Washington Commissioner Wins National Consumer Award

December 8, 2009

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has received the “Excellence in Consumer Advocacy Award” given out annually by consumer advisors to a nationwide association of insurance regulators.

The award honors “the regulator we believe has most effectively represented and advanced the interests of consumers,” according toSally B. McCarty, one of the 16 consumer representatives who participate in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Consumer Liaison Program.

Kreidler and his staff have:

-Cut excessive rate increases on home and auto policies by more than $300 million since 2000,

-Helped consumers recover about $10 million a year in denied and delayed payments on their coverage,

-Rejected a bid by the state’s largest non-profit health insurer to become a for-profit company,

-And worked with lawmakers to close a waiting-period loophole that was endangering the lives of organ-transplant patients.

Kreidler, a former member of Congress, is Washington’s eighth insurance commissioner. First elected commissioner in 2000, he was re-elected to a third term in 2008.

At Kreidler’s urging, Washington also became one of the first states in the nation to strongly limit the use of credit scoring in auto and homeowner’s insurance. Kreidler is now trying to ban its use entirely in insurance.

This is the second year the group has presented the award. Kreidler was this year’s only recipient.

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