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New Law Lowers Insurance Premiums for Thousands of Oregon Consumers

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Thousands of Oregon consumers have had their insurance premiums lowered thanks to a year-old credit scoring law, according to a survey conducted by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) Insurance Division.

The law allows consumers to get their homeowner’s insurance and/or auto insurance rates repriced or re-rated once a year if the insurance company used credit scoring to price the policy when it was originally issued.

If the consumer qualifies for a lower insurance rate based on their present credit history, the insurance company must lower the cost of insurance.

However, if the consumer’s credit score were to drop, the insurer wouldn’t be able to raise the insurance premium charged.

Since the law took effect on January 1, 2010, more than 8,000 Oregonians have reported that re-rating has saved them more than $800,000 in premium, or roughly $100 per request.

“The law is working as intended and people who have improved their credit profiles are being rewarded with better rates,” said Senator Suzanne Bonamici, in a release.

In 2009, she chaired the Senate Consumer Protection and Public Affairs Committee, which passed related Senate Bill 377.

The survey found that one-third to one-half of policyholders who requested a re-rating qualified for a lower insurance premium, so it certainly doesn’t hurt to make a phone call.

Remember, in many cases insurance companies check credit scores, known as your insurance score, to determine insurance rates, so make sure yours is up to snuff before applying for insurance.

Contact your insurance agent or insurance company immediately to see if you qualify for a discount.

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