A bill has been introduced in the New York State Senate that would amend the state insurance law to prohibit insurance companies from recommending or suggesting repairs be made by a specific place, shop or particular concern unless requested by the insured.
The bill also adds language that regulations relating to the replacement of auto glass shall contain standards at least as stringent as those developed by the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard Council (AGRSS).
The bill has been referred to the insurance committee.
Here is the text of the bill, with the amended language and the new subsection:
Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 2610 of the insurance law is amended and
a new subsection (c) is added to read as follows:
The effort behind the bill was started by Scott Owens, owner of Excel Auto Glass in Lake Katrina, N.Y. and his secretary, Cristy Vroman, after the 1999 NAGS revaluation. Owens started looking at the insurance codes in the state for claims settlement and found inconsistencies in the way they were handled.
The biggest problem, he discovered, was that the law gave an exemption for auto glass and allowed insurance companies to make recommendations. Owens explained that this allowed him to approach the legislation effort from the viewpoint that repair shops which also did glass work were being discriminated against because the glass was treated differently than all the other repairs.
The two then spent a year gathering information and putting together binders with examples of laws and the way they are not protecting consumers. These binders have been sent to the members of the insurance committee in the legislature, and Owens is having other people across the state he knows get in touch with legislators.
"The idea is to raise the awareness across the state and at all levels and have a high profile so that we can move this forward," he explained. Owens said he hopes the legislation will be passed during this session.
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