This excerpt taken from the C 10-K filed Feb 28, 2005.
The Company's insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation in the various states and jurisdictions in which they transact business. The regulation, supervision and administration relate, among other things, to the standards of solvency that must be met and maintained, the licensing of insurers and their agents, the lines of insurance in which they may engage, the nature of and limitations on investments, premium rates, restrictions on the size of risks that may be insured under a single policy, reserves and provisions for unearned premiums, losses and other obligations, deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders, approval of policy forms and the regulation of market conduct, including the use of credit information in underwriting as well as other underwriting and claims practices. In addition, many states have enacted variations of competitive rate-making laws which allow insurers to set certain premium rates for certain classes of insurance without having to obtain the prior approval of the state insurance department. State insurance departments also conduct periodic examinations of the affairs of insurance companies and require the filing of annual and other reports relating to the financial condition of companies and other matters.
Although the Company is not regulated as an insurance company, it is the owner, through various holding company subsidiaries, of the capital stock of its insurance subsidiaries and as such is subject to state insurance holding company statutes, as well as certain other laws, of each of the states of domicile of its insurance subsidiaries. All holding company statutes, as well as certain other laws, require disclosure and, in some instances, prior approval of material transactions between an insurance company and an affiliate.
The Company's insurance subsidiaries are subject to various state statutory and regulatory restrictions in each company's state of domicile, which limit the amount of dividends or distributions by an insurance company to its stockholders.
Many state insurance regulatory laws intended primarily for the protection of policyholders contain provisions that require advance approval by state agencies of any change in control of an insurance company that is domiciled (or, in some cases, having such substantial business that it is deemed to be commercially domiciled) in that state. "Control" is generally presumed to exist through the ownership of 10% or more of the voting securities of a domestic insurance company or of any company that controls a domestic insurance company. In addition, many state insurance regulatory laws contain provisions that require prenotification to state agencies of a change in control of a nondomestic admitted insurance company in that state. Such requirements may deter, delay or prevent certain transactions affecting the control of or the ownership of the Company's common stock, including transactions that could be advantageous to the stockholders of the Company.