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Apr-28-2009 07:14printcomments

Changes Approved that Will Help Oregonians Find Lower Insurance Rates

SB 377 will give consumers the option to ask for rerating without penalty.

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Senator Suzanne Bonamici

(SALEM, Ore.) - The Senate voted today to require insurers to rerate some insurance policies at the request of policy holders. The requirement applies to policies where credit scores were considered. Currently, insurers can either lower or raise a person’s premium based on rerating results. This discourages consumers from requesting a rerating, because they can be “dinged” with a higher premium if their credit score has dropped. “We should be creating incentives for people to improve their credit scores,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D-Washington Co./Portland), chair of the Senate Consumer Protection and Public Affairs Committee. “Even a small reduction in a monthly premium can help Oregon families.” Under SB 377, insurers will be prohibited from raising the consumer’s premium based on rerating information. If the consumer qualifies for a more favorable rate, the insurer is required to reduce the premiums on all policies in that line for which the insurer uses the credit rating. “Most Oregonians are feeling the crunch during these tough economic times, even those with improving credit,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin). “We have an obligation to do what we can to help out Oregon families and this is a simple, fair change.” The bill will now go to the House for consideration.

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