For Consumers

Understanding service of legal process

What is service of legal process (SOP)?

It is the act of giving legal notice to a person or entity. Notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents to the person or entity being served.

Who can be served through the Office of the Insurance Commissioner?

  • Authorized foreign (out-of-state) and alien (out-of-country) insurance companies, agencies, and producers.
  • Unauthorized foreign and alien insurance companies, agencies and producers.
  • The Office of the Insurance Commissioner cannot accept service of legal process for a domestic entity. Domestic companies may be served through an agent authorized by their company.

What is the difference between foreign, alien and domestic?

  • A foreign company is formed under the laws of the United States or the District of Columbia, but in a state or territory other than Washington state.
  • An alien company is formed under the laws of a nation other than the United States.
  • A domestic company is formed under the laws of Washington state.