Auto Glass Regulation in Massachusetts to Take Effect This Summer

A regulation by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (MDOI) that aims to “establish parameters for the referral of insureds to registered motor vehicle glass repair shops” is expected to go into effect later this summer.

Approximately 20 people recently attended a hearing that was held on this proposed regulation in late June.

“We were gratified by the amount of interest and thoughtful commentary we received on these proposed regulations,” said Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance Joseph G. Murphy. “The division will be taking all of the suggestions into consideration as we finalize the regulations over the next few months.”

The comment period closed on July 12, according to Jayda Leder-Luis, a spokesperson for the MDOI.

“The Division of Insurance received several pieces [of submitted feedback] concerning the hearing,” she says. “The regulation is currently in development and still being reviewed by our Division of Insurance. The final regulation will be published with the Secretary of State and become a part of our code later this summer.”

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.”

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