Chapter 48.07 RCW

DOMESTIC INSURERSPOWERS

Sections

48.07.010Application of code to existing insurers.
48.07.020Principal office.
48.07.030Application of general corporation laws.
48.07.040Annual, special meetings.
48.07.050DirectorsQualificationsRemoval.
48.07.060Corrupt practicesPenalty.
48.07.070Amendment of articles of incorporation.
48.07.080Guarantee of officers' obligations prohibited.
48.07.100Vouchers for expenditures.
48.07.110Depositaries.
48.07.130Pecuniary interest of officer or director, restrictions upon.
48.07.140Compliance with foreign laws.
48.07.150Solicitations in other states.
48.07.160Continuing operation in event of emergencyDeclaration of purpose"Insurer" defined.
48.07.170Continuing operation in event of emergencyEmergency bylaws.
48.07.180Continuing operation in event of emergencyDirectors.
48.07.190Continuing operation in event of emergencyOfficers.
48.07.200Continuing operation in event of emergencyPrincipal office and place of business.
48.07.203Continuing operation in event of emergencyWritten plan required.
48.07.205Continuing operation in event of emergencyPlanning standardsRules.
48.07.210Conversion to domestic insurer.

NOTES:

Business corporations: Title 23B RCW.
Dissolution and winding up business corporation: Chapter 23B.14 RCW.
Interlocking ownership, management: RCW 48.30.250.
Merger or consolidation: RCW 48.31.010.
Organization of domestic insurers: Chapter 48.06 RCW.


Application of code to existing insurers.

Existing authorized domestic insurers shall continue to insure only in accordance with the provisions of this code.
[1947 c 79 § .07.01; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.01.]



Principal office.

Every domestic insurer shall establish and maintain in this state its principal office and place of business.
[1947 c 79 § .07.02; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.02.]



Application of general corporation laws.

The laws of this state relating to private corporations, except where inconsistent with the express provisions of this code, shall govern the corporate powers, duties, and relationships of incorporated domestic insurers and insurance holding corporations formed under the laws of the state of Washington.
[ 1985 c 364 § 1; 1947 c 79 § .07.03; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.03.]

NOTES:

Severability1985 c 364: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1985 c 364 § 5.]
Provisions as to general business corporations: Title 23B RCW.



Annual, special meetings.

Each incorporated domestic insurer shall hold an annual meeting of its shareholders or members at such time and place as may be stated in or fixed in accordance with its bylaws for the purpose of receiving reports of its affairs and to elect directors. Each domestic insurance holding corporation shall hold an annual meeting of its shareholders at such time and place as may be stated in or fixed in accordance with its bylaws. Special meetings of the shareholders of an incorporated domestic insurer or domestic insurance holding corporation shall be called and held by such persons and in such a manner as stated in the articles of incorporation or bylaws.
[ 2002 c 300 § 5; 1985 c 364 § 2; 1965 ex.s. c 70 § 4; 1947 c 79 § .07.04; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.04.]

NOTES:

Severability1985 c 364: See note following RCW 48.07.030.



DirectorsQualificationsRemoval.

Not less than three-fourths of the directors of an incorporated domestic insurer shall be United States or Canadian citizens, and a majority of the board of directors of a mutual life insurer shall be residents of this state. The directors of a domestic insurer or domestic insurance holding corporation may be removed with cause by a vote of a majority of its voting capital stock or members (if a mutual insurer) at a valid meeting and said directors may be removed without cause by a vote of sixty-seven percent of its voting capital stock or members (if a mutual insurer) at a valid meeting.
[ 1989 c 24 § 1; 1985 c 364 § 3; 1957 c 193 § 21; 1947 c 79 § .07.05; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.05.]

NOTES:

Severability1985 c 364: See note following RCW 48.07.030.



Corrupt practicesPenalty.

No person shall buy or sell or barter a vote or proxy, relative to any meeting of shareholders or members of an incorporated domestic insurer, or engage in any corrupt or dishonest practice in or relative to the conduct of any such meeting. Violation of this section shall constitute a gross misdemeanor.
[1947 c 79 § .07.06; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.06.]



Amendment of articles of incorporation.

(1) Unless a vote of a greater proportion of directors or shares is required by its articles of incorporation, amendments to the articles of incorporation of a domestic insurer or a domestic insurance holding corporation shall be made by a majority vote of its board of directors and the vote or written assent of a majority of its voting capital stock, or two-thirds of the members (if a mutual insurer) voting at a valid meeting of members.
(2) The president and secretary of the insurer shall, under the corporate seal, certify the amendment in duplicate, and file both copies in the office of the commissioner as required under this code for original articles of incorporation. Thereupon, subject to the requirements of RCW 48.08.010 relative to increase of capital stock of a stock insurer, the amendment shall become effective.
[ 1998 c 23 § 3; 1985 c 364 § 4; 1981 c 302 § 38; 1947 c 79 § .07.07; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.07.]

NOTES:

Severability1985 c 364: See note following RCW 48.07.030.
Severability1981 c 302: See note following RCW 19.76.100.



Guarantee of officers' obligations prohibited.

No domestic insurer or its affiliates or subsidiaries shall guarantee the financial obligation of any director or officer of such insurer or affiliate or subsidiary in his or her personal capacity, and any such guaranty attempted shall be void.
This prohibition shall not apply to obligations of the insurer under surety bonds or insurance contracts issued in the regular course of business.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7026; 1947 c 79 § .07.08; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.08.]



Vouchers for expenditures.

(1) No domestic insurer shall make any disbursement of twenty-five dollars or more, unless evidenced by a voucher correctly describing the consideration for the payment and supported by a check or receipt endorsed or signed by or on behalf of the person receiving the money.
(2) If the disbursement is for services and reimbursement, the voucher shall describe the services and itemize the expenditures.
(3) If the disbursement is in connection with any matter pending before any legislature or public body or before any public official, the voucher shall also correctly describe the nature of the matter and of the insurer's interest therein.
[1947 c 79 § .07.10; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.10.]



Depositaries.

The funds of a domestic insurer shall not be deposited in any bank or banking institution which has not first been approved as a depositary by the insurer's board of directors or by a committee thereof designated for the purpose.
[1947 c 79 § .07.11; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.11.]



Pecuniary interest of officer or director, restrictions upon.

(1) No person having any authority in the investment or disposition of the funds of a domestic insurer and no officer or director of an insurer shall accept, except for the insurer, or be the beneficiary of any fee, brokerage, gift, commission, or other emolument because of any sale of insurance or of any investment, loan, deposit, purchase, sale, payment, or exchange made by or for the insurer, or be pecuniarily interested therein in any capacity; except, that such a person may procure a loan from the insurer direct upon approval by two-thirds of its directors and upon the pledge of securities eligible for the investment of the insurer's funds under this code.
(2) This section does not prohibit a life insurer from making a policy loan to such person on a life insurance contract issued by it and in accordance with the terms thereof.
(3) The commissioner may permit additional exceptions to the prohibition contained in subsection (1) of this section to enable payment of reasonable compensation to a director who is not otherwise an officer or employee of the insurer, or to a corporation or firm in which the director is interested, for necessary services performed or sales or purchases made to or for the insurer in the ordinary course of the insurer's business and in the usual private professional or business capacity of such director or such corporation or firm.
In addition, the commissioner may permit exceptions to the prohibitions contained in subsection (1) of this section where the payment of a fee, brokerage, gift, commission, or other emolument is fully disclosed to the insurer's officers and directors and is reasonable in relation to the service performed.
[ 1989 c 228 § 1; 1981 c 339 § 5; 1947 c 79 § .07.13; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.13.]



Compliance with foreign laws.

Any domestic insurer doing business in another state, territory or sovereignty may design and issue insurance contracts and transact insurance in such state, territory or sovereignty as required or permitted by the laws thereof, any provision of the insurer's articles of incorporation or bylaws notwithstanding.
[1947 c 79 § .07.14; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.14.]



Solicitations in other states.

(1) No domestic insurer shall knowingly solicit insurance business in any reciprocating state in which it is not then licensed as an authorized insurer.
(2) This section shall not prohibit advertising through publications and radio broadcasts originating outside such reciprocating state, if the insurer is licensed in a majority of the states in which such advertising is disseminated, and if such advertising is not specifically directed to residents of such reciprocating state.
(3) This section shall not prohibit insurance, covering persons or risks located in a reciprocating state, under contracts solicited and issued in states in which the insurer is then licensed. Nor shall it prohibit insurance effectuated by the insurer as an unauthorized insurer in accordance with the laws of the reciprocating state. Nor shall it prohibit renewal or continuance in force, with or without modification, of contracts otherwise lawful and which were not originally executed in violation of this section.
(4) A "reciprocating" state, as used herein, is one under the laws of which a similar prohibition is imposed upon and is enforced against insurers domiciled in that state.
(5) The commissioner shall suspend or revoke the certificate of authority of a domestic insurer found by him or her, after a hearing, to have violated this section.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7027; 1988 c 248 § 4; 1947 c 79 § .07.15; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.07.15.]



Continuing operation in event of emergencyDeclaration of purpose"Insurer" defined.

It is desirable for the general welfare and in particular for the welfare of insurance beneficiaries, policyholders, claimants, subscribers, and others that the business of domestic insurers be continued notwithstanding the event of a local, state, or national emergency. The purpose of this section, RCW 48.07.170 through 48.07.200, and 48.07.203 is to facilitate the continued operation of domestic insurers in the event that a local, state, or national emergency is so disruptive of normal business and commerce as to make it impossible or impracticable for a domestic insurer to conduct its business in accord with applicable provisions of law, its bylaws, or its charter. When used in this section, RCW 48.07.170 through 48.07.200, and 48.07.203 the word "insurer" means the same as defined in RCW 48.01.053 [48.01.050].

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: "This act takes effect January 1, 2011." [ 2009 c 150 § 8.]



Continuing operation in event of emergencyEmergency bylaws.

The board of directors of any domestic insurer may at any time adopt emergency bylaws, subject to repeal or change by action of those having power to adopt regular bylaws for such insurer, which shall be operative during such a local, state, or national emergency and which may, notwithstanding any different provisions of the regular bylaws, or of the applicable statutes, or of such insurer's charter, make any provision that may be reasonably necessary for the operation of such insurer during the period of such emergency.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Continuing operation in event of emergencyDirectors.

In the event that the board of directors of a domestic insurer has not adopted emergency bylaws, the following provisions shall become effective upon the occurrence of such a local, state, or national emergency as described in this chapter:
(1) Three directors shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business at all meetings of the board.
(2) Any vacancy in the board may be filled by a majority of the remaining directors, though less than a quorum, or by a sole remaining director.
(3) If there are no surviving directors, but at least three vice presidents of such insurer survive, the three vice presidents with the longest term of service shall be the directors and shall possess all of the powers of the previous board of directors and such powers as are granted in this chapter or by subsequently enacted legislation. By majority vote, such emergency board of directors may elect other directors. If there are not at least three surviving vice presidents, the commissioner or duly designated person exercising the powers of the commissioner shall appoint three persons as directors who shall include any surviving vice presidents and who shall possess all of the powers of the previous board of directors and such powers as are granted in this chapter or by subsequently enacted legislation, and these persons by majority vote may elect other directors.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Continuing operation in event of emergencyOfficers.

At any time the board of directors of a domestic insurer may, by resolution, provide that in the event of such a local, state, or national emergency and in the event of the death or incapacity of the president, the secretary, or the treasurer of such insurer, such officers, or any of them, shall be succeeded in the office by the person named or described in a succession list adopted by the board of directors. Such list may be on the basis of named persons or position titles, shall establish the order of priority and may prescribe the conditions under which the powers of the office shall be exercised.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Continuing operation in event of emergencyPrincipal office and place of business.

At any time the board of directors of a domestic insurer may, by resolution, provide that in the event of such a local, state, or national emergency the principal office and place of business of such insurer shall be at such location as is named or described in the resolution. Such resolution may provide for alternate locations and establish an order of preference.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Continuing operation in event of emergencyWritten plan required.

Each domestic insurer must create and maintain a written business continuity plan identifying procedures relating to a local, state, or national emergency or significant business disruption.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Continuing operation in event of emergencyPlanning standardsRules.

After considering relevant standards adopted by the national association of insurance commissioners, other states, and other regulatory authorities that regulate financial institutions, the commissioner shall adopt, by rule, standards for insurers and insurance producers to follow for business continuity planning.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 150: See note following RCW 48.07.160.



Conversion to domestic insurer.

(1)(a) Any insurer duly organized under the laws of any other state and admitted to transact insurance business in this state may become a domestic insurer upon complying with all requirements of law for the organization of a domestic insurer in this state and by designating its principal place of business at a location in this state. Such domestic insurer is entitled to a certificate of authority to transact insurance in this state, subject to the conditions set forth in (b) of this subsection, and is subject to the authority and the jurisdiction of this state.
(b) Before being eligible to become a domestic insurer under this section, an admitted insurer shall advise the commissioner, in writing, thirty days in advance of the proposed date of its plan to become a domestic insurer. The commissioner must approve the plan in advance of the proposed date. The commissioner shall not approve any such plan unless, after a hearing, pursuant to such notice as the commissioner may require, the commissioner finds that the plan is consistent with law, and that no reasonable objection to the plan exists. If the commissioner fails to approve the plan, the commissioner shall state his or her reasons for failure to approve the plan in an order issued at the hearing.
(2) After providing thirty days' advance written notice of its plan to the commissioner and upon the written approval of the commissioner in advance of the proposed transfer date, any domestic insurer of this state may transfer its domicile to any other state in which it is admitted to transact the business of insurance. Upon transfer of domicile, the insurer ceases to be a domestic insurer of this state. If otherwise qualified under the laws of this state, the commissioner shall admit the insurer to do business in this state as a foreign insurer. The commissioner shall approve any proposed transfer of domicile unless the commissioner determines after a hearing, pursuant to such notice as the commissioner may require, that the transfer is not in the best interests of the public or the insurer's policyholders in this state. If the commissioner fails to approve a proposed transfer of domicile, the commissioner shall state his or her reasons for failure to approve the transfer in an order issued at the hearing.
(3) When a foreign insurer, admitted to transact business in this state, transfers its corporate domicile to this state or to any other state, the certificate of authority, appointment of statutory agent, and all approved licenses, policy forms, rates, filings, and other authorizations and approvals in existence at the time the foreign insurer transfers its corporate domicile shall continue in effect.
(4) Any insurer transferring its corporate domicile under this section shall file any amendments to articles of incorporation, bylaws, or other corporate documents that are required to be filed in this state before the insurer may receive approval of its proposed plan by the commissioner.