California Repairers Launch Campaign to Veto A.B. 1200 - BodyShop Business
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California Repairers Launch Campaign to Veto A.B. 1200

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The Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) and
the California Autobody Association (CAA) are spearheading efforts to persuade Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto A.B. 1200, a bill that both groups
feel severely weakens the state’s anti-steering code.

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The Assembly approved A.B. 1200 (Hayashi) 42-19 on Sept. 9.

The CRA says it believes the insurance industry-supported measure,
which allows insurers to discuss policy benefits at any time during the
claims process, will hurt the independent collision repair shops and
deprive claimants the benefits of repair analyses “based on the right
thing to do, not the cheapest way to go.”

“A.B. 1200 is a misleading proposal that allows an insurer to keep the
details of DRPs secret while it badgers claimants into selecting a
repair shop favored by the insurer,” said CRA President Lee Amaradio.
“We will ask the governor to send A.B. 1200 back to the Legislature
where it needs to be reworked into a measure that’s fair to claimants,
shops and insurers.”

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The CRA noted that the Legislature approved the anti-steering law,
Sen. Jackie Speier’s S.B. 551, by a vote of 114-1 in 2003, but A.B.
1200 – which the CRA believes undoes SB 551 – received 36 “no” votes
and 63 “aye” votes total in the Assembly and Senate.

“The vote totals for A.B. 1200 raise the notion that a significant
number of lawmakers don’t think the bill is ready to become law,” said
Richard Steffen, CRA’s lobbyist.

In a letter to Schwarzenegger, the CAA noted that “current law provides
consumers with the right to choice when selecting an auto body repair
shop” and that the association is concerned that A.B. 1200 would allow
insurers to legally steer insureds to preferred shops.

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Proponents of the bill say that A.B. 1200’s purpose is to provide
consumers with more information during the claims process so they can
make an informed choice when selecting a repairer.
 
The CRA is encouraging its members to write Schwarzenegger to ask that he veto the bill. Visit www.cra-ca.com for more information.

The CAA has provided its members with a pre-written letter to send to Schwarzenegger. It can be downloaded at www.calautobody.com.

Click HERE for a story about the debate surrounding A.B. 1200.

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