State law - RCW 48.02.060(4), adopted in 2009 - gives the insurance commissioner authority to issue orders and adopt rules related to insurance policies after a declaration of emergency by the governor. No rules have been adopted to date. However, In light of recent natural disasters, the effects of climate change, and similar actions taken by other states, the commissioner wants to establish protections for consumers and clear instructions for insurers.
This proposed rulemaking will establish criteria for: issuing emergency orders; reporting claims; establishing grace periods for paying premiums and performing other insurance activities; postponing policy cancellations and non-renewals; and ensuring access to medical coverage and care. In addition, it will also consider adjuster licensing during catastrophes, insurers’ emergency planning, and relevant definitions.