Anti-Steering Bill Pre-Filed in South Carolina
December 17, 2010
A South Carolina representative has pre-filed a bill
that is designed “to prohibit an insurer, agent, employee
or representative from recommending to an insured or a claimant
to use a specific shop for repair.” If passed, H.B. 3232 also
would prohibit an insurer from owning or having an interest in an
auto body repair facility.
The bill would amend the state’s insurance code by adding
an article with the following language addressing steering (or what
some refer to as “deceptive referrals”).
“An insurer, agent, employee, or a representative may not
recommend, steer, request, or require an insured or a claimant to
use a specific shop for repairs,” reads the bill’s language.
“This restriction forbids an act to influence an insured's
or a claimant's decision, including reducing the deductable or offering
additional warranties or suggesting that choosing a nondirect repair
shop will result in delays, a lack of guaranty, or additional costs
to the insured or claimant.”
The bill also addresses pricing, and would prevent insurers from
“recommend[ing], apply[ing] or includ[ing] an arbitrary limit,
a cap, or a threshold when adjusting labor, parts or other material,
including, but not limited to, paint, body materials and supplies
on a written automobile repair estimate.”
Finally, the bill also would prohibit “an insurer [from] own[ing]
or hav[ing] interest in an auto body repair facility.”
"We're just trying to keep the insurance companies honest,"
says bill sponsor Rep. Bill Herbkersman. "This legislation
is a hybrid of other states' legislation that protects the consumers."
And while the bill may have been created for consumer protection,
Herbkersman says it would be beneficial for the industry, too.
"It may well be good for the glass industry as well,"
he says. "Quality shops should be able to provide quality service
and be compensated for it fairly."
The bill, pre-filed by Rep. Bill Herbkersman on December 14, was
referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
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