Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler reminds insurance companies of the May 6 deadline to file pricing plans that comply with his emergency rule to temporarily ban the use of consumer credit scores.
On April 23, a Thurston County Superior Court judge allowed Kreidler’s state of emergency to continue by denying a preliminary injunction request from the insurance industry. Justice Mary Sue Wilson found that industry associations challenging the rule were unlikely to succeed with their two main arguments that Kreidler lacked a “good cause” and lacked the power to enact the rule. .
Kreidler released the emergency rule on March 23. Next, Washington independent insurance agents and brokers, Washington professional insurance agents, and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association joined together in a lawsuit to end Kreidler’s ban.
The temporary ban on the use of credit scores for insurance takes effect on June 20. To comply, insurers must file rating plans by May 6 for review and approval by Kreidler’s office. To date, about 20 insurance companies have filed the required documents, according to Kreidler.
âIt’s time for the insurance industry to step up and meet its obligations to policyholders,â Kreidler said. âThe financial impacts of the pandemic on individuals and families have only exacerbated the injustice of the use of credit scores. Industry in Washington should rely on equitable factors to determine what it charges for policies. For too long, the industry has subsidized the wealthier customers at the expense of those with lower incomes. “
Kreidler has been working for some time to eliminate credit scores from the consideration of insurers. His most recent effort failed when a bill he supported, Senate Bill 5010, was gutted by an insurance industry amendment in the Senate Committee on Business, Financial Services and trade on February 15.
Kreidler’s office estimates that 200 companies are licensed to sell auto, home, and tenant insurance policies in Washington.
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