The Insurance Commissioner is appointed as the registered agent to receive Service of Process at the time a foreign insurance company (including a health entity) is licensed to transact business in North Dakota. An Agent for Service of Process (SFN 8330) form must be filed by the company in its license application. Any lawful service on the Commissioner binds the company as though it was served directly.
Service of Process means service of summonses and complaints, including a third-party summons and complaint, show cause orders or writs that are issued by or under the authority of a court and which commence a legal cause of action against an authorized insurer. It does not include discovery requests, pleadings in suits that have already been commenced (except in cases where the pleading commences a legal cause of action against an authorized insurer), defense tenders, arbitration demands, liens, purely informational notices, briefs, or demands, and similar documents. The Commissioner’s authority continues in force so long as any liability of the company remains outstanding in this state.
The Commissioner is also the appointed agent to accept service of process against the following registered entities:
- Purchasing group-except as noted under N.D.C.C. § 26.1-46-07(3)
- Risk retention company-chartered in another state
- Surplus lines insurer
- Advisory organizations
- Gift annuities entity
- Premium finance company
- Prepaid legal services organization if domiciled in another state
- Reinsurance intermediary-nonresident
- Viatical settlement providers and brokers-nonresident
The service of any lawful process upon the Commissioner must be made by filing two copies of the document being served.
The Commissioner will mail one copy of the documents served to the company's president or chief executive officer at the mailing address listed in the most recently filed financial statement. In the alternative, the company may designate a specific party to receive these documents by submitting the designation in writing to the North Dakota Insurance Department.
The Secretary of State is an appointed agent to accept lawful process against any unauthorized insurance company transacting business in North Dakota. To serve an unauthorized company the law requires that two copies of the documents be served on the Secretary of State along with the fee required by law. These provisions do not limit or affect the right to serve any process upon the unauthorized insurer by any other manner permitted by law, such as direct service on the insurer.