Illinois insurance industry leaders are speaking out against a new credit rating bill they say could lead to higher rates for drivers. The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA), the Illinois Insurance Association (IIA) and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) jointly issued a statement opposing HB2203, also known as the Rate Regulation Act.
The bill seeks to change the state’s insurance rating law in an effort to address rising insurance costs. But insurers say the change would be counterproductive and could actually lead to higher rates for consumers.
According to the joint statement, Illinois’ current insurance rating law has benefited consumers since it was enacted in the 1970s. The state also has one of the most competitive insurance markets in the country, which has helped keep consumer costs below the national average. The industry believes that increasing regulation could hinder the current efficient consumer-focused insurance market.
Industry leaders also say HB2203 would limit the use of rating and underwriting tools that are proven to benefit consumers and accurately and efficiently set fair insurance rates. Using different rating factors, insurers can more accurately assess driver risks and price their products based on the likelihood and severity of claims. Using these tools is beneficial to consumers and is the fairest way to set insurance rates.
Leaders have argued that if insurers are unable to use risk factors in setting rates, it will lead to a uniform approach to pricing, eliminating competition in the market and ultimately raising prices for all consumers. As prices rise for all Illinois consumers, access and affordability will plummet.
The insurance industry is urging lawmakers to reconsider the bill and work with them to find solutions that benefit consumers without raising rates. They believe that now is not the time to enact legislation that could lead to higher premiums for consumers, as this would only create serious barriers to a proven insurance system and force consumers to subsidize the risks of others.
It remains to be seen whether industry concerns will be factored into the ongoing debate on HB2203. However, the APCIA, IIA and NAMIC joint statement highlights the potential implications of the law and the importance of careful consideration when changing state insurance rating law.