Rhode Island Shops React to Veto of Insurance Bills
Rhode Island Gov. Donald L. Carcieri vetoed two bills last week that would have had effects on the auto glass industry: House Bill 5547 (HB 5547), which would prevented insurance companies from interfering with the consumer's choice of repair company, and House Bill 5549 (HB 5549), which would have prevented insurance companies from "refusing to compensate an auto body shop for documented charges as identified through industry-recognized software programs."
In the wake of the veto, auto glass shops interviewed by glassBYTES.comô/AGRR magazine in Rhode Island say they are disappointed by the veto, but especially by that of HB 5547.
Bob Threshier of Centredale Glass Co. in North Providence, R.I., says he encounters issues with insurers referring his customers to other shops weekly.
When asked how often this is a problem, Threshier replies, "All the time."
Another auto glass shop representative in Pawtucket, R.I., who not to be identified for fear of retribution from insurers, agreed. "There are some insurance companies that try to talk our customers into going elsewhere," she said.
However, she adds that the discussion with customers is usually only the issue. "Most of our customers are pretty adamant that they want us," she added.
Both Threshier and the Pawtucket representative agreed, though, that HB 5549 would have had minimal effects on their businesses, had it been passed.
"I couldn't comment on [HB 5549]," Threshier says. "That doesn't really affect me too much."
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