Re: “Insurance industry should listen to seniors and abolish use of credit scores” [Nov. 22, Opinion]:
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler didn’t listen when insurers warned of insurance rate hikes as he tried to ban “good credit discounts” for low-risk policyholders.
He didn’t listen when legislators proposed two reasonable alternatives: allowing insurance companies to use credit information only to reduce premiums and requiring insurers to consider “extraordinary life circumstances” that affect a person’s credit, like losing a job due to a pandemic or a spouse’s death.
He didn’t listen to the court, which struck down his “emergency rule” that raised rates for a million or more policyholders, choosing instead to impose a new rule.
He hasn’t listened to the thousands of policyholders who pleaded with him and legislators to undo their $500-$1,400 premium increases — which are not from accidents, tickets or changes in coverage, but exclusively from the commissioner’s actions.
Now Commissioner Kreidler again turns a deaf ear — choosing instead to mislead readers. He knows well that Washington law prohibits insurers from penalizing consumers due to “medical bankruptcy” and that credit information is a proven, accurate predictor of claims (because he has approved thousands of rate plans from insurance companies since he took office 20 years ago). Time to listen.
Kenton Brine, president, NW Insurance Council