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48.18.2901  <<  48.18.291 >>   48.18.292

RCW 48.18.291

Cancellation of private automobile insurance by insurer — Notice — Requirements.

(1) A contract of insurance predicated wholly or in part upon the use of a private passenger automobile may not be terminated by cancellation by the insurer until at least twenty days after mailing written notice of cancellation to the named insured at the latest address filed with the insurer by or on behalf of the named insured, accompanied by the reason therefor. If cancellation is for nonpayment of premium, or is within the first thirty days after the contract has been in effect, at least ten days notice of cancellation, accompanied by the reason therefor, shall be given. In case of a contract evidenced by a written binder which has been delivered to the insured, if the binder contains a clearly stated expiration date, no additional notice of cancellation or nonrenewal is required.

     (2)(a) A notice of cancellation by the insurer as to a contract of insurance to which subsection (1) of this section applies is not valid if sent more than sixty days after the contract has been in effect unless:

     (i) The named insured fails to discharge when due any of his or her obligations in connection with the payment of premium for the policy or any installment thereof, whether payable directly to the insurer or to its agent or indirectly under any premium finance plan or extension of credit; or

     (ii) The driver's license of the named insured, or of any other operator who customarily operates an automobile insured under the policy, has been suspended, revoked, or canceled during the policy period or, if the policy is a renewal, during its policy period or the one hundred eighty days immediately preceding the effective date of the renewal policy.

     (b) Modification by the insurer of automobile physical damage coverage by the inclusion of a deductible not exceeding one hundred dollars is not a cancellation of the coverage or of the policy.

     (3) The substance of subsections (1) and (2)(a) of this section must be set forth in each contract of insurance subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, and may be in the form of an attached endorsement.

     (4) A notice of cancellation of a policy that may be canceled only pursuant to subsection (2) of this section is not effective unless the reason therefor accompanies or is included in the notice of cancellation.

[2003 c 248 § 5; 1985 c 264 § 18; 1979 ex.s. c 199 § 6; 1969 ex.s. c 241 § 19.]

Notes:

     Application -- 1985 c 264 §§ 17-22: See note following RCW 48.18.290.

     Construction -- 1969 ex.s. c 241 §§ 19-25: "Sections 19 through 25 of this 1969 amendatory act shall become operative September 1, 1969, and shall apply to policies written or renewed, or which have a renewal anniversary thereafter. Sections 19 through 25 of this 1969 amendatory act shall not apply to or affect the validity of any notice of cancellation mailed or delivered prior to the operative date of this amendatory act. Sections 19 through 25 of this 1969 amendatory act shall not be construed to affect cancellation of a renewal policy, if notice of cancellation is mailed or delivered within sixty days after the operative date of sections 19 through 25 of this amendatory act. Sections 19 through 25 of this 1969 amendatory act shall not be construed to require notice of intention not to renew any policy which expires less than thirty days after the operative date of sections 19 through 25 of this 1969 amendatory act." [1969 ex.s. c 241 § 25.]