WSR 09-17-124

PROPOSED RULES

OFFICE OF

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

[ Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2008-13 -- Filed August 19, 2009, 7:25 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 08-11-106.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage on automobile liability insurance policies.

Hearing Location(s): OIC Tumwater Office, Training Room 120, 5000 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA, http://www.insurance.wa.gov/about/directions.shtml, on September 22, 2009, at 11:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 6, 2009.

Submit Written Comments to: Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40258, Olympia, WA 98504-0258, e-mail kacys@oic.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-3109, by September 21, 2009.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Lorie Villaflores by September 21, 2009, TTY (360) 586-0241 or (360) 725-7087.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: RCW 48.22.085 through 48.22.100 provide for the mandatory offering of PIP with the issuance of automobile liability insurance policies. There are companies that do not demonstrate a clear understanding of the amounts and way[s] that PIP coverage must be offered to insureds, and when insurers must offer PIP coverage on commercial auto liability policies. These proposed rules are intended to clarify this confusion and assist insurers in issuing PIP coverage with automobile insurance policies.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: There are companies that do not demonstrate a clear understanding of the amounts and way[s] that PIP coverage must be offered to insureds, and when insurers must offer PIP coverage on commercial auto liability policies.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 48.02.060, 48.22.105.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 48.18.300.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Mike Kreidler, insurance commissioner, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Chris Carlson, P.O. Box 40248, Olympia, WA 98504-0258, (360) 725-7042; Implementation: John Hamje, P.O. Box 40245, Olympia, WA 98504-0255, (360) 725-7262; and Enforcement: Carol Sureau, P.O. Box 40255, Olympia, WA 98504-0255, (360) 725-7050.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. None of the domestic insurers actively offering coverage in Washington state meet the definition of small business under the law.

A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 4025, Olympia, WA 98504-0258, phone (360) 725-7041, fax (360) 586-3109, e-mail kacys@oic.wa.gov.

August 19, 2009

Mike Kreidler

Insurance Commissioner

OTS-2497.2


NEW SECTION
WAC 284-20-300   Mandatory offering of personal injury protection.   (1) Insurers issuing an automobile liability insurance policy must offer personal injury protection coverage and must provide the minimum coverage described in RCW 48.22.095 unless the named insured:

(a) Rejects the personal injury protection coverage in writing; or

(b) Selects personal injury protection coverage at a higher limit as described in RCW 48.22.100.

(2) An insurer may not add personal injury protection coverage at limits greater than those described in RCW 48.22.095 unless the insured requests higher limits in writing.

(3) Under RCW 48.22.090, insurers may limit the personal injury protection coverage in specific circumstances. Insurers may not impose any exclusions, exceptions or limitations that are not expressly authorized by RCW 48.22.090.

(4) Insurers must explain the personal injury protection coverage options at the time the insured first applies for automobile liability insurance. Explanations must be in writing in a format that complies with subsection (6) of this section and clearly describe the:

(a) Available options for personal injury protection coverage;

(b) Named insured's right to reject the coverage or select higher limits of coverage;

(c) Method the named insured must use to reject the coverage;

(d) Length of time the named insured has to reject the coverage;

(e) Legal requirements under RCW 48.22.085; and

(f) Process by which the named insured may request personal injury protection coverage in the future if the coverage is rejected when the policy is first written and issued by the insurer.

(5) If the named insured rejects personal injury protection coverage, the insurer must promptly delete the coverage after the insurer receives the rejection notice from the named insured. The insurer must retain a copy of the rejection notice or request to delete coverage with the policy record.

(6) Insurers may use electronic forms and authenticated signatures to comply with this rule. If an insurer uses electronic forms and authenticated signatures, the insurer must maintain an auditable compliance record and provide this information to the commissioner upon request.

(7) This section does not apply to corporations, partnerships, or any other nonhuman entity named as the insured.

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office