Supreme Court to take up credit scoring controversy

LANSING, MI – The state Supreme Court opens its new session Tuesday with a hearing on whether insurance companies can use their customers' credit scores to help set their rates.

Governor Granholm's insurance regulating agency has been trying for four years to outlaw the use of credit scores in setting rates for automotive coverage. The governor and other critics of the practice say credit scores have nothing to do with whether someone is a safe driver. But insurance companies say they have data that shows a link between poor credit scores and the risk of customers filing expensive claims. The companies say using the scores keeps rates lower for safer drivers.

The court will also hear arguments on whether the state owes school districts more money for the costs of gathering and electronically reporting information on students and employees. The state says the costs are inconsequential and already covered by payments to schools.

The court's expected to take weeks or months to make its decisions in both cases.