31.15.07.09

.09 General Business Practices.

A. The methodology of §B of this regulation shall be used to determine whether an insurer has engaged in unfair claim settlement practices with such frequency as to constitute a general business practice within the meaning of Insurance Article, §27-304, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B. It shall be considered prima facie evidence of a general business practice of committing unfair claim settlement practices if, in any 12-month period, it is found that the number of unfair claim settlement practices with respect to claims handling by foreign insurers of claims of Maryland residents, or by domestic insurers of all claims of the insurer, equals or exceeds the following, if the total number of claims during any 12-month period is:

(1) Less than 10,000, three claims with the same unfair claim settlement practice out of a random sampling of 50 claims; or

(2) Ten thousand or more, six claims with the same unfair claim settlement practice out of a random sampling of 100 claims.

C. An insurer may overcome the presumption that a general business practice violation has occurred by presenting evidence to the Commissioner relating to the harm to claimants caused by the violation, the nature of the violation, the insurer's intent, and other relevant factors.