Updated 7:38 p.m. May 12, 2015: This story has been updated to include more details and additional comments from the insurance industry.

Many companies reward their most loyal customers with incentives, discounts and freebies. But in car insurance, the opposite can actually happen. A driver can be punished with a higher premium just for being loyal to the company. 

It's called price optimization, and it happens to lots of people all the time. A driver could have no history of accidents but all of a sudden their car insurance goes up.

Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Monday filed a formal request for a federal disaster declaration. If this is granted, it means the survivors of the massive landslide near Oso, Washington, would be eligible for federal assistance. Many of them will be counting on that since they don’t have landslide insurance.

Oso Mudslide Victims Likely To Face Financial Woes

Mar 27, 2014
Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Jim Davis, editor of the Herald Business Journal in Everett, about the bleak financial outlook facing Oso victims whose homes were damaged in the recent mudslide.

"There are 1.5 million single-family homes in the state of Washington. Only 4,700 homeowners and business owners have landslide insurance," Davis said.

Flickr Photo/GovInslee (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Scott Burns, a geologist and landslide expert at Portland State University, about how he hopes the tragedy in Oso will lead to landslide insurance for homeowners and better landslide hazard maps to prevent future devastation.

Washington’s Health Exchange now has a formal name. It’s called “Washingtonhealthplanfinder.” The online program was designed to help people shop for individual or small group coverage. It will allow them to compare plans, and to see if they qualify for financial assistance. But it’s not live yet. The site is still under construction.  State officials hope to have the program up and running by next fall. They’re still deciding what kinds of plans will be sold.

You can follow the Exchange's progress, and learn more about it.