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WPI 320.06.01 Insurance Fair Conduct Act

6A WAPRAC WPI 320.06.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil

6A Wash. Prac., Wash. Pattern Jury Instr. Civ. WPI 320.06.01 (7th ed.)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Civil
April 2022 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XV. Insurance Bad Faith
Chapter 320. Insurance Bad Faith Actions
WPI 320.06.01 Insurance Fair Conduct Act
(Name of plaintiff)claims that(name of insurer)has violated the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act. To prove this claim,(name of plaintiff)has the burden of proving each of the following propositions:
(1) That(name of insurer)[unreasonably denied a claim for coverage] [unreasonably denied payment of benefits];
(2) That(name of plaintiff)was [injured] [damaged]; and
(3) That(name of insurer's)act or practice was a proximate cause of(name of plaintiff's)[injury] [damage].
If you find from your consideration of all of the evidence that each of these propositions has been proved, your verdict [on this claim] should be for(name of plaintiff). On the other hand, if any of these propositions has not been proved, your verdict [on this claim] should be for(name of insurer).
The instruction applies to cases filed under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA). The first element includes a bracketed clause that can be used when per se violations of the act are claimed.
RCW 48.30.010(7); RCW 48.30.015.
Element (1) of this instruction was revised for this edition. The instruction no longer includes a cause of action under IFCA based on an insurer violating “a statute or regulation governing the business of insurance claims handling.” Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 187 Wn.2d 669, 682, 389 P.3d 476 (2017).
Recovery under IFCA is limited to first-party claimants. RCW 48.30.010(7). A first-party claimant is defined as an individual or entity “asserting a right of payment as a covered person under an insurance policy or insurance contract arising out of the occurrence of the contingency or loss covered by such a policy or contract.” RCW 48.30.015(4). If the plaintiff's status as a first-party claimant is in dispute, then a jury instruction can be crafted based on this statutory definition.
Claims under IFCA are similar to, but not identical with, related bad faith or Consumer Protection Act (CPA) claims. The elements differ slightly (compare this instruction with WPI 320.01) and an IFCA claimant may recover triple damages and reasonable attorney fees without having to prove a violation of the CPA. See RCW 48.30.015.
[Current as of September 2018.]
End of Document