State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) is participating in a lawsuit against Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler in hopes of lowering insurance rates for Washingtonians.
Kreidler, in March of this year, issued an emergency order that bars insurers from taking credit scores into account when issuing personal property insurance rates. From Senator Mullet’s perspective, this has led to unsustainable spikes in insurance rates for many. He appeared on KTTH’s Jason Rantz to discuss the rate hike and explain his efforts to end the emergency order.
State Insurance Commissioner prohibits insurers from using credit scores to set rates
“You know, the average [increase] – and this is anecdotal – is around $ 600, but we’ve had as little as $ 300 and others over $ 2,000, âMullet said. âIt’s just a wide range because some people, [for example] with their auto insurance, see the increase right away. But if it’s your home insurance that’s going up, sometimes you don’t see the increase until your escrow balances. [are] due the following year. It just varies depending on who doesn’t pay for home insurance with a mortgage or who sees the increase immediately. And these are the people who often end up exceeding $ 1,000. “
Mullet described Kreidler’s efforts to decouple insurance rates from credit scores as a personal “obsession” from his 20-year tenure as insurance commissioner.
“[Kreidler] had a bill to ban insurance discounts based on the latter’s credit scores [congressional] session, âcontinued Mullet. âHe didn’t come out of my committee in the form he preferred. On the death of the bill, he declared it to be a COVID emergency and simply said “we are banning these discounts because it is an emergency.” This summer [as] people renew their insurance, everyone gets these giant bill increases [despite not having] filed a claim for decades.
He clarified that while the state legislature is unlikely to take action against the emergency order, Mullet will support a lawsuit against the order in the form of a legal declaration.
“I made it clear in the legal statement that none of this was ever an emergency,” Mullet added. âIt was just his long-standing wish to pass this bill. And the commissioner went to court with a judge this month to have my trial statement dismissed because he felt it was [not] relevant. The judge rejected that. When the judge hears the trial next month, he will consider my statement, my testimony. It just makes it clear that this was never a COVID-related emergency. It was right [his] long-standing private obsession.
He went on to explain why legal action was the appropriate legal action to take, from his perspective.
âJust because the Insurance Commissioner is a Democrat doesn’t mean you can’t sue him for breaking the law and illegally enforcing an emergency rule,â Mullet continued. âI think it’s almost more important for us to hold the leaders of our same party to account. We are trying to sue the governor for some of his illegal vetoes around some of the bills from this last session. I couldn’t get people to have the same energy to go after the commissioner. That’s why I was forced to do it through the industry association.
Senator Mullet to chair a Business Financial Services Committee hearing on the emergency order on September 21 at 10 a.m.
“I hope Commissioner Kreidler will show up,” Mullet said. “I think it would be good for him to answer questions directly now that we have realized the enormous inconvenience of his emergency order. [has] caused [for] over a million people.
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