Jesse Jones

Governor speaks out in support of ban on use of credit scores to set insurance rates

Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee is urging the state Senate to act on a bill that would end the use of credit scoring to determine insurance rates.

At first, Senate Bill 5010 would have prohibited the practice.

But the bill was amended in committee.

Now, it allows using credit scores. However, they can’t be used against consumers if their numbers fall over the next three years.

The governor wants the bill passed in its original form. And he addressed it during an update on the state’s Covid-19 response.

“The bill was ultimately unfortunately changed drastically. It’s been watered down to the point where its impact would be quite minimal,” said Governor Inslee.

KIRO 7′s Jesse Jones has investigated this story for weeks. He asked the governor what consequences the bill in its current form would have for consumers and communities of color.

“Well I would I would say it doesn’t do as much as it should by a long stretch of the imagination. This is a discriminatory unfair practice,” said Governor Inslee. “There is no reason it should be allowed in the state of Washington. And anything that’s less than that is suboptimal.”

He wants the legislature to pass a much stronger bill to end the practice for good.

“So we’re urging the legislature to take another crack at this and bring this back to what the state needs. Which is a strong stand against a discriminatory practice in this very important industry,” said Governor Inslee.

Jesse’s reporting has shown that zip codes that have the highest percentages of black residents pay among the highest insurance rates in the state.

The AARP has also voiced support for the bill and tells Jesse that it hurts some seniors whose credit profile is reduced as they pay off loans and credit cards.

See what average insurance rates are in your area by using our interactive map.

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