We don’t want you to be surprised by what’s coming up next month that will effect all of us who have personal insurance in the state of Washington.
Washington’s Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, issued an emergency order in March 2021 prohibiting all insurance companies in Washington state from using credit history as a factor for rating premiums and underwriting eligibility for personal lines new policies with an effective date on or after June 20, 2021 and renewal policies processed on or after June 20, 2021. The emergency order applies to all personal autos, motorcycles, RVs, collector vehicles, antique autos, homes, mobile homes, condos, and renters coverage.
For the past 20 years, insurance companies have been able to use a person’s credit history as part of their individual scoring process to price policies. Credit history has proven to be a strong indicator of future claims and, thus, has been used to lower premiums for many people.
In any given year, renewal rates can go up or down for various reasons. Removal of the use of credit will have an impact on almost everyone’s premiums. For many people, insurance companies were able to use credit to provide an extra discount to their insurance cost. No longer having that discount will have an impact. The impact is revenue-neutral overall, but customers with good credit could see rates increase and those with poor credit could see rates decrease. And, to be clear, this is affecting ALL COMPANIES who write in the state of Washington.
The Insurance Commissioner’s emergency rule required insurance companies to take credit out of their pricing model without making any other changes. Insurance companies are now in the process of filing with the state additional changes to these pricing models to ensure they are accurate and fair. You should be aware that the price for your insurance policy could change and might again at renewal because of these additional adjustments.
While insurance companies are making changes to their pricing models and procedures to be in compliance with the emergency order, all companies are temporarily halting the ability to quote policies with an effective date of June 20th, 2021 or later with the old rates. However, on June 20th, we should be able to provide quotes effective that day and later with the new approved rates.
As an independent agent, we have no influence on either the action taken by the Insurance Commissioner, or the rates as a result. This action, in no way, changes the effectiveness of the insurance company you are with, their responsiveness to your needs, or our ability to help any way we can.
For more information about the emergency order, you can visit:
If you have questions or concerns about the emergency order, you can contact the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s consumer protection hotline at 800-562-6900 or visit www.insurance.wa.gov. You can also contact your state legislators. Their information can be obtained by visiting https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/