You're not alone if you've been told by your insurance company your rates are about to go up or have experienced a significant increase in your premiums, even though you've had no claims or other changes in your coverage.
An emergency rule recently issued by Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler prohibits insurance companies from considering credit information when calculating individual insurer rates – removing a key risk-based tool that has helped insurers accurately rate policies and reduce insurance costs for most consumers for two decades.
As more policies renew under this new rule, more than one million Washington policyholders, including consumers with good credit, and lower risk, who previously received discounted rates and retired senior citizens living on a fixed income, could see insurance rate increases of hundreds of dollars or more.
Take action today and sign the petition to speak out against increased insurance costs due to new government policies.
Dear [Your Representative]:
I recently learned that my insurance premium may increase, and it isn't because I filed any claims, or had any changes in my coverage, or was issued traffic tickets or had any accidents. It's because of a rule change—issued without any public process or input—from the state Insurance Commissioner.
I am not an insurance expert or an economist. But like many of my friends and neighbors, I work hard to provide for myself and my family. I live within my means, and I pay my bills and debts on time. This is reflected in my credit history, and because my insurance company could consider my credit history as one of many factors they use to predict my likelihood of suffering losses and filing claims, they knew I'm a lower risk to insure. That saved me money on insurance every year. At least it did, until now.
Under Commissioner Kreidler's emergency rule, insurance companies can no longer consider credit information to rate policies for home, auto, renters, condo and other personal insurance policies. For me (and maybe more than a million more Washington policyholders who are lower risks), that means I will pay more for insurance, while people who are higher risk drivers, renters and homeowners, may pay less. That's the opposite of how insurance pricing should work.
I know the legislature attempted to deal with insurance pricing issues during the last session. Those proposed laws would have provided direct help to people concerned about their credit score due to the pandemic and would have permitted insurance companies to use credit information only if it helped consumers pay less for insurance when their policies renew. Neither bill passed.
Commissioner Kreidler doesn't want insurance companies to consider credit information for people concerned about their credit scores due to COVID-19 as a factor for setting insurance rates, but his emergency rule goes too far and is sure to hurt many more people in Washington—people struggling to recover from the pandemic, or retirees on fixed incomes, and people like me. His rule also contradicts state law and ignores the work legislators were doing on this issue.
Please take steps to stop this rule and protect Washington policyholders from these huge, unfair rate increases.