General powers and duties — State of emergency.
(1) The commissioner has the authority expressly conferred upon him or her by or reasonably implied from the provisions of this code.
(2) The commissioner must execute his or her duties and must enforce the provisions of this code.
(3) The commissioner may:
(a) Make reasonable rules for effectuating any provision of this code, except those relating to his or her election, qualifications, or compensation. Rules are not effective prior to their being filed for public inspection in the commissioner's office.
(b) Conduct investigations to determine whether any person has violated any provision of this code.
(c) Conduct examinations, investigations, hearings, in addition to those specifically provided for, useful and proper for the efficient administration of any provision of this code.
(4) When the governor proclaims a state of emergency under RCW 43.06.010(12), the commissioner may issue an order that addresses any or all of the following matters related to insurance policies issued in this state:
(a) Reporting requirements for claims;
(b) Grace periods for payment of insurance premiums and performance of other duties by insureds;
(c) Temporary postponement of cancellations and nonrenewals; and
(d) Medical coverage to ensure access to care.
(5) An order by the commissioner under subsection (4) of this section may remain effective for not more than sixty days unless the commissioner extends the termination date for the order for an additional period of not more than thirty days. The commissioner may extend the order if, in the commissioner's judgment, the circumstances warrant an extension. An order of the commissioner under subsection (4) of this section is not effective after the related state of emergency is terminated by proclamation of the governor under RCW 43.06.210. The order must specify, by line of insurance:
(a) The geographic areas in which the order applies, which must be within but may be less extensive than the geographic area specified in the governor's proclamation of a state of emergency and must be specific according to an appropriate means of delineation, such as the United States postal service zip codes or other appropriate means; and
(b) The date on which the order becomes effective and the date on which the order terminates.
(6) The commissioner may adopt rules that establish general criteria for orders issued under subsection (4) of this section and may adopt emergency rules applicable to a specific proclamation of a state of emergency by the governor.
(7) The rule-making authority set forth in subsection (6) of this section does not limit or affect the rule-making authority otherwise granted to the commissioner by law.
[2010 c 27 § 1; 2009 c 335 § 1; 1947 c 79 § .02.06; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.02.06.]