Washington Anti-Steering Legislation One Step Away From
The Washington Independent Glass Association anti-steering legislation
only has to clear one more hurdle to become law after the state's House
of Representatives passed it by a vote of 95-0 last Wednesday and Lt.
Gov. Brad Owen signed it on Friday.
Tom Grim, general manager of All-Star Auto Glass in Seattle and one of
the key supporters of the legislation, expects Gov. Chris Gregoire to
sign the bill into law later this week. "The only thing that could
slow it down is if someone gets to the governor before she signs the bill,"
The final bill requires that a third-party administrator (TPA) inform
customers that they have the right to choose a retail glass shop. It also
mandates that call center representatives tell customers that the TPA
is a separate entity from their insurer. Any glass retailer owned by an
insurer or TPA will also have to inform the consumer of that relationship
through a written notice posted at the facility if the bill is passed.
While the bill's language will give the customer insight into the TPA-insurer
relationship, it doesn't pack the same punch as the association's original
bill. That legislation wouldn't have allowed companies to serve as both
a TPA and auto glass retailer. Grim says the insurance lobby lobbied hard
against the original version of the bill.