WSR 09-03-105




[ Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2009-02 -- Filed January 21, 2009, 8:17 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: Requirements for electronic signatures.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 48.02.060.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Many insurers transact business with insureds and the office of the commissioner electronically. The office of the insurance commissioner's current rules require that electronic or digital signatures use public key technology issued through the secretary of state and department of information systems as set forth in chapter 19.34 RCW et seq. The commissioner will consider options to permit additional types of electronic signatures that meet specified security performance criteria in compliance with a federal law enacted in 2000 (15 U.S.C. 96) or with chapter 19.34 RCW.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: The federal Electronic Signature Act establishes legal equivalence between pen and ink signatures, and contracts on paper and their electronic or digital counterparts, 15 U.S.C. 96, section 1006(5) defines electronic signature; 15 U.S.C. 96, section 7001(i) defines standards for an electronic signature to constitute consent in writing, including for purposes of insurance, and contains a preemption clause for state laws that conflict with the act. No coordination is necessary.

Process for Developing New Rule: Submit written comments by March 11, 2009, to Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40260, Olympia, WA 98504-0269, e-mail, fax (360) 586-3109.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Kacy Scott, P.O. Box 40260, Olympia, WA 98504-0269, e-mail, fax (360) 586-3109.

January 21, 2009

Mike Kreidler

Insurance Commissioner

Washington State Code Reviser's Office