State lawmaker takes aim at rising insurance rates, blames executive overreach

Sep 15, 2021, 3:50 PM | Updated: Sep 16, 2021, 6:19 am
insurance rates...
(Photo Illustration by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
(Photo Illustration by Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) is aiding a lawsuit against Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler in the hope of lowering insurance rates for Washingtonians.

Kreidler, in March of this year, issued an emergency order that prohibits insurers from factoring in credit scores when issuing insurance rates on personal property. From Sen. Mullet’s perspective, this has led to untenable spikes in insurance rates for many. He appeared on KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show to discuss the rate increase and elaborate on his efforts to halt the emergency order.

State Insurance Commissioner prohibits insurers from using credit scores to set rates

“You know, the average [increase] — and this is anecdotal — is about $600, but we’ve had some as low as $300 and some as high as over $2,000,” Mullet said. “It’s just been a wide range because some people, [for example] with their auto insurance, see the increase right away. But if it’s your homeowners insurance going up, sometimes you don’t see the increase until your escrow balances [are] due the following year. It just varies based on people who aren’t paying their home insurance by a mortgage or seeing the increase right away. And those are the people who end up being over $1,000 a lot of times.”

Mullet described Kreidler’s efforts to decouple insurance rates from credit scores as a personal “obsession” of his 20-year tenure as the insurance commissioner.

“[Kreidler] had a bill to ban insurance discounts based on credit scores this last [congressional] session,” Mullet continued. “It didn’t move out of my committee in the form that he preferred. When the bill died, he declared it a COVID emergency and just said ‘we’re banning these discounts because it’s an emergency.’ This summer [as] people renew their insurance, everyone’s getting these giant increases in their bills [despite not having] filed a claim in decades.”

He clarified that, although the state’s legislature will likely not move on any action against the emergency order, Mullet will throw his weight behind a lawsuit against the order in the form of a legal declaration.

“I spelled out in the legal declaration that none of this was ever an emergency,” Mullet added. “This was just his longstanding wish to pass this bill. And the commissioner actually went to court with a judge this month to have my declaration thrown out of the lawsuit because he felt it was [not] relevant. The judge dismissed that. When the judge hears the lawsuit next month, they are going to factor in my declaration, my testimony. It just clearly indicates that this was never an emergency related to COVID. This was just [his] private, long-time obsession.”

He went on to articulate why a lawsuit was the appropriate legal action to take, from his perspective.

“Just because the insurance commissioner is a Democrat doesn’t mean you can’t go after him when he breaks the law and does an emergency rule illegally,” Mullet continued. “I think it’s almost more important for us to hold leaders accountable from our same party. We’re trying to sue the governor over some of his illegal vetoes around some of the bills this last session. I could not get people to have the same energy to go after the commissioner. That’s why I was forced to do it through the industry association.”

Senator Mullet will chair a Business Financial Services Committee hearing on the emergency order Sept. 21 at 10 a.m.

“I’m hoping Commissioner Kreidler shows up,” Mullet said. “I think it would be nice for him to answer questions directly now that we’ve realized the huge inconvenience his emergency order [has] caused [for] over a million people.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show


Spokane council...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Spokane Councilmember told cop she wasn’t ‘too enthused to help’ with murder investigation

When police asked for a Spokane County Councilmember's help in a murder investigation, an officer says she told him she wasn't "too enthused" to help.
1 day ago
Mill Creek police...
KTTH staff

Mill Creek councilmember calls for unvaccinated police separated under mandate to apply

With an eye toward those recently separated for non-compliance with Washington's vaccine mandate, Mill Creek is looking to fill a police labor shortage.
1 day ago
COVID vaccine mandate...
Alex Overall

Todd Herman Show Notes: 10.26.2021

Watch, read, and listen to the latest news sources and videos brought to you by the Todd Herman Show on AM 770 KTTH.
1 day ago
Pat Chun...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Photo shows WSU’s Pat Chun violating COVID policy after Rolovich firing

Four days before firing WSU head coach Nick Rolovich, Athletic Director Pat Chun appears to have violated the indoor mask mandate.
2 days ago
seattle police, shootings, Twitter...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Police can’t find enough staff for patrol, city and media silent

The Seattle Police Department does not have enough officers to meet daily minimum staffing needs in any precinct across the city.
3 days ago
Seattle Council President Lorena Gonzalez, records requests...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Lorena Gonzalez runs ‘morally disgusting,’ ‘anti-Black’ attack ad in mayor’s race

A new "racist" attack ad by Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez probably killed her chances of being the city's next mayor.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
State lawmaker takes aim at rising insurance rates, blames executive overreach