WSR 15-24-073
[Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2015-13—Filed November 25, 2015, 2:45 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 15-19-138.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Making minimal clarifications in the Washington Administrative Code to clearly include the envisioned rider or endorsement allowed under ESSB 5550, Section 2 (2)(a) for "private passenger automobile coverage."
Hearing Location(s): Insurance Commissioner's Office, TR 120, 5000 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA 98504-0255, on January 7, 2016, at 1:30 p.m.
Date of Intended Adoption: January 8, 2016.
Submit Written Comments to: Jim Keogh, P.O. Box 40258, Olympia, WA 98504-0258, e-mail, fax (360) 586-3109, by January 7, 2016.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Lorie Villaflores by January 6, 2016, TTY (360) 586-0241 or (360) 725-7087.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: In the 2015 legislative session, chapter 236, Laws of 2015, was enacted; the bill used the term "private passenger automobile" coverage in a manner that was not contemplated when the rule's definition of this term was adopted. The proposed rule will add one new clarifying reference to the definition of "private passenger automobile" in WAC 284-30-500(4) to align with its use in RCW 48.177.010 (the final RCW placement of this legislation).
Reasons Supporting Proposal: To enable issuance of "private passenger automobile" insurance coverage with a rider or endorsement as contemplated in RCW 48.177.010.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 48.020.060 [48.02.060].
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 48.177.010.
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: Jim Keogh, P.O. Box 98504-0258 [40258], Olympia, WA 98504-0258, (360) 725-7056; Implementation: Molly Nollette, 5000 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA 98504, (360) 725-7117; and Enforcement: AnnaLisa Gellermann, 5000 Capitol Boulevard, Tumwater, WA 98504, (360) 725-7050.
No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The entities that will issue coverage in compliance with the proposed rule are not small businesses. The proposed rule itself is permissive in that it removes a potential barrier to coverage.
A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. This proposed rule is not a significant legislative rule but rather an interpretive rule that does not subject a person to a penalty or sanction; instead it sets forth the agency's interpretation of statutory provisions in Title 48 RCW, with the end result that it allows the commissioner to consider approval of the policy coverage described in RCW 48.177.110 (2)(a). The proposed definition adjustment to accommodate its usage in newly adopted RCW 48.177.110 is better described by RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(iv) as a rule that only "clarifies the language of a rule without changing its effect."
November 25, 2015
Mike Kreidler
Insurance Commissioner
AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 12-03-060, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12)
WAC 284-30-500 Unfair practices with respect to vehicle insurance.
(1) The following practices by any insurer with respect to every vehicle liability insurance policy applicable to private passenger automobiles registered or principally garaged in this state are unfair and prohibited:
(a) Failing to provide, to any insured under such policy, liability limits at least as great as those required by RCW 46.29.090, as measured at the effective date of the applicable policy or its renewal;
(b) Denying or limiting liability coverage in such policy to less than the insured's policy limits solely because the injured person qualifies as an insured as defined in RCW 48.22.005 (5)(a);
(c) Denying or limiting liability coverage in such policy, with respect to injuries sustained by motorcycle passengers, to an amount below the bodily injury liability limits required by RCW 46.29.090, if the policy provides liability coverage for an insured's ownership, operation, or use of a motorcycle.
(2) With respect to vehicle insurance policies applicable to private passenger vehicles registered or principally garaged in this state, failing to provide a named insured an itemization of the premium costs for the coverages under the policy if there are identifiable separate premium charges for the coverages is unfair and prohibited. The required itemization must be given to a named insured no later than at the time of delivery of a policy and must accompany each offer to renew thereafter.
(3) It is an unfair practice for any insurer to consider traffic violations or accidents which occurred more than three years in the past, with respect to the acceptance, rejection, cancellation or nonrenewal of any insured under a private passenger automobile insurance policy, unless, because of the individual's violations, accidents or driving record during the three years immediately past, the earlier violations or accidents are significantly relevant to the individual's qualifications for insurance.
(4) For purposes of this section, the definition of a "private passenger automobile" is: (a) That set forth in RCW 48.18.297, ((and includes)) including a motorcycle except as otherwise specifically provided in this section; or (b) a personal vehicle with a private passenger automobile policy with a rider or endorsement as described in RCW 48.177.010 (2)(a).