(a) Documents and evidence provided pursuant to Section 27-12A-21 or obtained by the department in an investigation of suspected or actual insurance fraud shall be privileged and confidential, shall not be a public record, and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena in a civil or criminal action.
(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the department may release documents and evidence obtained by the unit in an investigation of suspected or actual insurance fraud pursuant to any of the following:
(1) Administrative or judicial bodies hearing proceedings to enforce laws administered by the department.
(2) Federal, state, or local law enforcement or regulatory agencies, including, but not limited to, the Attorney General and the Chief Examiner of Public Accounts; the NICB; or the NAIC.
(3) At the discretion of the commissioner, a person in the transaction of the business of insurance that is aggrieved by the insurance fraud.
(c) Release of documents and evidence under subsection (b) shall not abrogate or modify the privilege granted in subsection (a).
(d) The confidentiality of records imposed by this section shall not extend to any documents or evidence submitted as part of an investigative report that are public documents. A document that is a public record pursuant to any other statute shall not be affected by this section.
(e) Employees, directors, agents, servants, staff investigators, staff attorneys, and others engaged by or on behalf of the State of Alabama for the purpose of implementing or performing the duties, obligations, and responsibilities under this chapter, shall not be subject to subpoena in civil actions by any court in this state to testify concerning any matter of which they have knowledge that arises out of or is related to a pending or continuing insurance fraud investigation being conducted by the unit.
(f) With the exception of those documents created by or at the request of a company specifically in connection with the investigation of suspected or actual insurance fraud, subsection (a) shall not be construed to prevent the discovery of documents otherwise subject to discovery in a civil matter from the insurer or producer. Copies of all documents, materials, and information furnished to the department by an insurer, producer, or an employee or agent on behalf of an insurer or producer, shall be retained in their ordinary and customary location by the insurer or producer for the period provided by law.