OLR Bill Analysis
AN ACT CONCERNING REPAIRS TO MOTOR VEHICLES.
This bill prohibits automobile insurers and their agents or adjusters from requesting that a customer use a specific person for automobile physical damage repair work, glass replacement, glass repair, or glass products unless the customer agrees to it in writing. It also prohibits physical damage appraisers from requesting that damage appraisals or repairs be made, or not made, at a specific repair shop. Current law prohibits the insurers, agents, adjusters, and appraisers from requiring the use of a specific person or shop.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2007
REQUIRE OR REQUEST
The bill defines “require or request” as any act to influence a consumer's decision, including (1) reducing the person's automobile insurance policy deductible or premium or offering extra warranties if a preferred repair shop performs the repairs or (2) suggesting that repairs made at a non-preferred repair shop will cost more, be delayed, or not be guaranteed.
sSB 1101, favorably reported by the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, prohibits insurers from engaging in similar actions as defined in SB 739, except as allowed in the automobile insurance policy, and requires disclosure that customers have the right to choose where to have their vehicles repaired.
SB 1304, favorably reported by the General Law Committee, would move some responsibility for licensing and regulating appraisers from the Insurance Department to the Department of Consumer Protection.
Preferred Repair Shops
Some insurers enter into contracts with specific repair shops who agree to provide repair services to customers at a discounted price. The insurer's customer may choose either a preferred shop or a non-preferred shop for repairs, but the insurer might only guarantee repairs performed at a preferred shop.