Minnesota Department of Commerce Enters Settlement with Auto-Owners Insurance

Fotolia_295516_LAuto-Owners Insurance Company will pay a civil penalty of $10,000 and stop “using a non-preferred glass vendor’s failure to accept the price offered for automobile glass repair or replacement as the sole basis for performing a vehicle inspection,” as part of a settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The Michigan-based insurer also has agreed to stop engaging Auto Glass Inspection Services (AGIS) to perform services in the state until the company is registered to do business in Minnesota.

The insurer has also compiled a pricing survey to ensure the company’s payments for glass claims are based on fair prices that are reasonable within the local industry, according to the settlement agreement. The survey will be updated annually.

The company has also agreed as a part of the settlement to stop advising insureds they may or will be balance billed by non-preferred vendors unless there is information to support the claim.

Auto-Owners Insurance will make a reasonable effort ensure a company that is newly engaged to perform claims services on its behalf is registered in Minnesota, according to the settlement.

Robert Zambiasi, assistant vice president of claims for Auto-Owners Insurance, signed the settlement.

The insurer had not yet responded to a request for comment at press time.

To read a copy of the settlement agreement, click here.

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