Arizona Auto Glass Bill Amended; New Version Includes Anti-Steering
March 22, 2010
An Arizona auto glass bill designed to address auto glass shops
and possible types of insurance fraud has been amended, and the
newly revised bill now includes anti-steering language, along with
several other new provisions. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
The new bill contains the following language focused on third-party
glass claims administrators:
"It is unlawful for a person who sells or repairs auto
glass to intentionally misrepresent the relationship of the glass
repair facility to the policyholder's insurer. For the purposes
of determining whether a person intended the misrepresentation,
it may be presumed that the person intended the misrepresentation
if the person was engaged in a regular and consistent pattern
The new bill also adds language prohibiting an auto glass business
from "advising a policyholder to falsify the date of damage
to the auto glass that results in a change of insurance coverage
for repair or replacement of the auto glass."
The earlier bill prohibited auto glass shops from misrepresenting
to a customer "that the insurer has approved the repairs or
replacement," but the new version adds the following clause
at the end of this provision: "unless the auto glass repair
or replacement facility has verified coverage or obtained authorization
directly from the insurance company or any other third party administrator
contracted with the insurance company and the evidence has been
confirmed by fax, e?mail or other written and recorded communication."
Several text changes also are included to the bill's original provisions.
HERE for full text of bill.)
Kerry Soat, chief executive officer for Fas-Break and vice president
of the Arizona Glass Association, has been working closely with
two lobbyists and with Rep. Nancy McLain, who sponsored the bill,
to get the language revised.
"This bill was very vague and extremely threatening to the
auto glass companies operating in Arizona," says Soat. "If
this bill was passed in its original form, it could have subjected
innocent auto glass operators to Class 6 felonies. It also could
have become 'poster child' legislation in other states. This bill
needed to be written with input from the auto glass companies, not
just the insurance companies as it was originally."
Soat says he worked with representatives from State Farm, American
Family and Farmers to develop the new language, along with AGA lobbyists
Barry Aarons and Jimmy Hamilton.
"Since fraud is present in the auto glass industry and we
were not denying it, we also felt a good bill focusing on fraudulent
practices would be good for the industry," he says. "By
all the parties dealing in good faith and sincere honesty, we were
able to arrive at an amended H.B. 2463 that deals directly with
the issues the insurance companies wanted to cover."
Though the new bill does contain anti-steering language, Soat says
further legislation could be needed to address this issue.
"I believe a more comprehensive auto glass and insurance company
bill is needed to help alleviate the wide gaps in the operation
of auto glass companies doing business with insurance companies
and third-party administrators," he says.
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