Decisions Made on Auto Glass Industry Legislation
February 21, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

Auto glass industry legislation continues to make news as the state legislatures make decisions regarding three bills. The following is an update on the status of bills in three state legislatures.

South Carolina: HB 4042, a bill that was designed to prohibit steering, passed out of the committee with an added amendment. The amendment prohibits TPAs from "requiring that repairs be made to the insured's vehicle in a particular place or shop or by a particular concern."

In addition, the amendment further provides that TPAs must, on their network lists, "include providers regardless of its opinion of the quality or workmanship of the provider concerned if that provider performing glass repair services will meet all requirements of the policy of automobile insurance issued by the automobile insurer which the third-party administrator represents."

"We are extremely pleased the original version of House Bill 4042 did not pass out of committee. However, an amendment, drafted in part by Scott Taylor of DNS Auto Glass, formerly Coast to Coast Auto Glass, seeks to dismantle preferred provider networks in favor of a ‘provider list’. Amended 4042 would require every fly-by-night glass shop be included in a ‘provider list’ and then offered to South Carolina consumers on a rotating basis,” said Brian DiMasi, Safelite’s senior corporate counsel. “Dismantling direct repair programs or ‘preferred provider’ networks that offer high quality and low prices, hurts consumers. DNS Auto Glass and other shops that approach people at car washes, gas stations and even in their neighborhoods typically do not participate in traditional networks. Enacting a law that requires insurers to offer their company as an alternative clearly benefits them at the expense of South Carolinian consumers.”

According to a representative from the Senate banking and insurance committee the bill “passed in an amended form” and will be held by the committee until all committee members can come to agreement on the changes. If and when all committee members are in agreement the bill will move forward for a vote in the Senate.

Arizona: SB 1331, a bill that also seeks to prohibit steering, has been withdrawn as of Thursday, February 16. The bill reads as follows, “It is an unlawful practice for an auto glass repair business that is actively engaged in the repair of auto glass, or a person or entity with at least a ten percent ownership interest in that business, and that acts as a third-party administrator of insurance claims made pursuant to insurance coverage for auto glass repair to either: (1) refer or steer, or cause to be referred or steered, an insured’s auto glass repair business to itself. (2) Use consumer information obtained in the process of acting in that dual capacity to solicit auto glass repair business.”

According to a representative from the office of Senator McComish, the bill’s lead sponsor, “the bill was withdrawn” after supporters and those opposing the bill have agreed to meet and discuss their concerns.

Michigan: SB 306, a bill that could place several requirements on third-party administrators, including the addition of a code of conduct by which those that also provide auto glass services would have to abide in order to maintain both services, passed unanimously out of the Senate at the end of January.

According to a representative from Senator Hune’s office, the bill is now waiting to be referred to a committee and there is no set timeframe for how long that will take or if it will be brought to a vote.

Stay tuned to™ for more information as it becomes available.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.