Soat Speaks at Arizona Insurance Committee
Meeting in Opposition to Bill Targeting Auto Glass Shops
February 2, 2010
Fas-Break chief executive officer Kerry Soat addressed an Arizona
bill targeting auto glass shops during a meeting of the states
House of Representatives Banking and Insurance Committee held yesterday.
The bill, H.B. 2463, identifies several types of insurance fraud
and addresses auto glass businesses specifically. (CLICK
HERE for related story.)
Soat, who also serves as vice president of the Arizona Glass Association
(AGA), pointed out to the committee that much of what is detailed
in the bill is already on the law books in the stateand pushed
for enforcement of those laws rather than the passing of a new one.
When you take this bill at face value, as I have just demonstrated,
the answer is not by writing more laws, but by enforcement of the
ones we already have, he said. Its possible the
real issue here is effective enforcement and for the public to be
made more aware of their current rights against fraudulent practices
by any industry, not just the auto glass industry.
Soat also spoke out against the idea that insurers might be the
ones policing the new legislation, if passed.
Allowing an insurance company to engage in any type of enforcing
the laws of Arizona, you are opening up a precedent they will take
to further reaches than just the auto glass industry, he said.
Any company that operates in any fashion that
doesnt fit with their view of handling claims will be locked
up and jailed according to this bill.
The bill would make violations of any of its provisions a felony,
a stipulation against which Soat also spoke.
A felony is a very serious charge, not to mention being found
guilty of one, said Soat. It means you no longer have
the right to vote, you no longer have the right to hunt in the state
of Arizona, you no longer have the right to carry or own a gun,
and it is becoming increasingly impossible to find a place to live
or to get a job.
Soat says that though the legislators listened to what he had to
say, hes not sure how much will change as the bill moves forward.
We scored some points with the legislators, but the bills
still moved forward with the insurance company reps [being] told
to get with us to make amendments correcting these issues we brought
up, he says. The committee was upset about the failure
by the insurance companies to consult with our organization when
preparing this bill.
If passed, the provisions set forth in Arizonas House Bill
2463 would define several unlawful practices when dealing with auto
glass claimsfor example, submitting claims in instances where
the work wasnt provided; submitting claims with references
to geographic areas in which the work was not completed; submitting
claims in which the owner of the vehicle didnt authorize the
work; and showing work performed on a date other than when it was
The bill also would prohibit auto glass businesses from signing
a work order or claim form falsely on behalf of a policyholder.
H.B. 2463 also includes several provisions about misrepresentations.
It prohibits auto glass businesses and associates from misrepresenting
their relationship to a policyholders insurer; the cost of
the proposed repairs; and whether the insurer has improved the repairs
The proposal also would make it illegal for auto glass businesses
to represent to a policyholder or other person that the repair
or replacement will be paid for entirely by the policyholders
insurer and at no cost to the policyholder unless the person making
the statement is employed by or is a producer contracted with the
The bill specifies that it is illegal to add to the damage
of auto glass before repair in order to increase the scope of repair
or replacement or encourage a policyholder or other person to add
to the damage of auto glass before repair.
Finally, H.B. 2463 also outlaws performing working substantially
beyond the level of work necessary to repair or replace the auto
The Arizona Glass Association (AGA) also has issued a formal response
speaking out against the bill.
This proposed legislation attempts to criminalize market
practices in insurance claims by singling out the auto glass industry
for practices that are, in almost all instances, already prohibited,
writes the AGA. In addition, it attempts to create a felony
offense and shift the presumption of innocence, a constitutional
right, against local auto glass shops. The proposed legislation
is vague, duplicative of other areas of the statutes, and addresses
that auto glass market in the insurance statutes unfair claims sections,
whose purpose is to regulate trade practices in the business of
insurance, not the auto glass industry. (CLICK
HERE for full text of AGAs statement.)
In addition to Soat, Iowa Glass Industries' Cindy Ketcherside and
AGA president Rex Altree of New Image Auto Glass also spoke about
a different bill, H.B. 2464, which would change the wording in the
state's laws with reference to auto glass deductibles. (CLICK
HERE for full text of that bill.)
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