48.31B.037  <<  48.31B.038 >>   48.31B.040

Confidentiality of certain documents, materials, or other informationPermitted uses.

(1) Documents, materials, or other information in the possession or control of the commissioner that are obtained by or disclosed to the commissioner or any other person in the course of an examination or investigation made pursuant to RCW 48.31B.035 and all information reported pursuant to RCW 48.31B.015(2) (l) and (m), 48.31B.025, and 48.31B.030 are confidential by law and privileged, are not subject to chapter 42.56 RCW, are not subject to subpoena, and are not 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 official duties. The commissioner shall not otherwise make the documents, materials, or other information public without the prior written consent of the insurer to which it pertains unless the commissioner, after giving the insurer and its affiliates who would be affected thereby, notice and opportunity to be heard, determines that the interest of policyholders, shareholders, or the public is served by the publication thereof, in which event the commissioner may publish all or any part in such manner as may be deemed appropriate.
(2) Neither the commissioner nor any person who received documents, materials, or other information while acting under the authority of the commissioner or with whom such documents, materials, or other information are shared pursuant to this chapter is permitted or may be required to testify in any private civil action concerning any confidential documents, materials, or information subject to subsection (1) of this section.
(3) In order to assist in the performance of the commissioner's duties, the commissioner:
(a) May share documents, materials, or other information, including the confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information subject to subsection (1) of this section, with other state, federal, and international regulatory agencies, with the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries, and with state, federal, and international law enforcement authorities, including members of any supervisory college described in RCW 48.31B.037, provided the recipient agrees in writing to maintain the confidentiality and privileged status of the document, material, or other information, and has verified in writing the legal authority to maintain confidentiality;
(b) Notwithstanding (a) of this subsection, may only share confidential and privileged documents, material, or information reported pursuant to RCW 48.31B.025(12) with commissioners of states having statutes or rules substantially similar to subsection (1) of this section and who have agreed in writing not to disclose such information;
(c) May receive documents, materials, or information, including otherwise confidential and privileged documents, materials, or information from the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and 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
(d) Shall enter into written agreements with the national association of insurance commissioners governing sharing and use of information provided pursuant to this chapter consistent with this subsection that shall:
(i) Specify procedures and protocols regarding the confidentiality and security of information shared with the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries pursuant to this chapter, including procedures and protocols for sharing by the national association of insurance commissioners with other state, federal, or international regulators;
(ii) Specify that ownership of information shared with the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries pursuant to this chapter remains with the commissioner and the national association of insurance commissioners' use of the information is subject to the direction of the commissioner;
(iii) Require prompt notice to be given to an insurer whose confidential information in the possession of the national association of insurance commissioners pursuant to this chapter is subject to a request or subpoena to the national association of insurance commissioners for disclosure or production; and
(iv) Require the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries to consent to intervention by an insurer in any judicial or administrative action in which the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries may be required to disclose confidential information about the insurer shared with the national association of insurance commissioners and its affiliates and subsidiaries pursuant to this chapter.
(4) The sharing of information by the commissioner pursuant to this chapter does not constitute a delegation of regulatory authority or rule making, and the commissioner is solely responsible for the administration, execution, and enforcement of this chapter.
(5) 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 (3) of this section.
(6) Documents, materials, or other information in the possession or control of the national association of insurance commissioners pursuant to this chapter are confidential by law and privileged, are not subject to chapter 42.56 RCW, are not subject to subpoena, and are not subject to discovery or admissible in evidence in any private civil action.

NOTES:

Effective dates2015 c 122: See note following RCW 48.31B.005.
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