The property insurance coverage trade has requested the Washington Supreme Court docket to intervene within the wrestle between insurance coverage corporations and the Workplace of the Insurance coverage Commissioner (OIC) over the OIC’s newest try to ban insurance coverage premium pricing by credit standing.
A gaggle of insurance coverage organizations, together with the American Property Casualty Insurance coverage Affiliation (APCIA), the Skilled Insurance coverage Brokers of Washington, and the Unbiased Insurance coverage Brokers and Brokers of Washington, filed a joint petition asking the excessive court docket to step in.
These commerce teams are asking the court docket to claim jurisdiction within the matter; keep the OIC’s rule banning the usage of credit score scores in pricing for at the least three years which is about to take impact March 4; and order the OIC to offer the trade an administrative listening to on the matter.
The trade had requested an administrative listening to to contest the rule on Feb. 3, which the OIC rejected days later.
“Commissioner Kreidler’s rule to ban insurers’ use of credit-based insurance coverage scores has precipitated chaos within the Washington insurance coverage market and raised charges for over a million customers,” charged Claire Howard, APCIA basic counsel, on Thursday.
She stated that the rule is “significantly dangerous to seniors on fastened incomes” and warned, “Day-after-day the everlasting rule is in impact means extra lower-risk Washington customers will face larger insurance coverage prices.”
Proof for that hurt, the insurance coverage trade has charged, comes from the consequences of Kreidler’s short-term emergency rule, doing the identical factor because the considerably confusingly named “everlasting rule,” which might final for 3 years.
The emergency rule was enforce in June 2021 and tossed out by Thurston County Superior Court docket Decide Mary Sue Wilson in October. It had a noticeable impression on the premium costs paid by Washington residents with each good and poor credit score.
Commissioner Kreidler stated this authorized problem is an instance of the insurance coverage trade getting forward of itself.
“This motion by the trade is untimely,” Kreidler advised The Heart Sq.. “They can’t present any hurt has come to Washington state customers or our insurance coverage market because of my everlasting rule, which has not but gone into impact. I’m dedicated to following the regulation and defending all Washington state insurance coverage customers.”
APCIA’s Howard defined why the trade’s attraction went straight to the Supreme Court docket and to not decrease courts first.
“When an company official such because the insurance coverage commissioner accepts a listening to demand, holds a listening to, and points an order deciding an administrative matter, such an order is topic to judicial evaluate by the superior court docket,” she advised The Heart Sq.. “However on this occasion, the insurance coverage commissioner refused even to simply accept the listening to demand, not to mention make any choice. Consequently, judicial evaluate by way of the conventional channels shouldn’t be out there, and our solely recourse was to hunt a writ of mandamus.”
She added that “Though superior courts have authority to problem such writs, the Washington Supreme Court docket has concurrent, authentic jurisdiction to problem a writ to a state official.”
It’s the insurance coverage trade’s place that “the OIC’s listening to officer’s failure to simply accept our demand for a listening to and to enter an computerized keep pending the result of the listening to was in direct violation of the relevant statutes,” Howard stated. “This coupled with the everlasting rule’s March 4 efficient date introduced the exigent circumstances that warranted our petition for a writ of mandamus to the Washington Supreme Court docket.”