S-1165.1          _______________________________________________


                                 SENATE BILL 5734



State of Washington              52nd Legislature             1991 Regular Session


By Senator Williams.


Read first time February 18, 1991.  Referred to Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance.Prohibiting credit history from being used in determining eligibility and rates for renter's insurance.

     AN ACT Relating to renter's insurance; adding a new section to chapter 48.27 RCW; and prescribing penalties.




     NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 48.27 RCW to read as follows:

     (1) The credit history of an applicant for, or holder of, a renter's insurance policy shall not be used as a factor by the insurer in determining the eligibility or rates of the applicant or policyholder for such insurance.  "Credit history" for the purpose of this section, shall be limited to the financial information on a consumer credit report, and shall not be construed to include nonfinancial information.  This section shall not be construed to allow or encourage gathering of other than financial information on credit reports.

     (2) Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars for each violation, to be assessed and collected in a civil action brought by the person paying with a credit card, by the attorney general, or by the prosecuting or city attorney of the county or city in which the violation occurred. However, no civil penalty shall be assessed for a violation of this section if the defendant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from a bona fide error made notwithstanding the defendant's maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid such an error.

     (3) The attorney general, or any prosecuting or city attorney within his or her respective jurisdiction, may bring an action in the superior court in the name of the people of the state of Washington to enjoin violation of subsection (1) of this section and, upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to temporarily restrain and enjoin the violation.  If it appears to the satisfaction of the court that the defendant has, in fact, violated subsection (1) of this section, the court may issue an injunction restraining further violations without requiring proof that any person has been damaged by the violation.  In these proceedings, if the court finds that the defendant has violated subsection (1) of this section, the court may direct the defendant to pay any or all costs incurred by the attorney general, prosecuting or city attorney in seeking or obtaining injunctive relief pursuant to this subsection.