An Ohio representative introduced an anti-steering bill to the state’s legislature in May, and, though it hasn’t moved forward since, Rep. Raymond Prior (D – Ohio) says that as the state’s summer break wraps up, he still has hope it could move forward when the session resumes in early November.
“Shortly after it was introduced the House and Senate broke for the summer break,” Pryor said. “So, we expect to be back in session possibly before the elections or right after the election on November 2. So we’re currently building support for the bill and we hope to have our first committee meeting and hearing on the bill probably the second week of November.”
If the bill, H.B. 527, becomes law, it will “prohibit auto insurers from requiring, recommending, or suggesting that a claimant on a policy have the claimant's vehicle repaired at a particular repair shop or by a particular person unless the claimant requests a recommendation or suggestion.”
Pryor says he decided to sponsor the bill after he was contacted by a local body shop owner.
“I sponsored the bill because one of my local body shop owners had contacted me with concerns that business was being driven away from [his business] to ‘preferred body shops’ by insurance companies,” says Pryor. “The insurance companies were allegedly telling prospective customers that he had talked with that they needed to take their cars [to preferred body shops] for quicker service … and folks were doing that.”
After some research, Pryor says he found the body shop owner who contacted him wasn’t alone.
“Come to find out there were several body shops that felt the same way,” he says.
And, though the bill hasn’t yet had a formal hearing, Pryor has seen some opposition to H.B. 527 already.
“[Insurers] haven’t been well pleased by any means and they’re offering to tell me all about their preferred shops … ,” he says.
The Independent Glass Association (IGA) issued a member bulletin today encouraging its Ohio members to get involved in support of the bill.