South Carolina Anti-Steering Bill Passes Committee Favorably—But with Amendment
February 16, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

The South Carolina Senate banking and insurance committee has passed favorably a bill designed to prohibit steering, according to a representative in the office of Sen. David Thomas, who chairs the committee. The bill contained one amendment upon passage.

The amendment includes a number of additions from the bill's original text, which would have prohibited third-party administrators (TPAs) that also have retail divisions, or that have 10 percent ownership or more in an auto glass business, from referring policyholders' glass claims to themselves or from using information obtained through its work as a TPA to solicit business.

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."

The original language of the bill read as follows: “It is an unlawful trade practice for a motor vehicle glass repair business actively engaged in the repair of motor vehicle glass, or a person or entity with a ten percent or more ownership interest in that business, and acting as a third-party administrator of insurance claims made pursuant to insurance coverage for motor vehicle glass repair to: (1) refer or steer, or cause to be referred or steered, an insured’s motor vehicle glass repair business to itself; or (2) use consumer information obtained in the process of acting in that dual capacity to solicit motor vehicle glass repair business.”

If passed, the act would take effect upon approval by the state’s governor, Nikki Haley.

The bill originally was introduced in the South Carolina House by Reps. James Harrison, Joan Brady, Lewis Pinson, Elizabeth Munnerlyn, Thad Viers, Jenny Horne and Nelson Hardwick.

The South Carolina bill is not the only recent bill across the United States to look at this topic. The Arizona Senate also is currently reviewing a bill that would make it unlawful “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.”

A meeting of the Arizona Senate’s banking and insurance committee had been scheduled for today and included the bill on its agenda, but was cancelled, according to information from the Arizona Senate.

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