Chapter 48.19 RCW

RATES

Sections

48.19.010Scope of chapter.
48.19.020Rate standard.
48.19.030Making of ratesCriteria.
48.19.035Making of ratesDefinitionsPersonal insuranceUse of credit history or insurance scoresRules.
48.19.040Filing requiredContentsDefinition.
48.19.043Forms of commercial property casualty policiesLegislative intentIssuance prior to filingDisapproval by commissionerDefinition.
48.19.050Filings by rating bureau.
48.19.060FilingsReview, waiting period, disapproval.
48.19.070Special filings.
48.19.080Waiver of filing.
48.19.090Excess rates on specific risks.
48.19.100Disapproval of filing.
48.19.110Disapproval of special filing.
48.19.120Subsequent disapproval.
48.19.140Rating organizationsDiscrimination"Subscriber" defined.
48.19.150Subscribership not required.
48.19.160Rating organization license.
48.19.170Application for license.
48.19.180Issuance of license.
48.19.190Suspension or revocation of license.
48.19.200Notice of changes.
48.19.210SubscribersRights, limitations.
48.19.220Review of rules and refusal to admit insurers.
48.19.230Subscriber committees.
48.19.240Rules cannot affect dividends.
48.19.250Cooperative activities.
48.19.260Technical services.
48.19.270RecordsExaminations.
48.19.280Deviations.
48.19.290Appeal from rating organization's action.
48.19.300Service to insureds.
48.19.310Complaints of insureds.
48.19.320Advisory organizationsDefinition.
48.19.330Requisites of advisory organization.
48.19.340Desist orders.
48.19.350Disqualification of data.
48.19.360Joint underwriting or joint reinsurance.
48.19.370Recording and reporting of loss and expense experience.
48.19.380Exchange of information.
48.19.390False or misleading information.
48.19.400Assigned risks.
48.19.410Examination of contracts.
48.19.420Rate agreements.
48.19.430Penalties.
48.19.460Automobile insurancePremium reductions for older insureds completing accident prevention course.
48.19.470Automobile insurancePremium reductions for persons eligible under RCW 48.19.460.
48.19.480Automobile insuranceCompletion of accident prevention course, certificate.
48.19.490Automobile insuranceContinued eligibility for discount.
48.19.500Motor vehicle insuranceSeat belts, etc.
48.19.501Motor vehicle insuranceAnti-theft devicesLightsMultiple vehicles.
48.19.530Property insurersAssistance to prevent or reduce severity of claims or lossesImpact on rates.
48.19.540Fire alarms and smoke detection devicesImpact on dwelling unit insurance ratesReport to legislature.

NOTES:

Anti-compact law: RCW 48.30.020.
Discrimination prohibited: RCW 48.18.480.
Rate wars prohibited: RCW 48.30.240.


Scope of chapter.

(1) Except as is otherwise expressly provided the provisions of this chapter apply to all insurances upon subjects located, resident or to be performed in this state except:
(a) Life insurance;
(b) Disability insurance;
(c) Reinsurance except as to joint reinsurance as provided in RCW 48.19.360;
(d) Insurance against loss of or damage to aircraft, their hulls, accessories, and equipment, or against liability, other than workers' compensation and employers' liability, arising out of the ownership, maintenance[,] or use of aircraft;
(e) Insurance of vessels or craft, their cargoes, marine builders' risks, marine protection[,] and indemnity; and such other risks commonly insured under marine, as distinguished from inland marine, insurance contracts as may be defined by ruling of the commissioner for the purposes of this provision;
(f) Title insurance.
(2) Except, that every insurer shall, as to disability insurance, before using file with the commissioner its manual of classification, manual of rules and rates, and any modifications thereof except as provided under RCW 48.43.733 or rate filing requirements established by a specific statute or federal law.
[ 2015 c 19 § 4; 1987 c 185 § 24; 1947 c 79 § .19.01; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.01.]

NOTES:

Intent2015 c 19: See note following RCW 48.18.100.
IntentSeverability1987 c 185: See notes following RCW 51.12.130.



Rate standard.

Premium rates for insurance shall not be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
[ 1983 1st ex.s. c 32 § 13; 1947 c 79 § .19.02; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.02.]



Making of ratesCriteria.

Rates shall be used, subject to the other provisions of this chapter, only if made in accordance with the following provisions:
(1) In the case of insurances under standard fire policies and that part of marine and transportation insurances not exempted under RCW 48.19.010, manual, minimum, class or classification rates, rating schedules or rating plans, shall be made and adopted; except as to specific rates on inland marine risks individually rated, which risks are not reasonably susceptible to manual or schedule rating, and which risks by general custom of the business are not written according to manual rates or rating plans.
(2) In the case of casualty and surety insurances:
(a) The systems of expense provisions included in the rates for use by any insurer or group of insurers may differ from those of other insurers or groups of insurers to reflect the requirements of the operating methods of any such insurer or group with respect to any kind of insurance, or with respect to any subdivision or combination thereof for which subdivision or combination separate expense provisions are applicable.
(b) Risks may be grouped by classifications for the establishment of rates and minimum premiums. Classification rates may be modified to produce rates for individual risks in accordance with rating plans which establish standards for measuring variations in hazards or expense provisions, or both. Such standards may measure any differences among risks that can be demonstrated to have a probable effect upon losses or expenses.
(3) Due consideration in making rates for all insurances shall be given to:
(a) Past and prospective loss experience within this state for experience periods acceptable to the commissioner. If the information is not available or is not statistically credible, an insurer may use loss experience in those states which are likely to produce loss experience similar to that in this state.
(b) Conflagration and catastrophe hazards, where present.
(c) A reasonable margin for underwriting profit and contingencies.
(d) Dividends, savings and unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members, or subscribers.
(e) Past and prospective operating expenses.
(f) Past and prospective investment income.
(g) All other relevant factors within and outside this state.
(4) In addition to other factors required by this section, rates filed by an insurer on its own behalf may also be related to the insurer's plan of operation and plan of risk classification.
(5) Except to the extent necessary to comply with RCW 48.19.020 uniformity among insurers in any matter within the scope of this section is neither required nor prohibited.
[ 1989 c 25 § 3; 1947 c 79 § .19.03; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.03.]

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Making of ratesDefinitionsPersonal insuranceUse of credit history or insurance scoresRules.

(1) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Affiliate" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 48.31B.005(1).
(b) "Consumer" means an individual policyholder or applicant for insurance.
(c) "Credit history" means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity that is used or expected to be used, or collected in whole or in part, for the purpose of serving as a factor in determining personal insurance premiums or eligibility for coverage.
(d) "Insurance score" means a number or rating that is derived from an algorithm, computer application, model, or other process that is based in whole or in part on credit history.
(e) "Personal insurance" means:
(i) Private passenger automobile coverage;
(ii) Homeowner's coverage, including mobile homeowners, manufactured homeowners, condominium owners, and renter's coverage;
(iii) Dwelling property coverage;
(iv) Earthquake coverage for a residence or personal property;
(v) Personal liability and theft coverage;
(vi) Personal inland marine coverage; and
(vii) Mechanical breakdown coverage for personal auto or home appliances.
(2)(a) Credit history shall not be used to determine personal insurance rates, premiums, or eligibility for coverage unless the insurance scoring models are filed with the commissioner. Insurance scoring models include all attributes and factors used in the calculation of an insurance score. RCW 48.19.040(5) does not apply to any information filed under this subsection, and the information shall be withheld from public inspection and kept confidential by the commissioner. All information filed under this subsection shall be considered trade secrets under RCW 48.02.120(3). Information filed under this subsection may be made public by the commissioner for the sole purpose of enforcement actions taken by the commissioner.
(b) Each insurer that uses credit history or an insurance score to determine personal insurance rates, premiums, or eligibility for coverage must file all rates and rating plans for that line of coverage with the commissioner. This requirement applies equally to a single insurer and two or more affiliated insurers. RCW 48.19.040(5) applies to information filed under this subsection except that any eligibility rules or guidelines shall be withheld from public inspection under RCW 48.02.120(3) from the date that the information is filed and after it becomes effective.
(3) Insurers shall not use the following types of credit history to calculate a personal insurance score or determine personal insurance premiums or rates:
(a) The absence of credit history or the inability to determine the consumer's credit history, unless the insurer has filed actuarial data segmented by demographic factors in a manner prescribed by the commissioner that demonstrates compliance with RCW 48.19.020;
(b) The number of credit inquiries;
(c) Credit history or an insurance score based on collection accounts identified with a medical industry code;
(d) The initial purchase or finance of a vehicle or house that adds a new loan to the consumer's existing credit history, if evident from the consumer report; however, an insurer may consider the bill payment history of any loan, the total number of loans, or both;
(e) The consumer's use of a particular type of credit card, charge card, or debit card; or
(f) The consumer's total available line of credit; however, an insurer may consider the total amount of outstanding debt in relation to the total available line of credit.
(4) If a consumer is charged higher premiums due to disputed credit history, the insurer shall rerate the policy retroactive to the effective date of the current policy term. As rerated, the consumer shall be charged the same premiums they would have been charged if accurate credit history was used to calculate an insurance score. This subsection applies only if the consumer resolves the dispute under the process set forth in the fair credit reporting act and notifies the insurer in writing that the dispute has been resolved.
(5) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section.
(6) This section applies to all personal insurance policies issued or renewed on or after June 30, 2003.

NOTES:

Captions not law2002 c 360: See note following RCW 48.18.545.



Filing requiredContentsDefinition.

(1) Every insurer or rating organization shall, before using, file with the commissioner every classifications manual, manual of rules and rates, rating plan, rating schedule, minimum rate, class rate, and rating rule, and every modification of any of the foregoing which it proposes. The insurer need not so file any rate on individually rated risks as described in subdivision (1) of RCW 48.19.030; except that any such specific rate made by a rating organization shall be filed.
(2) Every such filing shall indicate the type and extent of the coverage contemplated and must be accompanied by sufficient information to permit the commissioner to determine whether it meets the requirements of this chapter. An insurer or rating organization shall offer in support of any filing:
(a) The experience or judgment of the insurer or rating organization making the filing;
(b) An exhibit detailing the major elements of operating expense for the types of insurance affected by the filing;
(c) An explanation of how investment income has been taken into account in the proposed rates; and
(d) Any other information which the insurer or rating organization deems relevant.
(3) If an insurer has insufficient loss experience to support its proposed rates, it may submit:
(a) Loss experience for similar exposures of other insurers or of a rating organization; or
(b) A complete and logical explanation of how it has developed its proposed rates, including the insurer's analysis of any relevant information and showing why the proposed rates should be considered to meet the requirements of RCW 48.19.020.
(4) Every such filing shall state its proposed effective date.
(5)(a) A filing made pursuant to this chapter shall be exempt from the provisions of RCW 48.02.120(3). However, the filing and all supporting information accompanying it shall be open to public inspection only after the filing becomes effective, except as provided in (b) of this subsection.
(b) For the purpose of this section, "usage-based insurance" means private passenger automobile coverage that uses data gathered from any recording device as defined in RCW 46.35.010, or a system, or business method that records and preserves data arising from the actual usage of a motor vehicle to determine rates or premiums. Information in a filing of usage-based insurance about the usage-based component of the rate is confidential and must be withheld from public inspection.
(6) Where a filing is required no insurer shall make or issue an insurance contract or policy except in accordance with its filing then in effect, except as is provided by RCW 48.19.090.

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Forms of commercial property casualty policiesLegislative intentIssuance prior to filingDisapproval by commissionerDefinition.

(1) It is the intent of the legislature to assist the purchasers of commercial property casualty insurance by allowing policies to be issued more expeditiously and provide a more competitive market for rates.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 48.19.040(1), commercial property casualty policies may be issued prior to filing the rates. All commercial property casualty rates shall be filed with the commissioner within thirty days after an insurer issues any policy using them.
(3) If, within thirty days after a commercial property casualty rate has been filed, the commissioner finds that the rate does not meet the requirements of this chapter, the commissioner shall disapprove the filing and give notice to the insurer or rating organization that made the filing, specifying how the filing fails to meet the requirements and stating when, within a reasonable period thereafter, the filing shall be deemed no longer effective. The commissioner may extend the time for review another fifteen days by giving notice to the insurer prior to the expiration of the original thirty-day period.
(4) Upon a final determination of a disapproval of a rate filing under subsection (3) of this section, the insurer shall issue an endorsement changing the rate to comply with the commissioner's disapproval from the date the rate is no longer effective.
(5) For purposes of this section, "commercial property casualty" means insurance pertaining to a business, profession, occupation, nonprofit organization, or public entity for the lines of property and casualty insurance defined in RCW 48.11.040, 48.11.050, 48.11.060, or 48.11.070, but does not mean medical malpractice insurance or portable electronics insurance as defined in RCW 48.120.005.
(6) Except as provided in subsection (4) of this section, the disapproval shall not affect any contract made or issued prior to the expiration of the period set forth in the notice of disapproval.
(7) In the event a hearing is held on the actions of the commissioner under subsection (3) of this section, the burden of proof is on the commissioner.

NOTES:

FindingsIntentPart headings and subheadings not lawSeverability2006 c 8: See notes following RCW 5.64.010.



Filings by rating bureau.

(1) If so authorized by an insurer, the commissioner shall accept, in lieu of filings by the insurer, filings on its behalf made by a rating organization then licensed as provided in this chapter.
(2) As to fire insurance under a standard form fire policy, and the following insurances (other than vehicle insurance coverages) when issued as part of a standard form fire policy, an insurer may so authorize a rating organization to make all [of] its filings only, and may not make a portion of such filings upon its own behalf and authorize a rating organization to make other such filings:
(a) Additional property insurance coverages; or
(b) Coverages including any kind of insurance in addition to fire for a single undivided premium.
(3) Except, that notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2) an insurer which prior to the first day of January, 1947, made its own filings in this state as to a particular class of fire risks, and its filings in this state as to other classes of fire risks were made by a rating organization authorized by the insurer so to do, may:
(a) Continue to make all [of] its own filings as to such specific class of risks or authorize a rating organization to make its filings as to such specific class of risks or any part thereof; and
(b) Authorize a different rating organization to make all only of its filings [all of its filings only] as to all other classes of risks insured by it in this state against fire under the standard form fire policy; or
(c) Make all [of] its own filings as to all classes of risks insured by it against fire under the standard form fire policy, or make all [of] its own such filings except as to any which may relate to any such specific class of risks, which filings so excepted the insurer may authorize a rating organization to make; or
(d) Authorize a rating organization to make all only of its filings [all of its filings only] as to all classes or risks insured by it against fire in this state under the standard form fire policy.
[ 1957 c 193 § 13; 1947 c 79 § .19.05; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.05.]



FilingsReview, waiting period, disapproval.

(1) The commissioner shall review a filing as soon as reasonably possible after made, to determine whether it meets the requirements of this chapter.
(2) Except as provided in RCW 48.19.070 and 48.19.043:
(a) No such filing shall become effective within thirty days after the date of filing with the commissioner, which period may be extended by the commissioner for an additional period not to exceed fifteen days if he or she gives notice within such waiting period to the insurer or rating organization which made the filing that he or she needs such additional time for the consideration of the filing. The commissioner may, upon application and for cause shown, waive such waiting period or part thereof as to a filing that he or she has not disapproved.
(b) A filing shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this chapter unless disapproved by the commissioner within the waiting period or any extension thereof.
(3) Medical malpractice insurance rate filings are subject to the provisions of this section.
[ 2006 c 8 § 217; 1997 c 428 § 4; 1989 c 25 § 5; 1947 c 79 § .19.06; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.06.]

NOTES:

FindingsIntentPart headings and subheadings not lawSeverability2006 c 8: See notes following RCW 5.64.010.
Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Special filings.

The following special filings, when not covered by a previous filing, shall become effective when filed and shall be deemed to meet the requirements of this chapter until such time as the commissioner reviews the filing and for so long thereafter as the filing remains in effect:
(1) Special filings with respect to surety or guaranty bonds required by law or by court or executive order or by order, rule or regulation of a public body.
(2) Specific rates on inland marine risks individually rated by a rating organization, which risks are not reasonably susceptible to manual or schedule rating, and which risks by general custom of the business are not written according to manual rates or rating plans.
[1947 c 79 § .19.07; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.07.]



Waiver of filing.

Under such rules and regulations as he or she shall adopt the commissioner may, by order, suspend or modify the requirement of filing as to any kind of insurance. Such orders, rules and regulations shall be made known to insurers and rating organizations affected thereby. The commissioner may make such examination as he or she may deem advisable to ascertain whether any rates affected by such order meet the standard prescribed in RCW 48.19.020.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7079; 1981 c 339 § 18; 1947 c 79 § .19.08; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.08.]



Excess rates on specific risks.

Upon written application of the insured, stating his or her reasons therefor, filed with and approved by the commissioner, a rate in excess of that provided by a filing otherwise applicable may be used on any specific risk.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7080; 1947 c 79 § .19.09; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.09.]



Disapproval of filing.

If within the waiting period or any extension thereof as provided in RCW 48.19.060, the commissioner finds that a filing does not meet the requirements of this chapter, he or she shall disapprove such filing, and shall give notice of such disapproval, specifying the respect in which he or she finds the filing fails to meet such requirements, and stating that the filing shall not become effective, to the insurer or rating organization which made the filing.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7081; 1989 c 25 § 6; 1947 c 79 § .19.10; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.10.]

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Disapproval of special filing.

(1) If within thirty days after a special filing subject to RCW 48.19.070 has become effective, the commissioner finds that the filing does not meet the requirements of this chapter, he or she shall disapprove the filing and shall give notice to the insurer or rating organization which made the filing, specifying in what respects he or she finds that the filing fails to meet such requirements and stating when, within a reasonable period thereafter, the filing shall be deemed no longer effective.
(2) Such disapproval shall not affect any contract made or issued prior to the expiration of the period set forth in the notice of disapproval.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7082; 1947 c 79 § .19.11; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.11.]



Subsequent disapproval.

(1) If at any time subsequent to the applicable review period provided in RCW 48.19.060 or 48.19.110, the commissioner finds that a filing does not meet the requirements of this chapter, he or she shall, after a hearing, notice of which was given to every insurer and rating organization which made such filing, issue his or her order specifying in what respect he or she finds that such filing fails to meet the requirements of this chapter, and stating when, within a reasonable period thereafter, the filings shall be deemed no longer effective.
(2) Such order shall not affect any contract or policy made or issued prior to the expiration of the period set forth in the order.
(3) Any person aggrieved with respect to any filing then in effect, other than the insurer or rating organization which made the filing, may make written application to the commissioner for a hearing thereon. The application shall specify the grounds to be relied upon by the applicant. If the commissioner finds that the application is made in good faith, that the applicant would be so aggrieved if his or her grounds are established, and that such grounds otherwise justify holding the hearing, he or she shall, within thirty days after receipt of the application, hold a hearing as required in subsection (1) of this section.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7083; 1989 c 25 § 7; 1983 1st ex.s. c 32 § 15; 1947 c 79 § .19.12; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.12.]

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Rating organizationsDiscrimination"Subscriber" defined.

(1) Every rating organization operating in this state shall furnish its services without discrimination as between its subscribers.
(2) "Subscriber," for the purposes of this chapter and where the context does not otherwise specify, means any insurer which employs the services of a rating organization for the purpose of making filings, whether or not the insurer is a "member" of such rating organization.
(3) This chapter is not intended to and does not govern or affect the "membership" relation as such between a rating organization and insurers who are its "members."
[1947 c 79 § .19.14; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.14.]



Subscribership not required.

No provision of this code shall require, or be deemed to require, any insurer to be a subscriber of, or in any other respect affiliated with, any rating organization.
[1947 c 79 § .19.15; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.15.]



Rating organization license.

No rating organization shall do business in this state or make filings with the commissioner unless then licensed by the commissioner as a rating organization.
[1947 c 79 § .19.16; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.16.]



Application for license.

(1) Any person, whether domiciled within or outside this state, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, may make application to the commissioner for a license as a rating organization for such kinds of insurance or subdivisions thereof, if for casualty or surety insurances, or for such subdivision, class of risks or a part or combination thereof, if for other insurances, as are specified in its application, and shall file therewith:
(a) A copy of its constitution, its articles of agreement or association, or its certificate of incorporation, or trust agreement, and of its bylaws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business;
(b) A list of its members and a list of its subscribers;
(c) The name and address of a resident of this state upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or process affecting such rating organization may be served, and
(d) A statement of its qualifications as a rating organization.
(2) Any rating organization proposing to act as such as to insurance under standard form fire policies, shall be licensed only if all the following conditions are complied with:
(a) The applicant and the operators of such rating organization shall be domiciled in and shall actually reside in this state.
(b) The ownership of such rating organization shall be vested in trustees for all its subscribers under such trust agreement as is approved by the commissioner, and the rating organization shall be and shall be conducted as a nonprofit public service institution.
(c) Such rating organization shall not be connected with any insurer or insurers except to the extent that any such insurer may be a subscriber to its services.
[1947 c 79 § .19.17; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.17.]



Issuance of license.

(1) If the commissioner finds that the applicant for a license as a rating organization is competent, trustworthy and otherwise qualified so to act, and that its constitution, articles of agreement or association or certificate of incorporation or trust agreement, and its bylaws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business conform to the requirements of law, he or she shall, upon payment of a license fee of twenty-five dollars, issue a license specifying the kinds of insurance, or subdivisions or class of risk or part or combination thereof for which the applicant is authorized to act as a rating organization.
(2) The commissioner shall grant or deny in whole or in part every such application within sixty days of the date of its filing with him or her.
(3) A license issued pursuant to this section shall remain in effect for three years unless sooner suspended or revoked by the commissioner.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7084; 1947 c 79 § .19.18; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.18.]



Suspension or revocation of license.

(1) The commissioner may, after a hearing, suspend or revoke the license issued to a rating organization for any of the following causes:
(a) If he or she finds that the licensee no longer meets the qualifications for the license.
(b) For failure to comply with an order of the commissioner within the time limited by the order, or any extension thereof which the commissioner may grant.
(2) The commissioner shall not so suspend or revoke a license for failure to comply with an order until the time prescribed by this code for an appeal from such order to the superior court has expired or if such appeal has been taken, until such order has been affirmed.
(3) The commissioner may determine when a suspension or revocation of license shall become effective. A suspension of license shall remain in effect for the period fixed by him or her, unless he or she modifies or rescinds the suspension, or until the order, failure to comply with which constituted grounds for the suspension, is modified, rescinded or reversed.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7085; 1947 c 79 § .19.19; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.19.]



Notice of changes.

Every rating organization shall notify the commissioner promptly of every change in
(1) its constitution, its articles of agreement or association, or its certificate of incorporation, or trust agreement, and its bylaws, rules and regulations governing the conduct of its business;
(2) its list of members and subscribers;
(3) the name and address of the resident of this state designated by it upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or process affecting such rating organization may be served.
[1947 c 79 § .19.20; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.20.]



SubscribersRights, limitations.

(1) Subject to rules and regulations which have been approved by the commissioner as reasonable, each rating organization shall permit any insurer to subscribe to its rating services for any kind of insurance or subdivision thereof, for which it is authorized to act as a rating organization, subject to subsection (2) of RCW 48.19.050.
(2) Notice of proposed changes in such rules and regulations shall be given to each subscriber.
(3) An insurer shall not concurrently be a subscriber to the services of more than one rating organization as to the same subdivision, class of risk or part or combination of a kind of insurance.
(4) As to fire insurance under standard form fire policies, an insurer may not concurrently be a subscriber to the services of more than one rating organization except as provided in subsection (2) of RCW 48.19.050.
[1947 c 79 § .19.21; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.21.]



Review of rules and refusal to admit insurers.

(1) The reasonableness of any rule or regulation in its application to subscribers, or the refusal of any rating organization to admit an insurer as a subscriber, shall, at the request of any subscriber or any such insurer, be reviewed by the commissioner at a hearing held upon notice to the rating organization, and to the subscriber or insurer.
(2) If the commissioner finds that such rule or regulation is unreasonable in its application to subscribers, he or she shall order that such rule or regulation shall not be applicable to subscribers who are not members of the rating organization.
(3) If a rating organization fails to grant or reject an insurer's application for subscribership within thirty days after it was made, the insurer may request a review by the commissioner as if the application had been rejected. If the commissioner finds that the insurer has been refused admittance to the rating organization as a subscriber without justification, he or she shall order the rating organization to admit the insurer as a subscriber. If he or she finds that the action of the rating organization was justified, he or she shall make an order affirming its action.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7086; 1947 c 79 § .19.22; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.22.]



Subscriber committees.

The subscribers of any rating organization may, from time to time, individually or through committees representing various subscribers, consult with the rating organization with respect to matters within this chapter which affect such subscribers.
[1947 c 79 § .19.23; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.23.]



Rules cannot affect dividends.

No rating organization shall adopt any rule the effect of which would be to prohibit or regulate the payment of dividends, savings or unabsorbed premium deposits allowed or returned by insurers to their policyholders, members or subscribers.
[1947 c 79 § .19.24; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.24.]



Cooperative activities.

(1) Cooperation among rating organizations or among rating organizations and insurers in rate making or in other matters within the scope of this chapter is hereby authorized, if the filings resulting from such cooperation are subject to all the provisions of this chapter which are applicable to filings generally.
(2) The commissioner may review such cooperative activities and practices and if, after a hearing, he or she finds that any such activity or practice is unfair or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of this code, he or she may issue a written order specifying in what respect such activity or practice is so unfair, unreasonable, or inconsistent, and requiring the discontinuance of such activity or practice.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7087; 1947 c 79 § .19.25; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.25.]



Technical services.

Any rating organization may subscribe for or purchase actuarial, technical or other services, and such services shall be available to all subscribers without discrimination.
[1947 c 79 § .19.26; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.26.]



RecordsExaminations.

Each rating organization shall keep an accurate and complete record of all work performed by it, and of all its receipts and disbursements. Such rating organization and its records shall be examined by the commissioner at such times and in such manner as is provided in chapter 48.03 RCW of this code.
[1947 c 79 § .19.27; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.27.]



Deviations.

(1) Every member or subscriber to a rating organization shall adhere to the filings made on its behalf by such organization. Deviations from the organization's filings are permitted only when filed with the commissioner in accordance with this chapter.
(2) Every such deviation shall terminate upon a material change of the basic rate from which the deviation is made. The commissioner shall determine whether a change of the basic rate is so material as to require such termination of deviations.
[ 1989 c 25 § 8; 1957 c 193 § 14; 1947 c 79 § .19.28; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.28.]

NOTES:

Effective date1989 c 25: See note following RCW 48.18.100.



Appeal from rating organization's action.

(1) Any subscriber to a rating organization may appeal to the commissioner from the rating organization's action or decision in approving or rejecting any proposed change in or addition to the rating organization's filings. The commissioner shall, after a hearing on the appeal:
(a) Issue an order approving the rating organization's action or decision or directing it to give further consideration to such proposal; or
(b) If the appeal is from the rating organization's action or decision in rejecting a proposed addition to its filings, he or she may, in event he or she finds that the action or decision was unreasonable, issue an order directing the rating organization to make an addition to its filings, on behalf of its subscribers, in a manner consistent with his or her findings, within a reasonable time after the issuance of such order.
(2) If such appeal is based upon the rating organization's failure to make a filing on behalf of such subscriber which is based on a system of expense provisions which differs, in accordance with the right granted in subdivision (2) of RCW 48.19.030, from the system of expense provisions included in a filing made by the rating organization, the commissioner shall, if he or she grants the appeal, order the rating organization to make the requested filing for use by the appellant. In deciding the appeal the commissioner shall apply the standards set forth in RCW 48.19.020 and 48.19.030.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7088; 1947 c 79 § .19.29; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.29.]



Service to insureds.

Every rating organization and every insurer which makes its own rates shall, within a reasonable time after receiving written request therefor and upon payment of such reasonable charge as it may make, furnish to any insured affected by a rate made by it, or to the authorized representative of such insured, all pertinent information as to such rate.
[1947 c 79 § .19.30; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.30.]



Complaints of insureds.

Every rating organization and every insurer which makes its own rates shall provide within this state reasonable means whereby any person aggrieved by the application of its rating system may be heard, in person or by his or her authorized representative, on his or her written request to review the manner in which such rating system has been applied in connection with the insurance afforded him or her. If the rating organization or insurer fails to grant or reject such request within thirty days after it is made, the applicant may proceed in the same manner as if his or her application had been rejected. Any party affected by the action of such rating organization or such insurer on such request may, within thirty days after written notice of such action, appeal to the commissioner, who, after a hearing held upon notice to the appellant and to the rating organization or insurer, may affirm or reverse such action.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7089; 1947 c 79 § .19.31; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.31.]



Advisory organizationsDefinition.

(1) Every group, association or other organization of insurers, whether located within or outside this state, which assists insurers which make their own filings or rating organizations in rate making, by the collection and furnishing of loss or expense statistics, or by the submission of recommendations, but which does not make filings under this chapter, shall be known as an advisory organization.
(2) This section does not apply to subscribers' committees provided for in RCW 48.19.230.
[1947 c 79 § .19.32; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.32.]



Requisites of advisory organization.

Every advisory organization before serving as such to any rating organization or independently filing insurer doing business in this state, shall file with the commissioner:
(1) A copy of its constitution, its articles of agreement or association or its certificate of incorporation and of its bylaws, rules and regulations governing its activities;
(2) A list of its members;
(3) The name and address of a resident of this state upon whom notices or orders of the commissioner or process issued at his or her direction may be served; and
(4) An agreement that the commissioner may examine such advisory organization in accordance with the provisions of RCW 48.03.010.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7090; 1947 c 79 § .19.33; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.33.]



Desist orders.

If, after a hearing, the commissioner finds that the furnishing of information or assistance by an advisory organization, as referred to in RCW 48.19.320, involves any act or practice which is unfair or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of this code, he or she may issue a written order specifying in what respect such act or practice is unfair or unreasonable or so otherwise inconsistent, and requiring the discontinuance of such act or practice.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7091; 1947 c 79 § .19.34; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.34.]



Disqualification of data.

No insurer which makes its own filing nor any rating organization shall support its filings by statistics or adopt rate making recommendations, furnished to it by an advisory organization which has not complied with this chapter or with any order of the commissioner involving such statistics or recommendations issued under RCW 48.19.340. If the commissioner finds such insurer or rating organization to be in violation of this section he or she may issue an order requiring the discontinuance of the violation.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7092; 1947 c 79 § .19.35; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.35.]



Joint underwriting or joint reinsurance.

(1) Every group, association or other organization of insurers which engages in joint underwriting or joint reinsurance, shall be subject to regulation with respect thereto as is provided in this section, subject, however, with respect to joint underwriting, to all other provisions of this chapter, and, with respect to joint reinsurance, to RCW 48.19.270, 48.01.080 and 48.19.430; and to chapter 48.03 RCW of this code.
(2) If, after a hearing, the commissioner finds that any activity or practice of any such group, association or other organization is unfair or unreasonable or otherwise inconsistent with the provisions of this chapter, he or she may issue a written order specifying in what respects such activity or practice is unfair, or unreasonable or so inconsistent, and requiring the discontinuance of the activity or practice.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7093; 1947 c 79 § .19.36; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.36.]



Recording and reporting of loss and expense experience.

(1) The commissioner shall promulgate reasonable rules and statistical plans, reasonably adapted to each of the rating systems on file with him or her, which may be modified from time to time and which shall be used thereafter by each insurer in the recording and reporting of its loss and countrywide expense experience, in order that the experience of all insurers may be made available at least annually in such form and detail as may be necessary to aid him or her in determining whether rating systems comply with the standards set forth in RCW 48.19.020 and 48.19.030. Such rules and plans may also provide for the recording and reporting of expense experience items which are specially applicable to this state and are not susceptible of determination by a prorating of countrywide expense experience.
(2) In promulgating such rules and plans, the commissioner shall give due consideration to the rating systems on file with him or her and, in order that such rules and plans may be as uniform as is practicable among the several states, to the rules and to the form of the plans used for such rating systems in other states.
(3) No insurer shall be required to record or report its loss experience on a classification basis that is inconsistent with the rating system filed by it.
(4) The commissioner may designate one or more rating organizations or other agencies to assist him or her in gathering such experience and making compilations thereof, and such compilations shall be made available, subject to reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner, to insurers and rating organizations.
(5) Reasonable rules and plans may be promulgated by the commissioner for the interchange of data necessary for the application of rating plans.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7094; 1947 c 79 § .19.37; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.37.]



Exchange of information.

Every rating organization and insurer may exchange information and experience data with insurers and rating organizations in this and other states and may consult with them with respect to rate making and the application of rating systems.
[1947 c 79 § .19.38; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.38.]



False or misleading information.

No person shall wilfully withhold information from, or knowingly give false or misleading information to, the commissioner, any statistical agency designated by the commissioner, any rating organization, or any insurer, which will affect the rates or premiums chargeable under this chapter.
[1947 c 79 § .19.39; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.39.]



Assigned risks.

Agreements may be made among casualty insurers with respect to the equitable apportionment among them of insurance which may be afforded applicants who are in good faith entitled to but who are unable to procure such insurance through ordinary methods and such insurers may agree among themselves on the use of reasonable rate modifications for such insurance, such agreements and rate modifications to be subject to the approval of the commissioner.
[1947 c 79 § .19.40; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.40.]



Examination of contracts.

(1) The commissioner may permit the organization and operation of examining bureaus for the examination of policies, daily reports, binders, renewal certificates, endorsements, and other evidences of insurance or of the cancellation thereof, for the purpose of ascertaining that lawful rates are being charged.
(2) A bureau shall examine documents with regard to such kinds of insurance as the commissioner may, after hearing, reasonably require to be submitted for examination. A bureau may examine documents as to such other kinds of insurance as the issuing insurers may voluntarily submit for examination. Upon request of the commissioner, a bureau shall also examine affidavits filed pursuant to RCW 48.15.040, surplus lines contracts and related documents, and shall make recommendations to the commissioner to assist the commissioner in determining whether surplus lines have been procured in accordance with chapter 48.15 RCW and rules issued thereunder.
(3) No bureau shall operate unless licensed by the commissioner as to the kinds of insurance as to which it is permitted so to examine. To qualify for a license a bureau shall:
(a) Be owned in trust for the benefit of all the insurers regularly using its services, under a trust agreement approved by the commissioner.
(b) Make its services available without discrimination to all authorized insurers applying therefor, subject to such reasonable rules and regulations as to the obligations of insurers using its services, as to the conduct of its affairs, and as to the correction of errors and omissions in documents examined by it as are approved by the commissioner.
(c) Have no manager or other employee who is an employee of an insurer other than to the extent that he or she is an employee of the bureau owned by insurers through such trust agreement.
(d) Pay to the commissioner a fee of ten dollars for issuance of its license.
(4) Such license shall be of indefinite duration and shall remain in force until revoked by the commissioner or terminated at the request of the bureau. The commissioner may revoke the license, after hearing,
(a) if the bureau is no longer qualified therefor;
(b) if the bureau fails to comply with a proper order of the commissioner;
(c) if the bureau violates or knowingly participates in the violation of any provision of this code.
(5) Any person aggrieved by any rule, regulation, act or omission of a bureau may appeal to the commissioner therefrom. The commissioner shall hold a hearing upon such appeal, and shall make such order upon the hearing as he or she deems to be proper.
(6) Every such bureau operating in this state shall be subject to the supervision of the commissioner, and the commissioner shall examine it as provided in chapter 48.03 RCW of this code.
(7) Every examining bureau shall keep adequate records of the outstanding errors and omissions found in coverages examined by it and of its receipts and disbursements, and shall hold as confidential all information contained in documents submitted to it for examination.
(8) The commissioner shall not license an additional bureau for the examination of documents relative to a kind of insurance if such documents are being examined by a then existing licensed bureau. Any examining bureau operating in this state immediately prior to the effective date of this code under any law of this state repealed as of such date, shall have prior right to apply for and secure a license under this section.
[ 2009 c 549 § 7095; 1983 1st ex.s. c 32 § 8; 1947 c 79 § .19.41; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.41.]



Rate agreements.

Two or more insurers mutually may agree to adhere to rates, rating plans, rating systems or underwriting practices or uniform modifications thereof, all subject to the following conditions:
(1) All of the terms of the agreements shall be in writing executed on behalf of each such insurer.
(2) An executed copy of every such written agreement and of every modification thereof shall be filed with the commissioner.
(3) Within a reasonable length of time after every such filing, the commissioner shall either approve or disapprove such agreement or modification. No such agreement or modification shall be effective unless and until approved by the commissioner.
(4) The commissioner shall not approve any such agreement or modification which:
(a) Constitutes or would tend to result in an unreasonable restraint upon free competition;
(b) contains terms otherwise tending to injure the public interest.
(5) No cause of action shall lie in favor of any insurer which is party to any such agreement against any other insurer party thereto on account of any breach thereof.
(6) All rate filings covered by such agreement shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter or of other applicable law.
(7) The commissioner may after a hearing thereon and for cause withdraw any approval previously given any such agreement or modification.
[1947 c 79 § .19.42; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.42.]



Penalties.

Any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be subject to a penalty of not more than fifty dollars for each such violation, but if such violation is found to be wilful a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each such violation may be imposed. Such penalties may be in addition to any other penalty provided by law.
[1947 c 79 § .19.43; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.19.43.]



Automobile insurancePremium reductions for older insureds completing accident prevention course.

Any schedule of rates or rating plan for automobile liability and physical damage insurance submitted to or filed with the commissioner shall provide for an appropriate reduction in premium charges except for underinsured motorist coverage for those insureds who are fifty-five years of age and older, for a two-year period after successfully completing a motor vehicle accident prevention course meeting the criteria of the department of licensing with a minimum of eight hours, or additional hours as determined by rule of the department of licensing. The classroom course may be conducted by a public or private agency approved by the department. An eight-hour course meeting the criteria of the department of licensing may be offered via an alternative delivery method of instruction, which may include internet, video, or other technology-based delivery methods. An agency seeking approval from the department to offer an alternative delivery method course of instruction is not required to conduct classroom courses under this section. The department of licensing may adopt rules to ensure that insureds who seek certification for taking a course offered via an alternative delivery method have completed the course.



Automobile insurancePremium reductions for persons eligible under RCW 48.19.460.

All insurance companies writing automobile liability and physical damage insurance in this state shall allow an appropriate reduction in premium charges except for underinsured motorist coverage to all eligible persons subject to RCW 48.19.460.



Automobile insuranceCompletion of accident prevention course, certificate.

Upon successfully completing the approved course, each participant shall be issued by the course's sponsoring agency, a certificate that shall be the basis of qualification for the discount on insurance.



Automobile insuranceContinued eligibility for discount.

Each participant shall take an approved course every two years to continue to be eligible for the discount on insurance.



Motor vehicle insuranceSeat belts, etc.

Due consideration in making rates for motor vehicle insurance shall be given to any anticipated change in losses that may be attributable to the use of seat belts, child restraints, and other lifesaving devices. An exhibit detailing these changes and any credits or discounts resulting from any such changes shall be included in each filing pertaining to private passenger automobile (or motor vehicle) insurance.

NOTES:

Severability1989 c 11: See note following RCW 9A.56.220.



Motor vehicle insuranceAnti-theft devicesLightsMultiple vehicles.

Due consideration in making rates for motor vehicle insurance shall be given to:
(1) Any anticipated change in losses that may be attributable to the use of properly installed and maintained anti-theft devices in the insured private passenger automobile. An exhibit detailing these losses and any credits or discounts resulting from any such changes shall be included in each filing pertaining to private passenger automobile (or motor vehicle) insurance.
(2) Any anticipated change in losses that may be attributable to the use of lights and lighting devices that have been proven effective in increasing the visibility of motor vehicles during daytime or in poor visibility conditions and to the use of rear stop lights that have been proven effective in reducing rear-end collisions. An exhibit detailing these losses and any credits or discounts resulting from any such changes shall be included in each filing pertaining to private passenger automobile (or motor vehicle) insurance.
(3) Any anticipated change in losses per vehicle covered that may be attributable to the fact that the insured has more vehicles covered under the policy than there are insured drivers in the same household. An exhibit detailing these changes and any credits or discounts resulting from any such changes shall be included in each filing pertaining to private passenger automobile (or motor vehicle) insurance.

NOTES:

Severability1989 c 11: See note following RCW 9A.56.220.
Effective date1987 c 320: "This act shall take effect on January 1, 1988." [ 1987 c 320 § 2.]



Property insurersAssistance to prevent or reduce severity of claims or lossesImpact on rates.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, in addition to other information required by this chapter, a rate filing by a property insurer for a policy, except commercial property insurance, that includes risk mitigation and/or prevention goods and/or services under RCW 48.18.558, must demonstrate that its rates account for the expected costs of the goods and services and the reduction in expected claims costs resulting from either the goods or services, or both.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) A property insurer offering or providing risk mitigation and/or prevention goods and/or services through a pilot program established in RCW 48.18.558(6); or
(b) Disaster or emergency response activities of a property insurer.

NOTES:

Findings2018 c 239: See note following RCW 48.18.558.



Fire alarms and smoke detection devicesImpact on dwelling unit insurance ratesReport to legislature.

(1) In making rates for the insurance coverage for dwelling units, insurers shall consider the benefits of fire alarms and smoke detection devices in their rate making. If the insurer determines a separate rate factor is valid, then an exhibit supporting these changes and any credits or discounts resulting from any such changes must be included in the initial filing supporting such change. An insurer need not file any exhibits or offer any related discounts if:
(a) No changes are made to the credits or discounts already in effect prior to July 28, 2019;
(b) It determines that there is no material anticipated change in losses due to the use of such equipment; or
(c) Any potential credit or discount is not actuarially supported.
(2) The commissioner shall report to the appropriate committees of the legislature on any credits or discounts provided on insurance premiums for fire alarms and smoke detection devices installed in dwelling units. By December 31, 2020, and in compliance with RCW 43.01.036, the commissioner must submit a report to the appropriate committees of the legislature that details the use of discounts prior to and after July 28, 2019, and the type of fire alarm or smoke detection device qualifying for a credit or discount.
(3) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Dwelling unit" means a residential dwelling of any type, including a single-family residence, apartment, condominium, or cooperative unit.
(b) "Smoke detection device" or "smoke detection devices" means an assembly incorporating in one unit a device which detects visible or invisible particles of combustion, the control equipment, and the alarm-sounding device, operated from a power supply either in the unit or obtained at the point of installation.
(c) "Fire alarm" or "fire alarms" means any mechanical, electrical[,] or radio-controlled device that is designed to emit a sound or transmit a signal or message when activated or any such device that emits a sound and transmits a signal or message when activated because of smoke, heat[,] or fire.
(4) This section applies to rate filings for coverage for dwelling units filed on or after January 1, 2020.

NOTES:

Short title2019 c 455: See note following RCW 43.44.110.