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As of April of 2010, 77 million Americans – that’s 25% – found themselves staring more frequently at past due bills and answering the phone to hear bill collectors on the other end.
Whether they answered those collection calls or not though, that 25% still slid into the ‘lease creditworthy’ FICO score category, with scores under 600, in comparison to only 15% before the recession hit, according to Deutsch Bank. Unfortunately, that’s not the case, and credit and insurance are perhaps more closely linked than one would initially think. Since the beginning, there’s been public outcry, not just from consumers but from independent insurance agents who began losing countless policies from their books of business due to increased premiums and sometimes even ineligibility due to poor credit. But two decades later – although the industry has largely eased into the use of credit and even finding it accurate and fair — some people still wonder the same, even calling it discriminatory.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAMIC), there have been 19 studies on the use of credit scores by insurers, all with similar conclusions – using credit when developing policyholders’ insurance scores is not only “valuable” in an underwriter’s arsenal, it’s fair.
Many consumers, legislators, independent insurance agents, and consumer advocacy groups say it’s not. If her score went from average or neutral to the worst possible rating, her rates will likely more than double from what they were the previous year. What this means is that even if someone is the best driver and has never had even a minor driving infraction, they could potentially still pay as though they’d received a major driving infraction, like reckless driving or a DUI. If an insurer doesn’t outright deny coverage or increase rates dramatically, they’ll often refer the customer to non-standard insurance companies, typically reserved for high-risk drivers, such as those with DUIs, lengthy violation records, extensive accident histories, and lapses in coverage.
So in a way, it’s an insurance policy for the auto policy insurer: Charge extra premium to protect themselves against higher-risk customers.
Additionally, statistics have shown that people with bad credit histories have greater chances of not paying premiums and becoming a high risk for cancellation due to non-payment. Many insurers measure the amount and frequency of entries on the credit history, both good and bad.
A compelling argument for sure, and there’s plenty of data to back up insurers’ defense of credit use.
Although policyholders with poor credit certainly still face ineligibility or increased premiums, the NCOIL law does provide some protection. 2.    Insurers can’t deny coverage, cancel policies, or non-renew policies solely on the basis of a policyholder’s credit. 3.    Insurance companies can’t take any adverse action based on consumer credit information unless they use the most current credit score, and they must notify the consumer.
4.    Insurers can’t factor in an absence of credit information when underwriting policies or determining premiums. Currently, only three states no longer allow for car insurance companies to use an applicants’ credit history to help them assess the “risk” of a policyholder. Maryland: Bans credit use for homeowners insurance and greatly restricts credit use for auto insurance. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of those states, you don’t have to worry about credit affecting certain insurance policy rates, no matter who the insurer. Despite protection in place, there are still those who don’t think credit has any place in the world of insurance, and that its discriminatory nature makes it completely illegal, not to mention unfair.
But can credit truly be discriminatory in the way that some say it is when used in insurance underwriting? For those millions though, perhaps part of the problem was solved in 2009, when the NCOIL law was amended in order to address the effects of the recession, inadvertently addressing the unfortunate situations that can befall any of us in life, recession or not.


With protection in place, there are even those who argue that credit-use can be beneficial to policyholders. Aside from all the protection of any amendment and the data on any side of the argument though, there’s one basic, simple point argued by those who don’t agree with credit use in insurance underwriting.
But in 2010, when the NAIC proposed looking into the data supporting credit-based insurance scoring, insurer groups opposed it by saying that the NCOIL law already addressed the issue, and Neil Alldredge, senior vice president of state and policy affairs for the NAMIC ,basicallystated that the debate was as good as over.
History is generally a good indicator of the future, and no one believes that more than banks and insurance companies. Other than the small overlap front crash test, the US-spec model has attained good ratings in the rest four tests that comprises roof strength, moderate overlap front and side, and head restraints. Get latest and updated information about automobiles on our Google Plus Community Speed Gears. Even for those who managed to pay off debt  and dig themselves out of a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle though, one issue remains: We live in a credit dominated world, and although the hopes would be that hard economic times would spur entrepreneurship and force many to pull themselves up by the bootstraps, there’s a shadow that follows those with less than fair credit scores, and it’s not a shadow that’s only cast when trying to get approved for a new credit card or a mortgage.
Surely one’s credit history has nothing to do with the price of their homeowners insurance, or even their eligibility for insurance, right? Although news to many, insurers began adding credit scoring to their underwriting formulas for personal lines products such as homeowners insurance and auto insurance two decades ago.
They were left with the duty of explaining to their policyholders what credit had to do with insurance and what affect poor credit had on insurance policies, although most have come around. Two decades allowed for plenty of studies, data collection, and explanations from insurers, but the issue isn’t entirely forgotten, popping up in legislative and consumer to insurer conversations that are perhaps more heated than those with bill collectors.
Companies penalizing citizens for their credit score and other redlining practices must end,” Rep.
The effect of poor credit on insurance premiums and eligibility – and the argument surrounding it — lives on.
A few late payments, stolen identities, frequently moving, or suffering a debilitating, disabling illness could potentially cause one’s auto insurance to become completely unaffordable, or cause them to be denied coverage from the especially ‘picky’ insurers. In extreme cases, some insurance companies are increasingly using strict restrictions on certain types of policies that can be written.
In 2007, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) looked at data from approximately 1.4 million policies and found that insurers paid nearly twice the amount on property damage claims from those who had low or bad credit scores in comparison to those with higher scores.
High activity level can be negative reporting from late payments, accounts going into collections, or loan defaults.
But it hasn’t been that easy for insurers, and if they were met with contention in the mid-1990s when they first began incorporating credit into underwriting formulas, they surely met it in 2003 when the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act was passed. Quite simply, it regulates how credit information is used in personal lines underwriting in an effort to protect consumers.
States that have attempted to fight this practice in the past have often run into brick walls.
The question of its use is heightened especially when poor credit may be through no fault of one’s own. A 2004 report from the Texas Department of Insurance says no, or at least not in the traditional sense. If credit scoring is truly indicative of risk and more accurate than not, insurers have simply encountered one more underwriting tool to accurately price risk and charge consumers accordingly. Structural improvements and new safety features has proved this 2017 Elantra a crashworthy car in the crash test from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


A new front crash prevention system has also been added as an optional equipment for the proper functioning of latch anchors at the time of mishappening. These models are claimed to be safer as the Hyundai strengthen the joint, between the door sill and the hinge pillar, and improved the front airbag. Now, the shadow of poor credit follows consumers into some of the most unexpected places – places some people deem is no place for credit score consideration, such as insurance. According to the American Insurance Association (AIA), 90% of insurers now utilize credit based scoring, compared to a “handful” roughly 20 years ago.
Although credit is a rating factor for all lines of insurance, some insurers place more weight on credit scores for certain types of policies more than others. The FTC surmised that “Credit-based insurance scores are effective predictors of risk under automobile policies. This can be another benefit to high credit scores –an insurance company isn’t going to increase rates if they believe you’ll remain with them for a long time. Additionally, high activity level can be from neutral or positive entries such as opening or closing credit accounts or ending repayment agreements.
The FTC was required to study how some of the largest personal lines insurers were using credit scoring in pricing and eligibility.
Michigan passed a law years ago prohibiting insurers from using credit history for personal lines underwriting, but after insurers sued, the ban was lifted in 2010. That means those with less risk, as identified by their credit score and other factors in their insurance score, will be rewarded with better premiums and the ability to shop competitively. For example, some insurers find credit is more important when rating or determining eligibility for property policies, like homeowners insurance, than they do for a product like auto insurance.
When insured by in-house non-standard companies, customers may not even know they’ve been placed with a non-standard insurer, such as Allstate’s non-standard policy Allstate Indemnity. However, in July of 2012, Michigan created a law stating insurers can’t use insurance scoring for insurability, but can use credit as a way to provide discounts. For those who don’t have a history – such as younger policyholders — the NCOIL provides protection by not allowing insurers to use the absence of history.
6129, ‘Ban the Use of Credit Scores in Auto Insurance Act,’ a proposed amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Unfortunately, this can result in policyholders believing they’re receiving competitive rates while actually in a non-standard rating tier. This is why insurers often offer incentives like diminishing deductibles and accident forgiveness in an effort to get customers to stick around.
But if you’ve befallen some unfortunate situation and are paying for it with your credit, is the opportunity to benefit from such discounts being absent unjust? Additionally, the laws that have evolved since the introduction of credit-based scoring explicitly protect against unfairly using an individual’s exact numbers like income, but place focus on the consumer’s financial habits – do they pay on time? The bill, presented to the House of Representatives in July, 2012, proposed banning insurers from using consumer credit reports as part of the underwriting process. One could find themselves unable to obtain auto insurance with an insurer, but not a property policy, causing them to miss out on discounts like multi-policy discounts.



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25.12.2013 admin



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