Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 6446

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 3254

 

*03254_______INS*

Referred to Committee on Insurance and Real Estate

 

Introduced by:

 

(INS)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING MOTOR VEHICLE REPAIRS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 38a-335 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2009):

(a) Each automobile liability insurance policy shall provide insurance in accordance with the regulations adopted pursuant to section 38a-334 against loss resulting from the liability imposed by law, with limits not less than those specified in subsection (a) of section 14-112, for damages because of bodily injury or death of any person and injury to or destruction of property arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a specific motor vehicle or motor vehicles within any state, territory, or possession of the United States of America or Canada.

(b) Each automobile liability insurance policy issued, renewed, amended or endorsed on or after October 1, 1988, and covering a private passenger motor vehicle as defined in subsection (e) of section 38a-363, shall contain or have attached thereto a conspicuous statement specifying whether the policy provides liability, collision or comprehensive coverage for damage to a rented private passenger motor vehicle and, where the policy provides such coverage, the limit of coverage provided and whether any deductible amount applies.

(c) Each automobile liability insurance policy issued, renewed, amended or endorsed on or after April 8, 1974, shall provide that if the provisions of the motor vehicle financial responsibility law or the motor vehicle compulsory insurance law or any similar law of any state, territory or possession of the United States of America or any Province of Canada, require insurance with respect to the operation or use of the motor vehicle in such state, territory, possession or province and such insurance requirements are greater than the insurance provided by the policy, the limits of the company's liability and the kinds of coverage afforded by the policy shall be as set forth in such law, in lieu of the insurance otherwise provided by the policy, but only to the extent required by such law and only with respect to the operation or use of the motor vehicle in such state, territory, possession or province; provided the insurance under this subsection shall be reduced to the extent that there is other valid and collectible insurance under such policy or any other motor vehicle insurance policy. In no event shall any person be entitled to receive duplicate payments for the same element of loss.

(d) With respect to the insured motor vehicle, the coverage afforded under the bodily injury liability and property damage liability provisions in any such policy shall apply to the named insured and relatives residing in his household unless any such person is specifically excluded by endorsement.

(e) (1) Each automobile liability insurance policy issued, renewed, amended or endorsed on or after October 1, 2009, and covering a private passenger motor vehicle shall provide a premium discount for any such motor vehicle that has its complete identification number etched on a lower corner of the windshield and on each side or rear window of such vehicle. For the purposes of this subsection, "private passenger motor vehicle" means: (A) A private passenger-type automobile; (B) a station-wagon-type automobile; (C) a camper-type motor vehicle; (D) a high-mileage-type motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1; or (E) a truck-type motor vehicle with a load capacity of fifteen hundred pounds or less, registered as a passenger motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or as a passenger and commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or used for farming purposes. It does not include a motorcycle or motor vehicle used as a public or livery conveyance.

(2) The commissioner shall annually review the rate of such premium discount and shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, to establish such rate and factors to consider when evaluating whether to adjust such rate, including, but not limited to, any reduction in the number of motor vehicle thefts in the year preceding.

Sec. 2. Section 38a-354 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2009):

(a) No automobile physical damage appraiser shall require that appraisals or repairs should or should not be made in a specified facility or repair shop or shops.

(b) No insurance company doing business in this state, or agent or adjuster for such company shall (1) require any insured to use a specific person for the provision of automobile physical damage repairs, automobile glass replacement, glass repair service or glass products, [unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the insured] (2) except as provided in a consumer's automobile liability insurance policy, reduce the amount of a deductible or premium or offer additional warranties if the consumer chooses a preferred repair facility, or (3) suggest that choosing a facility other than a preferred repair facility will result in delays in repairing the motor vehicle, a lack of guarantee for repair work or additional costs to the insured.

(c) Any appraisal or estimate for a motor vehicle physical damage claim written on behalf of an insurer shall include the following notice, printed in not less than ten-point boldface type:

NOTICE:

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE THE LICENSED REPAIR SHOP WHERE THE DAMAGE TO YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE WILL BE REPAIRED.

Sec. 3. Section 14-64 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2009):

The commissioner may suspend or revoke the license or licenses of any licensee or impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation on any licensee or both, when, after notice and hearing, the commissioner finds that the licensee (1) has violated any provision of any statute or regulation of any state or any federal statute or regulation pertaining to its business as a licensee or has failed to comply with the terms of a final decision and order of any state department or federal agency concerning any such provision; or (2) has failed to maintain such records of transactions concerning the purchase, sale or repair of motor vehicles or major component parts, as required by such regulations as shall be adopted by the commissioner, for a period of two years after such purchase, sale or repairs, provided the records shall include the vehicle identification number and the name and address of the person from whom each vehicle or part was purchased and to whom each vehicle or part was sold, if a sale occurred; or (3) has failed to allow inspection of such records by the commissioner or the commissioner's representative during normal business hours, provided written notice stating the purpose of the inspection is furnished to the licensee, or has failed to allow inspection of such records by any representative of the Division of State Police within the Department of Public Safety or any organized local police department, which inspection may include examination of the premises to determine the accuracy of such records; or (4) has made a false statement as to the condition, prior ownership or prior use of any motor vehicle sold, exchanged, transferred, offered for sale or repaired if the licensee knew or should have known that such statement was false; or (5) is not qualified to conduct the licensed business, applying the standards of section 14-51 and the applicable regulations; or (6) has violated any provision of sections 42-221 to 42-226, inclusive; or (7) has failed to fully execute or provide the buyer with (A) an order as described in section 14-62, (B) the properly assigned certificate of title, or (C) a temporary transfer or new issue of registration; or (8) has failed to deliver a motor vehicle free and clear of all liens, unless written notification is given to the buyer stating such motor vehicle shall be purchased subject to a lien; or (9) has violated any provision of sections 14-65f to 14-65j, inclusive, as amended by this act, 14-65l or 14-65m; or (10) has used registration number plates issued by the commissioner, in violation of the provisions and standards set forth in sections 14-59 and 14-60 and the applicable regulations; or (11) has failed to secure or to account for or surrender to the commissioner on demand official registration plates or any other official materials in its custody. In addition to, or in lieu of, the imposition of any other penalties authorized by this section, the commissioner may order any such licensee to make restitution to any aggrieved customer.

Sec. 4. Section 14-65e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

For the purposes of sections 14-65f to 14-65j, inclusive, as amended by this act, 14-65l and 14-65m, "motor vehicle repair shop" or "repair shop" means a new car dealer, a used car dealer, a repairer, or a limited repairer, as defined in section 14-51, or their agents or employees.

Sec. 5. Subsection (a) of section 14-65g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) A customer may waive his right to the estimate of the costs of parts and labor required by section 14-65f, only in writing in accordance with this section. Such a waiver shall include an authorization to perform reasonable and necessary repairs to remedy the problems complained of, at a cost not to exceed a fixed dollar amount. The waiver shall be signed by the customer and the customer shall be given a fully completed copy of the waiver at the time it is signed. No repair shop shall use waivers to evade its duties under sections 14-65e to 14-65j, inclusive, as amended by this act, 14-65l and 14-65m.

Sec. 6. Section 14-65k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may conduct investigations and hold hearings on any matter under the provisions of sections 14-51 to 14-65j, inclusive, as amended by this act, 14-65l and 14-65m. The commissioner may issue subpoenas, administer oaths, compel testimony and order the production of books, records and documents. If any person refuses to appear, to testify or to produce any book, record, paper or document when so ordered, upon application of the commissioner, a judge of the Superior Court may make such order as may be appropriate to aid in the enforcement of this section.

(b) The Attorney General, at the request of the commissioner, is authorized to apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining and enjoining any person from violating any provision of sections 14-51 to 14-65j, inclusive, as amended by this act, 14-65l and 14-65m.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2009

38a-335

Sec. 2

October 1, 2009

38a-354

Sec. 3

October 1, 2009

14-64

Sec. 4

from passage

14-65e

Sec. 5

from passage

14-65g(a)

Sec. 6

from passage

14-65k

Statement of Purpose:

To require insurers to offer a premium discount for a private passenger motor vehicle or truck-type motor vehicle that has its vehicle identification number etched in the windshield and windows, to strengthen and add to the prohibitions against automobile physical damage appraisers and insurance companies "steering" where motor vehicle repairs and glass repairs and replacements should be made, to make conforming changes.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]