Information About Credit, Insurance Scoring and Their Role In Pricing Your Auto Policy
Credit Based Insurance Scoring
The Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Companies use a “credit-based insurance score” as one of several rating factors used in determining the final premium for your Automobile Policy. We refer to this rating factor as your “Personal Responsibility Factor”. Age, gender, marital status, and driving record are all widely accepted rating factors because they are accurate predictors of future losses. Your “Personal Responsibility Factor” works exactly the same way.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reports that a majority of auto and homeowners insurance policies written in Florida were issued by companies using credit histories to decide whether to offer coverage, renew an existing policy, or offer a preferred rate. As a result, the Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Companies, committed to bringing you quality insurance products at a fair price, uses credit scoring to remain viable and competitive in the Florida insurance marketplace.
Your “Personal Responsibility Factor”
Is a way of measuring risk based on your household’s credit history, such as whether you’ve made timely payments and number of open credit card accounts you have. In determining your “Personal Responsibility Factor” we look at the credit based insurance score of you and your spouse (if applicable), and then only use the BEST one score to determine the factor.
Use of the “Personal Responsibility Factor”
Makes pricing more accurate, as research shows that people who manage their personal finances responsibly also manage other aspects of their life responsibly and generate fewer insurance claims. Since introducing the “Personal Responsibility Factor”, approximately 60% of our policyholders either received the same premium or a lower premium than they were previously paying.
What is an “insurance score” and how does it differ from a “financial credit score?”
- An “insurance score” is a credit-based statistical analysis of a consumer’s likelihood of filing an insurance claim within a given period of time in the future.
- A “financial credit score” is a credit-based statistical analysis of a consumer’s likelihood of paying an installment loan (mortgage, auto loan, etc.).
While both types of scores use a statistical analysis model, the actual numerical score will differ. You cannot compare the two scores because they are measuring the likelihood of two different events occurring.
Who determines my “insurance score” and who determines how it is used?
- LexisNexis Risk Solutions receives credit information from the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and performs the statistical analysis to determine your “insurance score”.
- The Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Cos. receives your insurance score from LexisNexis. Then we assign, based on actuarial analysis, the appropriate rating factor to be used in determining your automobile premium.
What data elements in a credit report are used in calculating an “insurance score?”
Some data elements from your credit report used in calculating your “insurance score” include: outstanding debt, length of credit history, late payments, new applications for credit, types of credit used, payment patterns, available credit, public records, and past due accounts. A credit report can contain both positive and negative information. Both are used in calculating your “insurance score”.
How do I obtain a copy of my credit report?
We will notify you initially when your “insurance score” does not result in our best “Personal Responsibility Factor”; or upon a subsequent review of your credit based insurance score that results in a higher premium charge than you were previously paying. Either of these circumstances would result in an “adverse action” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Florida statute. In our notice, we will include the LexisNexis Consumer Disclosure Center contact information and reference number. When you contact LexisNexis, they will send you copies of any consumer reports that we have recently requested from them. These reports are free as long as you request them within 60 days of our notification of “adverse action”.
How do I correct information in my credit report?
If you find an error in your credit report, call or write the credit bureau with a detailed explanation of the error as instructed on your credit report. The bureau will verify the information with the credit grantor and give you an update. This process can take up to 30 days. Once you have received a copy of your reports from LexisNexis, they can also assist in facilitating the dispute of information that is inaccurate, incomplete, or out of date on the credit report.
The three major credit reporting agencies are:
How can I improve my “insurance score”?
Some general ways to improve your score are listed below:
- Inspect your credit report periodically and immediately report any discrepancies to the credit bureau.
- Pay bills on time.
- Limit the number of credit cards used.
- Limit the number of major purchases that are financed.
- Remove your name from credit reporting agency lists that are sold for marketing purposes.
- Establish whether or not you have established sufficient credit. Too little can be as bad as too much.
For more information on LexisNexis’ “Auto Insurance Score” visit https://consumer.risk.lexisnexis.com
All employees and agents of the Florida Farm Bureau Insurance Companies extend a sincere “Thank You” for being a policyholder and Farm Bureau member.