SB 98 Modifies law regarding the use of credit information by insurance companies
Sponsor: Days
LR Number: 0097S.01I Fiscal Note: 0097-01
Committee: Small Business, Insurance & Industrial Relations
Last Action: 2/27/2007 - Hearing Conducted S Small Business, Insurance & Industrial Relations Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2007

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Current Bill Summary

SB 98 - This act makes several changes to the laws regarding the use of credit information by insurance companies. This act modifies the definition of "adverse action" to have the same meaning as provided in federal law. Adverse actions include cancellation, denial, or non-renewal of personal insurance coverage or any unfavorable change in the terms of coverage, including charging a higher premium. This act adds several specific types of insurance products to the definition of an insurance "contract". The current law on the use of credit information only applies to automobile insurance policies and certain property insurance policies. This act would apply the consumer credit protection to a variety of homeowner policies, automobile policies, motorcycle policies, and various watercraft policies.

This act repeals a provision that allows insurers to take adverse actions against persons based on an inability to compute their insurance credit scores. Insurers are prohibited from using insurance credit scores to underwrite or rate risks that use income, gender, address, zip code, ethnic group, religion, marital status, education level, or nationality of the consumer as a factor. The act prohibits insurance companies from using loss information in calculating its insurance credit scores if it also uses loss information separately to calculate its rates.

This act prohibits insurers from considering an absence of credit information or the inability to calculate an insurance score in underwriting insurance. This act requires insurers to use underwriting factors other than credit information to underwrite any policy that has been in force for more than 36 months unless there is a substantial change in the risk based upon non-credit underwriting factors.

This act allows any insured to request a current credit report and a re-rating of their policy at each annual renewal. This act prohibits insurers and credit reporting agencies from using as a negative factor in underwriting an insurance policy the following:

(1) Any credit inquiry not initiated by the insured;

(2) Collection accounts with a medical industry code;

(3) Multiple credit inquiries from the home mortgage industry or automobile lending industry within a 30-day period;

(4) The absence of credit history;

(5) The use of a particular type of credit or debit card' or

(6) A consumer's total available line of credit.

This act also requires insurers to file their credit scoring models or processes with the department and makes any insurer's filing of a model or process related to credit information a trade secret and protected from public disclosure pursuant to Sections 417.450 through 417.467, RSMo.

This act is similar to SB 598 (2006), SB 43 (2005), SB 1173 (2004) and HB 1131 (2004).