Bill Encourages Consumer Choice; Excludes Glass from Provisions
Rep. H. Mac Gipson (R-Ala.) has introduced a bill in Alabama's
state legislature that would prohibit an insurer from requiring
that repairs be performed by a specific repair shop and would provide
penalties for violations of this law. However, the bill, HB 63,
excludes automotive glass work (that doesn't involve other damage
to the vehicle) from the law.
The wording of the bill reads as follows:
"Under existing law, an insurance company that provides insurance
coverage for a motor vehicle is not expressly prohibited from directing
an insured to a particular body shop for damage repair. This bill
would expressly prohibit an insurer from requiring as a condition
of payment of a claim that repairs be performed by a specific repair
shop and would provide penalties for violations."
The bill continues as follows, with relation to glass specifically:
"In processing a claim for damage or loss to a motor vehicle other
than a claim solely involving window glass, unless expressly requested
by the insured, an insurer shall not recommend or suggest that repair
be made by a particular contractor or motor vehicle repair shop."
If passed, the bill would mandate that insurers who violate this
act will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and will be subject
to "a private right of action the same as for any violation of the
Deceptive Trade Practices Act."
The bill was introduced on Tuesday, February 5, and was referred
to the Banking and Insurance Committee. Rep. Gipson was not available
for comment this afternoon.
HERE for the full text of the bill.
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