The use of loss history reports in underwriting homeowners insurance policies was the subject of seminars held recently in Oregon and Idaho.
Sam Sorich, Western Region vice president for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), and Lynn Knauf, PCI policy manager, presented the view of insurance companies. Insurers have been using information provided by the CLUE and A-PLUS loss history databases for several years in an effort to accurately assess the risk involved with insuring a particular property. The seminars, conducted by the Insurance Information Service of Oregon & Idaho, were held for agents in Beaverton and in Boise..
“Insurers want to write homeowners business,” Sorich told the Beaverton audience. “That is very evident in Oregon where 138 companies compete for business and where competition produces some of the lowest-cost premiums in the nation. There is no evidence that the use of these loss history reports is hurting the homeowners’ market and we feel there is no need for legislation that would limit insurers’ ability to use this information in the underwriting process.”
Knauf told the Boise audience that efforts to restrict use of these reports could hurt homeowners insurance availability and affordability in Idaho by making the market less attractive to insurers. “Access to claims databases gives insurers confidence that they are making decisions based on sound information. In a competitive market like Idaho, where prices are low and insurers’ profit margins are minimal, this kind of information is crucial to the underwriting process.”
PCI member companies write over 30 percent of the homeowners insurance in both Idaho and Oregon.
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