Thursday, January 21, 2010

Credit scoring hearing: Nearly four hours of testimony

The Washington state House Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee's two-hour hearing on a credit-scoring ban stretched to nearly four last night, with 9 pages of people signed up to testify.

"There's a lot of interest in this little bill," said Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is trying to ban the use of credit scoring by insurance companies, on the grounds that your credit history has nothing to do with how you drive or how you maintain your home. (The scores are widely used to set rates for auto- and homeowners' coverage.) Especially in this economy, Kreidler argues, it's flatly unfair to charge policyholders more simply because of their credit history. On Wednesday night, consumers described being penalized for what most would consider responsible actions, such canceling a credit card.

Here's a one-minute excerpt from Kreidler's testimony:

(To hear the rest of the testimony, including that of consumers and insurance industry officials, click on the play icon again when the video pauses.)