Industry Supplier Speaks Out Against Arizona Insurance Fraud Legislation
January 19, 2010

The owner of an Arizona auto glass business is speaking out against the recently introduced state legislation targeting auto glass shops. Kerry Soat, owner of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz., believes the new bill, H.B. 2463, was “written by an insurance company for the sole benefit of the insurance companies.” The bill identifies several types of insurance fraud and addresses auto glass businesses specifically. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

“It also is a total waste of the Arizona taxpayers’ time and money to even consider what is proposed in this bill,” says Soat, who also serves as vice president of the Arizona Auto Glass Association “It was my assumption that the legislature was more concerned about our budget deficit this year than unfairly singling out an industry to please the insurance companies. “

Soat also suggests that the legislation might be better suited to serve all related industries—not just auto glass.

“If we are going to pass a law that applies to the collision and comprehensive sections of an insurance policy, it should apply to ‘all industries’ that use it, like the auto body shops, auto repair shops, tow companies, auto rental agencies, dent removal companies, head light restoration companies, and any other companies that provide work to the insurance companies under an auto policy,” he says.

Finally, Soat questions the origins of the proposed legislation.

“Who in the world ever came up [with] or wrote this?” he asks. “Since when does an insurance company ‘need to’ or have the ‘right to’ take over the legal rights from an insured to enforce a law without the permission of the insured? Doesn’t the insurance company only have the legal obligation to pay the invoice for work performed under an insured loss by an insured according to the insurance contract? Since when do the insurance companies become the caped crusader to protect their insured’s from the evil force of auto glass companies?”

He adds, “Auto glass companies are small business people sometimes one man operations working out of their homes trying to build their dream of building a larger business and hire employees. What does this country need now—more employees? How counterproductive is this law?”

Soat also questions whether consumer complaints led to the introduction of the bill.

“How many articles to the editor have we seen regarding these mass fraudulent actions by the auto glass companies? “ he asks. “The only complaints I get from clients are [about] ‘over-aggressive’ sales tactics at car washes.”

He adds, “I think if you tally complaints, you will find more complaints at the Arizona Department of Insurance regarding the payment of claims and the handling of the claims by insurance companies than the fraudulent actions of a few auto glass companies.”

CLICK HERE to read the full text of Soat's statement.

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