.04 Qualifications of Insurers.

A. An insurer may issue the contracts provided it:

(1) Otherwise qualifies as a life insurance company;

(2) Has surplus assets or funds (within the meaning of Insurance Article, §4-105, Annotated Code of Maryland) as of the end of the preceding calendar year of at least $1,000,000; and

(3) Complies with one of the following:

(a) Is limited by its charter and bylaws exclusively to the sale of contracts on a variable basis, including additional benefits operating to safeguard the contract from lapse, or to provide a special surrender value, or special benefit, or annuity, in the event of total and permanent disability of the holder. An insurance company so limited may not be disqualified by reason of being a subsidiary of a stock or mutual insurance company transacting other lines of business.

(b) Has assets in excess of $50,000,000 and has been licensed for the sale of life insurance and annuities in this State for at least 10 consecutive years immediately before the date of issuance of the contracts on a variable basis.

(c) Has capital and surplus funds in excess of $10,000,000, and has been continuously and actively engaged in the sale of contracts on a variable basis in its state of domicile for at least 5 consecutive years immediately before the effective date of the authorization to issue the contracts in Maryland.

(d) By reason of its capital structure, surplus, amount of business in force, and plan of operations, in the opinion of the Commissioner, substantially conforms to the requirements of §A(3)(a), (b), or (c) of this regulation, or affords equivalent protection to contract holders; and provided further that the insurer shall have been specifically authorized by the Commissioner to issue the contracts after demonstrating to the Commissioner's satisfaction that it is qualified to do so.

B. In determining the qualifications of the insurer, the Commissioner shall consider, among other things:

(1) The history, reputation, and financial stability of the insurer;

(2) The character, experience, and competence of the directors and officers of the insurer;

(3) The proposed methods of advertising, soliciting, and selling the contracts; and

(4) Whether, in the case of a foreign or alien insurer, regulation under the laws of its state of domicile provides protection to the public and to contract holders substantially equal to that provided by the laws of Maryland and the regulations of the Maryland Insurance Administration.