The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is urging the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to pass Senate Bill 396, which would require insurers to inspect a damaged windshield prior to it being repaired or replaced—an effort, the association says, to stop assignment of benefit (AOB) abuse by auto glass shops.
“Many people do not realize that the abuses associated with the assignment of insurance benefits also impacts motorists,” said Logan McFaddin, PCI regional manager, in the association’s press release. “The number of auto glass repair shops trying to convince unsuspecting consumers to sign over their insurance benefits has grown exponentially over the past decade. Floridians deserve to have insurance benefits they can rely on without the stress of being preyed on by those looking to profit off their misfortune.”
In July, PCI sent out a press release warning Floridian consumers to not fall victim to rampant auto glass repair schemes that take place in the summer months. According to PCI, auto glass shops within the state utilize the extra travel to abuse AOBs.
The release stated that in 2006, an estimated 400 auto glass AOB lawsuits were filed against auto insurers. A decade later, the number of lawsuits rose to almost 20,000, according to states from the Florida Department of Financial Services.
“PCI is encouraging the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to stop this abusive practice, and ease the escalating rates on Florida insurance policyholders,” said McFaddin.
SB 396, which was filed by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, is currently with the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee and the Senate Rules Committee. HB 811, the pre-filed bill authored by Rep. Rene Plascencia, is identical in language.