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Bill Seeks To Protect Abuse Victims Insurance Companies Would Be Prevented From Discriminating

Thu., Jan. 5, 1995, midnight

A bill drafted by state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn would prohibit insurance companies from denying insurance or boosting rates because an individual is a victim of abuse.

Senn said Wednesday that under current laws, such people, including victims of domestic violence, may be discriminated against when companies cancel their coverage, raise premiums or refuse to sell them insurance.

“The message that we want to send is that discrimination is wrong and it’s unacceptable,” Senn said.

“It does not mean that it excludes the possibility of taking risk into consideration.

“It just means there are certain instances of discrimination where you cannot further victimize the victim.”

The measure is to be sponsored by Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, in the legislative session that starts Monday.

Diane Turner of the Washington Insurance Council declined to take a position on the bill, but told KING-TV of Seattle that, “Basically the industry supports anything that will help the victims of domestic abuse.”

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