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California Bill Would Mandate Insurer Assessments Not Be Used As Estimates

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A bill introduced in the California Assembly would require insurers to
disclose in writing to claimants that any damage assessment made by the
insurer is not a written estimate of repair costs and that only
facilities licensed by the state Board of Autobody Repair can write an
estimate.

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The bill, A.B. 1179, is supported by the California Autobody
Association (CAA). The CAA has set up a toll-free fax number – (888)
222-8976 – for its members to send examples of insurer’s estimates for
Assemblyman Dave Jones to use in support of the legislation.

The CAA is requesting:

• Initial field estimates prepared by insurers that blatantly omitted
necessary and visible repair operations, and then later added those
operations by supplement once the car was taken to the shop.

• Estimates prepared by insurers based on a shop estimate that omitted
repair operations a shop requested because it was necessary to repair
the car properly.

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• Any examples of insurer estimates or documentation that may violate recently passed “paint capping” legislation.

Experienced shop owners will review the estimates, and the CAA asks
that any issues on the estimate that may not be obvious should be noted.

The CAA will notify anyone whose estimate may be used to support the
legislation or sent to the California Department of Insurance.

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