NCOIL to Review Model Steering Act, Including Proposed Changes by Belron US
November 19, 2010

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) currently is holding its annual meeting in Austin, Texas, and the group’s property-casualty insurance committee will review several proposed amendments to a previous draft of a model steering act NCOIL is working to develop during a meeting this weekend. Among the comments being reviewed are several from Belron US, submitted earlier this year, prior to NCOIL’s July meeting, during which the national group decided to shelve the issue temporarily and take it back up at this week’s meeting.

One of the major debates surrounding the model act, currently known as the “Model Act Regarding Insurer Auto-Body Steering,” is its name.  Several insurer groups have recommended that it be re-named the “Model Act Regarding Auto Repair Consumer Bill of Rights,” while Belron US has proposed that it be called the “Model Act Regarding Consumer Choice in Auto-Body Repair.”

Along those same lines, Belron US has suggested that language regarding incentives be added to the model act, and that the act “prohibit the offering and acceptance of incentives in exchange for the referral of a particular insured to a repair facility.”

While many have suggested new definitions for the term “preferred repair facility,” as part of its aim to have the bill focus more on incentives, Belron US has suggested that the word be completely removed both from the document and the definitions section of the act.

In addition, the company has requested that a provision that would require insurers or third-party representatives with a financial interest in a repair facility disclose that interest to claimants be deleted.

The NCOIL group currently is scheduled to review the amendment on Saturday, November 20.

Several other groups have submitted comments on the topic as well, including the Automotive Service Association, Rep. Barb Byrum (Mich.), the California Autobody Association, the Pennsylvania Collision Trade Guild, and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists. In addition, the American Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America also joined together to submit comments on the act.

A full list of proposed revisions is available here.

The model steering act was originally sponsored by Sen. Ruth Teichman (Kan.).

NCOIL is made up of state legislators from across the country who 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.

Stay tuned to™ for more information as it becomes available.

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