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PCI Opposes Rhode Island Auto Body Repair Legislation

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The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) is opposing collision repair legislation backed by the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island (ABARI). H.B. 5891 would prohibit both insurers and repairers from authorizing repairs in place of a vehicle’s owner, and H.B. 5892 would add to the state’s unfair claims law by mandating that insurers conduct an appraisal of a vehicle whenever damage exceeds $1,500.

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PCI claims these bills would increase costs and make the repair process inconvenient for consumers. The two bills are being researched by the House Corporations Committee, and a hearing was held for them March 10.

“The auto body agenda hassles the consumer with the additional step of an appraisal for practically all repairs,” said Frank O’Brien, PCI vice president and regional manager. “This unnecessary extra step for most repairs adds time and cost to a repair process that is already the costliest in the country.”

O’Brien accused ABARI of “chipping away at consumer choices” through legislation.

“We are encouraging lawmakers to preserve the consumer’s ability to choose whether they want to take their car to an independent shop, a direct repair shop, or utilize an insurer’s concierge service,” he concluded.

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