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Idaho lawmakers vote to limit insurers' use of credit histories

Idaho joined a growing number of states seeking to regulate the use of credit history when Idaho lawmakers passed a bill to prevent insurers from using a person's credit report to charge higher auto or home insurance premiums.

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Senate Bill 1408 — which says insurers must give credit history the same weight in rating decisions as any other criteria used to increase premiums, cancel, nonrenew, or decline to issue a policy — is now on Idaho Gov. Dirk Hempthorne's desk, awaiting his signature.

According to a study by Conning & Co., more than 90 percent of auto insurance companies, and an increasing number of home insurers, use your credit information, filtered through a formula to create an "insurance risk score," to determine how likely you are to file a claim on an insurance policy. More than half of those insurers use that information to determine how much to charge you in premiums. Read How your credit history affects your auto and home insurance premiums.

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