the insurer may not make payment in respect, of any loss that arises out of, is based upon or is attributable to any personal profit or financial advantage to which the covered person was not legally entitled (e.g., an undue financial benefit from a self-dealing transaction), any deliberate criminal or deliberate fraudulent act, or any knowing violation of law. Despite these exclusions, directors may be covered under a captive insurance policy for certain liabilities that are not exculpable under Section 102(b)(7), including non-exculpated liability stemming from so-called Caremark or oversight claims where there is not otherwise a finding that the directors knowingly caused the corporation to violate the law. The coverage exclusions in Section 145(g)(1) only apply if the proscribed conduct has been established in a final, non-appealable adjudication in the underlying proceeding in respect of the claim. They do not apply if the proscribed conduct has been established in an adjudication in an ancillary proceeding by the insurer or the insured to determine coverage. Because the exclusions in Section 145(g)(1) are invoked only after an adjudication in the underlying proceeding, a captive insurance policy could cover amounts paid in settlement of proceedings that allege conduct referenced in Section 145(g)(1). Amended Section 145(g) makes clear that the conduct of one person insured under the captive policy will not be imputed to any other insured person for purposes of applying the conduct exclusions set forth in Section 145(g)(1). In addition, the exclusions in Section 145(g)(1) do not apply to the extent the corporation would otherwise be entitled to indemnify the covered person under the other provisions of Section 145. A corporation that establishes a captive insurance program may include in the insurance policy limitations or exclusions from coverage that are in addition to those prescribed by statute. Amended Section 145(g)(2) provides that any determination to make a payment under a captive insurance policy must be made either by a third-party administrator or in accordance with the procedures set forth in paragraphs (d)(1) through (4) of Section 145, to ensure that the persons claiming entitlement to payment under the captive insurance policy are not the same persons making the decision whether to pay claims under the policy. Amended Section 145(g)(3) provides that if any payment is to be made under the captive insurance policy in connection with the dismissal or compromise of any action, suit or proceeding by or in the right of the corporation as to which notice is required to be given to stockholders, the corporation must include in the notice that a payment is proposed to be made under the captive insurance policy in connection with the dismissal or compromise. Section 145(g)(3) thereby affords the reviewing court and stockholders an opportunity to consider the use of assets of the captive insurance company in connection with a compromise of such actions, suits or proceedings. However, amended Section 145(g) does not require a court to make any specific determinations with respect to payments by a captive insurer. The amendments to Section 145(g) make clear that a corporation that establishes and maintains a captive insurance company shall not, solely by virtue thereof, be subject to the provisions of Title 18 of the Delaware Code regulating insurance companies. The amendments to Section 145(g) are not intended to prohibit other forms of insurance that would have been permitted under the provisions of Section 145(g) that predated this amendment.