Credit Scores – Credit scoring/insurance scoring is a mechanism by which insurance companies determine eligibility and pricing for automobile and homeowners’ insurance. The legal authority typically cited for the use of credit scores for the purpose of insurance is the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The FCRA “allows” but does not mandate the use of credit information in the acceptance and pricing of insurance.
The insurance industry generally favors the use of credit scores to determine the price to charge someone for insurance. They believe credit scores are a good predictor of losses, increase the availability of insurance by providing fair rates to all and are not based on an individual’s gender, age, or national origin. The insurance industry maintains that credit scores indicate how an individual manages his assets and is an inexpensive tool that is not directly subject to manipulation by the consumer. Some of the factors that may negatively affect a person’s credit score include late payment on credit card, auto loans and home mortgages, plus bankruptcy and unpaid child support.
The Division of Insurance, however, belies that appropriate weight must be given to other relevant rating variables besides an individual’s credit score to determine that person’s insurance rate. Effective July 1, 2004 Nevada Revised Statue 686A.680 was amended to restrict certain uses of credit reports and credit scores by insurance companies.