Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Jan. 18, 2022

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Letter: Insurance change is fair for all


Paul Arnold (“Speak up about insurance rates,” Our Readers’ Views, Nov. 6) argues that Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s order prohibiting insurers from using a consumer’s credit score to price auto coverage somehow penalizes senior citizens with good credit scores and safe driving records. As a senior citizen with both an excellent driving record and credit history, I respectfully disagree.

Numerous states, including California, Hawaii, Maryland and Massachusetts, prohibit the use of credit scores in setting automobile insurance rates. This is for good reason: while good credit may correlate to safe driving, it is not causative. There are numerous factors that correlate to safe driving but which have no reasonable causative relationship. Insurance industry studies show that drivers who take part in organized athletics get in fewer accidents, but I don’t get a break on my insurance premiums if I join a bowling league.

My auto insurance rates are likely to rise as a result of Mr. Kreidler’s decision. But if this happens, those with poor credit histories won’t, as Mr. Arnold describes it, benefit at my expense. Instead, my prior unfair benefit at their expense will end.

Mr. Arnold is correct to say that “Mr. Kreidler’s job is to … assure that our rates are fair and equitable.” But that’s exactly what he’s doing. He ought to be applauded, not castigated, for it.