A Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday denied an insurance industry request to halt an emergency rule that temporarily bans the use of insurance credit scoring in Washington.
The ruling that rejected a request for a preliminary injunction maintains Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s emergency rule issued March 23.
Judge Mary Sue Wilson found that industry associations challenging the rule were unlikely to succeed with their arguments, and that Kreidler demonstrated good cause for the emergency rule and did not exceed his authority as the regulator of insurance practices in the state.
The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington, the Professional Insurance Agents of Washington and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association joined together in a lawsuit Kreidler’s ban.
Ahead of the hearing, the groups issued several statements.
“Commissioner Kreidler has taken an extreme action that exceeds his authority, bypasses the legislature, and robs consumers of the benefits of a highly competitive private market,” said Claire Howard, APCIA senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary.
Kreidler has been working to eliminate credit scores from insurer consideration for some time. His most recent effort failed when a bill he backed, Senate Bill 5010, was gutted by an insurance industry amendment in the Senate Business, Financial Services & Trade Committee on Feb. 15.
Kreidler issued the following statement in response to the ruling:
“The consumers of Washington scored a victory today. The decision essentially says the multi-billion industry and its associations are unlikely to prevail on their claims. I knew I was justified in my authority to take action to protect consumers.
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