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, and requires them to take corrective action to address any consumer harms that are discovered.

 

SB21-169 directs the Division of Insurance to engage in a stakeholder process prior to developing rules for insurers to demonstrate they have tested their big data systems for unfair discrimination. 

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.

Stakeholder 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 anticipates announcing the first set of stakeholder meetings, identifying the line of insurance and insurance practice that will be considered, by early December 2021. Stakeholder meetings are expected to start in mid-January 2022. Any rules that are developed through this process will not be effective until January 1, 2023, at the earliest. 

 

Please come back to this page for updated information about upcoming stakeholder meetings. All meetings will be open to the public.

 

The Division will also be sending announcements of upcoming meeting dates and times via email. You can sign up to receive these and other DOI email notices by clicking here. 

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For additional information about the Division's implementation of SB21-169, please contact Deb Judy (debra.judy@state.co.us) or Tara Smith (tara.smith@state.co.us).