(1)(a) Every title insurer shall, before using, file with the commissioner every form, manual of title insurance rules and rates, rating plan, rate schedule, minimum rate, class rate, and rating rule, and every modification of any of the filings under this subsection which it proposes.
(b) A rating organization's filing on behalf of its members or subscribers satisfies a title insurer's duty in (a) of this subsection if the title insurer is a member or subscriber of the rating organization.
(2) Every filing shall be accompanied by sufficient information to permit the commissioner to determine whether the filing meets the requirements of RCW 48.29.143
and this section for rate filings, and RCW 48.18.100
for form filings.
(3) Data used to justify title insurance rates may not include escrow income or expenses. The title insurance company or rating organization shall include a detailed explanation showing how expenses are allocated between the title operations and escrow operations of the insurer or title insurance agent.
(4) Every such filing shall state its proposed effective date.
(5) The commissioner shall review a filing as soon as reasonably possible after it is received, to determine whether it meets the requirements of RCW 48.29.143
(6) The filing's proposed effective date shall be no earlier than thirty days after the date on which the filing is received by the commissioner. By giving notice to the insurer or rating organization within this thirty days, the commissioner may extend this waiting period for an additional period not to exceed an additional fifteen days. The commissioner may, upon application and for cause shown, waive part or all of the waiting period with respect to a filing the commissioner has not disapproved. If the commissioner does not disapprove the filing during the waiting period, the filing takes effect on its proposed effective date, except as to filings made by a rating organization on behalf of its members or subscribers pursuant to this section.
(7) If within the waiting period or any extension thereof as provided in subsection (6) of this section, the commissioner finds that a filing does not meet the requirements of RCW 48.29.143
or the requirements of subsections (2) through (4) of this section, the commissioner shall disapprove the filing and shall give notice to the insurer or rating organization that the filing has been disapproved. This notice must specify the respect in which the commissioner finds the filing fails to meet the requirements and must state that the filing does not become effective as proposed.
(8)(a) Except as to filings made by a rating organization on behalf of its members or subscribers pursuant to this section, if a filing is not disapproved by the commissioner within the waiting period or any extension thereof, the filing becomes effective as proposed.
(b) Before the commissioner approves a filing by a rating organization, the commissioner shall review all materials contained in the filing, including, as applicable, materials submitted by the rating organization, materials provided by the statistical reporting agent pursuant to RCW 48.29.017
, as well as materials concerning any public hearings, market investigations, studies, or other information collected during the review, and determine that the filing complies with the requirements of this chapter.
(c) Filings made by a rating organization on behalf of its members or subscribers pursuant to this section may not become effective, notwithstanding expiration of a waiting period, unless the commissioner approves the filings in accordance with (b) of this subsection.
(9) A filing made under this section is exempt from RCW 48.02.120
(3). However, the filing and all supporting information accompanying it is open to public inspection only after the filing becomes effective.
(10) A title insurer or title insurance agent shall not make or issue a title insurance contract or policy, or use or collect any premium on or after a date set by the commissioner by rule, which date shall not be any earlier than January 1, 2010, except in accordance with rates and rules filed with the commissioner as required by this section or as provided under RCW 48.29.148
(11) If at any time subsequent to the applicable review period provided for in subsection (6) of this section, the commissioner has reason to believe that a title insurer's or rating organization's rates do not meet the requirements of RCW 48.29.143
or are otherwise contrary to law, or if any person having an interest in the rates makes a written complaint to the commissioner setting forth specific and reasonable grounds for the complaint and requests a hearing, or if any insurer or rating organization upon notice of the commissioner's disapproval of a filing made under this section requests a hearing, the commissioner shall hold a hearing within thirty days and shall, in advance of it, give written notice of the hearing to all parties in interest. The commissioner may, by issuing an order, confirm, modify, change, or rescind any previous action, if it is warranted by the facts shown at the hearing. The order shall not affect any contract or policy made or issued prior to a reasonable period of time, to be specified in the order, after the order is issued.
(12) In any hearing regarding rates filed under this chapter the burden is on the title insurer or rating organization to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the rates comply with RCW 48.29.143