The battle over the use of credit scores when underwriting insurance risks is reheating to a fever pitch following the release of a controversial Federal Trade Commission report hailed by the industry but hammered by consumer groups and a dissenter within the agency. Credit scores are an “effective predictor” of risk under auto insurance policies, the FTC concluded in its report, but counterattacks have undermined the study’s credibility.

Industry trade groups praised the study–”Credit-Based Insurance Scores: Impact on Consumers of Automobile Insurance”–with officials of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, for example, echoing other property-casualty organizations in stating that “the report confirms what the industry has been saying all along–that credit-based insurance scores provide an objective and reliable tool” for setting insurance rates.

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