Wednesday, 22 May 2013 18:27

NMBSA Sponsored Legislation Introduced in Michigan House of Representatives

Sue Allor, board member with the Northern Michigan Body Shop Association, recently announced big news to her group: legislation the association has been working on for the past two years was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives on April 30.

HB 4635 is focused on consumer protection and safety to ensure that repair of a damaged vehicle is performed according to manufacturer specifications and guidelines without interference and/or control of the repair process by an insurer focused on reducing costs through the use of parts not approved by the vehicle manufacturer. Automotive manufacturers have indicated use of parts not specified by the manufacturer could result in serious harm to the vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.

 

“A huge ‘thank you’ goes out to Representative Greg MacMaster, sponsor of this bill, along with Representatives Peter Pettalia, Anthony G. Forlini, Rick Outman, Michael D. McCready, Al Pscholka, and Dale W. Zorn who are co-sponsors,” said Allor.

“This is just the start,” added Allor. “It’s taken us quite a while to get to this point and there is much more work to do.” Allor urges the NMBSA membership to talk to their friends and relatives about the bill and the benefits it has to the consumer.

“When you’re called upon to push forward with this bill, remember the help you provide to the NMBSA and its members will ultimately have a positive impact on consumers and the collision repair industry.”

Below is the actual bill (Legislation/HB 4635) as introduced:

The people of the State of Michigan enact: Sec. 2110c.

(1) An adjuster or insurer or a director, officer, broker, agent, attorney-in-fact, employee, or other representative of an insurer shall not do any of the following with respect to a claim under an insurance policy for collision damage to an automobile:
(A) Compel or coerce the insured or claimant to choose a particular repair facility, claim center, or other similar facility for presenting the claim or automobile for loss adjustment, inspection, or repair, regardless of whether the repair facility, claim center, or other similar facility is under the insurer’s direct control. A violation of this subdivision is a violation of Section 2110B(1). This subdivision does not prohibit an insurer from requesting the insured or claimant to present the claim or automobile for loss adjustment or inspection at a particular repair facility, claim center, or other similar facility after informing the insured or claimant that the insured or claimant is not under an obligation to do so.
(B) Fail to inform the insured or claimant that the insured or claimant has the freedom to use a repair facility of the insured’s or claimant’s choosing, or fail to inform the insured or claimant of the insurer’s ownership interest in, or agreement with, a repair facility, claim center, or other similar facility as required by Section 2110B(2).
(C) Attempt to revise or alter, through force, intimidation, fear, authority, or a boycott, an estimate for repairs of a damaged automobile that was written by a licensed repair facility.
(D) Attempt to secure, except in the instance of imminent irreparable harm and injury, the insured’s or claimant’s signature authorizing the person securing the signature to act in behalf of the insured or claimant in selecting a repair facility or claim center.
(E) Communicate the need to delay the commencement of repair to allow the insurer to inspect the automobile for more than 1 full business day from when the insured or claimant presented the claim or automobile for loss adjustment or inspection.
(F) Dispute coverage of the loss without performing a physical inspection of the automobile.
(G) Specify a non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash part to replace a structural component of an automobile, including, but not limited to, a bumper reinforcement, radiator or core support, or any other part that affects the structural integrity or airbag timing of the automobile.
(H) Specify a non-original equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash part in the repair of the damaged automobile if the part is not certified by a national testing board to guarantee quality, fit, and crashability.
(I) Specify the use of a particular vendor to procure a part or other material necessary for the satisfactory repair of the automobile. This subdivision does not require an insurer to pay more than a reasonable market price for parts.
(J) Unilaterally or arbitrarily disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system that the insurer and repair facility have agreed to use in determining the cost of repair.
(K) Place a limit on the maximum cost of paint or other materials required to repair the damaged automobile. This subdivision does not require an insurer to pay more than a reasonable market price for paint and materials.
(L) Disregard a repair facility’s posted labor rate without proof of the range of posted door rates available to the public in the market.
(2) An insured, claimant, repair facility owner, potential repair facility owner, or person aggrieved by this act may bring a civil action against an insurer for a violation of this section. A plaintiff who prevails in an action under this subsection may recover both of the following:
(A) Damages in the amount of 3 times the actual loss or $500, whichever is greater.
(B) Actual attorney fees and costs.
(3) A court shall liberally construe this section to allow 1 or more persons affected by the violation of this section to commence a class action under the court rules.
(4) A remedy provided by this section is in addition to any other right or remedy at law or otherwise.
(5) as used in this section, “nonoriginal equipment manufacturer aftermarket crash part” means that term as defined in Section 2 of the aftermarket crash parts act, 1991 PA 158, MCL 257.1362.

Allor urges NMBSA members to contact their Northern Michigan Representatives and tell them you’re in support of HB 4635.

Rep. Greg MacMaster Dist. #105
S-1389 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-0829
GregMacMaster@house.mi.gov

Rep. Peter Pettalia Dist. #106
S-1485 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-0833
PeterPettalia@house.mi.gov

Rep. Frank Foster Dist. #107
S-1486 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-2629
FrankFoster@house.mi.gov

Rep. Ed McBroom Dist. #108
S-1487 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-0156
EdMcBroom@house.mi.gov

Rep. Bruce Rendon Dist. #103
S-1387 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-3817
BruceRendon@house.mi.gov

Rep. Wayne Schmidt Dist. #104
374 Capitol Bldg.
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
WayneSchmidt@house.mi.gov

In other NMBSA news, the membership and their employees and family members were invited to a bowling night at Gaylord Bowling Center, 1200 Gornick Ave., on Friday, May 17 from 7-9 p.m. Cost was $15 per person and includedpizza and refreshments. Prizes will be given to good, bad and awful bowlers.

In addition, LKQ & Keystone Automotive will host an A/C Clinic and Open House on Saturday, June 8 from 3-9 p.m. at LKQ/Keystone of Traverse City. The event will include product information clinics, vendors, dinner, refreshments and raffle prizes.

 

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