Insurer groups last week sought to take their battle with Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler to the Supreme Court of Washington.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association, the Professional Insurance Agents of Washington, and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington jointly filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in the Supreme Court of Washington.

The new filing to the higher court is in response to the Washington Office of the Insurance Commissioner hearing officer denying the trade groups’ demand for an administrative hearing on Feb. 7.

The groups earlier this month jointly filed two legal actions to halt the enforcement of a rule banning the use of credit for rating purposes in Washington.

Kreidler’s rule banning the use of credit-based insurance scores in the rating and underwriting of insurance banning credit scoring will be in effect starting March 4 through three years after either the federal or state emergency declaration ends, whichever is longer.

The organizations, acting on behalf of the insurance agents, brokers, and companies they represent, filed an administrative challenge and a civil court challenge to stop the permanent rule recently adopted by Kreidler.

In the latest filing, the organizations are asking the court to:

  • Assert jurisdiction
  • Stay the March 4 effective date of the permanent rule
  • Rule on the merits of Petitioners’ petition for a writ and direct the commissioner’s office to enter a stay for the pendency of the administrative challenge, and accept petitioners’ demand for a hearing

“Commissioner Kreidler’s rule to prohibit insurers’ use of credit-based insurance scores has caused chaos in the Washington insurance market and raised rates for over one million consumers,” Claire Howard, APCIA senior vice president, general counsel, and corporate secretary, said in a statement.

Howard said the commissioner’s permanent rule is “particularly harmful to seniors on fixed incomes.”

“APCIA, PIA, and the IIABW are challenging the permanent rule for several reasons, including redressing an abuse of authority, preserving the legislative prerogative to enact statutes, and the public’s right to count on statutes enacted by the Legislature to be faithfully executed by the executive branch of government,” the statement continues.

“Every day the permanent rule is in effect means more lower-risk Washington consumers will face higher insurance costs. We will continue to pursue this challenge in order to protect the over one million Washington policyholders that continue to be harmed.”

Kreidler’s office was reached out to for comment and provide this comment on behalf of Kreidler:

“This action by the industry is premature. They cannot show any harm has come to Washington state consumers or our insurance market as a result of my permanent rule, which has not yet gone into effect. I am committed to following the law and protecting all Washington state insurance consumers.”

This article was originally published by Insurance Journal