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Allstate Insurance Company v. Schmidt

Supreme Court of Hawaii
104 Hawaii 261 (2004)


Facts

On August 9, 1966, Kaoru Reinertson filed a complaint with the State of Hawaii’s Insurance Division against Allstate Insurance Company (Allstate) (plaintiff) and Allstate Indemnity Company (plaintiff) because she was denied insurance. The plaintiffs required an applicant to have a driver’s license for at least a year before the plaintiffs would insure the applicant. When Reinertson applied, she had not had a driver’s license for a year. On November 18, 1988, the chief deputy insurance commissioner (commissioner) ordered the plaintiffs to stop using an applicant’s length of driving experience as a basis for rejecting insurance coverage in underwriting. The commissioner also ordered Allstate to pay a $3,000 penalty for violating Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) § 431:10C-207. This statute prevented an insurance company from basing “any standard or rating plan” on, among other things, an applicant’s length of driving experience. The plaintiffs requested a hearing. The hearing officer recommended that the commissioner vacate its order, because HRS § 431:10C-207 applied to rate making and not to underwriting. The commissioner reversed the hearing officer’s determination, concluding that the term “any standard or rating plan” in HRS § 431:10C-207 included underwriting. The plaintiffs appealed to the circuit court, claiming that the commissioner had improperly applied HRS § 431:10C-207. The circuit court affirmed the commissioner’s decision. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Duffy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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