SB21-169 - Protecting Consumers from Unfair Discrimination in Insurance Practices

On July 6, 2021, Governor Polis signed Senate Bill (SB) 21-169 into law, which protects Colorado consumers from insurance practices that result in unfair discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identify, or gender expression. The legislation holds insurers accountable for testing their big data systems - including external consumer data and information sources, algorithms, and predictive models - to ensure they are not unfairly discriminating against consumers on the basis of a protected class. SB21-169 requires insurers to take corrective action to address any consumer harms that are discovered.

The rapid expansion of big data has transformed insurance practices. While these tools have the potential to benefit both insurers and consumers by increasing efficiencies, the unchecked use of big data can unintentionally result in harm to Black, indigenous and people of color and other protected groups. SB21-169 requires insurers to demonstrate to the Division of Insurance (Division) how they are testing their data and tools to ensure they do not result in unfair discrimination.

 

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Stakeholder Engagement Process

SB21-169 directs the Insurance Commissioner to work with stakeholders (insurance companies, insurance agents/producers, consumer representatives, and other interested parties) before adopting rules on how the companies should test and demonstrate to the Division that their use of big data is not unfairly discriminating against consumers. Separate stakeholder meetings will be held to address specific types of insurance (i.e., life, auto, health), as well as specific insurance practices (i.e., marketing, underwriting, claims management).

The Division has started the stakeholder engagement process, with a focus on the following line of insurance and insurance practice: 

  • Underwriting practices in life insurance: Life insurance policies are designed to pay money to a named beneficiary when a person dies, and can be an important part of a family’s long-term financial planning. Underwriting is the process by which an insurance company determines whether they offer life insurance coverage to an individual, and if so, what premium the company will charge, based on the company's assessment of that individual’s risk.   

 

*   *   *   Upcoming Stakeholder Meeting on December 8, 2022   *   *   *

The Division will be hosting the next stakeholder meeting regarding Underwriting Practices in Life Insurance on Thursday, December 8, 2022 from 10:30 - 11:30 am MT.  All interested stakeholders - including insurance companies, insurance agents/producers, consumer representatives, and other interested parties - are invited to participate, and can register by clicking on the button below:

Meeting on December 8, 2022

 

A meeting agenda for December 8 will be posted in advance of the meeting.  

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Sign up for Division Announcements Related to Unfair Discrimination in Life Insurance Practices

To receive email notifications of upcoming meetings and other Division activities related to Unfair Discrimination in Insurance Practices, please sign up to receive notifications on the Division's Sign-Up for Division of Insurance Email Lists webpage. For notices specific to SB21-169, click on the "Subscribe to DOI/DORA Email Lists via GovDelivery" button, and select the checkbox next to "External Consumer Data and Unfair Discrimination in Insurance Practices" list. 

Please contact Jason Lapham (jason.lapham@state.co.us) with questions or for additional assistance. 

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Meeting Materials

Agenda - 4.12.22

Slide deck - 4.12.22

Recording - 4.12.22

Agenda - 2.17.22

Slide deck - 2.17.22

Recording unavailable due to technical difficulties

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Announcements of future meetings and other news related to the implementation of SB21-169 will be posted on this website, and shared via email notification. You can sign up to receive these and other DOI email notices on the Division's Sign-Up for Division of Insurance Email Lists webpage.  

For additional information about the Division's implementation of SB21-169, please contact Jason Lapham (jason.lapham@state.co.us).