Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) is asking Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner to oppose A.B. 1200, a bill that states that insurers can provide claimants with truthful, non-deceptive information about DRP shops at any time while discussing a claim.
Speier said the bill would undermine the consumer protections that she authored concerning the steering of consumers by insurance companies.
“Far from helping consumers make well-informed choices, the bill would allow insurers to continue to make sales pitches to consumers long after the consumer has decided to select his or her own shop,” a letter Speier wrote to Poizner said.
The bill would add the following to California Insurance Code Section 758.5, the anti-steering statute:
Nothing in this section prohibits an insurer from providing a claimant with truthful, nondeceptive information regarding the benefits of selecting a specific automotive repair dealer, including, but not limited to, the availability and duration of repair warranties.
Speier says this language is pure spin that the consumer should not have to endure and represents a giant loophole in the bill.
“If you’re making truthful and non-deceptive statements, isn’t that all that’s necessary?” she said. “Presumably, an intelligent consumer would recognize the ‘benefits’ simply by being told the truth. Obviously, the language of the bill is so skewed that it provides an easy defense against any claim of untruth. The ‘benefits’ of something are in the eyes of the beholder, right? So how could one be untruthful?”
“The truth is that [the benefit of A.B. 1200] is a riddle wrapped in the enigma of insurance industry doublespeak,” Speier concluded.
The Collision Repair Association of California and the California Autobody Association also oppose the bill. To read a previous story on the bill, click HERE.