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Michigan Supreme Court to hear OFIR credit-scoring case
LANSING, Mich. (5/20/09)--The Michigan Supreme Court will hear an appeal by the state's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR) over insurance credit-scoring, which the agency says is discriminatory. According to the Michigan Credit Union League, the issue has been in the courts since Gov. Jennifer Granholm and former OFIR Commissioner Linda Watters proposed banning credit scoring for determining home and auto insurance for 2004. (Michigan Monitor May 19). The rules went into effect in March 2005 but several insurance organizations challenged the rules that April. Judge James Fisher declared the rules invalid and permanently enjoined the commissioner from enforcing them against any plaintiff. Commissioner Watters appealed, and in August 2008, the Michigan Court of Appeals issued a split decision with three separate opinions, resulting in the vacating of Judge Fisher's order. The state Supreme Court will hear the case in October. "This is good news for Michigan consumers," OFIR Commissioner Ken Ross said. "After four years of waiting, we are hopeful that the court resolves this issue in favor of Michigan drivers." Removing insurance credit scoring would lower base rates for all insurance customers. OFIR says using credit scoring is unreliable, unfair discriminatory and not in line with the state's insurance code.
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