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48.19.030  <<  48.19.035 >>   48.19.040

RCW 48.19.035

Making of rates — Definitions — Personal insurance — Use of credit history or insurance scores — Rules.

(1) For the purposes of this section:

     (a) "Affiliate" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 48.31B.005(1).

     (b) "Consumer" means an individual policyholder or applicant for insurance.

     (c) "Credit history" means any written, oral, or other communication of any information by a consumer reporting agency bearing on a consumer's creditworthiness, credit standing, or credit capacity that is used or expected to be used, or collected in whole or in part, for the purpose of serving as a factor in determining personal insurance premiums or eligibility for coverage.

     (d) "Insurance score" means a number or rating that is derived from an algorithm, computer application, model, or other process that is based in whole or in part on credit history.

     (e) "Personal insurance" means:

     (i) Private passenger automobile coverage;

     (ii) Homeowner's coverage, including mobile homeowners, manufactured homeowners, condominium owners, and renter's coverage;

     (iii) Dwelling property coverage;

     (iv) Earthquake coverage for a residence or personal property;

     (v) Personal liability and theft coverage;

     (vi) Personal inland marine coverage; and

     (vii) Mechanical breakdown coverage for personal auto or home appliances.

     (2)(a) Credit history shall not be used to determine personal insurance rates, premiums, or eligibility for coverage unless the insurance scoring models are filed with the commissioner. Insurance scoring models include all attributes and factors used in the calculation of an insurance score. RCW 48.19.040(5) does not apply to any information filed under this subsection, and the information shall be withheld from public inspection and kept confidential by the commissioner. All information filed under this subsection shall be considered trade secrets under RCW 48.02.120(3). Information filed under this subsection may be made public by the commissioner for the sole purpose of enforcement actions taken by the commissioner.

     (b) Each insurer that uses credit history or an insurance score to determine personal insurance rates, premiums, or eligibility for coverage must file all rates and rating plans for that line of coverage with the commissioner. This requirement applies equally to a single insurer and two or more affiliated insurers. RCW 48.19.040(5) applies to information filed under this subsection except that any eligibility rules or guidelines shall be withheld from public inspection under RCW 48.02.120(3) from the date that the information is filed and after it becomes effective.

     (3) Insurers shall not use the following types of credit history to calculate a personal insurance score or determine personal insurance premiums or rates:

     (a) The absence of credit history or the inability to determine the consumer's credit history, unless the insurer has filed actuarial data segmented by demographic factors in a manner prescribed by the commissioner that demonstrates compliance with RCW 48.19.020;

     (b) The number of credit inquiries;

     (c) Credit history or an insurance score based on collection accounts identified with a medical industry code;

     (d) The initial purchase or finance of a vehicle or house that adds a new loan to the consumer's existing credit history, if evident from the consumer report; however, an insurer may consider the bill payment history of any loan, the total number of loans, or both;

     (e) The consumer's use of a particular type of credit card, charge card, or debit card; or

     (f) The consumer's total available line of credit; however, an insurer may consider the total amount of outstanding debt in relation to the total available line of credit.

     (4) If a consumer is charged higher premiums due to disputed credit history, the insurer shall rerate the policy retroactive to the effective date of the current policy term. As rerated, the consumer shall be charged the same premiums they would have been charged if accurate credit history was used to calculate an insurance score. This subsection applies only if the consumer resolves the dispute under the process set forth in the fair credit reporting act and notifies the insurer in writing that the dispute has been resolved.

     (5) The commissioner may adopt rules to implement this section.

     (6) This section applies to all personal insurance policies issued or renewed on or after June 30, 2003.

[2004 c 86 § 1; 2002 c 360 § 2.]

Notes:

     Captions not law -- 2002 c 360: See note following RCW 48.18.545.