The American Insurance Association (AIA) testified in opposition to several body shop-related bills at a hearing before the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services. The legislation, most of which had been filed in previous legislative sessions, centers around labor rates, repair parts, glass repair and other issues.
Two bills focused on at the hearing included H.B. 1006 and H.B. 1043.
H.B. 1006 addresses steering, supplements and requirements for shop equipment and re-inspections. It would ban insurers from guaranteeing repairs from either DRP or independent shops. This bill passed the House last year and was awaiting Senate action at the end of the legislative session.
H.B. 1043 would establish three tiers of repair shops in Massachusetts, which would dictate labor rates insurers would be required to pay shops. The tiers would be based on equipment, training and other factors.
The legislation before the committee also included proposals that would
prohibit glass replacement and repair vendors of insurance companies
from also providing third-party billing for that carrier; limit the
information that claims administrators can share with customers about
available repair options; and re-introduce government price fixing to
the automobile insurance system.
“These proposals would disrupt many of the benefits consumers currently enjoy when dealing with repairs to their damaged vehicles while eliminating convenient and cost-effective programs. In order to maintain a healthy, competitive auto insurance system in Massachusetts that serves consumers well, AIA urges the committee to reject the legislation,” said John Murphy, AIA Northeast Region vice president.
Read H.B. 1043