Tuesday, July 29, 2003
Where Credit is Due

Poor Insurance Commissioner Bowler has been taking hits for proposing that credit scores be used to help set property insurance rates. (source: Boston Globe, 7/12/2003; RiaF, 7/21/2003)

Now it appears that the proposed regulation was actively backed by Willard Mitt Romney himself. (source: Boston Globe, 7/29/2003) Which isn’t necessarily a bad or even new thing. Credit scores may be used by nine of the top ten property and casualty insurance companies in the nation. (source:www.fairisaac.com)

But whether credit scores result in higher insurance costs for lower-income persons is unclear. (source: Boston Herald. 7/12/2003) And the state Division of Insurance has no data to settle the issue. (source: Boston Globe, 7/29/2003)

Which makes another request by the Fraud Governor seem very odd, indeed.

Commissioner Bowler sent an e-mail to her staff on June 6 indicating that the Fraud Governor wanted to issue the credit scoring regulation, and wanted to find out how many insurance consumers would benefit from credit scoring. However, Romney also wanted a written assurance from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that the Commissioners would not be doing a study on the impact of credit scoring on minorities and low-income consumers. (source: Boston Globe, 7/29/2003)

Huh? He wanted the regulation, but did not want to find out if it adversely affected minorities?

This just after recently boasting about creating a new Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity to, in part, “identify and remove barriers so that programs and services are accessible to all the citizens of Massachusetts.” (source: Office of (Fraud) Governor, “Romney Creates Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, 6/17/2003)

The first person the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity should employ is an actuary.


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