Oregon state officials say the recently released state wildfire risk map is not being used by insurance companies to set premiums, according to what insurance companies tell them. And they say insurance companies claim there are currently no plans to do so.
The risk map was pulled late last week following public outcry about it. The state says it is in the process or redoing the map following the feedback.
The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services said Friday that the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation reached out to insurers doing business in the state to confirm they had no plans to use the map for underwriting or rating descriptions.
“Underwriting is the process an insurance company uses to determine the risk of offering or renewing an insurance product to a consumer,” the department said in a statement. “Rating is the process to determine the amount of premium to be paid to insure a risk such as a home. “
Among the questions reportedly asked of insurance companies:
- Does the company use the state wildfire map for rating or underwriting?
- Does the company use the state wildfire map for any other purposes?
- Does the company plan to use the state wildfire map for any purpose in the future?
The department notes that all rates used by insurance companies in Oregon must be filed for review by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation. As of Friday, the division reportedly had not received any such filings.
“The filing must include the methodology used to develop rates and the proposed rates must be actuarially justified, adequate, not excessive, and nondiscriminatory,” the department said.
The department said consumers can contact the Division of Financial Regulation’s consumer advocacy hotline at 888-877-4894. Consumers can also file a complaint online at dfr.oregon.gov.