§ 1289. Administrative provisions
(a) Issuance of policies, rules, and regulations; settlement of claims; valuation; rejection and review of valuation
(1) The Secretary, in the administration of this subchapter, may issue such policies, rules, and regulations as he deems proper and may adjust and pay losses, compromise and settle claims, whether in favor of or against the United States and pay the amount of any judgment rendered against the United States in any suit, or the amount of any settlement agreed upon, in respect of any claim under insurance authorized by this subchapter.
(2) In respect of hull insurance, the valuation in the policy for actual or constructive total loss of the vessel insured shall be a stated valuation (exclusive of National Defense features paid for by the Government) determined by the Secretary which shall not exceed the amount that would be payable if the vessel had been requisitioned for title under section 1242 (a) of this Appendix at the time of the attachment of the insurance under said policy: Provided, That the insured shall have the right within sixty days after the attachment of the insurance under said policy, or within sixty days after determination of such valuation by the Secretary, whichever is later, to reject such valuation, and shall pay, at the rate provided for in said policy, premiums upon such asserted valuation as the insured shall specify at the time of rejection, but such asserted valuation shall not operate to the prejudice of the Government in any subsequent action on the policy. In the event of the actual or constructive total loss of the vessel, if the insured has not rejected such valuation the amount of any claim therefor which is adjusted, compromised, settled, adjudged, or paid shall not exceed such stated amount, but if the insured has so rejected such valuation, the insured shall be paid as a tentative advance only, 75 per centum of such valuation so determined by the Secretary and shall be entitled to sue the United States in a court having jurisdiction of such claims to recover such valuation as would be equal to the just compensation which such court determines would have been payable if the vessel had been requisitioned for title under section 1242 (a) of this Appendix at the time of the attachment of the insurance under said policy: Provided, That in the event of an election by the insured to reject the stated valuation fixed by the Secretary and to sue in the courts, the amount of the judgment will be payable without regard to the limitations contained in section 1242–1  of this Appendix, although the excess of any amounts advanced on account of just compensation over the amount of the court judgment will be required to be refunded. In the event of such court determination, premiums under the policy shall be adjusted on the basis of the valuation as finally determined and of the rate provided for in said policy.
(b) Forms and policies; rates; fees
The Secretary may prescribe and change forms and policies, and fix, adjust, and change the amounts insured and rates of premium provided for in this subchapter. The Secretary may charge and collect an annual fee in an amount calculated to cover the expenses of processing applications for insurance, the employment of underwriting agents, and the appointment of experts.
(c) Commercial practice controlling; limitation on fees
The Secretary, in administering this subchapter, may exercise his powers, perform his duties and functions, and make his expenditures, in accordance with commercial practice in the marine insurance business. Except as authorized in subsection (d) of this section, no insurance broker or other person acting in a similar intermediary capacity shall be paid any fee or other consideration by the Secretary by virtue of his participation in arranging any insurance wherein the Secretary directly insures any of the risk thereof.
(d) Underwriting agents
The Secretary may, and whenever he finds it practical to do so shall, employ domestic companies or groups of domestic companies authorized to do a marine insurance business in any State of the United States, to act as his underwriting agent. The Secretary may allow such companies or groups of companies fair and reasonable compensation for servicing insurance written by such companies or groups of companies as underwriting agent for the Secretary. The services of such underwriting agents may be utilized in the adjustment of claims under insurance provided by this subchapter, but no claim shall be paid unless and until it has been approved by the Secretary. Such compensation may include an allowance for expenses reasonably incurred by such agent, but such allowance shall not include any payment by such agent on account of solicitation for or stimulation of insurance business.
(e) Employment of marine insurance experts
The Secretary without regard to the laws, rules, or regulations relating to the employment of employees of the United States may appoint and prescribe the duties of such number of experts in marine insurance as he deems necessary under this subchapter.
(f) Utilization of services of other Government agencies
The Secretary with the consent of any executive department, independent establishment, or other agency of the Government, including any field service thereof, may avail himself of the use of information, services, facilities, officers, and employees thereof in carrying out the provisions of this subchapter.
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