Insurer Leaves Auto Damage Appraiser Licensing Board Amid Controversy - BodyShop Business

Insurer Leaves Auto Damage Appraiser Licensing Board Amid Controversy

Karen Mills of Progressive – who was appointed by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to replace a body shop owner on the state’s Auto Damage Appraiser Licensing Board (ADALB) – stepped down from her position this week amid allegations that her appointment violated state law, the Boston Herald reported.

Critics of Mills’ appointment to ADALB, including the Massachusetts Auto Body Association (MABA), claimed the board became balanced in favor of insurers after shop owner Joseph Valarioti was unexpectedly removed from it in July and replaced by the insurance executive. Per state law, the board is supposed to have two representatives of the auto body industry, two representatives from the insurance industry and one layperson to chair the board.

When MABA and others asked how an insurance executive could legally replace an auto body representative, they were informed by the state that a current board member, Joseph Coyne, was being re-designated as an auto body representative. Coyne is the owner of Home and Auto Appraisals in Dorchester and has served as an insurer representative for over two years.

“Joe Coyne was appointed over two years ago as an insurance representative, and there has never been any doubt in anyone’s mind that Joe Coyne is affiliated with the insurance industry,” said MABA spokesman Stephen Regan in September. “Reclassifying Mr. Coyne as an auto body appointee creates a board with three insurer representatives and one autobody representative and violates the law, legislative intent and 30 years of precedent. With an unbalanced board, there is great concern whether consumers and small businesses would be treated fairly.”

At last month’s ADALB meeting, MABA threatened to sue over Mills’ appointment, the Boston Herald reported.

“It became clear that there were significant concerns about the makeup of the board,” Progressive spokesperson Leah Knapp told the newspaper. “Karen felt it was in the best interest of all concerned for her to step aside.”

A Massachusetts Division of Insurance spokesman told the newspaper that the state will continue to focus on ensuring that the board is “properly balanced.”

Valarioti, who said this summer that he wouldn’t seek re-appointment to the board but believed Mills’ appointment violated state law, had one thing to tell the newspaper: “All I can say is, ‘I told you so.’”

More information:

• Massachusetts Repairers Challenge Addition of Insurer to Licensing Board

• Body Shop Owner Kicked Off Appraiser Licensing Board in Favor of Insurer

You May Also Like

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: To Calibrate or Not to Calibrate with Greg Peeters

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Greg Peeters of Car ADAS on what it takes to do an accurate calibration.

Micki Woods, master marketer for collision repair shops and owner of Micki Woods Marketing, is kicking off a series of daily podcasts from the Carolinas Collision Association's 2024 Southeast Collision Conference. This series is sponsored by Lombard Equipment, which offers a premier line of automotive collision repair equipment for all your OEM certification needs.

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: Building Value in Your Business with Matt DiFrancesco

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Matt DiFrancesco on how to make your business as valuable as possible.

Body Bangin’ Southeast Collision Conference: Future-proof Your Shop with Mike Anderson

Live from the Southeast Collision Conference, Micki Woods interviews Mike Anderson on finding the formula for future success.

Body Bangin’: Taking the Gloves Off with Clay Hoberecht

Micki Woods interviews Best Body Shop Owner and Vehicle Care RockStar Clay Hoberecht on how he stands out in a crowded industry.

Body Bangin’: Are You Ready for the Southeast Collision Conference?

Micki Woods interviews Jordan Hendler and Josh Kent about the upcoming Southeast Collision Conference May 16-18, 2024 in Greensboro, N.C.

Other Posts

Body Bangin’: Hidden Gems to Grow Your Business with Rick Selover

Micki Woods interviews collision consultant Rick Selover on things you can do to immediately impact your person, body and business.

Body Bangin’: NORTHEAST Show Highlights with Ken Miller

Micki Woods interviews AASP/NJ President Ken Miller on highlights from the NORTHEAST Show.

Body Bangin’: Overcoming Common Shop Challenges with Kyle Motzkus

Micki Woods interviews Kyle Motzkus of Hunter Auto Body on common challenges collision shops face.

Body Bangin’: The Keys to Success with Louie Sharp

Micki Woods interviews Louie Sharp of Sharp Auto Body on life lessons learned from the Marines and how love conquers all.