Lawmakers that thought they hadnt seen the last of onerous provisions in the Houses anti-redlining insurance legislation defeated in July got a cold dose of the expected when the Senate rolled out a bill with nearly identical provisions. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Donald W. Riegle, D- Mich., introduced the Homeowners Insurance Disclosure Act, S. 2402, Aug. 18, a bill that aims to prevent discrimination based on the geographical location in homeowners insurance by imposing Home Mortgage Disclosure Act- type disclosures on insurance companies. Similar to legislation introduced in the House by Rep. Joseph Kennedy, D-Mass., the Riegle bill requires disclosure of the type, cost and location of policies by census tract in 100 urban areas and by five-digit zip code in 25 rural locations across the nation, as well as disclosures of loss data to help determine whether differences in premium costs are due to actual losses or ethnic stereotypes. Kennedys bill, which was passed over for a less onerous version offered by Rep. Cardiss Collins, D-Ill., and also called the census tract disclosure approach, but for a more expansive 150 metropolitan statistical areas rather than the 100 offered by Riegle. The Cardiss plan, H.R. 1188, called for census tract disclosures as well, but in just 25 MSAs. Other disclosures, including race and gender and total rejected applicants are also required. When the Cardiss bill was approved by the House, it was viewed as a victory for insurance lobbyists. But the Senate plan is likely to force the insurance industry into a compromise, said a staffer in the Senate Banking Committee.
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