The following statement pertains to legal action taken by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) in response to the recent emergency regulations filed by Mike Kreidler, Washington’s commissioner for insurance, prohibiting the use of credit-based insurance assets for the rating and underwriting of insurance. That statement can be attributed to Claire Howard, senior vice president, general counsel, and company secretary of APCIA.
“APCIA and our Washington auto, home and renter insurance policy members strongly oppose the unilateral actions of Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. The Commissioner’s extreme action is beyond his authority, bypassing lawmakers and depriving consumers of the benefits of a highly competitive private market.
“As a result, APCIA is pursuing legal action to resolve this abuse of authority. A motion for a declaration and injunction was filed today with the Thurston County Supreme Court urging the court to invalidate the commissioner’s action and forbid enforcement. The aim of this legal measure is to prevent the Commissioner from acting beyond the scope of his powers and to oblige him, among other things, to comply with applicable laws on the use of credit-based insurance results by the insurance industry.
“Commissioner Kreidler is trying to ban an important risk-based assessment tool that has been around for almost 20 years for the benefit of consumers. The commissioner is trying to bypass the Washington legislature by taking a measure that the legislature recently specifically rejected.
“The arbitrary and capricious acts of Commissioner Kreidler will harm more than a million of Washington’s hardworking insurance consumers in Washington who are paying less for auto, home and rental insurance today because they use credit-based insurance results to effectively predict risk and exposure.” exact prices.
“Most consumers save money by using credit-based insurance results to evaluate how much they pay for insurance. Insurance scores are not credit scores as used by banks to offer loans or credit cards. Insurers use specific information about how consumers use credit as a factor to provide the cheapest and most accurate rate to consumers. Many other factors determine how much you pay for insurance, but not your race or income. Without these tools, insurance tariffs could rise for more than a million Washingtoners who are struggling to pay their bills even during the COVID-19 pandemic recession.
“A new report from Lexis Nexis shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic, credit-based insurance results have remained stable nationally and in Washington, with no information to suggest a decline, making the emergency rule unnecessary and unreasonable actually harmful to those who pay for auto, home and renter insurance.
“Equally important, Kreidler stood in the way when a legislative solution was on the table to help consumers facing exceptional living conditions such as financial setbacks due to COVID, and insisted on an ‘all or nothing’ ban .
“These measures go beyond the legal authority of the commissioner, violate the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches of the government, and are in direct contradiction to several existing laws, including those which regulate but clearly permit the use of credit information by insurers.
“In addition, at a time when the business community is working together for long-term economic recovery, these regulations could cause significant market disruption. In the end, Washington consumers will suffer at the worst time for the state’s economy and family budgets. That is why we are trying to rectify this abuse of power in court. “
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the premier national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers. The legacy goes back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions protecting families, communities, and businesses in the United States and around the world.
The above is a press release from APCIA. The Auburn Examiner has not independently verified its content and encourages our readers to personally review any information they find unduly biased or questionable. The publication of this press release does not imply an endorsement of its contents.