SB 868 - This act makes it an unfair practice for an insurance company not to follow all components of a repair manual when appraising a damaged vehicle. Specifically, it is an unfair trade practice for an automobile insurance company to:
1) Modify any published manual or any automated appraisal system relating to auto body repair without prior agreement between the parties;
2) Fail to use a manual or automatic appraisal system in its entirety in the appraisal of a motor vehicle; or
(3) Refuse to compensate an auto body shop for documented charges as identified through industry recognized software programs or systems for paint and refinishing materials in auto body repair claims.
The provisions of this act shall not apply if the insurer and auto body repair facility have contracted under a direct repair program. If an insured or claimant elects to have his or her vehicle repaired at an auto body repair shop or his or her choice, the insurer shall not limit or discount the repair costs based upon the charges that would have been incurred had the vehicle been repaired by the insurer’s chosen shop.