Opinion: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler’s emergency order impacting insurance rates gets overruled

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center provides insight into a Friday ruling by a Thursday County Superior Court judge.

Elizabeth Hovde of the Washington Policy Center provides insight into a Friday ruling by a Thurston County Superior Court judge

Elizabeth Hovde
Washington Policy Center

Judge Mary Sue Wilson ruled Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler did not have “good cause” to file an emergency order banning the use of credit scores in setting insurance rates. 

Elizabeth Hovde
Elizabeth Hovde

Kreidler sought legislation that would have done the same thing just months before. But when his idea, a recurring one, didn’t succeed, he chose to bypass the state’s legislative body and make his desire an emergency order, instead. 

This misuse of power was called out by the Thurston County Superior Court judge on Friday and offers another example of why Washington needs emergency powers reform

Kreidler has expressed disappointment with the ruling and says he is weighing his options. The option he should definitely weigh is allowing state lawmakers to have a say. They are elected to represent us through careful deliberation of issues. And had that been allowed, the market disruption caused by Kreidler might not have resulted in insurance premiums spiking for many people across the state — including senior citizens and low-income Washingtonians with little ability to handle the abrupt change to their finances. (Read more about that here.) 

The harm won’t be fixed overnight. An industry insider told KIRO 7 News not to expect action until the insurance industry gets more clarity on what tools it can use in determining insurance premiums. Until then, they say there is “no need to jack people’s rates around again,” reports Jesse Jones.  

Elizabeth Hovde is the director of the Center for Health Care and Center for Worker Rights at the Washington Policy Center. She is also a resident of Clark County.


    1. Mike Harris

      Can’t until Inslee and the democrat majority get voted out. You have to start working on you democrat neighbors to try and talk some sense into them if that is possible.

  1. K.J. Hinton

    While we may “need” emergency powers reform, the question is how does anyone propose to get it?

    EVERYONE needs to remember that the people of this state voted these powers into being in November, 2019 by a 2:1 majority (SJR8200). That’s the primary reason Inslee has yet to lose a court case about these powers.

    Further, he was just reelected with an overwhelming majority. Thus the likelihood of even getting an initiative passed is practically zero.

    That leaves the legislature.

    The legislature in this state has major majorities held by the democrats in both the House and the Senate. Do you honestly think that these leftists would have any motivation to overturn their own governor? Does anyone remotely believe that either House is liable to see a flip in seats significant enough to change even one of the two majorities, let alone both of them?

    Does anyone remotely believe that the GOP would not only gain majorities in both Houses, they would gain the SUPER majorities needed to overturn Inslee’s inevitable veto?

    If you actually think any of those things could happen in our foreseeable future, do yourselves a favor and stop. Otherwise, you’re going to have a long and panful experience in the political process of this state, entirely controlled by leftists… for leftists.

    There will be nothing approaching the reform of the powers THE PEOPLE gave Inslee. He sees no need for it, his democrat controlled legislature sees no need for it, and the overwhelming majority of voters in this state likely see no need for it either.

    Sorry. But a reality check was needed. And as they used to say in the A4rmy…. “There It Is.”

  2. Susan

    It is interesting that the Columbian hasn’t covered this. Or did I miss it? Of course, the Columbian would be very hesitant to run an article that even hints of wrongdoing by anyone associated with the governor.

    “Two weeks, just to flatten the curve.” Remember that?

    Here we are 20+ months later and there is NO END in sight, nor even defined.

    It’s no wonder that the insurance guru feels he’s above the law.

    Now… let’s quickly hear how the insurance companies are going to correct their astronomically increased premiums. Or will this be the same as $30 tabs… the consumer is obligated to pay the full-price and just wait for the appellant court’s final decision a year later? We all know that any excess money paid to the insurance companies will never ever be returned to the policy holder.

  3. Lana Ann Kumm

    Last month we got our new home , cars and 2 motorcycle polices and a shocker of new cost’s. We are in our 80’s , the bill for these were a shocker . Lost our discounts for every thing . What happened ? Why did they increase so much .

    This is out out of control , some one should be held accountable for this increase.


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