Arizona Auto Glass Fraud Bill Passes State Senate 28-0

April 20, 2010

An Arizona House bill addressing auto glass businesses and insurance fraud passed the state's Senate yesterday with a unanimous vote of 28-0. The legislation adds a section to the state's laws addressing auto glass shops and details a number of items that are "unlawful" for those "who sell or repair auto glass."

It had previously passed the state's House, where it originated, but one small technical amendment was made in the Senate (changing the word "advising" to "advise"), so it now returns to the House for Rep. McLain's acceptance of the amendment and a final vote.

The Senate calendar defines the bill's purpose as follows: "Outlines unlawful practices for a person who sells or repairs auto glass and institutes a penalty of a class 6 felony for persons who violate the auto glass laws with the intent to injure, defraud or deceive an insurer."

The legislation identifies the following items as illegal:

  • To submit a false claim to an insurer for auto glass repair or replacement or for related services if the services were not provided, if the work appears on the invoice as being completed in an incorrect geographical area, resulting in a higher payment, if the work wasn't authorized by the owner or lessee of the vehicle, or if the invoice was mislabeled with such a date that insurance coverage might not have applied;
  • To advise a policyholder to "falsify the date of damage to the auto glass that results in a change of insurance coverage for repair or replacement of the glass;"
  • To misrepresent the price of the repairs or replacement being billed to an insurer, or that the insurer has approved the repairs "unless the auto glass repair or replacement facility has verified coverage or obtained authorization directly from the insurance company or any other third party administrator contracted with the insurance company and the evidence has been confirmed by fax, e-mail or other written and recorded communication;"
  • To advise a customer that the work will be paid entirely by his/her insurer "unless the insurance coverage has been verified by a person who is employed by or is a producer contracted with the policyholder's insurer or is a third party administrator contracted with the insurer;"
  • To add to the damage of the auto glass prior to the work being done, or to encourage a customer to do the same "to increase the scope of repair or replacement;" and
  • To perform work "clearly and substantially beyond the level of work necessary to repair or replace the auto glass to put the vehicle back into a safe pre-damaged condition in accordance with accepted or approved reasonable and customery glass repair or replacement techniques."

In addition, the legislation includes a section making it illegal for an auto glass business representative to "misrepresent the relationship of the glass repair facility to the policyholder's insurer."

The bill originally was introduced by Arizona Rep. Nancy McLain, who advised at a recent hearing that she introduced the bill "to try to get rid of some outright fraud that's going on in the windshield repair business." (CLICK HERE for related story.)

Representatives of the Arizona Glass Association, including Rex Altree of New Image Auto Glass and Kerry Soat of FasBreak, both of which are based in Arizona, worked closely with legislators to reach an agreed-upon wording in the bill. (CLICK HERE for related story.)

CLICK HERE for full text of entire bill as passed by the Arizona Senate.

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