Anti-Steering Bill Referred to Small Business, Insurance & Industrial
A Missouri State Senate bill 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 vehicles
has been referred to the Senate's Small Business, Insurance and
Industrial Relations Committee.
The bill, which was pre-filed in December by Sen. Wes Shoemyer,
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.
Collision industry advocate Bob Smith is the lobbyist behind this
legislation, and similar legislation introduced in Kansas earlier
this month. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
HERE for full text of bill.
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