July 29, 2022
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Thurston County Superior Court Judge Indu Thomas found that while Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s rule temporarily banning credit scoring followed the Administrative Procedures Act and was not “arbitrary and capricious” as the insurance industry contended, it did exceed his statutory authority.
“Clearly, today’s ruling is disappointing for Washington consumers,” said Kreidler. “I adopted the credit scoring rule because I believed it was good public policy and would protect policyholders financially impacted during the pandemic. Unfortunately, the court has ruled otherwise, saying I acted in good faith, but misinterpreted our authority.”
In her ruling, the judge commented that the record supplied by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner contained credible information that the use of credit scores is discriminatory.
Kreidler added, “Today’s decision confirms that the best place to permanently address this issue is in the legislature. I hope legislators will listen to all policyholders impacted by this practice and not just the insurance industry.”
Kreidler will consult with the agency’s legal representation within the Attorney General’s office on the appropriate next steps.
Currently, there has been a stay on the credit scoring rule. During this time, some insurers went back to using credit scoring to set rates and others did not. Today’s ruling leaves the stay in effect.