The Commission may acquire from an insurance company or insurance companies a group plan of professional liability insurance covering the law-enforcement officers and/or public officers and employees of any political subdivision of the State. The Commission shall have full authority to negotiate with insurance companies submitting bids or proposals and shall award its group plan master contract on the basis of the company or companies found by it to offer maximum coverage at the most reasonable premium. The Commission is authorized to enter into a master policy contract of such term as it finds to be in the best interests of the law-enforcement officers and/or public officers and employees of the political subdivisions of the State, not to exceed five years. The Commission, in negotiating for such contract, is not authorized to pledge or offer the credit of the State of North Carolina. The insurance premiums shall be paid by the political subdivisions whose employees are covered by the professional liability insurance. Any political subdivision may elect coverage for any or all of its employees on a departmental basis; provided all employees in a department must be covered if coverage is elected for that department. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to require any political subdivision to participate in any group plan of professional liability insurance.
The Commission may, in its discretion, employ professional and clerical staff whose salaries shall be as established by the State Personnel Commission.
Should the Commission determine that reasonable coverage is not available at a reasonable cost, the Commission may undertake such studies and inquiries into the situation and alternatives, including self insurance and State administered funds, as the Commission deems appropriate. The Commission shall then bring before the General Assembly such recommendations as it deems appropriate.
The Commission may acquire information regarding loss ratios, loss factors, loss experience and other such facts and figures from any agency or company issuing professional liability insurance covering public officers, employees or law-enforcement officers in the State of North Carolina. Such information shall not be deemed a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes where it names the company divulging such information, but the Commission may make public such information to show aggregate statistics in respect to the experience of the State as a whole. The information shall be provided to the Commission upon its written demand and shall be submitted to the Commission by such company or companies upon sworn affidavit. If any agency or company shall fail or refuse to supply such information to the Commission within a reasonable time following receipt of the demand, the Commission may apply to the Superior Court sitting in Wake County for appropriate orders to enforce the demand.
For purposes of this section, the term "political subdivision" includes any county, city, town, incorporated village, sanitary district, metropolitan water district, county water and sewer district, water and sewer authority, hospital authority, parking authority, local ABC boards, special airport district, airport authority, soil and water conservation district created pursuant to G.S. 139-5, fire district, volunteer or paid fire department, rescue squads, city or county parks and recreation commissions, area mental health boards, area mental health, mental retardation and substance abuse authority as described in G.S. 122C-117, domiciliary home community advisory committees, county and district boards of health, nursing home advisory committees, county boards of social services, local school administrative units, local boards of education, community colleges, and all other persons, bodies, or agencies authorized or regulated by Chapters 108A, 115C, 115D, 118, 122C, 130A, 131A, 131D, 131E, 153A, 160A, and 160B of the General Statutes. (1979, c. 325, s. 1; 1983, c. 543, s. 3; 1985, c. 666, s. 79; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1027, s. 30; 1987, c. 564, s. 9.)