Cancellation by insurer.
(1) Cancellation by the insurer of any policy which by its terms is cancellable at the option of the insurer, or of any binder based on such policy which does not contain a clearly stated expiration date, may be effected as to any interest only upon compliance with the following:
(a) For all insurance policies other than medical malpractice insurance policies or fire insurance policies canceled under RCW 48.53.040:
(i) The insurer must deliver or mail written notice of cancellation to the named insured at least forty-five days before the effective date of the cancellation; and
(ii) The cancellation notice must include the insurer's actual reason for canceling the policy.
(b) For medical malpractice insurance policies:
(i) The insurer must deliver or mail written notice of the cancellation to the named insured at least ninety days before the effective date of the cancellation; and
(ii) The cancellation notice must include the insurer's actual reason for canceling the policy and describe the significant risk factors that led to the insurer's underwriting action, as defined under RCW 48.18.547(1)(e).
(c) If an insurer cancels a policy described under (a) or (b) of this subsection for nonpayment of premium, the insurer must deliver or mail the cancellation notice to the named insured at least ten days before the effective date of the cancellation.
(d) If an insurer cancels a fire insurance policy under RCW 48.53.040, the insurer must deliver or mail the cancellation notice to the named insured at least five days before the effective date of the cancellation.
(e) Like notice must also be so delivered or mailed to each mortgagee, pledgee, or other person shown by the policy to have an interest in any loss which may occur thereunder. For purposes of this subsection (1)(e), "delivered" includes electronic transmittal, facsimile, or personal delivery.
(2) The mailing of any such notice shall be effected by depositing it in a sealed envelope, directed to the addressee at his or her last address as known to the insurer or as shown by the insurer's records, with proper prepaid postage affixed, in a letter depository of the United States post office. The insurer shall retain in its records any such item so mailed, together with its envelope, which was returned by the post office upon failure to find, or deliver the mailing to, the addressee.
(3) The affidavit of the individual making or supervising such a mailing, shall constitute prima facie evidence of such facts of the mailing as are therein affirmed.
(4) The portion of any premium paid to the insurer on account of the policy, unearned because of the cancellation and in amount as computed on the pro rata basis, must be actually paid to the insured or other person entitled thereto as shown by the policy or by any endorsement thereon, or be mailed to the insured or such person as soon as possible, and no later than forty-five days after the date of notice of cancellation to the insured for homeowners', dwelling fire, and private passenger auto. Any such payment may be made by cash, or by check, bank draft, or money order.
(5) This section shall not apply to contracts of life or disability insurance without provision for cancellation prior to the date to which premiums have been paid, or to contracts of insurance procured under the provisions of chapter 48.15 RCW.
[2006 c 8 § 212; 1997 c 85 § 1; 1988 c 249 § 2; 1986 c 287 § 1; 1985 c 264 § 17; 1982 c 110 § 7; 1980 c 102 § 7; 1979 ex.s. c 199 § 5; 1975-'76 2nd ex.s. c 119 § 2; 1947 c 79 § .18.29; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.18.29.]
| Application -- 2006 c 8 §§ 211-213: See note following RCW 48.18.547.|
Findings -- Intent -- Part headings and subheadings not law -- Severability -- 2006 c 8: See notes following RCW 5.64.010.
Effective date -- 1988 c 249: See note following RCW 48.18.289.
Application -- 1985 c 264 §§ 17-22: "Sections 17 through 22 of this act apply to all new or renewal policies issued or renewed after May 10, 1985. Sections 17 through 22 of this act shall not apply to or affect the validity of any notice of cancellation mailed or delivered prior to May 10, 1985. Sections 17 through 22 of this act shall not be construed to affect cancellation of a renewal policy, if notice of cancellation is mailed or delivered within forty-five days after May 10, 1985. Sections 17 through 22 of this act shall not be construed to require notice, other than that already required, of intention not to renew any policy which expires less than forty-five days after May 10, 1985." [1985 c 264 § 24.]