New Delaware Insurance Commissioner Denn Supports Bill to Ban Use of Credit Scoring by Insurers

January 10, 2005

Wasting little time acting on one of his campaign promises, new Delaware Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn announced he will support a bill being introduced that seeks to ban the use of credit scores by insurers in personal lines insurance rating.

State Senator Margaret Rose Henry and Denn said that legislation would be introduced on the first day of the 2005 General Assembly. It will prohibit the use of credit scoring by insurance companies in the fields of automobile and homeowners insurance.

Democrat Denn’s predecessor, Donna Lee Williams, had opposed the Henry bill banning credit scores in insurance.

Denn cited studies that he said have shown that credit scoring has a disproportionate impact on low-income persons and ethnic minorities in affirming his position.

The legislation, already filed as Senate Bill 2, will be sponsored in the House of Representatives by State Representative Dennis Williams.

“The American dream is about buying a home, having a car and a good job,” Sen. Henry said. “Responsible people can have a bad credit rating for a variety of reasons and I don’t think that should prevent anyone from being able to pursue their dreams of homeownership or their ability to have a car to go to work in. Credit scoring is an unnecessary and unfair obstacle.”

“I look forward to working with Senator Henry to see this legislation through the General Assembly,” Denn said. “The last time this legislation was heard in the state Senate, it was opposed by the insurance department and it failed by one vote. I expect that with a supportive insurance commissioner, we will see a different outcome this time around.”

Denn was elected to the insurance post in November.

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