Legislators are considering a bill that would help Iowans who’re having a personal financial crisis and discover their insurance rates have increased as a result. Senator Rich Olive, a Democrat from Story City, is an insurance agent.
“During this recession period we have families of friends or constituents…who have been negatively affected with either by loss of jobs, loss of family members, military service, etc.,” Olive says. “When these things happen, banks, insurance companies, etc. look at their credit score and, in the insurance industry, their rates for their home, their auto, etc. can be increased.”
The bill provides some help to Iowans who saw their credit scores reduced after some “extraordinary event” in their life. If the bill becomes law, Iowans who’ve lost a child or a spouse, who’ve been called to active military duty or who’ve lost their job for more than three months can provide paperwork to their insurance company documenting that “extraordinary event” and the company is to lower their auto, homeowners or renters insurance rates back to what they were before that event occurred.
“We think this is great consumer protection during this economic downturn and the best part of this whole legislation is the insurance lobby is supportive of this as well as it came out the Senate Commerce Committee unanimously,” Olive says. “So we have great bipartisan support for this legislation.”
The bill will next be considered by the full senate. Olive stresses Iowans who’ve maxed out on their credit cards won’t be able to use this new tool to reduce their interest rates as it’s aimed at those who’ve hit hard times through no fault of their own.