Credit Scoring — A Top 2022 Worry in Oregon and Washington


A new year, yes, but the battle on credit scoring continues in Washington and may just be getting started in Oregon.

The PIA Western Alliance via PIA Oregon/Idaho and PIA Washington/Alaska is keeping tabs on a push in both states to ban credit scoring as a tool to set insurance rates.

Last year’s biggest story involved Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. He unilaterally put a three-year ban in place. A judge in a Thurston County, Washington court ruled that Kreidler did not have authority to do the ban.

Kreidler continues to march that direction anyway.

In Oregon, PIA Oregon Lobbyist Lana Butterfield said the Oregon Legislature will likely see action to ban credit scoring. Oregon Rep. Paul Holvey of Eugene plans on introducing a bill in this session.

Butterfield said the PIA Oregon is ready for the challenge and — when the time comes — she encourages PIA members, and non-members reading this, to email their legislators and express their opposition to his bill and to credit scoring.

The insurance industry relies on its insurance agents as its grassroots arm.  PIA has done great work in this way in the past and hopefully with your help will do so in the future,” she said.

Butterfield said the ban put into place by Kreidler resulted in a million Washingtonians seeing extreme rate increases and it could be worse in Oregon.


“Among the hardest hit have been retired seniors on fixed incomes,” she said. “The potential legislation in Oregon is said to prohibit insurers from considering specific information including credit history, sex or gender, marital status, education, and employment status when determining rates. That could have a much broader impact in Oregon than the credit score ban in Washington.”

Meanwhile, in Washington an undeterred Kreidler continues to lay the groundwork for a ban. Last year he held several hearings after the court ruling and will be holding more this year before moving to institute another ban.

PIA Washington agents have stayed on top of what Kreidler is doing and have actively opposed his decision to continue. Word has it that the Washington Legislature may take another look at what Kreidler is doing.

Washingtons legal code — based on a law and regulations passed by the Washington Legislature over 20 years ago — clearly lays out how credit scoring can be used. The PIA’s stance on the commissioner’s ill-conceived push is that he does not have authority to make law.

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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