On July 11, 2012, we posted a blog announcing the law that adopts positive changes to Michigan’s credit based insurance scores. This article contains more specific information about what this new law will do for you when it takes effect in April 2013.
Michigan does not allow an insurance company to deny insurance or surcharge premiums because of credit based insurance scores. Rather, they can only offer a discount off of their standard rates for a policyholder who has a good insurance score. But make no mistake! There can be a substantial premium difference based on a person’s insurance score. And, to keep it confusing, each insurance company creates their own model (uses the elements within a credit score that they want to look at), and the model can vary from one type of insurance to another being offered by the same insurance company! In other words, your insurance score is likely to be different from insurance company to insurance company, and it could be a different number for an auto policy than it would be for a homeowner policy offered by the same insurance company. This new law provides some solid guidelines that all insurance companies will need to follow for Michigan policyholders.
According to the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) the new legislation will:
- Prohibit insurers from using the negative factors in insurance scores such credit inquiries not initiated by the consumer, credit inquiries related to insurance coverage, collection accounts with medical codes, and multiple mortgage or automobile lending inquiries;
- Allow policyholders to request a review by their carrier of Extenuating Life Circumstances such as the loss of employment or ID theft that might negatively impact their score;
- Not penalize someone for the absence of credit information;
- Require insurance companies to disclose to consumers that credit information is considered when determining premiums;
- Allow policyholders to request a review of their insurance score at the time of their annual renewal; and
- Require insurance companies to re-rate a person and to provide a refund to someone who has successfully challenged an error in their credit history.
For more information on your insurance policy or insurance scoring, call Insurance Planning Service at 800-225-5582 or use our online contact form today!