Louisiana is one step closer to passing an additional anti-steering law into effect. House Bill 411 would increase fines for steering and require insurers to notify customers that they can go to the shop of their choice.
The bill passed unanimously 88-0 in the Louisiana House of Representatives and was again passed unanimously in the Senate 36-0. Now, the bill awaits the approval or denial of Gov. John Bel Edwards.
Currently, Louisiana law already bans insurers from making one of its claimants go to a specific shop to repair their vehicle. But this bill prohibits an insurer from recommending a particular shop without informing their claimant that they are under no obligation to use that recommended shop and can choose whatever shop they want.
In addition, the bill also prohibits insurers from using intimidation, coercion or threats to persuade claimants to use the recommended shop.
Language that would have prevented insurers from offering claimants incentives for picking a certain shop was nixed from the bill in the House Insurance Committee.
If insurers do violate the steering law, the bill also increases the amount the insurance commissioner may fine the insurer from $500 to $1,000 for a first offense; $2,500 for a second offense; and $5,000 for a third offense in the same 12 months. In the event of excessive violations, the insurance commissioner can always suspend or pull a license.