Unfair practices in general — Remedies and penalties.
(1) No person engaged in the business of insurance shall engage in unfair methods of competition or in unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of such business as such methods, acts, or practices are defined pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.
(2) In addition to such unfair methods and unfair or deceptive acts or practices as are expressly defined and prohibited by this code, the commissioner may from time to time by regulation promulgated pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW, define other methods of competition and other acts and practices in the conduct of such business reasonably found by the commissioner to be unfair or deceptive after a review of all comments received during the notice and comment rule-making period.
(3)(a) In defining other methods of competition and other acts and practices in the conduct of such business to be unfair or deceptive, and after reviewing all comments and documents received during the notice and comment rule-making period, the commissioner shall identify his or her reasons for defining the method of competition or other act or practice in the conduct of insurance to be unfair or deceptive and shall include a statement outlining these reasons as part of the adopted rule.
(b) The commissioner shall include a detailed description of facts upon which he or she relied and of facts upon which he or she failed to rely, in defining the method of competition or other act or practice in the conduct of insurance to be unfair or deceptive, in the concise explanatory statement prepared under RCW 34.05.325(6).
(c) Upon appeal the superior court shall review the findings of fact upon which the regulation is based de novo on the record.
(4) No such regulation shall be made effective prior to the expiration of thirty days after the date of the order by which it is promulgated.
(5) If the commissioner has cause to believe that any person is violating any such regulation, the commissioner may order such person to cease and desist therefrom. The commissioner shall deliver such order to such person direct or mail it to the person by registered mail with return receipt requested. If the person violates the order after expiration of ten days after the cease and desist order has been received by him or her, he or she may be fined by the commissioner a sum not to exceed two hundred and fifty dollars for each violation committed thereafter.
(6) If any such regulation is violated, the commissioner may take such other or additional action as is permitted under the insurance code for violation of a regulation.
(7) An insurer engaged in the business of insurance may not unreasonably deny a claim for coverage or payment of benefits to any first party claimant. "First party claimant" has the same meaning as in RCW 48.30.015.
[2007 c 498 § 2 (Referendum Measure No. 67, approved November 6, 2007); 1997 c 409 § 107; 1985 c 264 § 13; 1973 1st ex.s. c 152 § 6; 1965 ex.s. c 70 § 24; 1947 c 79 § .30.01; Rem. Supp. 1947 § 45.30.01.]
| Short title -- 2007 c 498: See note following RCW 48.30.015.|
Part headings -- Severability -- 1997 c 409: See notes following RCW 43.22.051.
Severability -- 1973 1st ex.s. c 152: See note following RCW 48.05.140.