(1) The letter of credit must be clean, irrevocable, and unconditional and issued or confirmed by a qualified United States financial institution as defined in RCW 48.12.465
(1). The letter of credit must contain an issue date and date of expiration and must stipulate that the beneficiary need only draw a sight draft under the letter of credit and present it to obtain funds and that no other document need be presented. The letter of credit must also indicate that it is not subject to any condition or qualifications outside of the letter of credit. In addition, the letter of credit itself must not contain reference to any other agreements, documents, or entities, except as provided in subsection (8)(a) of this section. As used in this section, "beneficiary" means the domestic insurer for whose benefit the letter of credit has been established and any successor of the beneficiary by operation of law. If a court of law appoints a successor in interest to the named beneficiary, then the named beneficiary includes and is limited to the court appointed domiciliary receiver (including conservator, rehabilitator, or liquidator).
(2) The heading of the letter of credit may include a boxed section containing the name of the applicant and other appropriate notations to provide a reference for the letter of credit. The boxed section must be clearly marked to indicate that the information is for internal identification purposes only.
(3) The letter of credit must contain a statement to the effect that the obligation of the qualified United States financial institution under the letter of credit is in no way contingent upon reimbursement with respect thereto.
(4) The term of the letter of credit must be for at least one year and must contain an "evergreen clause" that prevents the expiration of the letter of credit without due notice from the issuer. The "evergreen clause" must provide for a period of no less than thirty days' notice prior to the expiration date or nonrenewal.
(5) The letter of credit must state whether it is subject to and governed by the laws of this state or the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits of the International Chamber of Commerce Publication 600 (UCP 600) or International Standby Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce Publication 590 (ISP98), or any successor publication, and all drafts drawn thereunder must be presentable at an office in the United States of a qualified United States financial institution.
(6) If the letter of credit is made subject to the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits of the International Chamber of Commerce Publication 600 (UCP 600) or International Standby Practices of the International Chamber of Commerce Publication 590 (ISP98), or any successor publication, then the letter of credit must specifically address and provide for an extension of time to draw against the letter of credit in the event that one or more of the occurrences specified in Article 36 of Publication 600 or any other successor publication occur.
(7) If the letter of credit is issued by a financial institution authorized to issue letters of credit, other than a qualified United States financial institution as described in subsection (1) of this section, then the following additional requirements must be met:
(a) The issuing financial institution must formally designate the confirming qualified United States financial institution as its agent for the receipt and payment of the drafts; and
(b) The "evergreen clause" must provide for thirty days' notice prior to the expiration date for nonrenewal.
(8) Reinsurance agreement provisions.
(a) The reinsurance agreement in conjunction with which the letter of credit is obtained may contain provisions that:
(i) Require the assuming insurer to provide letters of credit to the ceding insurer and specify what they are to cover.
(ii) Stipulate that the assuming insurer and ceding insurer agree that the letter of credit provided by the assuming insurer under the provisions of the reinsurance agreement may be drawn upon at any time, notwithstanding any other provisions in the agreement, and must be utilized by the ceding insurer or its successors in interest only for one or more of the following reasons:
(A) To pay or reimburse the ceding insurer for:
(I) The assuming insurer's share under the specific reinsurance agreement of premiums returned, but not yet recovered from the assuming insurers, to the owners of policies reinsured under the reinsurance agreement on account of cancellations of the policies;
(II) The assuming insurer's share under the specific reinsurance agreement of surrenders and benefits or losses paid by the ceding insurer, but not yet recovered from the assuming insurers, under the terms and provisions of the policies reinsured under the reinsurance agreement; and
(III) Any other amounts necessary to secure the credit or reduction from liability for reinsurance taken by the ceding insurer.
(B) Where the letter of credit will expire without renewal or be reduced or replaced by a letter of credit for a reduced amount and where the assuming insurer's entire obligations under the reinsurance agreement remain unliquidated and undischarged ten days prior to the termination date, to withdraw amounts equal to the assuming insurer's share of the liabilities, to the extent that the liabilities have not yet been funded by the assuming insurer and exceed the amount of any reduced or replacement letter of credit, and deposit those amounts in a separate account in the name of the ceding insurer in a qualified United States financial institution apart from its general assets, in trust for and purposes specified in (a)(ii)(A) of this subsection as may remain after withdrawal and for any period after the termination date.
(iii) All of the provisions of (a) of this subsection must be applied without diminution because of insolvency on the part of the ceding insurer or assuming insurer.
(b) Nothing contained in (a) of this subsection shall preclude the ceding insurer and assuming insurer from providing for:
(i) An interest payment, at a rate not in excess of the prime rate of interest, on the amounts held under (a)(ii) of this subsection; or
(ii) The return of any amounts drawn down on the letters of credit in excess of the actual amounts required for the above or any amounts that are subsequently determined not to be due.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
(1)(b) and (c), (3)(b), (4), (5), 48.12.480
, and 2015 c 63. WSR 15-24-126 (Matter No. R 2015-09), § 284-13-560, filed 12/2/15, effective 1/2/16. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
and 1996 c 297 § 2. WSR 97-05-012 (Matter No. R 96-10), § 284-13-560, filed 2/10/97, effective 3/13/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 48.02.060
. WSR 93-19-002 (Order R 93-6), § 284-13-560, filed 9/1/93, effective 10/2/93.]