South Carolina Bill Passes Out of Senate Amended
June 1, 2012

by Katie O'Mara,

An amended and greatly diluted South Carolina bill, that that was designed to prohibit steering, passed successfully out of the Senate. The original bill would have prohibited third-party administrators (TPAs) that also have retail divisions, or that have 10 percent ownership or more in an auto glass business, from referring policyholders' glass claims to themselves or from using information obtained through its work as a TPA to solicit business.

The amended bill no longer prohibits TPAs with 10 percent ownership or more in an auto glass business from referring claims to themselves or using information obtained to solicit business.

The new bill also no longer requires TPAs to have an open and unrestricted provider list.

“When an insured has suffered damage to the glass of a motor vehicle (‘vehicle glass’), both the insurer providing glass coverage and the third party administrator that administers glass coverage for that insurer must not require that repairs be made to the insured’s vehicle by a particular provider of glass repair work,” reads the latest amended version of the bill.

Included within the new language are requirements for TPAs to ask insured whether they have a provider of choice. The bill will also limit what TPAs can say about the provider of choice’s warranty.

“The insurer or third party administrator ... must not make statements regarding the warranty offered by the provider of choice. If an insured asks the insurer or third party administrator questions regarding a provider’s warranty, the insurer or third party administrator must refer the insured to the provider for clarification,” reads the bill.

The bill also prohibits a vehicle glass repair or replacement facility from threatening, coercing, intimidating or engaging in unfair or deceptive practices in an attempt to convince the insured to file a claim for vehicle glass repair or replacement.

The amended bill passed today out of the Senate and will return to the House for a vote.

If passed in the House, the act would take effect upon approval by the state’s governor, Nikki Haley.

The bill originally was introduced in the South Carolina House by Reps. James Harrison, Joan Brady, Lewis Pinson, Elizabeth Munnerlyn, Thad Viers, Jenny Horne and Nelson Hardwick.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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