If you are shopping for auto or homeowners insurance, or if your current policy is up for renewal, your insurance company may be looking at your credit history.
Here are some tips from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to help you understand how your credit information may be used and how it may
affect your insurance premiums.
Use the index below to go directly to a particular section on this page:
A credit score is a snapshot of your credit at one point in time. The credit information from your credit report is put through a mathematical formula (credit
scoring model) that assigns weights to the various factors and summarizes your credit information into a three-digit number ranging from zero to 999. Generally,
the higher the number, the more financially responsible the consumer.
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If your insurance company relies on credit scoring, it may used in two ways:
Some insurers use credit information along with other more traditional rating factors, such as motor vehicle records and claims history.
There are several factors that determine credit scores. Each factor is assigned a weighted number that, when applied to your specific credit information and added
together, equals your final three-digit score. Following is a list of common factors:
There is a good chance your current or prospective insurance company is looking at your credit. It is recommended that you review your credit history
annually to make sure that it is accurate. For a fee, you can request a copy of your credit history from agencies such as Equifax
www.credit.equifax.com, Experian www.experian.com
or Trans Union www.transunion.com. You can also contact the Federal Trade Commission for consumer brochures
on credit at www.ftc.gov. The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires an insurance company to tell you if it has taken
an “adverse action” against you, in whole or in part, because of your credit report information. If your company tells you that you have been adversely affected,
it must also tell you the name of the national credit bureau that supplied the information so that you can get a free copy of your credit report and correct
If your insurance company is using your credit score to evaluate your rates, you can take steps to improve your premiums.
Insurance rates based on credit information can vary from company to company, so if you feel your premiums are too high, shop around. Some states have
regulations in place for how — and if — insurance companies may use credit scores. In the state of Mississippi, credit scoring is not prohibited as criteria for
underwriting or rating. However, an insurance company cannot decline, refuse to renew, or cancel a policy of personal insurance based solely on a credit score. If
you have additional questions or concerns about credit scoring in Mississippi, contact the Mississippi Insurance Department. Please see the Request Assistance Page for information on how to contact us.