Bad Faith Legislation in Oregon — PIA Oregon/Idaho Members Respond & Help Defeat the Bill

Another credit scoring ban bill has been defeated. This time it was the Oregon Legislature considering one. PIA members doing business in both Washington and Oregon just finished a two-year battle with Washington’s insurance commissioner over the issue. 

They were successful. 

Now the credit scoring ban issue is in Oregon. When she learned of the bill to ban credit scoring and other risk factors was introduced, PIA Oregon lobbyist, Lana Butterfield rallied the membership. 

PIA Oregon united with other insurance groups and the grassroots response led cooler minds to reject the bill. “The insurance industry worked hard to defeat HB 2920 banning use of credit score and other risk factors; PIA members played a big role in its failure – thank you!” Butterfield said. 

On another issue, she said, “On HB 3242-A, PIA was solely responsible for getting the bill amended to remove the section that increased agents’ duty of care.”

But the work is never done. Butterfield is now encouraging PIA members to contact their state senators on HB 3243-A. This bill — and others that negatively impact insurers, insurance agents and agencies, and consumers — are often pushed by trial lawyers.

“We still need your help on HB 3243-A putting insurance under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act as it moves to the Senate. We regularly see this kind of legislation from the trial lawyers – let’s hope that we can stop it this session as well.” 

Kelsey Wood of Gordon Wood Insurance and Financial Services in Roseburg, Oregon is on the PIA Oregon government relations committee. He put the dilemma all PIA Oregon members face each legislative session. 

And this is not just true for Oregon, but it’s true for all states and how this kind of legislation impacts agents, agencies and consumers.

“Each session in the Oregon Legislature is like marching through a mine field. You might have an idea where there is a mine, might not. You pick the mines to try and diffuse and go to work. Some mines are duds. Some turn out to be fake. Some look to be duds, then at the last minute, they turn out to be active, some even blow up in your face,” Wood said.

He then gave high praise to Lana Butterfield whose hard work rallied the troops and got the job done.

“I wouldn’t, couldn’t try to get through this mine field, had it not been for our Sergeant Butterfield,” Wood said. “Not only is she keen on identifying which mines to try and diffuse, but also strategy to try and diffuse. She operates as a neutral party with the enemy forces, so she is able to negotiate some diffusion along the way for us. She is a skilled operator.”

It is high — and very much deserved — praise for Lana Butterfield who has very skillfully helped to defeat some very bad legislation in the Oregon Legislature for the last few decades. 

Kenton Brine, president of the Northwest Insurance Council sums up her value to the PIA and the insurance industry on the bad faith bill and on all other issues the insurance industry faces in a very liberal Legislature.

“It always felt to me like we were going to win this issue, but it is also always true that since we have no seats or votes on the committee, anything can happen, and a victory always relies on ‘our team’ getting everything exactly right, and also getting some good luck as well,” he wrote. “I appreciate you and the PIA agents in Oregon always being ready to step forward and share good information from an Oregon point of view with legislators. This could not have been accomplished without your timely and diligent response and the activation of PIA members.” 

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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