Judge strikes down state ban on credit-based insurance scores
A Washington state judge has struck down a state rule banning the use of credit-based insurance scores.
On Monday, Judge Indu Thomas rendered a final order declaring that Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler exceeded his authority when he issued a permanent rule prohibiting the use of credit-based insurance scores. Indu initially ruled against the insurance commissioner from the bench on July 22. The entry of the final order on Monday marked the end of the rule.
“Commissioner Kreidler’s rule disrupted the Washington insurance marketplace and forced over a million policyholders to pay higher insurance rates. Today’s final order is an important victory for Washington consumers, particularly lower-risk senior policyholders who were forced to pay more to subsidize higher-risk policyholders because the rule eliminated the use of credit,” said a joint statement released by the four trade associations that filed a challenge to the rule – the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and the Professional Insurance Agents of Washington.
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“We are pleased the court considered our legal arguments and agreed that the commissioner exceeded his authority when he put forth a rule to ban the use of credit-based insurance scores for an indefinite time but for no less than three years,” the associations said. “Judge Thomas agreed with our arguments that Commissioner Kreidler exceeded his authority when he acted contrary to the longstanding statute that has authorized the use of credit in the property and casualty insurance space.”