Delaware Public Media

Auto insurance companies block new regulations in Dover

Apr 5, 2017

The insurance industry scored a win after lawmakers tabled a bill in a House committee that would’ve limited how they can calculate someone’s auto premiums.

The proposal from Rep. Trey Paradee and Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro (D) would’ve forbid companies from using a customer’s age, marital status or credit score while pricing out their car insurance rates.

Nearly 10 insurance lobbyists showed up at the capitol in full force Wednesday, testifying that the bill would cut competition among and stifle innovation.

They also claim it would boost rates for most customers, with Delaware already boasting some of the highest premium costs in the country.

Some said the bill could limit certain discounts their companies offer, but Paradee says that’s not true.

“The insurance commissioner has made it clear that he’s very open to the use of various discounts, but what we’re not open to is the use of age and the use of marital status and the status of somebody’s credit,” he said.

Eight of the 12 members of the House committee voted to table the bill, including his fellow caucus mates Reps. Bryon Short (D-Brandywine Hundred) and Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown)

Those lobbyists say they’re willing to work on the bill with Paradee, but the Western Kent County Democrat dismisses those promises.

“They’re not really interested in seeing any changes made to the bill. They want to see the bill killed and what we heard today was a lot of the same tired arguments that have been made in other states where this has been tried,” he said.

Paradee will need to flip at least four representatives to sent his proposal to the full House floor.