Two Auto Glass-Related Bills Introduced in New York Legislature
January 31, 2011

At least two New York legislators have introduced bills that could affect the auto glass industry if passed. One of these involves consumer choice in an auto glass claim, while the other addresses the definition of a "service contract" in the state's insurance code.
New York state Sen. John Bonacic introduced S. 2144, which would "prohibit an insurer from recommending a particular repair facility for replacement of auto glass unless expressly requested by the insured person to do so." ()

Currently, the existing law allows insurers to recommend that an insured use a particular glass shop, but prohibits them from making a similar recommendation for a general automotive repair job (unless the insured expressly requests a recommendation), according to the accompanying memo filed with the bill, S2144. If passed, the bill would amend Section 2610(b) of the state's insurance law by striking the current auto glass exemption.

"Insurance companies are attempting to steer their own insured to particular auto glass repair facilities, some of which have corporate relationships with the insurer," reads the memo from Bonacic's office filed with bill. "There is no reason that the repair of auto glass, an essential safety component of a vehicle, should be treated differently than the repair of other safety mechanisms such as brakes. Consumer choice and safety should be the premier concerns when it comes to auto glass installation."

The bill has been referred to the Senate's insurance committee.

In addition, New York state Assemblyperson Joseph Morelle has introduced a bill that would expand the definition of a "service contract" in the state's insurance law to include "contracts made by a supplier or seller of a service for repair of cracks or chips in a motor vehicle windshield and for repair or removal of dents, dings or creases from a motor vehicle without affecting the existing paint finish."
A. 3782 has been referred to the Assembly's committee on corporations, authorities and commissions.

At press time, officials from neither Bonacic's nor Morelle's office had responded to requests for comment.

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