Group of State Legislators Draft Model Anti-Steering Legislation, Aftermarket Parts Regulation; Will Review During Upcoming Meeting
June 7, 2010

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) has developed drafts of a proposed model act for anti-steering efforts and one for the regulation of aftermarket crash parts and repairs, both of which it will review at its upcoming conference in Boston.

The model anti-steering act is designed to “provide for consumer choice in selection of an auto repair facility, and promote accountability,” according to the draft, and would require that “no insurer providing collision or comprehensive coverage … shall require that repairs by made to such vehicle in a particular place by a particular concern.”

It continues, “In processing any such claim, the insurer shall not, unless expressly requested by the insured, recommend or suggest repairs be made to such vehicle in a particular place or shop or by a particular concern.”

The anti-steering language originally was part of a model law addressing crash parts and repair, but the group voted during its Spring 2010 meeting to create a separate model law on this subject. NCOIL based the anti-steering language on the similarly worded New York State insurance law, section 2610.

In addition, a substitute version of the model law has been proposed as well, and will be reviewed alongside the original at the upcoming meeting, according to NCOIL spokesperson Candace Thorson. The proposed revision, if passed, would add several clauses, including language prohibiting insurers from "engag[ing] in any act of coercion or intimidation causing or intended to cause an insured or claimant to utilize a preferred repair facility."

Auto glass currently is excluded from the definition of a repair facility, but Thorson says a proposal is expected to be made in the coming weeks by Rep. Barb Byrum (D - Mich.).

NCOIL also has developed a model law addressing aftermarket parts and repairs, the model measure addresses “crash parts” specifically and excludes windows from this designation. Rather, a crash part is defined as “any replacement part made of sheet metal, plastic fiberglass or a similar material that generally constitutes the exterior of a motor vehicle.”

Both measures, currently in draft form, will be reviewed by the NCOIL property-casualty insurance committee during the group’s upcoming July conference in Boston. Once finalized, the model language would be available for templates for state bills that legislators can introduce in their respective states.

NCOIL is made up of state legislators from across the country that are involved in their own states’ legislation insurance committees, and one of its goals is to create model laws that can be introduced as bills throughout the nation, in an effort to prevent further federal regulation of insurance, according to the group’s website. The group is funded by its member state legislatures, which pay dues of $10,000 per year.

“The purpose of NCOIL is to help legislators make informed decisions on insurance issues that affect their constituents and to declare opposition to federal encroachment of state authority to oversee the business of insurance, as authorized under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945,” reads further information from NCOIL.

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