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Auto Glass Bill Amending 2007 Anti-Steering Law Passes Washington State House

Washington House Bill 3053, which would prohibit an insurer or third-party administrator (TPA) from recommending an auto glass repair or replacement shop for a claim that only involves glass if the claimant indicates that he has chosen a facility, has passed the state's house and now is under review by the Senate.

In addition, if the claimant hasn't chosen a shop, under the language of the bill the insurer or TPA would be required to provide at least two alternative facilities "that are comparable and in reasonable proximity."

If the insured has already chosen a shop and advises the insurer or TPA of this, under the text of HB 3053 the insured and TPA would not be allowed to make any recommendations of shops. If an insured advises he has not chosen a shop, the insurer or TPA might recommend a shop, but would be compelled to disclose any interest in the shop recommended and provide a list of other glass shops in the area if the insurer or TPA owns an interest in a facility that is being recommended.

This bill comes on the heels of SSB 5052, which was passed last year in Washington (CLICK HERE for related story).

That law would be amended by this bill, adding the above language. Likewise, the amendments would make it so that the law applies to all insurers and third-party administrators-not just those that have interests in particular glass shops. The 2007 law requires that a third-party administrator (TPA) inform customers that they have the right to choose a retail glass shop. It also mandates that call center representatives tell customers that the TPA is a separate entity from their insurer with an arrangement to process automobile glass claims on the insurance company's behalf. In addition, it requires that insurers or TPAs that own a glass retailer to inform the consumer of that relationship through a written notice posted at the facility.

If passed, HB 3053 will take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the session. The latest bill was introduced by Rep. Steve Kirby, Rep. Jay Rodne, Rep. Geoff Simpson, Rep. Dan Roach, Rep. Troy Kelley, Rep. Pat Sullivan, Rep. Steve Conway and Rep. Timm Ormsby.

The bill was first read in the Senate on February 5.

CLICK HERE for the full text of the bill.

CLICK HERE to track the bill's progress.

CLICK HERE to read a bulletin from the Independent Glass Association about this legislation.


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