Montana Legislature Passes Credit Scoring Bill

April 8, 2005

The American Insurance Association applauded the passage of an insurance scoring measure in Montana. This bill will ensure consistent use of personal credit information by insurers, while maintaining a tool that enables insurers to accurately predict risk and appropriately price coverage.

“AIA worked very closely with Montana legislators to develop a measure that balances insurers’ need to accurately assess risk with the need to provide protections for consumers’ personal information,” said Steve Suchil, AIA assistant vice president, western region. “Montana legislators considered several bills including a complete ban on insurers’ use of credit information. Negotiations resulted in a better measure which will enable insurers to offer products at a price that reflects the consumer’s potential for risk. Consumers who manage their finances do not want to pay increased costs in order to subsidize other higher risk consumers.”

SB 311, authored by Senator Duane Grimes (R), is based on the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Model Credit Scoring Act. On Wednesday, the Montana House approved the measure by a vote of 98 – 1. The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Brian Schweitzer (D) for signature.

“AIA urges Governor Schweitzer to sign SB 311 into law,” said Suchil. “This bill includes many important consumer protections and allows insurers to offer a wide variety of policies, providing consumers with more choices.”

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