Legislature to Consider Anti-Steering Bill
Sen. Wes Shoemyer has pre-filed a bill in Missouri that would
require insurers to inform vehicle owners immediately on first contact
that they have the right to choose the repair facility of their
choice to repair their vehicles. Senate Bill 775, which was pre-filed
on December 1 and will be considered during the 2008 session, also
would mandate that insurers "halt any efforts to re-direct, refer
or otherwise influence the vehicle owner in the choice of repair
facility or program other than the repair facility chosen by the
vehicle owner once the vehicle owner has stated they have chosen
a repair facility."
The bill also deals with payment for insurance claims and would
require that all claims paid by an insurer for motor vehicle damages
shall be paid to the claimant by check, electronic transfer of funds
or other means that provides the claimant or repair facility immediate
access to the funds. It also notes that labor rates for motor vehicle
damage repairs that are paid by insurers to claimants would be based
on the "usual and customary repair rates."
If passed, the bill will take effect on August 28, 2008.
Sen. Shoemyer introduced a similar bill in 2007, S.B. 709, which
was referred to the small business, insurance and industrial relations
committee on March 8, 2007, but was not signed into law.
The Missouri Senate will convene the 2nd Regular Session of the
94th General Assembly at noon on Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
HERE for more information on S.B. 775.
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