SB 571 Prohibits insurers and their agents from engaging in certain activities with respect to motor vehicle collision repair claims
Sponsor: Lembke
LR Number: 2217S.01I Fiscal Note: 2217-01
Committee: Small Business, Insurance and Industry
Last Action: 3/4/2009 - Second Read and Referred S Small Business, Insurance and Industry Committee Journal Page: S475
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2009

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Current Bill Summary

SB 571 - Under this act, no adjuster or insurer shall in collision cases:

(1) Limit the freedom of an insured or claimant to choose the shop;

(2) Require that an insured or claimant present the claim or the automobile for loss adjustment or inspection at a "drive-in" claim center or any other similar facility solely under the control of the insurer;

(3) Engage in boycotts, intimidation, or coercive tactics in negotiating repairs to damaged motor vehicles which they insure or are liable to claimants to have repaired;

(4) Attempt to secure, except in an emergency, the insured's or claimant's signature authorizing the party securing the signature to act in behalf of the insured or claimant in selection of a repair shop facility;

(5) Adjust a damage appraisal of a repair shop when the extent of damage is in dispute without conducting a physical inspection of the vehicle;

(6) Specify the use of a particular vendor for the procurement of parts or other materials necessary for the satisfactory repair of the vehicle; or

(7) Unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system, which an insurer and collision repair facility have agreed to utilize in determining the cost of repair.

Under the act, no motor vehicle repair shop shall in any way coerce, or intimidate a motor vehicle owner to boycott an insurer's "drive-in" claim center or similar facility.

Motor vehicle repair shops are prohibited from attempting to secure, except in an emergency, the vehicle owner's signature authorizing the party securing the signature to act in behalf of the owner in selection of a repair shop.

Insurer's representatives are prohibited from unreasonably denying access to motor vehicle repair shops during normal business hours for the purpose of inspecting or reinspecting damaged vehicles.

Under the terms of the act, when a damaged vehicle is towed to a motor vehicle repair shop, the storage and towing charges shall not exceed the usual and customary charges for the towing and storage of undamaged vehicles in the area except if the vehicle, due to its damaged condition, requires special handling in the towing or storage, an added charge may be made.