Know Your Rights Under Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act

Washington State's Insurance Fair Conduct Act (a/k/a "IFCA") provides important legal protections for insurance policyholders. IFCA was passed by the legislature and then ratified by the voters in 2007. IFCA was enacted based on lengthy testimony in legislative hearings from industry experts and consumer advocates about how insurers abused their policyholders despite existing laws. IFCA …

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Court of Appeals Reiterates Insurer’s Obligation to Protect Policyholder From Lawsuit

When a driver crashes into another vehicle and is sued for damages, the driver's insurer typically has an obligation to  defend the lawsuit and act in good faith to protect its insured's interests.  When the insurer fails to do so, the driver likely has legal recourse under Washington law. Washington's Court of Appeals recently reiterated …

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The Moral High Ground Is Crucial In Insurance Disputes, Confirms Ninth Circuit

In any lawsuit, but particularly an insurance dispute, it's important to have the "moral high ground."  In an insurance case, this means cooperating with the insurer and responding to the insurer's reasonable requests for information.  Even where the insured is in the right, insurers often seize on the insured's failure to provide information about their …

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Washington Federal Court Rejects Insurer Efforts to Escape Lawsuit by Paying Benefits Retroactively

One important right policyholders have is to be fully compensated or "made whole" when the insurer improperly denies coverage or payment of benefits.  Some insurers argue, incorrectly, that they can avoid making the policyholder whole by paying the disputed policy benefit after the policyholder files a lawsuit.  That's incorrect because by the time the policyholder …

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Can The Insurer Change Your Policy Without Notice?

A recent Washington Court of Appeals decision emphasizes that insurers can change policy terms upon renewal with only minimal notice to the insured, even if the notice consists only of a terse email with a hyperlink to "terms and conditions." The insurer’s renewal notice is a common pitfall for policyholders, who often set their policy …

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