Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, in “Ban unfair use of credit scores for insurance” [Jan. 11, Opinion], points out why credit scores should not be used by insurers. The problem is broader than described, and the Legislature should include additional limitations.
There are a variety of factors that insurers use to determine your insurance risk and, thus, your premiums. For example, key among them is the “Months of Active Credit” found in your credit bureau records. Have an active mortgage? Making those monthly payments improves your rating but, pay off that mortgage, and those months are no longer considered. Likewise, if you decide to trade in a long-held credit card for a new one.
Further, you would think paying off the balance on your credit card(s) each month would be beneficial to your “risk” rating. Probably not. I say “probably” because the exact information considered from your credit bureau data, and how it’s used by insurers, is shrouded in secrecy.
The use of all credit information to set premiums, not just your credit score, should be denied. If not, the precise information used should be available to you, the insured.
Martin Nizlek, Bellevue
The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.