Chapter 48.17 RCW

INSURANCE PRODUCERS, TITLE INSURANCE AGENTS, AND ADJUSTERS

Sections

48.17.005Rule making.
48.17.010Definitions.
48.17.060License required.
48.17.062Insurance producer license not required under chapter 117, Laws of 2007.
48.17.063Unlicensed activitiesActs committed in this stateSanctions.
48.17.065Application of chapter to insurance producers appointed by health care service contractors, health maintenance organizations, or both.
48.17.067Determining whether authorization existsBurden on insurance producer or title insurance agent.
48.17.071Portable electronicsApplication of chapter to adjustersDuties of independent adjusterCommissioner's authority.
48.17.090Application for licenseCommissioner's findings.
48.17.110Examination of applicantsExemptionsRules.
48.17.125Examination questionsConfidentialityPenalties.
48.17.150Continuing education courses and requirementsRules.
48.17.153Agents selling federal flood insurance policiesTraining requirements.
48.17.160Appointment of agentsApprovalTerminationFees.
48.17.170Insurance producers', title insurance agents', and adjusters' licensesAuthorized lines of authorityDefinitionsForm and content of licenses.
48.17.173Nonresident license requestConditions for approvalService of legal process.
48.17.175In-state applicant has license in another state.
48.17.180Doing business under any name other than legal name.
48.17.250Insurance producer's bond.
48.17.270Insurance producer as insurer's agentCompensationDisclosure.
48.17.380AdjustersApplication formQualifications for licenseBond.
48.17.390Independent, public, or crop adjustersSeparate licenses.
48.17.410Authority of adjuster.
48.17.420Appointed agent may adjustWhen license or certification is requiredNonresident adjusters or crop adjusters.
48.17.430Public adjuster's bond.
48.17.450Place of business.
48.17.460Display of license.
48.17.470Records of insurance producers, title insurance agents, adjusters.
48.17.475Licensee to reply promptly to inquiry by commissioner.
48.17.480Reporting and accounting for premiums.
48.17.490Must be licensed to receive a commission, service fee, or other valuable consideration.
48.17.510Temporary licensesRestrictionsCommissioner's discretion.
48.17.530Commissioner may place on probation, suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a license.
48.17.535License or certificate suspensionNoncompliance with support orderReissuance.
48.17.540Procedure to suspend, revoke, or refuseEffect of conviction of felony.
48.17.550Duration of suspension.
48.17.560Fines may be imposed.
48.17.563Insurance education providersCommissioner's approvalRenewal fee.
48.17.565Insurance education providersViolationsCosts awarded.
48.17.568Insurance education providersBond.
48.17.591Termination of agency contractEffect on insuredDefinitionApplication of section.
48.17.595Termination of business relationship with an insurance producer or title insurance agentNoticeConfidentiality of informationImmunity from civil liability.
48.17.597Administrative action taken against a licensee in another jurisdiction or governmental agencyReport to commissioner.
48.17.600Separation of premium funds.
48.17.901Effective date2007 c 117.
48.17.902ConstructionChapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships2009 c 521.

NOTES:

Agent on commission not subject to unemployment compensation: RCW 50.04.230.
Binders: RCW 48.18.230.
Illegal inducements: RCW 48.30.150.
Independent agency contract: Chapter 48.18 RCW.
Rebating: RCW 48.30.140.
"Twisting" prohibited: RCW 48.30.180.
Unfair practices: Chapter 48.30 RCW.


Rule making.

The commissioner may adopt rules to implement and administer this chapter.



Definitions.

The definitions in this section apply throughout this title unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Adjuster" means any person who, for compensation as an independent contractor or as an employee of an independent contractor, or for fee or commission, investigates or reports to the adjuster's principal relative to claims arising under insurance contracts, on behalf solely of either the insurer or the insured. An attorney-at-law who adjusts insurance losses from time to time incidental to the practice of his or her profession or an adjuster of marine losses is not deemed to be an "adjuster" for the purpose of this chapter. A salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent is not deemed to be an "adjuster" for the purpose of this chapter, except when acting as a crop adjuster.
(a) "Independent adjuster" means an adjuster representing the interests of the insurer.
(b) "Public adjuster" means an adjuster employed by and representing solely the financial interests of the insured named in the policy.
(c) "Crop adjuster" means an adjuster, including (i) an independent adjuster, (ii) a public adjuster, and (iii) an employee of an insurer or managing general agent, who acts as an adjuster for claims arising under crop insurance. A salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent who is certified by a crop adjuster program approved by the risk management agency of the United States department of agriculture is not a "crop adjuster" for the purposes of this chapter. Proof of certification must be provided to the commissioner upon request.
(2) "Business entity" means a corporation, association, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or other legal entity.
(3) "Crop insurance" means insurance coverage for damage to crops from unfavorable weather conditions, fire or lightning, flood, hail, insect infestation, disease, or other yield-reducing conditions or perils provided by the private insurance market, or multiple peril crop insurance reinsured by the federal crop insurance corporation, including but not limited to revenue insurance.
(4) "Home state" means the District of Columbia and any state or territory of the United States or province of Canada in which an insurance producer or adjuster maintains the insurance producer's or adjuster's principal place of residence or principal place of business, and is licensed to act as an insurance producer or adjuster.
(5) "Insurance education provider" means any insurer, health care service contractor, health maintenance organization, professional association, educational institution created by Washington statutes, or vocational school licensed under Title 28C RCW, or independent contractor to which the commissioner has granted authority to conduct and certify completion of a course satisfying the insurance education requirements of RCW 48.17.150.
(6) "Insurance producer" means a person required to be licensed under the laws of this state to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance. "Insurance producer" does not include title insurance agents as defined in subsection (16) of this section or surplus line brokers licensed under chapter 48.15 RCW.
(7) "Insurer" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.01.050, and includes a health care service contractor as defined in RCW 48.44.010 and a health maintenance organization as defined in RCW 48.46.020.
(8) "License" means a document issued by the commissioner authorizing a person to act as an insurance producer or title insurance agent for the lines of authority specified in the document. The license itself does not create any authority, actual, apparent, or inherent, in the holder to represent or commit to an insurer.
(9) "Limited line credit insurance" includes credit life, credit disability, credit property, credit unemployment, involuntary unemployment, mortgage life, mortgage guaranty, mortgage disability, automobile dealer gap insurance, and any other form of insurance offered in connection with an extension of credit that is limited to partially or wholly extinguishing the credit obligation that the commissioner determines should be designated a form of limited line credit insurance.
(10) "NAIC" means national association of insurance commissioners.
(11) "Negotiate" means the act of conferring directly with, or offering advice directly to, a purchaser or prospective purchaser of a particular contract of insurance concerning any of the substantive benefits, terms, or conditions of the contract, provided that the person engaged in that act either sells insurance or obtains insurance from insurers for purchasers.
(12) "Person" means an individual or a business entity.
(13) "Sell" means to exchange a contract of insurance by any means, for money or its equivalent, on behalf of an insurer.
(14) "Solicit" means attempting to sell insurance or asking or urging a person to apply for a particular kind of insurance from a particular insurer.
(15) "Terminate" means the cancellation of the relationship between an insurance producer and the insurer or the termination of an insurance producer's authority to transact insurance.
(16) "Title insurance agent" means a business entity licensed under the laws of this state and appointed by an authorized title insurance company to sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance on behalf of the title insurance company.
(17) "Uniform application" means the current version of the NAIC uniform application for individual insurance producers for resident and nonresident insurance producer licensing.
(18) "Uniform business entity application" means the current version of the NAIC uniform application for business entity insurance license or registration for resident and nonresident business entities.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.



License required.

(1) A person shall not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance in this state for any line or lines of insurance unless the person is licensed for that line of authority in accordance with this chapter.
(2) A person may not act as or hold himself or herself out to be an adjuster in this state unless licensed by the commissioner or otherwise authorized to act as an adjuster under this chapter.
(3) A person may not act as or hold himself or herself out to be a crop adjuster in this state unless licensed by the commissioner or otherwise authorized to act as a crop adjuster under this chapter.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Severability2003 c 250: See note following RCW 48.01.080.
Severability1975 1st ex.s. c 266: See note following RCW 48.01.010.



Insurance producer license not required under chapter 117, Laws of 2007.

(1) Nothing in chapter 117, Laws of 2007 shall be construed to require an insurer to obtain an insurance producer license. In this section, the term "insurer" does not include an insurer's officers, directors, employees, subsidiaries, or affiliates.
(2) A license as an insurance producer is not required of the following:
(a) An officer, director, or employee of an insurer or of an insurance producer, provided that the officer, director, or employee does not receive any commission on policies written or sold to insure risks residing, located, or to be performed in this state, and:
(i) The officer, director, or employee's activities are executive, administrative, managerial, clerical, or a combination of these, and are only indirectly related to the sale, solicitation, or negotiation of insurance; or
(ii) The officer, director, or employee's function relates to underwriting, loss control, inspection, or the processing, adjusting, investigating, or settling of a claim on a contract of insurance; or
(iii) The officer, director, or employee is acting in the capacity of a special agent or agency supervisor assisting insurance producers where the person's activities are limited to providing technical advice and assistance to licensed insurance producers, and do not include the sale, solicitation, or negotiation of insurance;
(b) A person who secures and furnishes information for the purpose of group life insurance, group property and casualty insurance, group annuities, group or blanket accident and disability insurance; or for the purpose of enrolling individuals under plans; or issuing certificates under plans or otherwise assisting in administering plans; or performs administrative services related to mass marketed property and casualty insurance; where no commission is paid to the person for the service;
(c) An employer or association or its officers, directors, employees, or the trustees of an employee trust plan, to the extent that the employers, officers, employees, director, or trustees are engaged in the administration or operation of a program of employee benefits for the employer's or association's own employees or the employees of its subsidiaries or affiliates, which program involves the use of insurance issued by an insurer, as long as the employers, associations, officers, directors, employees, or trustees are not in any manner compensated, directly or indirectly, by the company issuing the contracts;
(d) Employees of insurers or organizations employed by insurers who are engaging in the inspection, rating, or classification of risks, or in the supervision of the training of insurance producers, and who are not individually engaged in the sale, solicitation, or negotiation of insurance;
(e) A person whose activities in this state are limited to advertising without the intent to solicit insurance in this state through communication in printed publications or other forms of electronic mass media whose distribution is not limited to residents of the state, provided that the person does not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance that would insure risks residing, located, or to be performed in this state;
(f) A person who is not a resident of this state who sells, solicits, or negotiates a contract of insurance for commercial property and casualty risks to an insured with risks located in more than one state insured under that contract, provided that the person is otherwise licensed as an insurance producer to sell, solicit, or negotiate the insurance in the state where the insured maintains its principal place of business and the contract of insurance insures risks located in that state;
(g) A salaried full-time employee who counsels or advises his or her employer relative to the insurance interests of the employer or of the subsidiaries or business affiliates of the employer, provided that the employee does not sell or solicit insurance or receive a commission; or
(h) Any person securing and forwarding information required for the purposes of group credit life and credit disability insurance or credit casualty insurance against loss or damage resulting from failure of debtors to pay their obligations in connection with an extension of credit and such other credit life and disability insurance or credit casualty insurance against loss or damage resulting from failure of debtors to pay their obligations as the commissioner shall determine, and where no commission or other compensation is payable on account of the securing and forwarding of such information. However, the reimbursement of a creditor's actual expenses for securing and forwarding information required for the purposes of such group insurance will not be considered a commission or other compensation if such reimbursement does not exceed three dollars per certificate issued, or in the case of a monthly premium plan extending beyond twelve months, not to exceed three dollars per loan transaction revision per year.



Unlicensed activitiesActs committed in this stateSanctions.

(1) For the purpose of this section, an act is committed in this state if it is committed, in whole or in part, in the state of Washington, or affects persons or property within the state and relates to or involves an insurance contract, health care services contract, or health maintenance agreement.
(2) Any person who knowingly violates RCW 48.17.060 is guilty of a class B felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(3) Any criminal penalty imposed under this section is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other civil or administrative penalty or sanction otherwise authorized under state law.
(4)(a) If the commissioner has cause to believe that any person has violated the provisions of RCW 48.17.060, the commissioner may:
(i) Issue and enforce a cease and desist order in accordance with the provisions of RCW 48.02.080;
(ii) Suspend or revoke a license; and/or
(iii) Assess a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars for each violation, after providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with chapters 34.05 and 48.04 RCW.
(b) Upon failure to pay a civil penalty when due, the attorney general may bring a civil action on behalf of the commissioner to recover the unpaid penalty. Any amounts collected by the commissioner must be paid to the state treasurer for the account of the general fund.

NOTES:

Severability2003 c 250: See note following RCW 48.01.080.



Application of chapter to insurance producers appointed by health care service contractors, health maintenance organizations, or both.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to insurance producers appointed by either health care service contractors or health maintenance organizations, or both.



Determining whether authorization existsBurden on insurance producer or title insurance agent.

Any insurance producer or title insurance agent soliciting, negotiating, or procuring an application for insurance or health care services in this state must make a good faith effort to determine whether the entity that is issuing the coverage is:
(1) Authorized to transact insurance or health coverage in this state; or
(2) Conducting business through a surplus line broker licensed under chapter 48.15 RCW.

NOTES:

Severability2003 c 250: See note following RCW 48.01.080.



Portable electronicsApplication of chapter to adjustersDuties of independent adjusterCommissioner's authority.

(1) An individual who collects claim information from, or furnishes claim information to, insureds or claimants, and who enters data is not an "adjuster" for the purpose of this chapter if both of the following are satisfied:
(a) The individual's claim-related activity is limited exclusively to claims originating from policies of insurance issued through a portable electronics insurance program as defined in RCW 48.120.005(6); and
(b) The individual is an employee of, and is supervised by, a person that is licensed as an independent adjuster. For purposes of this section, "employee" includes employees of entities under common ownership with the licensed person.
(2) The person that is licensed as an independent adjuster must maintain complete records of its employees engaged in the activity described in subsection (1) of this section and must comply with either (a) or (b) of this subsection:
(a) The person must submit a list of the names of all such employees to the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner annually and must keep the list current by reporting all changes, deletions, or additions within thirty days after the change, deletion, or addition occurred. Each list must be retained by the licensed independent adjuster for a period of three years from submission; or
(b) The person must maintain a system to track and document in the claim records each employee engaged in the activity described in subsection (1) of this section and, upon request of the commissioner, must identify the employee who has engaged in the activity.
(3) The person licensed as an independent adjuster must provide a training and education program for each employee engaged in the activity described in subsection (1) of this section prior to allowing the employee to engage in the activity. The training must include a section on compliance with applicable insurance laws for which a syllabus outlining the content of this section must be submitted to the commissioner for approval prior to use, and resubmitted for approval of any changes prior to use.
(4) The licensed independent adjuster that supervises the persons engaged in the activity described in subsection (1) of this section is responsible for their conduct. The commissioner may place on probation, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew the adjuster's license of the independent adjuster, levy a civil penalty in accordance with RCW 48.17.560, or any combination of actions for any of the causes for which an adjuster's license may be revoked under chapter 48.17 RCW for the violation of any insurance laws, or any rule, subpoena, or order of the commissioner by a person engaged in the activity described in subsection (1) of this section who is employed by the licensed adjuster.



Application for licenseCommissioner's findings.

(1) An individual applying for a resident insurance producer license shall make application to the commissioner on the uniform application and declare under penalty of refusal, suspension, or revocation of the license that the statements made in the application are true, correct, and complete to the best of the individual's knowledge and belief. As a part of or in connection with the application, the individual applicant shall furnish information concerning the applicant's identity, including fingerprints for submission to the Washington state patrol, the federal bureau of investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive this information for a state and national criminal history background check. If, in the process of verifying fingerprints, business records, or other information, the commissioner's office incurs fees or charges from another governmental agency or from a business firm, the amount of the fees or charges shall be paid to the commissioner's office by the applicant.
(2) Before approving the application, the commissioner shall find that the individual:
(a) Is at least eighteen years of age;
(b) Has not committed any act that is a ground for denial, suspension, or revocation set forth in RCW 48.17.530;
(c) Has completed a prelicensing course of study for the lines of authority for which the person has applied;
(d) Has paid the fees set forth in RCW 48.14.010; and
(e) Has successfully passed the examinations for the lines of authority for which the person has applied.
(3) A resident business entity acting as an insurance producer is required to obtain an insurance producer license. Application shall be made using the uniform business entity application, and the individual signing the application shall declare under penalty of refusal, suspension, or revocation of the license that the statements made in the application are true, correct, and complete to the best of the individual's knowledge and belief. Before approving the application, the commissioner shall find that:
(a) The business entity has paid the fees set forth in RCW 48.14.010;
(b) The business entity has designated a licensed insurance producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws and rules of this state; and
(c) The business entity has not committed any act that is a ground for denial, suspension, or revocation set forth in RCW 48.17.530.
(4) A resident business entity acting as a title insurance agent is required to obtain a title insurance agent license. Application shall be made to the commissioner on the uniform business entity application, and the individual submitting the application shall declare under penalty of refusal, suspension, or revocation of the license that the statements made in the application are true, correct, and complete to the best of the individual's knowledge and belief. Before approving the application, the commissioner shall find that the business entity:
(a) Has paid the fees set forth in RCW 48.14.010;
(b) Maintains a lawfully established place of business in this state;
(c) Is empowered to be a title insurance agent under a members' agreement, if a limited liability company, or by its articles of incorporation;
(d) Is appointed as an agent by one or more authorized title insurance companies; and
(e) Has complied with RCW 48.29.155 and 48.29.160.
(5) The commissioner may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in an application and may, from time to time, require any licensed insurance producer or title insurance agent to produce the information called for in an application for license.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date2002 c 227: See note following RCW 48.06.040.
Severability1982 c 181: See note following RCW 48.03.010.



Examination of applicantsExemptionsRules.

(1) A resident individual applying for an insurance producer license or an individual applying for an adjuster, including crop adjuster, license shall pass a written examination unless exempt under this section or RCW 48.17.175. The examination shall test the knowledge of the individual concerning the lines of authority for which application is made, the duties and responsibilities of an insurance producer or adjuster, and the insurance laws and rules of this state. Examinations required by this section shall be developed and conducted under the rules prescribed by the commissioner.
(2) The following are exempt from the examination requirement:
(a) Applicants for licenses under RCW 48.17.170(1) (g), (h), and (i), at the discretion of the commissioner;
(b) With the exception of crop adjusters, applicants for an adjuster's license who for a period of one year, a portion of which was in the year next preceding the date of application, have been a full-time salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent to adjust, investigate, or report claims arising under insurance contracts;
(c) With the exception of crop adjusters, applicants for a license as a nonresident adjuster who are duly licensed in another state and who are deemed by the commissioner to be fully qualified and competent for a similar license in this state; and
(d) Applicants for a license as a nonresident crop adjuster, who must:
(i) Be duly licensed as a crop adjuster, or hold a valid substantially similar license in another state; and
(ii) Have completed prelicensing education and passed an examination substantially similar to the prelicensing education and examination required for licensure as a resident crop adjuster in this state; or
(iii) If their state of residence does not license crop adjusters, complete prelicensing education and pass an examination that are substantially similar to the prelicensing education and examination required to be licensed as a resident crop adjuster in this state.
(3) The commissioner may make arrangements, including contracting with an outside testing service, for administering examinations.
(4) The commissioner may, at any time, require any licensed insurance producer, adjuster[,] or crop adjuster to take and successfully pass an examination testing the licensee's competence and qualifications as a condition to the continuance or renewal of a license, if the licensee has been guilty of violating this title, or has so conducted affairs under an insurance license as to cause the commissioner to reasonably desire further evidence of the licensee's qualifications.
(5) The commissioner may by rule establish requirements for crop adjusters to:
(a) Successfully complete prelicensing education;
(b) Pass a written examination to obtain a license; and
(c) Renew their license.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.



Examination questionsConfidentialityPenalties.

It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to remove, reproduce, duplicate, or distribute in any form, any question(s) used by the state of Washington to determine the qualifications and competence of insurance producers or adjusters required by Title 48 RCW to be licensed. This section shall not prohibit an insurance education provider from creating and using sample test questions in courses approved pursuant to RCW 48.17.150.
Any person violating this section shall be subject to penalties as provided by RCW 48.01.080, 48.17.530, and 48.17.560.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 323: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect July 1, 1989." [ 1989 c 323 § 8.]



Continuing education courses and requirementsRules.

(1) The commissioner shall by rule establish minimum continuing education requirements for the renewal or reissuance of a license to an insurance producer.
(2) The commissioner may by rule establish minimum continuing education requirements for the renewal or reissuance of a license to a crop adjuster.
(3) The commissioner shall require that continuing education courses will be made available on a statewide basis in order to ensure that persons residing in all geographical areas of this state will have a reasonable opportunity to attend such courses.
(4) The continuing education requirements must be appropriate to the license for the lines of authority specified in RCW 48.17.170 or by rule.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date, implementation1979 ex.s. c 269: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Severability1971 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 26.28.010.



Agents selling federal flood insurance policiesTraining requirements.

(1) All Washington state licensed insurance agents who sell federal flood insurance policies must comply with the minimum training requirements of section 207 of the flood insurance reform act of 2004, and basic flood education as outlined at 70 C.F.R. Sec. 52117, or such later requirements as are published by the federal emergency management agency.
(2) Licensed insurers shall demonstrate to the commissioner, upon request, that their licensed and appointed agents who sell federal flood insurance policies have complied with the minimum federal flood insurance training requirements.



Appointment of agentsApprovalTerminationFees.

(1) An insurance producer or title insurance agent shall not act as an agent of an insurer unless the insurance producer or title insurance agent becomes an appointed agent of that insurer. An insurance producer who is not acting as an agent of an insurer is not required to become appointed.
(2) To appoint an insurance producer or title insurance agent as its agent, the appointing insurer shall file, in a format approved by the commissioner, a notice of appointment within fifteen days from the date the agency contract is executed or the first insurance application is submitted, whichever is earlier.
(3) Upon receipt of the notice of appointment, the commissioner shall verify within a reasonable time, not to exceed thirty days, that the insurance producer or title insurance agent is eligible for appointment. If the insurance producer or title insurance agent is determined to be ineligible for appointment, the commissioner shall notify the insurer within ten days of the determination.
(4) An insurer shall pay an appointment fee, in the amount and method of payment set forth in RCW 48.14.010, for each insurance producer or title insurance agent appointed by the insurer.
(5) Contingent upon payment of the appointment renewal fee as set forth in RCW 48.14.010, an appointment shall be effective until terminated by the insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent and notice has been given to the commissioner as required by RCW 48.17.595.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date, implementation1979 ex.s. c 269: See note following RCW 48.14.010.



Insurance producers', title insurance agents', and adjusters' licensesAuthorized lines of authorityDefinitionsForm and content of licenses.

(1) Unless denied licensure under RCW 48.17.530, persons who have met the requirements of RCW 48.17.090 and 48.17.110 shall be issued an insurance producer license. An insurance producer may receive a license in one or more of the following lines of authority:
(a) "Life," which is insurance coverage on human lives, including benefits of endowment and annuities, and may include benefits in the event of death or dismemberment by accident and benefits for disability income;
(b) "Disability," which is insurance coverage for accident, health, and disability or sickness, bodily injury, or accidental death, and may include benefits for disability income;
(c) "Property," which is insurance coverage for the direct or consequential loss or damage to property of every kind;
(d) "Casualty," which is insurance coverage against legal liability, including that for death, injury, or disability or damage to real or personal property;
(e) "Variable life and variable annuity products," which is insurance coverage provided under variable life insurance contracts, variable annuities, or any other life insurance or annuity product that reflects the investment experience of a separate account;
(f) "Personal lines," which is property and casualty insurance coverage sold to individuals and families for primarily noncommercial purposes;
(g) Limited lines:
(i) Surety;
(ii) Limited line credit insurance;
(iii) Travel;
(h) Specialty lines:
(i) Portable electronics;
(ii) Rental car;
(iii) Self-service storage; or
(i) Any other line of insurance permitted under state laws or rules.
(2) Unless denied licensure under RCW 48.17.530, persons who have met the requirements of RCW 48.17.090(4) shall be issued a title insurance agent license.
(3) All insurance producers', title insurance agents', and adjusters' licenses issued by the commissioner shall be valid for the time period established by the commissioner unless suspended or revoked at an earlier date.
(4) Subject to the right of the commissioner to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew any insurance producer's, title insurance agent's, or adjuster's license as provided in this title, the license may be renewed into another like period by filing with the commissioner by any means acceptable to the commissioner on or before the expiration date a request, by or on behalf of the licensee, for such renewal accompanied by payment of the renewal fee as specified in RCW 48.14.010.
(5) If the request and fee for renewal of an insurance producer's, title insurance agent's, or adjuster's license are filed with the commissioner prior to expiration of the existing license, the licensee may continue to act under such license, unless sooner revoked or suspended, until the issuance of a renewal license, or until the expiration of fifteen days after the commissioner has refused to renew the license and has mailed notification of such refusal to the licensee. If the request and fee for the license renewal are not received by the expiration date, the authority conferred by the license ends on the expiration date.
(6) If the request for renewal of an insurance producer's, title insurance agent's, or adjuster's license and payment of the fee are not received by the commissioner prior to the expiration date, the applicant for renewal shall pay to the commissioner, in addition to the renewal fee, a surcharge as follows:
(a) For the first thirty days or part thereof of delinquency, the surcharge is fifty percent of the renewal fee;
(b) For the next thirty days or part thereof of delinquency, the surcharge is one hundred percent of the renewal fee.
(7) If the request for renewal of an insurance producer's, title insurance agent's, or adjuster's license and fee for the renewal are received by the commissioner after sixty days but prior to twelve months after the expiration date, the application is for reinstatement of the license and the applicant for reinstatement must pay to the commissioner the license fee and a surcharge of two hundred percent of the license fee.
(8) Subsections (6) and (7) of this section do not exempt any person from any penalty provided by law for transacting business without a valid and subsisting license or appointment.
(9) An individual insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster who allows his or her license to lapse may, within twelve months after the expiration date, reinstate the same license without the necessity of passing a written examination.
(10) A licensed insurance producer who is unable to comply with license renewal procedures due to military service or some other extenuating circumstance such as a long-term medical disability, may request a waiver of those procedures. The producer may also request a waiver of any examination requirement or any other fine or sanction imposed for failure to comply with renewal procedures.
(11) The license shall contain the licensee's name, address, personal identification number, and the date of issuance, lines of authority, expiration date, and any other information the commissioner deems necessary.
(12) Licensees shall inform the commissioner by any means acceptable to the commissioner of a change of address within thirty days of the change. Failure to timely inform the commissioner of a change in legal name or address may result in a penalty under either RCW 48.17.530 or 48.17.560, or both.
[ 2012 c 154 § 5. Prior: 2009 c 162 § 19; 2009 c 119 § 11; 2007 c 117 § 12; 1979 ex.s. c 269 § 3; 1947 c 79 § .17.17; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.17.]

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date2009 c 119: See RCW 48.170.900.
Effective date, implementation1979 ex.s. c 269: See note following RCW 48.14.010.



Nonresident license requestConditions for approvalService of legal process.

(1) Unless denied licensure under RCW 48.17.530, a nonresident person must receive a nonresident producer license for the line or lines of authority under RCW 48.17.170 which is substantially equivalent to the line or lines of authority granted to the nonresident person in the person's home state if:
(a) The person is currently licensed as a resident and in good standing in the person's home state;
(b) The person has submitted the proper request for licensure and has paid the fees required by RCW 48.14.010;
(c) The person has submitted or transmitted to the commissioner a completed uniform application;
(d) The person's home state awards nonresident producer licenses to residents of this state on the same basis; and
(e) A business entity, it has designated an individual licensed insurance producer responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws and rules of this state.
(2) An individual, as part of the request for licensure, must furnish information concerning the individual's identity for submission to the Washington state patrol, the federal bureau of investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive this information for a state and national criminal history background check. If, in the process of verifying business records or other information, the commissioner's office incurs fees or charges from another governmental agency or from a business firm, the amount of the fees or charges must be paid to the commissioner's office by the applicant.
(3) A nonresident business entity acting as a title insurance agent is required to obtain a title insurance agent license. Application must be made to the commissioner on the uniform business entity application, and the individual submitting the application must declare under penalty of refusal, suspension, or revocation of the license that the statements made in the application are true, correct, and complete to the best of the individual's knowledge and belief. Before approving the application, the commissioner must find that the business entity:
(a) Has paid the fees set forth in RCW 48.14.010;
(b) Maintains a lawfully established place of business in its home state and holds a corresponding license issued by the state of its principal place of business, and has complied with the laws of this state governing the admission of foreign corporations;
(c) Is empowered to be a title agent under a members' agreement, if a limited liability company, or by its articles of incorporation;
(d) Is appointed as an agent by one or more authorized title insurance companies;
(e) Has complied with RCW 48.29.155 and 48.29.160; and
(f) Has designated an individual officer of the title insurance agent to be responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws and rules of this state.
(4) If the nonresident insurance producer applicant (a) has a valid license from the applicant's home state and (b) the applicant's home state awards nonresident insurance producer licenses to residents of this state on the same basis, the commissioner must waive any license application requirements, except those imposed under this section.
(5) A nonresident insurance producer's satisfaction of the nonresident insurance producer's home state's continuing education requirements for licensed insurance producers constitutes satisfaction of this state's continuing education requirements if the nonresident producer's home state recognizes the satisfaction of its continuing education requirements imposed upon producers from this state on the same basis.
(6) The commissioner may verify the nonresident insurance producer's licensing status through the producer database maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates, or subsidiaries.
(7) A nonresident insurance producer who moves from one state to another state or a resident producer who moves from this state to another state must file a change of address and provide certification from the new resident state within thirty days of the change of legal residence. No fee or license application is required.
(8) A person licensed as a limited line credit insurance or other type of limited lines insurance producer in the person's home state and who complies with the requirements of subsection (1) of this section must receive a nonresident limited lines insurance producer license, under subsection (1) of this section, granting the same scope of authority as granted under the license issued by the insurance producer's home state. For the purpose of this subsection, "limited lines insurance" is any authority granted by the home state which restricts the authority of the license to the lines set out in RCW 48.17.170(1) (g) or (h).
(9) Each licensed nonresident insurance producer or title insurance agent, by application for and issuance of a license, is deemed to have appointed the commissioner as the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's attorney to receive service of legal process issued against the insurance producer or title insurance agent in this state upon causes of action arising within this state. Service upon the commissioner as attorney constitutes effective legal service upon the insurance producer or title insurance agent.
(a) The appointment of the commissioner as attorney is irrevocable, binds any successor in interest or to the assets or liabilities of the insurance producer or title insurance agent, and remains in effect for as long as there could be any cause of action against the insurance producer or title insurance agent arising out of the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's insurance transactions in this state.
(b) Service of legal process must be accomplished and processed in the manner prescribed in RCW 48.02.200.
(10) The commissioner may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in an application and may, from time to time, require any licensed insurance producer or title insurance agent to produce the information called for in an application for license.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 18: See note following RCW 48.15.070.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.



In-state applicant has license in another state.

(1) An individual who applies for an insurance producer license in this state who was previously licensed for the same lines of authority in another state shall not be required to complete any prelicensing education or examination. This exemption is only available if the person is currently licensed in that state or if the application is received within ninety days of the cancellation of the applicant's previous license, and if the prior state issues a certification that, at the time of cancellation, the applicant was in good standing in that state or the state's producer database records, maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates, or subsidiaries, indicate that the producer is or was licensed in good standing for the line of authority requested.
(2) A person licensed as an insurance producer in another state who moves to this state shall make application within ninety days of establishing legal residence to become a resident licensee under RCW 48.17.090. No prelicensing education or examination shall be required of that person to obtain any line of authority previously held in the prior state except where the commissioner determines otherwise by rule.



Doing business under any name other than legal name.

An insurance producer or title insurance agent doing business under any name other than the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's legal name is required to register the name in accordance with chapter 19.80 RCW and notify the commissioner before using the assumed name.
[ 2007 c 117 § 15; 1990 1st ex.s. c 3 § 4; 1979 ex.s. c 269 § 4; 1947 c 79 § .17.18; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.18.]

NOTES:

Effective date, implementation1979 ex.s. c 269: See note following RCW 48.14.010.
Title insurance agents, separate licenses for individuals not required: RCW 48.29.170.



Insurance producer's bond.

(1) Every resident insurance producer licensed under this chapter on or after July 1, 2009, who places insurance either directly or indirectly with an insurer with which the insurance producer is not appointed as an agent must maintain in force while so licensed a bond in favor of the people of the state of Washington or a named insured such that the people of Washington are covered by the bond, executed by an authorized corporate surety approved by the commissioner, in the amount of two thousand five hundred dollars, or five percent of the premiums brokered in the previous calendar year, whichever is greater, but not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars total aggregate liability. The bond may be continuous in form, and total aggregate liability on the bond may be limited to the required amount of the bond. The bond must be contingent on the accounting by the resident insurance producer to any person requesting the resident insurance producer to obtain insurance, for moneys or premiums collected in connection therewith.
(2) Authorized insurance producers of a business entity may meet the requirements of this section with a bond in the name of the business entity, continuous in form, and in the amounts set forth in subsection (1) of this section. Insurance producers may meet the requirements of this section with a bond in the name of an association. The association must have been in existence for five years, have common membership, and have been formed for a purpose other than obtaining a bond. An individual insurance producer remains responsible for assuring that a bond is in effect and is for the correct amount.
(3) The surety may cancel the bond and be released from further liability thereunder upon thirty days' written notice in advance to the principal. The cancellation does not affect any liability incurred or accrued under the bond before the termination of the thirty-day period.
(4) The insurance producer's license may be revoked if the insurance producer acts without a bond that is required under this section.
(5) If a party injured under the terms of the bond requests the insurance producer to provide the name of the surety and the bond number, the insurance producer must provide the information within three working days after receiving the request.
(6) Members of an association may meet the requirements of this section with a bond in the name of the association that is continuous in form and in the amounts set forth in subsection (1) of this section for each participating member.
(7) All records relating to the bond required by this section must be kept available and open to the inspection of the commissioner at any business time.

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 18: See note following RCW 48.15.070.
Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date, implementation1979 ex.s. c 269: See note following RCW 48.14.010.



Insurance producer as insurer's agentCompensationDisclosure.

(1) The sole relationship between an insurance producer and an insurer as to which the insurance producer is appointed as an agent shall, as to transactions arising during the existence of such agency appointment, be that of insurer and agent.
(2) Unless the agency-insurer agreement provides to the contrary, an insurance producer may receive the following compensation:
(a) A commission paid by the insurer;
(b) A fee paid by the insured; or
(c) A combination of commission paid by the insurer and a fee paid by the insured from which an insurance producer may offset or reimburse the insured for all or part of the fee.
(3) If the compensation received by an insurance producer who is dealing directly with the insured includes a fee, for each policy, the insurance producer must disclose in writing to the insured:
(a) The full amount of the fee paid by the insured;
(b) The full amount of any commission paid to the insurance producer by the insurer, if one is received;
(c) An explanation of any offset or reimbursement of fees or commissions as described in subsection (2)(c) of this section;
(d) When the insurance producer may receive additional commission, notice that states the insurance producer:
(i) May receive additional commission in the form of future incentive compensation from the insurer, including contingent commissions and other awards and bonuses based on factors that typically include the total sales volume, growth, profitability, and retention of business placed by the insurance producer with the insurer, and incentive compensation is only paid if the performance criteria established in the agency-insurer agreement is met by the insurance producer or the business entity with which the insurance producer is affiliated; and
(ii) Will furnish to the insured or prospective insured specific information relating to additional commission upon request; and
(e) The full name of the insurer that may pay any commission to the insurance producer.
(4) Written disclosure of compensation as required by subsection (3) of this section shall be provided by the insurance producer to the insured prior to the sale of the policy.
(5) Written disclosure as required by subsection (3) of this section must be signed by the insurance producer and the insured, and the writing must be retained by the insurance producer for five years. For the purposes of this section, written disclosure means the insured's written consent obtained prior to the insured's purchase of insurance. In the case of a purchase over the telephone or by electronic means for which written consent cannot be reasonably obtained, consent documented by the insurance producer shall be acceptable.
[ 2009 c 162 § 22; 2007 c 117 § 17; 1994 c 203 § 1; 1993 c 455 § 1; 1981 c 339 § 13; 1947 c 79 § .17.27; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.27.]

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.



AdjustersApplication formQualifications for licenseBond.

(1) Application for a license to be an adjuster must be made to the commissioner upon forms furnished by the commissioner.
(a) As a part of or in connection with the application, each resident applicant, and nonresident applicant designating Washington as the applicant's home state must furnish information concerning his or her identity, including fingerprints for submission to the Washington state patrol, the federal bureau of investigation, and any governmental agency or entity authorized to receive this information for a state and national criminal history background check, personal history, experience, business record, purposes, and other pertinent facts, as the commissioner may reasonably require. If, in the process of verifying fingerprints, business records, or other information, the commissioner's office incurs fees or charges from another governmental agency or from a business firm, the amount of the fees or charges must be paid to the commissioner's office by the applicant.
(b) A nonresident person holding an adjuster's license or equivalent in a state other than Washington that is the applicant's home state, or is designated as the applicant's home state, must comply with the requirements of this section, with the exception of the fingerprint requirement contained in (a) of this subsection.
(2) Any person willfully misrepresenting any fact required to be disclosed in any application shall be liable to penalties as provided by this code.
(3) The commissioner licenses as an adjuster only an individual or business entity which has otherwise complied with this code and the individual or responsible officer of the business entity has furnished evidence satisfactory to the commissioner that the individual or responsible officer of the business entity is qualified as follows:
(a) Is eighteen or more years of age;
(b) Is a bona fide resident of this state, or is a resident of a state which will permit residents of this state to act as adjusters in such other state;
(c) Is a trustworthy person;
(d) Has had experience or special education or training with reference to the handling of loss claims under insurance contracts, of sufficient duration and extent reasonably to make the individual or responsible officer of the business entity competent to fulfill the responsibilities of an adjuster;
(e) Has successfully passed any examination as required under this chapter;
(f) If for a public adjuster's license, has filed the bond required by RCW 48.17.430;
(g) If a nonresident business entity, has designated an individual licensed adjuster responsible for the business entity's compliance with the insurance laws and rules of this state.
(4) If an applicant's principal place of residence or principal place of business is located in a state or province that does not have laws governing adjusters substantially similar to those of this state, the applicant may designate this state or another state or province in which the applicant is licensed and acts as an adjuster to be the applicant's home state for the purposes of this chapter.
(5) If the applicant designates this state or another state or province as the applicant's home state, to be eligible for licensure in this state, the applicant must have satisfied the requirements for licensure as a resident adjuster under the laws of the applicant's designated home state.
(6)(a) Each licensed nonresident adjuster, by application for and issuance of a license, has appointed the commissioner as the adjuster's attorney to receive service of legal process against the adjuster in this state upon causes of action arising within this state. Service upon the commissioner as attorney constitutes effective legal service on the adjuster.
(b) The appointment of the commissioner as attorney is irrevocable, binds any successor in interest or to the assets or liabilities of the adjuster, and remains in effect for as long as there could be any cause of action against the adjuster arising out of the adjuster's transactions in this state. The service of process must be accomplished and processed in the manner prescribed under RCW 48.02.200.
(7) The commissioner may require any documents reasonably necessary to verify the information contained in an application and may, from time to time, require any licensed adjuster to produce the information called for in an application for a license.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Severability1971 ex.s. c 292: See note following RCW 26.28.010.



Independent, public, or crop adjustersSeparate licenses.

(1)(a) The commissioner may license:
(i) An individual or business entity as an independent adjuster or as a public adjuster;
(ii) An individual as a crop adjuster; and
(b) Separate licenses shall be required for each type of adjuster.
(2) An individual or business entity may be concurrently licensed under separate licenses as an independent adjuster and as a public adjuster.
(3) An individual may be concurrently licensed under separate licenses as an independent adjuster, a public adjuster, or a crop adjuster.
(4) The full license fee shall be paid for each such license.
[ 2010 c 67 § 6; 2007 c 117 § 19; 1981 c 339 § 16; 1947 c 79 § .17.39; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.39.]

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.



Authority of adjuster.

An adjuster shall have authority under an adjuster's license only to investigate or report to the adjuster's principal upon claims as limited under RCW 48.17.010(1) on behalf only of the insurers if licensed as an independent adjuster, or on behalf only of insureds if licensed as a public adjuster. An adjuster licensed concurrently as both an independent and a public adjuster shall not represent both the insurer and the insured in the same transaction.
[ 2007 c 117 § 20; 1947 c 79 § .17.41; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.41.]



Appointed agent may adjustWhen license or certification is requiredNonresident adjusters or crop adjusters.

(1) An insurance producer or title insurance agent may from time to time act as an adjuster on behalf of and as authorized by an insurer for which an insurance producer or title insurance agent has been appointed as an agent and investigate and report upon claims without being required to be licensed as an adjuster. An insurance producer or title insurance agent must not act as a crop adjuster or investigate or report upon claims arising under crop insurance without first obtaining a crop adjuster license or, if a salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent, without first being certified by a crop adjuster proficiency program approved by the risk management agency of the United States department of agriculture.
(2) Except for losses arising under crop insurance, a license by this state is not required of a nonresident independent adjuster, for the adjustment in this state of a single loss, or of losses arising out of a catastrophe common to all such losses.
(3) For losses arising under crop insurance, a license by this state is not required of a nonresident crop adjuster, for the adjustment in this state of a single loss, or of losses arising out of a catastrophe common to all such losses, if the nonresident crop adjuster is:
(a) Licensed as a crop adjuster in another state;
(b) Certified by the risk management agency of the United States department of agriculture; or
(c) A salaried employee of an insurer or of a managing general agent who is certified by a crop adjuster proficiency program approved by the risk management agency of the United States department of agriculture.
[ 2010 c 67 § 7; 2007 c 117 § 21; 1947 c 79 § .17.42; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.42.]

NOTES:

Effective date2010 c 67: See note following RCW 48.14.010.



Public adjuster's bond.

(1) Prior to the issuance of a license as public adjuster, the applicant therefor shall file with the commissioner and shall thereafter maintain in force while so licensed a surety bond in favor of the people of the state of Washington, executed by an authorized corporate surety approved by the commissioner, in the amount of five thousand dollars. The bond may be continuous in form, and total aggregate liability on the bond may be limited to the payment of five thousand dollars. The bond shall be contingent on the accounting by the adjuster to any insured whose claim he or she is handling, for moneys or any settlement received in connection therewith.
(2) Any such bond shall remain in force until the surety is released from liability by the commissioner, or until canceled by the surety. Without prejudice to any liability accrued prior to cancellation, the surety may cancel a bond upon thirty days advance notice in writing filed with the commissioner.
(3) Such bond shall be required of any adjuster acting as a public adjuster as of the effective date of this code, or thereafter under any unexpired license heretofore issued.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7063; 1977 ex.s. c 182 § 5; 1947 c 79 § .17.43; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.43.]



Place of business.

(1) Every licensed insurance producer, title insurance agent, and adjuster, other than an insurance producer licensed for life or disability insurances only, shall have and maintain in this state, or, if a nonresident insurance producer or title insurance agent, in this state or in the state of the licensee's domicile, a place of business accessible to the public. Such place of business shall be that wherein the insurance producer or title insurance agent principally conducts transactions under that person's licenses. A licensee maintaining more than one place of business in this state shall obtain a duplicate license or licenses for each additional such place, and shall pay the full fee therefor.
(2) Any notice, order, or written communication from the commissioner to a person licensed under this chapter which directly affects the person's license shall be sent by mail to the person's last address of record with the commissioner.
[ 2007 c 117 § 22; 1990 1st ex.s. c 3 § 5; 1988 c 248 § 11; 1953 c 197 § 6; 1947 c 79 § .17.45; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.45.]



Display of license.

The license or licenses of each insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster shall be displayed in a conspicuous place in that part of the place of business which is customarily open to the public.
[ 2007 c 117 § 23; 1947 c 79 § .17.46; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.46.]



Records of insurance producers, title insurance agents, adjusters.

(1) Every insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster shall retain a record of all transactions consummated under the license. This record shall be in organized form and shall include:
(a) If an insurance producer or title insurance agent:
(i) A record of each insurance contract procured or issued, together with the names of the insurers and insureds, the amount of premium paid or to be paid, and a statement of the subject of the insurance;
(ii) The names of any other licensees from whom business is accepted, and of persons to whom commissions or allowances of any kind are promised or paid.
(b) If an adjuster, a record of each investigation or adjustment undertaken or consummated, and a statement of any fee, commission, or other compensation received or to be received by the adjuster on account of such investigation or adjustment.
(c) Such other and additional information as shall be customary, or as may reasonably be required by the commissioner.
(2) All such records as to any particular transaction shall be kept available and open to the inspection of the commissioner at any business time during the five years immediately after the date of the completion of such transaction.
(3) This section shall not apply as to life or disability insurances.
[ 2007 c 117 § 24; 1947 c 79 § .17.47; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.47.]



Licensee to reply promptly to inquiry by commissioner.

Every insurance producer, title insurance agent, adjuster, or other person licensed under this chapter shall promptly reply in writing to an inquiry of the commissioner relative to the business of insurance. A timely response is one that is received by the commissioner within fifteen business days from receipt of the inquiry. Failure to make a timely response constitutes a violation of this section.



Reporting and accounting for premiums.

(1) An insurance producer, title insurance agent, or any other representative of an insurer involved in the procuring or issuance of an insurance contract shall report to the insurer the exact amount of consideration charged as premium for such contract, and such amount shall likewise be shown in the contract and in the records of the insurance producer, title insurance agent, or other representative. Each willful violation of this provision is a misdemeanor.
(2) All funds representing premiums or return premiums received by an insurance producer or title insurance agent shall be so received in the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's fiduciary capacity, and shall be promptly accounted for and paid to the insured, insurer, title insurance agent, or insurance producer as entitled thereto.
(3) Any person licensed under this chapter who receives funds which belong to or should be paid to another person as a result of or in connection with an insurance transaction is deemed to have received the funds in a fiduciary capacity. The licensee shall promptly account for and pay the funds to the person entitled to the funds.
(4) Any insurance producer, title insurance agent, adjuster, or other person licensed under this chapter who, not being lawfully entitled thereto, diverts or appropriates funds received in a fiduciary capacity or any portion thereof to his or her own use, is guilty of theft under chapter 9A.56 RCW.
[ 2007 c 117 § 26; 2003 c 53 § 269; 1988 c 248 § 12; 1947 c 79 § .17.48; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.48.]

NOTES:

IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.



Must be licensed to receive a commission, service fee, or other valuable consideration.

(1) An insurance company, insurance producer, or title insurance agent shall not pay a commission, service fee, or other valuable consideration to a person for selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance in this state if that person is required to be licensed under this chapter or chapter 48.15 RCW and is not so licensed.
(2) A person shall not accept a commission, service fee, or other valuable consideration for selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance in this state if that person is required to be licensed under this chapter or chapter 48.15 RCW and is not so licensed.
(3) Renewal or other deferred commissions may be paid to a person for selling, soliciting, or negotiating insurance in this state if the person was required to be licensed under this chapter or chapter 48.15 RCW at the time of the sale, solicitation, or negotiation, and was so licensed at that time.
(4) An insurer, except a title insurer, or insurance producer may pay or assign commissions, service fees, or other valuable consideration to an insurance agency, or to persons who do not sell, solicit, or negotiate insurance in this state, unless the payment would violate RCW 48.30.140, 48.30.150, 48.30.155, 48.30.157, or 48.30.170.
[ 2007 c 117 § 27; 1988 c 248 § 13; 1947 c 79 § .17.49; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.49.]



Temporary licensesRestrictionsCommissioner's discretion.

(1) The commissioner may issue a temporary insurance producer license for a period not to exceed one hundred eighty days without requiring an examination if the commissioner deems that the temporary license is necessary for the servicing of an insurance business in the following cases:
(a) To the surviving spouse or court-appointed personal representative of a licensed insurance producer who dies or becomes mentally or physically disabled to allow adequate time for the sale of the insurance business owned by the insurance producer or for the recovery or return of the insurance producer to the business, or to provide for the training and licensing of new personnel to operate the insurance producer's business;
(b) To a member or employee of a business entity licensed as an insurance producer, upon the death or disability of an individual designated in the business entity application or the license;
(c) To the designee of a licensed insurance producer entering active service in the armed forces of the United States; or
(d) In any other circumstance where the commissioner deems that the public interest will best be served by the issuance of this license.
(2) The commissioner may, by order, limit the authority of any temporary licensee in any way deemed necessary to protect insureds and the public. The commissioner may require the temporary licensee to have a suitable sponsor who is a licensed insurance producer or insurer and who assumes responsibility for all acts of the temporary licensee, and may impose other similar requirements designed to protect insureds and the public. The commissioner may, by order, revoke a temporary license if the interest of insureds or the public are endangered. A temporary license may not continue after the owner or the personal representatives dispose of the business.
[ 2007 c 117 § 28; 1982 c 181 § 7; 1955 c 303 § 15; 1953 c 197 § 8; 1947 c 79 § .17.51; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.51.]

NOTES:

Severability1982 c 181: See note following RCW 48.03.010.



Commissioner may place on probation, suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew a license.

(1) The commissioner may place on probation, suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew an adjuster's license, an insurance producer's license, a title insurance agent's license, or any surplus line broker's license, or may levy a civil penalty in accordance with RCW 48.17.560 or any combination of actions, for any one or more of the following causes:
(a) Providing incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or materially untrue information in the license application;
(b) Violating any insurance laws, or violating any rule, subpoena, or order of the commissioner or of another state's insurance commissioner;
(c) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a license through misrepresentation or fraud;
(d) Improperly withholding, misappropriating, or converting any moneys or properties received in the course of doing insurance business;
(e) Intentionally misrepresenting the terms of an actual or proposed insurance contract or application for insurance;
(f) Having been convicted of a felony;
(g) Having admitted or been found to have committed any insurance unfair trade practice or fraud;
(h) Using fraudulent, coercive, or dishonest practices, or demonstrating incompetence, untrustworthiness, or financial irresponsibility in this state or elsewhere;
(i) Having an insurance producer license, or its equivalent, denied, suspended, or revoked in any other state, province, district, or territory;
(j) Forging another's name to an application for insurance or to any document related to an insurance transaction;
(k) Improperly using notes or any other reference material to complete an examination for an insurance license;
(l) Knowingly accepting insurance business from a person who is required to be licensed under this title and is not so licensed, other than orders for issuance of title insurance on property located in this state placed by a nonresident title insurance agent authorized to act as a title insurance agent in the title insurance agent's home state; or
(m) Obtaining a loan from an insurance client that is not a financial institution and who is not related to the insurance producer by birth, marriage, or adoption, except the commissioner may, by rule, define and permit reasonable arrangements.
(2) The license of a business entity may be suspended, revoked, or refused if the commissioner finds that an individual licensee's violation was known or should have been known by one or more of the partners, officers, or managers acting on behalf of the partnership or corporation, and the violation was neither reported to the commissioner nor corrective action taken.
(3) The commissioner shall retain the authority to enforce the provisions of and impose any penalty or remedy authorized by this chapter and this title against any person who is under investigation for or charged with a violation of this chapter or this title, even if the person's license or registration has been surrendered or has lapsed by operation of law.
(4) The holder of any license which has been revoked or suspended shall surrender the license certificate to the commissioner at the commissioner's request.
(5) The commissioner may probate a suspension or revocation of a license under reasonable terms determined by the commissioner. In addition, the commissioner may require a licensee who is placed on probation to:
(a) Report regularly to the commissioner on matters that are the basis of the probation;
(b) Limit practice to an area prescribed by the commissioner; or
(c) Continue or renew continuing education until the licensee attains a degree of skill satisfactory to the commissioner in the area that is the basis of the probation.
(6) At any time during a probation term where the licensee has violated the probation order, the commissioner may:
(a) Rescind the probation and enforce the commissioner's original order; and
(b) Impose any disciplinary action permitted under this section in addition to or in lieu of enforcing the original order.
[ 2007 c 117 § 29; 1973 1st ex.s. c 152 § 2; 1969 ex.s. c 241 § 11; 1967 c 150 § 23; 1947 c 79 § .17.53; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.53.]

NOTES:

Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 152: See note following RCW 48.05.140.



License or certificate suspensionNoncompliance with support orderReissuance.

The commissioner shall immediately suspend the license or certificate of a person who has been certified pursuant to RCW 74.20A.320 by the department of social and health services as a person who is not in compliance with a support order or a *residential or visitation order. If the person has continued to meet all other requirements for reinstatement during the suspension, reissuance of the license or certificate shall be automatic upon the commissioner's receipt of a release issued by the department of social and health services stating that the licensee is in compliance with the order.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: 1997 c 58 § 886 requiring a court to order certification of noncompliance with residential provisions of a court-ordered parenting plan was vetoed. Provisions ordering the department of social and health services to certify a responsible parent based on a court order to certify for noncompliance with residential provisions of a parenting plan were vetoed. See RCW 74.20A.320.
Short titlePart headings, captions, table of contents not lawExemptions and waivers from federal lawConflict with federal requirementsSeverability1997 c 58: See RCW 74.08A.900 through 74.08A.904.
Effective datesIntent1997 c 58: See notes following RCW 74.20A.320.



Procedure to suspend, revoke, or refuseEffect of conviction of felony.

(1) The commissioner may revoke or refuse to renew any license issued under this chapter, or any surplus line broker's license, immediately and without hearing, upon sentencing of the licensee for conviction of a felony by final judgment of any court of competent jurisdiction, if the facts giving rise to such conviction demonstrate the licensee to be untrustworthy to maintain any such license.
(2) The commissioner may suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew any such license:
(a) By an order served by mail or personal service upon the licensee not less than fifteen days prior to the effective date thereof, subject to the right of the licensee to have a hearing as provided in RCW 48.04.010; or
(b) By an order on hearing made as provided in chapter 34.05 RCW, the Administrative Procedure Act, effective not less than ten days after the date of the service of the order, subject to the right of the licensee to appeal to the superior court.
(3) The commissioner may temporarily suspend such license by an order served by mail or by personal service upon the licensee not less than three days prior to the effective date thereof, provided the order contains a notice of revocation and includes a finding that the public safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action. Such suspension shall continue only until proceedings for revocation are concluded. The commissioner also may temporarily suspend such license in cases where proceedings for revocation are pending if he or she finds that the public safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action.
(4) Service by mail under this section shall mean posting in the United States mail, addressed to the licensee at the most recent address shown in the commissioner's licensing records for the licensee. Service by mail is complete upon deposit in the United States mail.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 175: See note following RCW 34.05.010.
Severability1982 c 181: See note following RCW 48.03.010.
Severability1973 1st ex.s. c 107: "If any provision of this 1973 amendatory 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." [ 1973 1st ex.s. c 107 § 5.]



Duration of suspension.

Every order suspending any such license shall specify the period during which suspension will be effective, and which period shall in no event exceed twelve months.
[1947 c 79 § .17.55; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.55.]



Fines may be imposed.

After hearing or upon stipulation by the licensee or insurance education provider, and in addition to or in lieu of the suspension, revocation, or refusal to renew any such license or insurance education provider approval, the commissioner may levy a fine upon the licensee or insurance education provider. (1) For each offense the fine shall be an amount not more than one thousand dollars. (2) The order levying such fine shall specify that the fine shall be fully paid not less than fifteen nor more than thirty days from the date of the order. (3) Upon failure to pay any such fine when due, the commissioner shall revoke the licenses of the licensee or the approval(s) of the insurance education provider, if not already revoked. The fine shall be recovered in a civil action brought on behalf of the commissioner by the attorney general. Any fine so collected shall be paid by the commissioner to the state treasurer for the account of the general fund.
[ 1989 c 323 § 3; 1975 1st ex.s. c 266 § 8; 1967 c 150 § 25; 1947 c 79 § .17.56; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.17.56.]

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 323: See note following RCW 48.17.125.
Severability1975 1st ex.s. c 266: See note following RCW 48.01.010.



Insurance education providersCommissioner's approvalRenewal fee.

(1) The commissioner may require insurance education providers to furnish specific information regarding their curricula, faculty, methods of monitoring attendance, and other matters reasonably related to providing insurance education under this chapter. The commissioner may grant approvals to such providers who demonstrate the ability to conduct and certify completion of one or more courses satisfying the insurance education requirements of RCW 48.17.150.
(2) Provider and course approvals are valid for the time period established by the commissioner and shall expire if not timely renewed. Each provider shall pay the renewal fee set forth in *RCW 48.14.010(1)(n).

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: The reference to RCW 48.14.010(1)(n) appears to be erroneous. See RCW 48.14.010.
Effective date1989 c 323: See note following RCW 48.17.125.



Insurance education providersViolationsCosts awarded.

If an investigation of any insurance education provider culminates in a finding by the commissioner or by any court of competent jurisdiction, that the insurance education provider has failed to comply with or has violated any statute or regulation pertaining to insurance education, the insurance education provider shall pay the expenses reasonably attributable and allocable to such investigation.
(1) The commissioner shall calculate such expenses and render a bill therefor by registered mail to the insurance education provider. Within thirty days after receipt of such bill, the insurance education provider shall pay the full amount to the commissioner. The commissioner shall transmit such payment to the state treasurer. The state treasurer shall credit the payment to the office of the insurance commissioner regulatory account, treating such payment as recovery of a prior expenditure.
(2) In any action brought under this section, if the commissioner prevails, the court may award to the office of the commissioner all costs of the action, including a reasonable attorneys' fee to be fixed by the court.

NOTES:

Effective date2009 c 162: See note following RCW 48.03.020.
Effective date1989 c 323: See note following RCW 48.17.125.



Insurance education providersBond.

In addition to the regulatory requirements imposed pursuant to RCW 48.17.150, the commissioner may require each insurance education provider to post a bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit. Every insurance education provider, other than an insurer, health care service contractor, health maintenance organization, or educational institution established by Washington statutes, is subject to the requirement.
(1) The provider shall file with each request for course approval and shall maintain in force while so approved, the bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit in favor of the state of Washington, according to criteria which the commissioner shall establish by regulation. The amount of such bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit, shall not exceed five thousand dollars for the provider's first approved course and one thousand dollars for each additional approved course.
(2) Proceeds from the bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit shall inure to the commissioner for payment of investigation expenses or for payment of any fine ordered per Washington statutes or regulations governing insurance education: PROVIDED, That recoverable investigation expenses or fines shall not be limited to the amount of such required bond, cash deposit, or irrevocable letter of credit.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 323: See note following RCW 48.17.125.



Termination of agency contractEffect on insuredDefinitionApplication of section.

(1) No insurer authorized to do business in this state may cancel or refuse to renew any policy because that insurer's contract with the independent insurance producer through whom such policy is written has been terminated by the insurer, the insurance producer, or by mutual agreement.
(2) If an insurer intends to terminate a written agency contract with an independent insurance producer, the insurer shall give the insurance producer not less than one hundred twenty days' advance written notice of the intent, unless the reason for termination is one of the reasons set forth in RCW 48.17.530. During the notice period the insurer shall not amend the existing contract without the consent of the insurance producer.
(a) Unless the agency contract provides otherwise, during the one hundred twenty day notice period the independent insurance producer shall not write or bind any new business on behalf of the terminating insurer without specific written approval. However, routine adjustments by insureds are permitted. The terminating insurer shall permit renewal of all its policies in the insurance producer's book of business for a period of one year following the effective date of the termination, to the extent the policies meet the insurer's underwriting standards and the insurer has no other reason for nonrenewal. The rate of commission for any policies renewed under this provision shall be the same as the insurance producer would have received had the agency agreement not been terminated.
(b) An independent insurance producer whose agency contract has been terminated shall have a reasonable opportunity to transfer affected policies to other insurers with which the insurance producer has an appointment: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That prior to the conclusion of the one-year renewal period following the effective date of the termination, an insurer without a reason for not renewing an insured's policy and which has not received notification of the placement of such policy with another insurer shall provide its insured with appropriate written notice of an offer to continue the policy. In such cases, except where the terminated insurance producer has placed the policy with another agent of the insurer, the insurer shall, where practical, assign the policy to an appointed insurance producer located reasonably near the insured willing to accept the assignment.
(c) An insurer is not required to continue the appointment of a terminated independent insurance producer during or after the one year renewal period. However, an insurance producer whose contract has been terminated by the insurer remains an agent of the terminating insurer as to actions associated with the policies subject to this section just as if the insurance producer were appointed by the insurer as its agent.
(3) In the absence of receipt of notice from the insured that coverage will not be continued with the existing insurer, an insurer whose agency contract has been terminated by an independent insurance producer, or by the mutual agreement of the insurer and the insurance producer, that elects to renew or lacks a reason not to renew, shall give the renewal notice required by chapter 48.18 RCW to affected insureds, and continue renewed coverage in accordance with the methods specified in subsection (2)(b) of this section. Insurance producers affected by this subsection may provide the notice to an insurer that an insured does not intend to continue existing coverage with the insurer, after receiving written authority to do so from an insured.
(4) For purposes of this section an "independent insurance producer" is a licensed insurance producer representing an insurer on an independent contractor basis and not as an employee. This term includes only those insurance producers not obligated by contract to place insurance accounts with a particular insurer or group of insurers.
(5) This section does not apply to:
(a) Insurance producers or policies of an insurer or group of insurers if the business is not owned by the insurance producer and the termination of any such contractual agreement does not result in the cancellation or nonrenewal of any policies of insurance;
(b) Managing general agents, to the extent that they are acting in that capacity;
(c) Life, disability, surety, ocean marine and foreign trade, and title insurance policies;
(d) Situations where the termination of the agency contract results from the insolvency or liquidation of the terminating insurer.
(6) No insurer may terminate its agency contract with an appointed insurance producer unless it complies with this section.
(7) Nothing contained in this section excuses an insurer from giving cancellation and renewal notices that may be required by chapter 48.18 RCW.



Termination of business relationship with an insurance producer or title insurance agentNoticeConfidentiality of informationImmunity from civil liability.

(1) An insurer or authorized representative of the insurer that terminates the appointment, employment, contract, or other insurance business relationship with an insurance producer or title insurance agent shall notify the commissioner within thirty days following the effective date of the termination, using a format prescribed by the commissioner, if the reason for termination is one of the reasons set forth in RCW 48.17.530 or the insurer has knowledge the insurance producer or title insurance agent was found by a court, government body, or self-regulatory organization authorized by law to have engaged in any of the activities in RCW 48.17.530. Upon the written request of the commissioner, the insurer shall provide additional information, documents, records, or other data pertaining to the termination or activity of the insurance producer or title insurance agent.
(2) An insurer or authorized representative of the insurer that terminates the appointment, employment, or contract with an insurance producer or title insurance agent for any reason not set forth in RCW 48.17.530, shall notify the commissioner within thirty days following the effective date of the termination, using a format prescribed by the commissioner. Upon written request of the commissioner, the insurer shall provide additional information, documents, records, or other data pertaining to the termination.
(3) The insurer or the authorized representative of the insurer shall promptly notify the commissioner in a format acceptable to the commissioner if, upon further review or investigation, the insurer discovers additional information that would have been reportable to the commissioner in accordance with subsection (1) of this section had the insurer then known of its existence.
(4) A copy of the notification to the commissioner shall be provided to the insurance producer or title insurance agent.
(a) Within fifteen days after making the notification required by subsections (1), (2), and (3) of this section, the insurer shall mail a copy of the notification to the insurance producer or title insurance agent at the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's last known address. If the insurance producer or title insurance agent is terminated for cause for any of the reasons listed in RCW 48.17.530, the insurer shall provide a copy of the notification to the insurance producer or title insurance agent at the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, or by overnight delivery using a nationally recognized carrier.
(b) Within thirty days after the insurance producer or title insurance agent has received the original or additional notification, the insurance producer or title insurance agent may file written comments concerning the substance of the notification with the commissioner. The insurance producer or title insurance agent shall, by the same means, simultaneously send a copy of the comments to the reporting insurer, and the comments shall become a part of the commissioner's file and accompany every copy of a report distributed or disclosed for any reason about the insurance producer or title insurance agent as permitted under subsection (6) of this section.
(5) Immunities shall apply as follows:
(a) In the absence of actual malice, an insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, an insurance producer, title insurance agent, the commissioner, or an organization of which the commissioner is a member and that compiles the information and makes it available to other insurance commissioners or regulatory or law enforcement agencies shall not be subject to civil liability, and a civil cause of action of any nature shall not arise against these entities or their respective agents or employees, as a result of any statement or information required by or provided under this section, or any information relating to any statement that may be requested in writing by the commissioner, from an insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent; or a statement by a terminating insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent to an insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent limited solely and exclusively to whether a termination for cause under subsection (1) of this section was reported to the commissioner, provided that the propriety of any termination for cause under subsection (1) of this section is certified in writing by an officer or authorized representative of the insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent terminating the relationship.
(b) In any action brought against a person that may have immunity under (a) of this subsection for making any statement required by this section or providing any information relating to any statement that may be requested by the commissioner, the party bringing the action shall plead specifically in any allegation that (a) of this subsection does not apply because the person making the statement or providing the information did so with actual malice.
(c) Subsection (5)(a) or (b) of this section shall not abrogate or modify any existing statutory or common law privileges or immunities.
(6) Information provided under this section is confidential.
(a) Any documents, materials, or other information in the control or possession of the commissioner that is furnished by an insurer, insurance producer, title insurance agent, or an employee or agent thereof acting on behalf of the insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent, or obtained by the commissioner in an investigation pursuant to this section shall be confidential by law and privileged, shall not be subject to disclosure under chapter 42.56 RCW, shall not be subject to subpoena, and shall not be subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action. However, the commissioner is authorized to use the documents, materials, or other information in the furtherance of any regulatory or legal action brought as a part of the commissioner's duties.
(b) Neither the commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner shall be permitted or required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential or privileged documents, materials, or information subject to (a) of this subsection.
(c) In order to assist in the performance of the commissioner's duties under chapter 117, Laws of 2007 and in accordance with RCW 48.02.065, the commissioner:
(i) May share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to (a) of this subsection, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the NAIC, its affiliates, or subsidiaries, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities, provided that the recipient agrees to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, or other information;
(ii) May receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information, from the NAIC, its affiliates, or subsidiaries, and from regulatory and law enforcement officials of other foreign or domestic jurisdictions, and shall maintain as confidential or privileged any document, material, or information received with notice or the understanding that it is confidential or privileged under the laws of the jurisdiction that is the source of the document, material, or information; and
(iii) May enter into agreements governing sharing and use of information consistent with this subsection.
(d) No waiver of any applicable privilege or claim of confidentiality in the documents, materials, or information shall occur as a result of disclosure to the commissioner under this section or as a result of sharing as authorized in subsection (5)(c) of this section.
(e) Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the commissioner from releasing final, adjudicated actions including for cause terminations that are open to public inspection pursuant to chapter 42.56 RCW to a database or other clearinghouse service maintained by the NAIC, its affiliates, or subsidiaries.
(7) An insurer, the authorized representative of the insurer, insurance producer, or title insurance agent that fails to report as required under the provisions of this section or that is found to have reported with actual malice by a court of competent jurisdiction may, after notice and hearing, have its license or certificate of authority suspended or revoked, and may be fined in accordance with this title.



Administrative action taken against a licensee in another jurisdiction or governmental agencyReport to commissioner.

(1) An insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster shall report to the commissioner any administrative action taken against the insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster in another jurisdiction or by another governmental agency in this state within thirty days of the final disposition of the matter. This report shall include a copy of the order, consent to order, or other relevant legal documents.
(2) Within thirty days of the initial pretrial hearing date, an insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster shall report to the commissioner any criminal prosecution of the insurance producer, title insurance agent, or adjuster taken in any jurisdiction. The report shall include a copy of the initial complaint filed, the order resulting from the hearing, and any other relevant legal documents.



Separation of premium funds.

(1) All funds representing premiums or return premiums received by an insurance producer or title insurance agent in the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's fiduciary capacity shall be accounted for and maintained in a separate account from all other business and personal funds.
(2) An insurance producer or title insurance agent shall not commingle or otherwise combine premiums with any other moneys, except as provided in subsection (3) of this section.
(3) An insurance producer or title insurance agent may commingle with premium funds any additional funds as the insurance producer or title insurance agent may deem prudent for the purpose of advancing premiums, establishing reserves for the paying of return premiums, or for any contingencies as may arise in the insurance producer's or title insurance agent's business of receiving and transmitting premium or return premium funds.
(4) Each willful violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor.

NOTES:

Effective date1986 c 69: "This act shall take effect on January 1, 1987." [ 1986 c 69 § 2.]



Effective date2007 c 117.

This act takes effect July 1, 2009.



ConstructionChapter applicable to state registered domestic partnerships2009 c 521.

For the purposes of this chapter, the terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife, widow, widower, next of kin, and family shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships or individuals in state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons, and references to dissolution of marriage shall apply equally to state registered domestic partnerships that have been terminated, dissolved, or invalidated, to the extent that such interpretation does not conflict with federal law. Where necessary to implement chapter 521, Laws of 2009, gender-specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.