The House passed anti-redlining legislation July 20 that omitted onerous provisions that would have imposed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act-type disclosure requirements on insurance companies, dealing a setback to some members of the House Banking Committee who sought tougher mandates.

The legislation, H.R. 1188, was approved by the full House by voice vote, and covers home, dwelling, fire and auto insurance coverages.

Under the approved bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Cardiss Collins, D-Ill., a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and favored by the insurance industry, reporting by insurance companies would be done on aggregate company figures without providing information about specific policyholders.

The bill will require data collection by ZIP code, rather than the more precise census tract approach advocated by Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, D-Mass. It will also require data from just 25 metropolitan statistical areas, as compared to the 150 favored by Kennedy.

Some members of the House, led by Kennedy, had proposed stiffening redlining reporting requirements for property/casualty insurance customers to make them more similar to HMDA reporting requirements, including racial characteristics, national origin and sex.

The House Rules Committee voted July 12 to send the redlining bill favored by the insurance industry to the floor, but with an open rule that would allow for any amendment to be introduced. The Collins bill won out over the Kennedy-sponsored alternative, H.R. 1257.

While the House action is a victory for insurance lobbyists, the final shape of a bill is far from determined. Thats because Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has a bill before the Senate Commerce Committee that more closely resembles Kennedys proposal.

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