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48.18.020  <<  48.18.030 >>   48.18.040

RCW 48.18.030

Insurable interest — Personal insurances — Nonprofit organizations — Rules.

(1) Any individual of competent legal capacity may insure his or her own life or body for the benefit of any person. A person may not insure the life or body of another individual unless the benefits under the contract are payable to the individual insured or the individual's personal representative, or to a person having, at the time when the contract was made, an insurable interest in the individual insured.

     (2) If the beneficiary, assignee or other payee under any contract made in violation of this section receives from the insurer any benefits accruing upon the death, disability, or injury of the individual insured, the individual insured or the individual's executor or administrator may maintain an action to recover any benefits from the person receiving them.

     (3)(a) "Insurable interest" as used in this section and in RCW 48.18.060 includes only the following interests:

     (i) In the case of individuals related closely by blood or by law, a substantial interest engendered by love and affection; and

     (ii) In the case of other persons, a lawful and substantial economic interest in having the life, health, or bodily safety of the individual insured continue, as distinguished from an interest that would arise only by, or would be enhanced in value by, the death, disability, or injury of the individual insured.

     (b) An individual who is party to a contract or option for the purchase or sale of an interest in a business partnership or firm, or of shares of stock of a close corporation or of an interest in those shares, has an insurable interest in the life of each individual party to the contract and for the purposes of that contract only, in addition to any insurable interest that may otherwise exist as to the life of such individual.

     (c) A guardian, trustee, or other fiduciary has an insurable interest in the life of any person for whose benefit the fiduciary holds property, and in the life of any other individual in whose life the person has an insurable interest.

     (d) Subject to rules adopted under subsection (4) of this section, upon joint application with a nonprofit organization for, or transfer to a nonprofit organization of, an insurance policy on the life of a person naming the organization as owner and beneficiary, a nonprofit organization's interest in the life of a person if:

     (i) The nonprofit organization was established exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or to promote amateur athletic competition, to conduct testing for public safety, or to prevent cruelty to children or animals; and

     (ii) The nonprofit organization:

     (A) Has existed for a minimum of five years; or

     (B) Has been issued a certificate of exemption to conduct a charitable gift annuity business under RCW 48.38.010, or is authorized to conduct a charitable gift annuity business under RCW 28B.10.485; or

     (C) Has been organized, and at all times has been operated, exclusively for benefit of, to perform the functions of, or to carry out the purposes of one or more nonprofit organizations described in (d)(ii)(A) or (B) of this subsection and is operated, supervised, or controlled by or in connection with one or more of those nonprofit organizations; and

     (iii) For a joint application, the person is not an employee, officer, or director of the organization who receives significant compensation from the organization and who became affiliated with the organization in that capacity less than one year before the joint application.

     (4) The commissioner may adopt rules governing joint applications for, and transfers of, life insurance under subsection (3)(d) of this section. The rules may include:

     (a) Standards for full and fair disclosure that set forth the manner, content, and required disclosure for the sale of life insurance issued under subsection (3)(d) of this section; and

     (b) For joint applications, a grace period of thirty days during which the insured person may direct the nonprofit organization to return the policy and the insurer to refund any premium paid to the party that, directly or indirectly, paid the premium; and

     (c) Standards for granting an exemption from the five-year existence requirement of subsection (3)(d)(ii)(A) of this section to a private foundation that files with the insurance commissioner documents, stipulations, and information as the insurance commissioner may require to carry out the purpose of subsection (3)(d) of this section.

     (5) Nothing in this section permits the personal representative of the insured's estate to recover the proceeds of a policy on the life of a deceased insured person that was applied for jointly by, or transferred to, an organization covered by subsection (3)(d) of this section, where the organization was named owner and beneficiary of the policy.

     This subsection applies to all life insurance policies applied for by, or transferred to, an organization covered by subsection (3)(d) of this section, regardless of the time of application or transfer and regardless of whether the organization would have been covered at the time of application or transfer.

[2005 c 337 § 3; 1992 c 51 § 1; 1973 1st ex.s. c 89 § 3; 1947 c 79 § .18.03; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.18.03.]

Notes:

     Finding -- Intent -- 2005 c 337: "The legislature finds that there is a long-standing principle that corporations have an insurable interest in the lives of key personnel. Nationally, some corporations have begun to insure the lives of personnel that have not met the insurable interest standard of Washington. Entry-level workers have been insured by their corporate employer for the benefit of the corporate employer. The legislature intends to clarify this subject and preclude corporations from insuring the lives of employees when the employees are not key personnel and the corporations have no insurable interest in the lives of those employees." [2005 c 337 § 1.]

Use of trust funds by fiduciaries for life insurance: RCW 11.110.120.