Refusal to renew private automobile insurance by insurer — Change in amount of premium or deductibles.
(1) Each insurer shall be required to renew any contract of insurance subject to RCW 48.18.291 unless one of the following situations exists:
(a) The insurer gives the named insured at least twenty days' notice in writing as provided for in RCW 48.18.291(1), that it proposes to refuse to renew the insurance contract upon its expiration date; and sets forth therein the actual reason for refusing to renew; or
(b) At least twenty days prior to its expiration date, the insurer has communicated its willingness to renew in writing to the named insured, and has included therein a statement of the amount of the premium or portion thereof required to be paid by the insured to renew the policy, including the amount by which the premium or deductibles have changed from the previous policy period, and the date by which such payment must be made, and the insured fails to discharge when due his or her obligation in connection with the payment of such premium or portion thereof; or
(c) The insured's insurance producer has procured other coverage acceptable to the insured prior to the expiration of the policy period.
(2) Renewal of a policy shall not constitute a waiver or estoppel with respect to grounds for cancellation which existed before the effective date of such renewal.
(3) "Renewal" or "to renew" means the issuance and delivery by an insurer of a contract of insurance replacing at the end of the contract period a contract of insurance previously issued and delivered by the same insurer, or the issuance and delivery of a certificate or notice extending the term of a contract beyond its policy period or term: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That any contract of insurance with a policy period or term of six months or less whether or not made continuous for successive terms upon the payment of additional premiums shall for the purpose of RCW 48.18.291 through 48.18.297 be considered as if written for a policy period or term of six months: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That any policy written for a term longer than one year or any policy with no fixed expiration date, shall, for the purpose of RCW 48.18.291 through 48.18.297, be considered as if written for successive policy periods or terms of one year.
(4) On and after January 1, 1980, no policy of insurance subject to RCW 48.18.291 shall be issued for a policy period or term of less than six months.
(5) No insurer shall refuse to renew the liability and/or collision coverage of an automobile insurance policy on the basis that an insured covered by the policy of the insurer has submitted one or more claims under the comprehensive, road service, or towing coverage of the policy. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit the nonrenewal of comprehensive, road service, or towing coverage on the basis of one or more claims submitted by an insured.
[2008 c 217 § 17; 1985 c 264 § 19; 1981 c 339 § 17; 1979 ex.s. c 199 § 7; 1973 1st ex.s. c 152 § 3; 1969 ex.s. c 241 § 20.]
| Severability -- Effective date -- 2008 c 217: See notes following RCW 48.03.020.|
Application -- 1985 c 264 §§ 17-22: See note following RCW 48.18.290.
Severability -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 152: See note following RCW 48.05.140.
Construction -- 1969 ex.s. c 241 §§ 19-25: See note following RCW 48.18.291.