Massachusetts Insurance Division to Consider Auto Glass Regulation
June 14, 2013

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance (MDOI) will hold a hearing on June 28 to consider a new regulation that aims to “establish parameters for the referral of insureds to registered motor vehicle glass repair shops.”

The regulation under review, currently known as “ 211 CMR 135.00 – Requirements Regarding Referrals to Motor Vehicle Glass Repair Shops,” would prohibit third-party administrators (TPAs) and insurers from:

  • Requiring a person to use a particular auto glass shop; and/or
  • Using or employing “unfair or deceptive acts or practices to induce a person to use a particular registered motor vehicle glass repair shop to provide motor vehicle glass repair services.”

The regulation says “unfair or deceptive acts” will include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • “Engaging in an act or practice designed to intimidate, threaten or coerce a person to use, or for having used, a particular registered motor vehicle glass repair shop; or
  • Knowingly contracting with, referring motor vehicle glass repair services to or otherwise negotiating with a motor vehicle glass repair shop to provide motor vehicle glass repair services if the repair shop is not a registered motor vehicle glass repair shop as provided in M.G.L. c. 100A.”

The regulation goes on to note that once an insured selects a glass shop, an employee of a TPA or insurance company “shall not require the motor vehicle glass repair to be made at a different registered motor vehicle glass repair shop.”

Likewise, once a shop has been selected, the insurer and/or TPA are prohibited from assigning or dispatching the work or forwarding the policyholder’s information to a different shop without the insured’s knowledge and consent.

The proposed regulation also permits the insured to change his/her choice of glass shop “at any point in time.”

The regulation also provides for the following “Insurer Right:” “An insurer may, either directly or through its producers, adjusters or third party administrator, provide directly or through other means, including electronic transmissions, information to assist the insured in selecting a motor vehicle glass repair shop or scheduling a motor vehicle glass repair shop to perform motor vehicle glass repair. The provision of such information by an insurer, its producers, adjusters or TPA for the insurer, however, shall cease once it becomes known that an insured has selected a registered motor vehicle glass repair shop to provide motor vehicle glass repair services.”

Violations of the regulation would carry a fine of between $1,000 and $5,000 per person or entity.

The purpose of the hearing is “to afford all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral and/or written comments regarding the promulgation of 211 CMR 135.00,” according to an announcement from the MDOI.

Those who wish to present comments at the hearing must file a “Notice of Intent to Comment” with the MDOI by 4 p.m. on June 27, and written comments may be submitted as well.

All submissions must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, 1000 Washington Street, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02118-6200, or by electronic mail to doidocket.mailbox@state.ma.us and must refer to Docket No. G2013-01 in the subject line.

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™ for more on the regulation as it becomes available.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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