Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 94-2-05710-3. Date filed: 08/28/95. Judge signing: Hon. Liem E. Tuai.
Petition for Review Denied June 3, 1997,
Authored by William W. Baker. Concurring: Walter E. Webster, Susan R. Agid.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Baker
BAKER, C.J. - Thomas Downie's insurance policy against loss of personal property required him to give an examination under oath (EUO) upon request before suing his insurance carrier. He submitted a claim and gave two recorded interviews to different adjustors, but refused to submit to the requested EUO.
Because a recorded statement given to an adjustor is not equivalent to an EUO, we hold that such a statement does not constitute substantial compliance with the policy. Moreover, we hold that an insurance policy requiring an EUO as a condition precedent to filing suit is not against public policy and is a valid, enforceable contract provision. Downie did not meet a valid condition precedent to filing this action; therefore, the trial court did not err in granting State Farm summary judgment as a matter of law. We affirm.
Downie obtained a personal articles protection policy from State Farm. While the policy was in force, Downie claimed that he lost a Rolex watch and a diamond ring when he left the articles in a bag in an airplane's overhead storage compartment. The policy insured these items.
The policy specifically addressed the procedures after a loss as follows:
7. Your Duties After Loss. In case a covered loss occurs, you must:
b. report as soon as practicable in writing to us or our agent any loss . . . which may become a claim under this policy .
. .; and c. file with us or our agent, within 90 days after discovery of the loss, a signed sworn proof of loss. This will state the facts and amount of the loss to the best of your knowledge.
8. Examination Under Oath. You agree:
a. to be examined under oath and subscribe to the same as often as we reasonably require; [and]
d. to produce such records as we may need to verify the claim and its amount, and to permit copies of such ...