Connecticut officials have responded in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the state’s anti-steering law, claiming, “Safelite Solutions has been extraordinarily effective at steering consumers to Safelite AutoGlass.” Safelite appealed a lower court’s decision to the Appellate Court, seeking to halt enforcement of Connecticut’s anti-steering law—PA 13-67.
“The District Court found that ‘[a]lthough there are over 70 non-affiliated repair shops in Connecticut that are part of Safelite’s network, from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, insureds selected Safelite AutoGlass for their repairs approximately 55 percent of the time,” Connecticut’s attorneys claim. “[W]hen Safelite is not required to provide the names of any non-affiliated glass repair shops, Safelite steers consumers to affiliated shops a majority of the time.”
“Against this backdrop, Connecticut determined that existing statutes did not adequately advance its interest in protecting consumer choice in auto glass insurance repair work,” they continued.
Summarizing their argument, state attorneys claims, “Connecticut has a statutory policy of protecting consumer choice in automotive insurance repair work. The Connecticut legislature enacted Public Act 13-67(c) (2) because it determined that existing statutes did not adequately prevent insurance claims administrators from undermining consumer choice by steering consumers to affiliated auto glass repair shops.”
“Applying Zauderer, the District Court properly concluded that Public Act 13-67(c) (2) is constitutional because the requirement to provide the name of a non-affiliated glass repair shop is reasonably related to Connecticut’s interests in protecting consumer choice, preventing steering, and mitigating the impact of self-interested insurance claims administrators—like Safelite—that exercise undue influence and stifle consumer choice,” Connecticut’s attorneys claim.
Connecticut’s attorneys ask the Appellate Court to “affirm the District Court’s denial of Safelite’s motion for preliminary injunction.”
Safelite’s attorneys take particular issue with a small portion of the act—PA-13-67(c)(2).
“It prohibits an insurance claims administrator (TPA) from informing policyholders about an affiliated glass repair business unless the administrator simultaneously refers policyholders to a local competitor’s glass repair business,” Safelite attorneys explain.
The court has not issued any new decisions at press time.
Public court records are available.
To view Connecticut officials’ brief, click here.
To view Connecticut officials’ supplemental material, click here.
To view a copy of Safelite’s Second Circuit Court brief, click here.