Auto Glass-Related Legislation Hits Standstill in New York as Session Comes to Close
June 28, 2011

The New York legislative session concluded last week with no action taken on two auto glass-related bills that were filed in January as the session got underway. One of these would have prohibited insurers from recommending auto glass shops unless requested, while the other would have adapted the definition of a "service contract" in the state's insurance code so that it would have included auto glass.

Both bills were under the review of the state's insurance committee, but neither ever made it to a vote.

New York state Sen. John Bonacic had introduced the anti-steering bill, S. 2144, on January 18. The bill would have "prohibit[ed] an insurer from recommending a particular repair facility for replacement of auto glass unless expressly requested by the insured person to do so." The state's 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.

"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," wrote Bonacic in his January 2011 memo filed with the bill. "Consumer choice and safety should be the premier concerns when it comes to auto glass installation."

New York state Assemblyperson Joseph Morelle has introduced the bill related to service contracts, A. 3782, which would have adapted the state's insurance code's definition of a service contract 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."

Officials from neither Bonacic's nor Morelle's office had responded to requests for comment at press time.

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