Many people, including the media, have been speculating why the insurance commissioner in Washington would call out an anti-abortion law in Texas that greatly restricts women’s rights and threatens their health.

Photo of woman with handmaid’s dress holding picture of Texas
Photo of woman with handmaid’s dress holding picture of Texas
Texas’s new proposal shows why abortion law is a mess in America — The Economist

There are more than a few reasons.

Reason 1. Commissioner Kreidler is one of just 11 elected insurance commissioners in the nation. Like all insurance commissioners, his office regulates health insurers that offer and provide insurance services that fall under state law, including reproductive health services. He’s long supported a woman’s right to choose. He sees the Texas law as a looming threat to women’s health and well-being.

Reason…


A lawsuit in King County Superior Court is challenging a mental health exclusion in some travel insurance policies.

The state of Washington is challenging insurers’ practice of excluding mental health conditions in travel insurance policies, arguing that it is discriminatory.

This article from USNews.com describes a few cases where consumers’ travel insurance claims were denied by Allianz for mental health reasons:

… cases cited by Ferguson’s office showed that claims were denied even when documentation from medical professionals was provided. Those included instances where an Olympia couple incurred $250 in airline ticket change fees due to their son’s attempted suicide; where a Port Angeles family had to cancel a trip to Asia due to the son’s hospitalization and…


Washington state has a new program to fund a statewide long-term care program that is causing confusion and frustration for some people.

The program, called the WA Cares Fund, was established by the state Legislature to create a long-term care benefit for all eligible workers to address the future long-term care crisis. Under the law, people will have access to a lifetime benefit amount that, should they need it, they can use on a wide range of long-term services and supports.

Here’s the way it works: Beginning in January 2022, Washington workers will pay up to $0.58 per $100 they…


The insurance commissioner’s emergency rule temporarily banning insurers’ use of credit information took effect on June 20, 2021, and the formal rule-making process is underway. The ban applies to all private auto, homeowner, and renter insurance sold in Washington state.

Now is the best time to shop for auto or homeowner insurance in more than 20 years.

From Consumer Reports :“The smart way to save on car insurance: Your loyalty to one company for long stretches of time may be costing you money”

Why the insurance commissioner took action against credit scoring now:

Insurance rates cannot be excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, under state law. This gives the commissioner the authority to enact rules that protect consumers and that provide fair regulation of the insurance industry…


Kreidler looks at rulemaking to prevent the practice; what homeowners should know in the meantime

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is taking steps to close a little-known loophole in homeowner insurance policies but encourages homeowners to check their policies in the meantime.

At issue is some insurers’ use of depreciating labor costs for homeowner insurance claims that involve repairs. Depreciation in insurance terms means a decrease in the value of property over time, usually as the result of wear and tear from use, deterioration or obsolescence. For example, if your dishwasher causes a leak that damages your flooring and cabinets, your insurer will depreciate the cabinet and flooring based on their condition and the…


You’re watching the housing market soar and thinking about that equity you’re building. Great! But now think about what it would cost to rebuild your home if it were destroyed — or even partially damaged.

And lumber costs are up. Way up. A local construction company reported to us that typical lumber (2x4, 4x4, 2x8, etc.) went up 20% from March to August last year. Plywood went up 130%, steel 6%, cut stone 7.5% and windows 3.5%. This means the costs to rebuild your home are also way up.

These increased construction costs may change how much coverage you need…


For the first time in more than two decades in Washington, the insurers selling you auto insurance cannot use your credit information to determine how much you’ll pay. Your premium must be based on factors such as how you drive, how far you drive, any driving citations and what you drive.

An emergency regulation from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler temporarily bans the insurance industry’s use of credit scoring starting on summer solstice, June 20.

Summer in 2021 starts on June 20 — photo from The Old Farmer’s Almanac

If you’re a good driver with some past hits to your credit score, shopping around for new auto coverage after June 20 could save you significant…


The top 10 companies offering auto insurance in Washington have filed new rating factors without the use of credit scores, complying with an emergency rule that takes effect June 20.

Combined, these 10 companies command 60% of the market share in the state. Their filings — which were due May 6 — offer additional proof that insurers can pivot quickly to serve consumers.

Graphic showing Top 10 companies that sell auto insurance in Washington state as of 2020, comprising 60% of the state’s market share
Graphic showing Top 10 companies that sell auto insurance in Washington state as of 2020, comprising 60% of the state’s market share

But you wouldn’t know that from recent messages from the industry associations. Just last week they claimed the “complex operational changes” necessary to comply meant “many” companies would be unable to meet the deadline.

Instead, well over…


April is National Volunteer Recognition Month and every year we recognize the volunteers in Washington state who help people make decisions about Medicare.

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors logo from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner
Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors logo from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors, also known as SHIBA, are part of the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner. A network of trained volunteer counselors help people statewide understand their Medicare insurance options and rights. SHIBA provides free, unbiased and confidential help with all kinds of Medicare-related questions and issues.

It is an understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year. Our 300 SHIBA volunteers stepped up in the midst of once-in-a-century pandemic to help…


Early last summer, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler signaled his intent to propose legislation banning insurers from using consumers’ credit information. A month later, when the country began confronting its long history of racial injustice and major corporations — including top insurers — voiced their commitment to racial equity, Kreidler asked industry CEOs to join him in his effort to ban credit scoring.

The silence was deafening.

But based on what we know now, it really wasn’t shocking.

The CEOs of major insurers across the country expressed their commitment to racial justice through social media posts and ad campaigns. Throughout the…

WA State Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler regulates the insurance industry and protects insurance consumers.

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