The consumer advocate for the Iowa Insurance Division is gathering public input on a proposal to use credit scores to help determine insurance premiums. Advocate Angel Robinson says Iowa is among several states that are considering the idea.

Robinson says the insurance industry "heavily supports" credit scoring and believes it’s a legitimate use as a rating factor for insurance rates.  Robinson says the insurance industry says people with high credit scores file fewer insurance claims.

She says those outside the industry aren’t as supportive. Robinson says she’s been contacted by consumer groups and consumers who are against using credit scores for insurance rates. She says one of the arguments is that there is a lack of transparency over how the insurance companies use the credit scores to determine rates, and she says the industry does not show how using credit scores actually cause fewer claims to be filed.

Robinson says she wants to get all the input she can on the issue and is holding a second public hearing today. Robinson says it’s something that impacts almost all Iowans through insurance policies for homes and autos, and she hopes to get as much information on the issue as she can.

Today’s hearing is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the state capitol building room 103. Robinson says if you can’t get today’s hearing, you can also contact her at the Iowa Insurance Division or through her e-mail at:[email protected].

Robinson says there is also a study of the issue being conducted by St. Ambrose University in Davenport. Robinson says she’ll look at that study and the public input and come up with a recommendation. Robinson says she’ll review all the information and make a recommendation to the insurance commissioner in November.

The final public hearing on the issue will be in September.