For Consumers

New premium change transparency rule starts June 1

Contact Public Affairs: 360-725-7055

May 24, 2024

OLYMPIA, Wash. — As of June 1, 2024, insurance companies will have to let their policyholders know why their premiums have gone up. 

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s new rule requires insurers to provide an answer on why premiums have gone up — and in 2027, they’ll have to provide that information automatically when a policy renews. 

“If your insurance company is going to increase your premium, you have a right to know why,” Kreidler said. “Hundreds of consumers, every year, have told us they are unable to get a clear answer from their insurance company about why they’re being charged more. This is pretty basic information that should be available, and now it will be.” 

The new premium change transparency rule covers auto and homeowner insurance policies for people in Washington. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner held five interested-party meetings to gather input from consumers and the insurance industry prior to finalizing the rule. It’s the first of its kind in the country. 

The rule goes into effect in two phases. 

Phase 1 

Starting June 1, 2024, insurance companies have to include a disclaimer on the first page or view of renewal notices or billing statements that lets the policyholder know they can request more details about their premium increase.  

These notices must be in 12-point bold font and must include contact information. 

The insurance company then has 20 days from receiving a written request (through the mail or email) to deliver a clear, concise statement, in writing, providing a reasonable explanation for the premium increase.  

Phase 2 

Starting June 1, 2027, insurance companies must send a notice at least 20 days before renewing a policy with a 10% (or more) increase. 

The requirements for explanations get more specific in Phase 2: Insurance companies must provide a clear explanation and include the primary factors that caused the increase.  

Those factors can include claims history, discounts, fees and surcharges, premium capping, base rate changes, and demographic factors — like the policyholder’s age, credit history, education, gender, marital status, and occupation.  

For auto insurance, factors can also include the vehicle’s garaging location, driving record, miles driven, the number of drivers, and the number of vehicles on the policy. 

For homeowner insurance, factors can also include the property’s age, location, and value. 

If you have additional questions, think your insurance company isn’t meeting these standards, or want to file an insurance-related complaint, contact the OIC