(1) General contract reserve requirements are:
(a) Contract reserves are required, unless otherwise specified in (b) of this subsection for:
(i) All individual and group contracts with which level premiums are used; or
(ii) All individual and group contracts with respect to which, due to the gross premium pricing structure at issue, the value of the future benefits at any time exceeds the value of any appropriate future valuation net premiums at that time. The insurer shall determine the values specified in this item (ii) on the basis specified in subsection (2) of this section.
(b) Contracts not requiring a contract reserve are:
(i) Contracts which cannot be continued after one year from issue; or
(ii) Contracts already in force on the effective date of these standards for which no contract reserve was required under the immediately preceding standards.
(c) The contract reserve is in addition to claim reserves and premium reserves; and
(d) The insurer shall use methods and procedures for contract reserves that are consistent with those for claim reserves for any contract, or else shall make appropriate adjustment when necessary to assure provision for the aggregate liability. The insurer shall use the same definition of the date of incurral in both determinations.
(2) The basis for determining minimum standards for contract reserves are:
(a) Minimum standards with respect to morbidity are those set forth in WAC 284-16-500
. Valuation net premiums used under each contract must have a structure consistent with the gross premium structure at issue of the contract as this relates to advancing age of insured, contract duration and period for which gross premiums have been calculated. The insurer shall value contracts for which tabular morbidity standards are not specified in WAC 284-16-500
using tables established for reserve purposes by a qualified actuary and acceptable to the commissioner.
(b) The maximum interest rate is specified in WAC 284-16-520
(c) The insurer shall use termination rates in the computation of reserves on the basis of a mortality table as specified in WAC 284-16-530
except as noted in (d) of this subsection.
(d) Under contracts for which premium rates are not guaranteed, and where the effects of insurer underwriting are specifically used by policy duration in the valuation morbidity standard, the insurer may use total termination rates at ages and durations where these exceed specified mortality table rates, but not in excess of the lesser of:
(i) Eighty percent of the total termination rate used in the calculation of the gross premiums; or
(ii) Eight percent.
(e) Where a morbidity standard specified in WAC 284-16-500
is on an aggregate basis, the insurer may adjust the morbidity standard to reflect the effect of insurer underwriting by policy duration. The adjustments shall be appropriate to the underwriting and be acceptable to the commissioner.
(f) Reserve method:
(i) For insurance, except long-term care and medicare supplement insurance, the minimum reserve is the reserve calculated on the two-year full preliminary term method; that is, under which the terminal reserve is zero at the first and also the second contract anniversary.
(ii) For long-term care insurance and medicare supplemental insurance as governed by WAC 284-66-210
the minimum reserve is the reserve calculated on the one-year full preliminary term method.
(g) The preliminary term method may be applied only in relation to the date of issue of a contract. Reserve adjustments introduced later, as a result of rate increases, revisions in assumptions or for other reasons, are to be applied immediately as of the effective date of adoption of the adjusted basis.
(h) The insurer may offset negative reserves on any benefit against positive reserves for other benefits in the same contract, but the total contract reserve with respect to all benefits combined may not be less than zero.
(3) Provided the contract reserve on all contracts to which an alternative method or basis is applied is not less in the aggregate than the amount determined according to the applicable standards specified above; an insurer may use any reasonable assumptions as to interest rates, termination and/or mortality rates, and rates of morbidity or other contingency. Also, subject to the preceding condition, the insurer may employ methods other than the methods stated above in determining a sound value of its liabilities under such contracts, including, but not limited to the following:
(a) The net level premium method;
(b) The one-year full preliminary term method;
(c) Prospective valuation on the basis of actual gross premiums with reasonable allowances for future expenses;
(d) The use of approximations such as those involving age groupings, groupings of several years of issue, average amounts of indemnity, grouping of similar contract forms;
(e) The computation of the reserve for one contract benefit as a percentage of, or by other relation to, the aggregate contract reserves exclusive of the benefit or benefits so valued; and
(f) The use of a composite annual claim cost for all or any combination of the benefits included in the contracts valued.
(4) Tests for adequacy and reasonableness of contract reserves.
(a) Annually, the insurer shall make an appropriate review of the insurer's prospective contract liabilities on contracts valued by tabular reserves, to determine the continuing adequacy and reasonableness of the tabular reserves giving consideration to future gross premiums. The insurer shall make appropriate increments to such tabular reserves if such tests indicate that the basis of such reserves is no longer adequate; subject, however, to the minimum standards of subsection (2) of this section.
(b) If an insurer has a contract or a group of related similar contracts, for which future gross premiums will be restricted by contract, commissioner's regulation, or for some other reasons, such that the future gross premiums reduced by expenses for administration, commissions, and taxes will be insufficient to cover future claims, the insurer shall establish contract reserves for such shortfalls in the aggregate.