In Absence of Express Policy Requirement, No Examination Under Oath - EUO Pre-Requisite to Insured Filing Bad Faith Suit
Washington courts enforce provisions requiring insureds to sit for examinations under oath and have dismissed bad faith lawsuits where the policy at issue contains provisions requiring an EUO and an insured's compliance with all policy terms before they may file suit. But what happens when a policy does not contain an EUO provision and an insured files suit after refusing an insurer's request for an EUO.
The Ninth Circuit addressed this issue last week in Parker v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 6464 (March 12, 2012). Reversing Judge Benjamin Settle's summary judgment dismissal in favor of Allstate, the 9th Circuit found "no requirement under Washington law that an insured complete an EUO before suing her insurer when the insuring contract includes no EUO requirement." Under this ruling, insurers in Washington seem to have EUO rights only where they expressly provide for it in their policy.