Arizona Representative, along with Arizona Glass Association and State Farm Representatives, Speak Out at Hearing About Arizona Fraud Bill

April 14, 2010

Arizona Rep. Nancy McLain, who introduced a bill addressing auto glass businesses and insurance fraud, spoke at a hearing last week about the bill, along with representatives from both the Arizona Glass Association and State Farm Insurance. McLain gave some insight as to how the bill came about in her testimony, offered during a Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee hearing, and a State Farm representative advised the company was involved in the introduction of the bill as well.

"This is an attempt to try to get rid of some outright fraud that's going on in the windshield repair business," said McLain. "I'm sure many of you have been approached at a car wash or Jiffy Lube or something like that."

Don Isaacson, a lobbyist representing State Farm, advised the committee that the company has seen "10,000 fraudulent glass claims" in recent years.

"I'd just like to thank Rep. McLain for introducing the bill and setting through hours of negotiation between the insurers and the glass group to work this out to a point where the glass association actually supports the bill now," said Isaacson. " … Certainly not all glass companies are fraudulent, but to give you an idea of the magnitude of what has gone on out there, State Farm itself has had 10,000 fraudulent glass claims in recent years and has worked with the Pima County attorney's office, the Mara County attorney's office, and the attorney general's office, too, to bring this legislation to you.

He added, "State Farm believes that [this legislation] should in fact help curb and deter further fraud because of the specific prohibitions in here and it will also make it easier to prosecute these violations as well."

Arizona Glass Association lobbyist Barry Aarons also spoke in favor of the bill, pointing out that Rep. McLain had held four stakeholder meetings to go over the bill "line by line."

"There were a couple of very important points that we appreciate working with the insurance industry on," said Aarons. "You may never hear me say that in public again, but we were very pleased that they understood that there were several things in here that needed to have the burden of proof risen a little bit so as not to put some of our employees into jeopardy who may not be in fact committing anything wrong, but just may not have been aware of certain ways of saying certain things that would have gotten them into trouble."

The bill passed the committee, went to Caucus yesterday and soon will be reviewed by the entire state Senate. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

CLICK HERE for full text of bill.

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