Posted on 21 Jan 2010
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler testified yesterday in favor of a new House bill that would ban the use of credit scores for insurance purposes.
Kriedler’s bill would prevent people like Shawnie McAdams from being dropped by their insurance company through no fault of their own.
McAdams says she had a clean driving record, but her car insurance company suddenly dropped her, after her estranged husband filed for bankruptcy and damaged her credit record.
"I didn't see how I could be held liable for something I had no control over," she said.
"It is really a question of fairness," says Kriedler, who says he's heard hundreds of similar stories. He says insurers should "look at the factors like a person's driving records or how they maintain their property."
The insurance industry argues the current system is fair, and rewards those who have good credit.
"Study after study shows credit rating is an accurate predictive risk of loss," says Kenton Brine, the Assistant Vice-President for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. "People who have certain behaviors with their finance also have those behaviors with their insurance claims activity."
The Senate is also considering a similar bill, and has a hearing scheduled on the matter on January 28.