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Missouri 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.

CLICK HERE for more information on S.B. 775.

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