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.
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.
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, 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…
Thefts of catalytic converters from cars are on the rise everywhere. In Seattle and King County, reported thefts increased 3,800% in the past year. In January 2021 alone, Seattle police reported 123 thefts. Thieves sell them and it’s reported that Toyota Prius vehicles are frequent targets.
KIRO recently reported on the phenomenon, including what is driving these thefts
A catalytic converter is part of a gas-powered vehicle’s exhaust system and the EPA requires them on all cars. They are mounted underneath the car.
Here’s a graphic that was distributed by the San Bruno, Calif. Police Department:
Anyone who has a…
A bill to ban insurance companies from using your credit information to determine how much you pay for auto and homeowners insurance is working its way through Washington’s Legislature. Insurers have argued that credit information is a good predictor of the likelihood you’ll file a claim in the future and there’s nothing unfair about it. They’re just assessing risk and isn’t that what insurance is all about?
Yes and no.
For more than two decades, insurance companies have used your credit score to determine how much you pay for auto, homeowner, renters and other types of insurance. They file complex rating models with insurance commissioners across the country, claiming these scores predict who will file claims in the future. After all, insurance is about avoiding risk.
But what does your credit information have to do with how you drive your car or maintain your property? Shouldn’t your insurance premium be based on these factors or on how many claims you’ve filed and the cost of those claims?
Three people in Washington state face insurance fraud charges after investigations by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s Criminal Investigations Unit (CIU).
Arnold Bodner was charged in Island County Superior Court with one felony count of filing a fraudulent insurance claim. According to the investigation, Bodner filed a claim with his auto insurer in March 2019 for his 2006 Hummer H2. He claimed that he loaned the car to a friend in December 2018 and the friend sold it without his permission. First National Insurance Co. of America, his insurer, investigated and found documentation showing Bodner had sold the vehicle to an…
Although the Trump administration has after four years has finally done something that could actually help the nation’s healthcare system, what’s distressing are its continuing actions that stand to reverse any positive movement.
The administration last week issued a final a rule designed to enhance price transparency requirements for healthcare. This includes a mandate that some health plans make public the rates negotiated with medical providers included in the plan’s network.
Prices for drugs would also be made available.
If carried out successfully — certainly no guarantee under this administration — the rule in practice would give consumers a realistic…
Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler regulates the insurance industry and protects insurance consumers.