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Hearing Held to Review Connecticut Anti-Steering Bill

The Connecticut General Assembly's Joint Transportation Committee held a public hearing to discuss Senate Bill (SB) 288 on Tuesday, February 25. SB 288 designed "to clarify and extend the present 'anti-steering' law that prohibits insurers from requiring an insured to choose a certain motor vehicle repairer as a condition of paying for repairs, and to require insurers to pay the usual and customary hourly rate that the general public in the same geographic area of the state commonly pays for such repairs."

While the transcript of the hearing has not yet been made available, a Transportation Committee representative advised that the next step is for the committee to decide whether the bill should make it past the current level.

"It still needs to be discussed in committee," he said. "Whether it makes it out of committee remains to be seen. If it makes it out, it will be have to be reviewed by the entire assembly."

If passed, the bill would amend the current law, adding the following underlined words to its text, and deleting the brackets below:

(b) No insurance company doing business in this state, or agent or adjuster for such company shall recommend, request or require any insured to use a specific person for the provision of automobile physical damage repairs, automobile glass replacement, glass repair service or glass products. [unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the insured.]

While the transcript of this week's hearing is not yet available, the American Insurance Association has issued a written statement regarding its members feelings about the bill. "The bill's prohibition 'on recommending or requesting' consideration of alternative facilities not only harms the consumer as it precludes knowledge of options, alternatives and choices, but may also violate the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution," the association writes.

Across the United States, Washington State's Senate Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance was holding a similar hearing to discuss its own House Bill (H.B.) 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. Rep. Steve Kirby, who introduced the Washington bill, was not available for comment today on the hearing.

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs.comô for the latest on both of these pieces of legislation.

CLICK HERE for the full text of Connecticut S.B. 288.

CLICK HERE for the full text of Washington H.B. 3053.

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