SCS/SB 775 - Under this act, an insurer shall inform claimants of their rights to choose repair facilities of their choice. Insurers are prohibited from directing, referring, or otherwise influencing the claimant in the choice of repair facility or program other than the repair facility chosen by the claimant.
All claims paid by an insurer for any loss to a motor vehicle shall be paid to the claimant, or to a repair facility that has a signed authorization by the owner of the vehicle, by check, electronic transfer, or other means that provides the claimant or repair facility immediate access to the funds. In addition, the insurer may not discount the repair amount on the basis that the repair would have cost less if it had been made at a repair shop specified by the insurer.
No insurer shall request or require that appraisals or repairs be made in a specified facility or repair shop. When a customer has chosen a repair facility, any attempt to change or restrict the claimant's decision shall cease.
Under this act, all appraisals shall include a notice that the consumer has the right to choose a repair facility to repair his or her vehicle. This notice must also appear in boldfaced type on any insurance policies.
The act requires physical damage adjusters to comply with certain conditions when preparing damage estimates on motor vehicles. For example, a damage appraiser must conduct a thorough inspection of the damage vehicle when preparing an estimate. Any person altering or changing a physical damage appraisal must be licensed to conduct business within Missouri.