It appears Arizona House Bill 2500, “Unlawful Practices: Auto Glass Repair” could be heading to the House of Representatives for a vote as early as next month. The bill is designed to amend the insurance statute to regulate the marketing of automobile glass.
A stakeholders meeting to discuss the statute was held earlier this month. For a look at what the bill entails, click here.
Rex Altree, president of the Arizona Auto Glass Association, was a part of the meeting held on February 15. He says three shops present opposed the bill, while three others were in favor of the bill.
“I got my comments in and they only gave us about an hour,” says Altree. “It should have been a two-hour meeting.
“Arizona House Representative David Livingston, who sponsored the bill, said there would be some changes to it, but didn’t indicate what they would be. We’re all trying to understand what the ramifications of this bill will be,” he adds.
Kerry Soat, owner of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz., was not a part of the meeting. He wanted to be but says he was not on the attendee list.
“I originally tried to get the bill killed in the beginning and then they went ahead and did the bill anyway,” Soat says. “It was written by insurance companies and Safelite. It’s an absolute disaster. I rewrote the bill and we submitted those changes.”
The biggest concern by Altree and Soat appear to be the consequences for a violation of the statute.
A person who violates section 20-463 or 20-463.01 with the intent to injure, defraud or deceive an insurer is guilty of a class 6 felony.
In addition to being charged with a felony, there are potential civil monetary penalties associated with violation of these statutes.
The bill would make it unlawful to waive or offer to waive the insured’s deductible or offer a rebate, gift, gift card, cash or coupon or anything of value to any person.
“Please understand that the zero dollar deductible glass coverage is an option for someone to purchase not an automatic add by the insurance company,” Soat says. “I pay extra premium for the glass coverage. Folks who have not purchased this extra coverage have deductibles for glass claims in Arizona.”
“Rep. Livingston said there would be another meeting on March 7, but that March 8 is when all changes need to be done. After the 8th, the bill goes to the House floor. It’s frustrating that our government is involved in how we can market. How we market should not be a class 6 felony,” Altree says.
The Arizona Insurance Committee already passed the bill in early February.
Rep. Livingston did not respond to a request for comment.
Safelite also did not respond to a request for comment.
For the latest on this topic stay tuned to glassBYTEs.com™.