The Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) called on repairers in the state to rally around Senate Bill 1167, which it calls “truth-setting policy” that protects consumers from insurer DRP steering tactics. The bill, authored by state Sen. Pat Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa) and sponsored by the CRA, states that when a claimant first reports an accident, the insurer would be required to ask if the claimant had selected a repairer. The bill then ties into current law that directs insurers not to recommend or suggest alternative repair choices when the claimant has selected a repairer. The bill was set for a hearing on April 2 in the Senate Committee on Banking, Finance and Insurance.
CRA Executive Director Allen Wood says that insurers are opposing the bill because it wouldn’t allow them to explain the benefits of DRPs. “By opposing the bill,” he says, “insurers are admitting they currently violate the law, which protects consumer choice by not allowing an insurer to suggest or recommend an alternative shop to claimants who have already selected a repairer.”
The CRA sent the bill electronically to all its members and asked the California Autobody Association and the New Motor Car Dealers Association to distribute notice of the bill. The notice included the names and addresses of the author’s office and the legislators who would be voting on S.B. 1167.