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Credit Scoring Task Force to Meet


TALLAHASSEE - Members of a task force created to examine insurance companies' use of credit reports in underwriting automobile and homeowners' insurance policies will meet Monday, December 10, 2001, at the University of South Florida, Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Phyllis P. Marshall P. Center, Room 296. The meeting is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and give testimony.

Members of the task force include:

Bill O'Neil, Chair, Attorney, Sarasota; State Senator Bill Posey, Rockledge; State Representative Leslie Waters, Largo; David "Birny" Birnbaum, Executive Director, Center for Economic Justice, Austin, TX; Elsie Crowell, Insurance Consumer Advocate, Tallahassee; Yolanda Williams, Consumer, St. Petersburg; Rick Combs, Insurance Agent, Winter Park; Prentiss Mitchell, Representative, NAII (National Association of Independent Insurers).

Previous meetings were held at Florida International University in Miami on October 30th and at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville on November 19th.

Treasurer and Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher created the task force in September after learning that an increasing number of insurers are using credit history, or lack of one, when deciding whether to offer coverage, renew an existing policy or offer a preferred rate. Gallagher cited concern with insurers denying coverage or increasing rates based solely on credit reports.

Consumers living in the Tampa area who suspect that credit history played a role in denied or more expensive coverage can attend the task force meeting or call the department's Consumer Helpline at 1-800-342-2762. Gallagher expects the task force to develop recommendations for potential legislation and/or department rule.