Yesterday, the U.S. House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance held a hearing entitled, “Drivers of Discrimination: An Examination of Unfair Premiums, Practices and Policies in the Auto Insurance Industry.” The purpose of the hearing was to examine if various underwriting factors like credit scoring, among others, are discriminatory and disproportionately target lower income and minority consumers.
As a staunch supporter of the state-based system of insurance regulation, the Big “I” believes that state regulators are in the best position to address any potential concerns in their respective markets, not the federal government. Specifically, the Big “I” opposes legislation from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Michigan) that would prevent the use of credit scoring in the underwriting process for auto insurance. Currently, credit scores are one of many tools used in the underwriting process. The Big “I” also opposes similar legislation proposed by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-New Jersey) which would undermine state insurance regulators and give the Federal Trade Commission regulatory authority over some aspects of insurance underwriting.
Among those testifying at the hearing were Erin Collins, vice president-state affairs, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and Elizabeth Kelleher Dwyer, superintendent of insurance, the State of Rhode Island, on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Both witnesses stressed the benefits of the state-based system in protecting consumers.
The Big “I” looks forward to continuing to work with Congress, Subcommittee Chairman Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) and Ranking Member Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) to protect consumers from unfair discrimination while also preserving the state-based system of insurance regulation.
Joseph Cortina, Big “I” director, federal government affairs.