In response to federal legislative proposals that would establish a lead federal role in the regulation of insurance companies, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) Collision Advisory Committee announced it has adopted a position statement opposing federal regulation of the insurance industry. (Click HERE to read more about the pending legislation).
AASP-MN says it believes that both consumers and its members are better served by maintaining state-level regulatory oversight and enforcement, citing the following reasons:
The automotive repair industry cannot possibly muster the resources that the insurance industry has "invested" in its effort to influence federal policy. The insurance industry is second only to the pharmaceutical/health care products industry in its lobbying expenditures for the period 1998-YTD 2009. In 2008 alone, the insurance industry spent nearly $153 million to lobby Congress and federal agencies.
AASP-MN believes it is much easier for repair shop representatives to get to know their state legislators than it is for them to get the time and attention of [members of Congress]. The repair industry’s chances for influencing public policy are better at the state level where it can bring a stronger grassroots campaign to bear on state policymakers.
Mobilizing national media outlets and/or consumer organizations to become engaged in the relatively obscure nuances of insurer claims settlement practices would be a daunting task. The repair industry can more effectively forge and maintain relationships with key media and consumer organizations at the local level.
Bringing a claim in a federal regulatory scheme would likely present a greater burden to consumers and repair shops than is the case in the current state regulatory approach. The process for investigating and addressing inappropriate claims practices is established and more readily accessible at the state level.
“While regulatory challenges certainly exist at the state level, we believe that consumers and repairers are better positioned to influence state policymakers and regulators than they would be to bring about change or participate fully in a federal regulatory scheme,” said AASP-MN Collision Division Director Roger Bonn, Peter’s Body Shop, St. Cloud, Minn. “Therefore, AASP-MN does not support federal regulation of the property and casualty insurance industry.”
For more information, visit www.aaspmn.org.