Washington Fines Geico $120,000 for Credit-Scoring Violations

July 5, 2006

Washington state’s insurance commissioner fined four Geico Inc. insurance companies $120,000, alleging they used an unapproved scoring model to evaluate and offer personal auto coverage to consumers two years ago.

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said the companies — Government Employees Insurance Co., Geico General Insurance Co., Geico Indemnity Co., and Geico Casualty Co. — failed to comply with changes in insurance-scoring requirements the Legislature enacted in 2004.

During a five-month period ended in November 2004, Kreidler said, consumers paid differing rates based on unapproved scoring models that relied on consumers’ credit histories.

Geico officials have said roughly 900 of the 24,000 policy holders scored under the unapproved model were adversely affected.

Even so, Kreidler said 24,000 policy holders were subjected to an illegal process. He noted other insurers had no trouble complying with the new requirements in a timely manner.

The Geico companies have signed a consent order, agreeing to pay the fine and comply with the state’s filing requirements and insurance scoring laws, Kreidler’s office said.

Geico, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the Omaha-based company controlled by billionaire Warren Buffett.

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