AIA Says Credit Scoring Expands Consumer Choice, Makes Pricing More Accurate

Credit-based insurance scoring has expanded choice in the marketplace for consumers and allowed insurers to more accurately price their products, the American Insurance Association (AIA) told a group of state legislators recently.

“Insurance scoring is directly responsible for a larger and more competitive personal lines marketplace across the country,” said David Snyder, AIA vice president and assistant general counsel. “More consumers have more choices when shopping for insurance, and that’s a fact that often gets overlooked in the ongoing debate over insurer use of credit information.” Snyder spoke on a panel about the use of credit information in insurance transactions at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) annual Fall Forum.

“The use of credit-based insurance scoring has also allowed insurers to more accurately underwrite and price their products, allowing consumers to pay a more accurate price. Because insurers can more accurately pinpoint the risk a particular consumer presents, they can charge them accordingly,” Snyder explained.

Insurer use of consumer credit information is expressly permitted by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Snyder told the panel, and AIA firmly believes that its use is further regulated by existing state rating and unfair discrimination laws. In the event that individual state legislatures believe there are gaps in the law in their particular state, Snyder encouraged legislators to consider the model act on credit-based insurance scoring adopted last month by the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL).

“While we believe that the use of insurance scoring is adequately regulated under existing federal and state laws, we also understand that in some states, there are public policy issues that may still need to be addressed,” Snyder said. “To that end, we would encourage state lawmakers to take advantage of the consumer and competition-friendly model bill passed by their NCOIL colleagues last month.”