Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2018
Similar to the vast majority of other states, service of legal process is governed by statute in Washington. RCW 48.05.200(1) states that an “authorized foreign or alien insurer must appoint the commissioner as its attorney to receive service of, and upon whom must be served, all legal process issued against it in this state upon causes of action arising within this state.” Despite that, attorneys and litigants in Washington have attempted to serve foreign insurers in a variety of different ways. Similarly, many authorized foreign insurers have attempted to dispute valid service when accomplished through the insurance commissioner. However, this “cat and mouse” game of service on foreign insurers may have been resolved for good by a recent decision by the Washington Supreme Court.