Judge Finds Washington Commissioner Exceeded Authority on Credit Score Ban

July 29, 2022

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Indu Thomas found that while Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s rule temporarily banning credit scoring followed the Administrative Procedures Act, but he exceeded his statutory authority.

In her ruling, Thomas said the record supplied by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner contained credible information that the use of credit scores is discriminatory.

“Today’s decision confirms that the best place to permanently address this issue is in the legislature,” Kreidler said in a statement. “I hope legislators will listen to all policyholders impacted by this practice and not just the insurance industry.”

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler

Kreidler said he will consult with the agency’s legal representation within the Attorney General’s office on the appropriate next steps.

Currently, there has been a stay on the credit scoring rule. Today’s ruling leaves the stay in effect.

The ban was challenged by several insurer groups, including the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.

Erin Collins, NAMIC’s senior vice president, state and policy affairs, issued the following statement from the group:

“Today’s decision is a win for Washington consumers, especially seniors, who will be able to continue paying lower insurance rates that more accurately reflect their risk. NAMIC is grateful to the court for recognizing that state insurance law should be decided by the people via the Legislature. We hope the judge’s decision will settle this matter and that Washington’s insurance companies can get back to serving their policyholders.”


Topics Legislation Washington

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Latest Comments

  • August 2, 2022 at 12:27 pm
    Observor says:
    The correlation between credit scores and wealth or income is actually quite small. Many wealthy people have low scores. Many furniture stores, for instance, are wary of givin... read more
  • August 1, 2022 at 7:47 pm
    insexpert@yaho.com says:
    Some perspective. Not so much hostility as a terror among those that already struggle to make ends meet (with 300 credit scores let's say) finding out that they subsidize a cr... read more
  • August 1, 2022 at 1:38 pm
    Observor says:
    Hi John Doe: Perhaps a better phrased question on my part would be "Why increase the rates of a group of people with better experience when the behavior they exhibit to earn t... read more

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