Wednesday, 02 March 2016 19:26

Arizona House Passes Automotive Glass Bill

In a quick action that took some by surprise, the Arizona House of Representatives passed Bill 2500, “Unlawful Practices: Auto Glass Repair” on Thursday Feb 25, by a vote of 53 to 7.

“The scheduled March 7 stakeholder meeting obviously went out the window,” says Kerry Soat, owner of Fas-Break in Chandler, Ariz. “After reading the bill that passed, I am not against HB 2500. They have addressed my concerns about safety and changed the language to reflect the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard™ (AGRSS™) and Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard™ (ROLAGS™). They also changed the language to reflect my concerns regarding the word ‘free.’”

Frank Thomas, of Thomas Auto Glass in Phoenix, Ariz., who spoke in favor of the statute before the House Insurance Committee, says he is a pleased the bill has passed the House.

“Common sense has paid off,” he says.

“Consumer safety is compromised when gift carding and cash spiffs are the reason for choosing one company over another,” he said before the House Insurance Committee earlier this month. “A vast underground economy exists in Arizona with regard to auto glass, simply because anyone can start a glass company tomorrow with a business card and phone number. … I don’t believe that HB 2500 was drafted to enable steering or for one company to garnish more market share over another. I believe that HB 2500 is the first step of your awareness and a movement to provide safe windshield installations and protect Arizona automotive consumers.”

Scot Zajic, Safelite’s vice president of legislative affairs, adds, “It’s important to stress that HB 2500 was developed out of discussions with independent VGRR companies and consumer protection groups in Arizona who felt the need to address questionable behavior in the Arizona market that gives the industry a black eye. The primary focus of HB 2500 is consumer protection. The bill strengthens Arizona’s existing anti-fraud statutes. This approach is consistent with other states that have addressed similar concerns in a VGRR insurance transaction, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, where similar legislation was passed with broad industry support. We look forward to continuing to work with industry stakeholders as the measure moves through the process.”

The bill was sponsored by Rep. David Livingston. He made several changes to the statute before it went up for a full House vote. The biggest changes included references to the AGRSS™ and ROLAGS™ Standards. In many instances he also changed the wording of “insured” or “an insured” to “policyholder” in the statute’s language.

Revised Statute

Here is the revised statute that passed the Arizona House. The larger changes to the statute’s language are noted in italics.

It is unlawful to:

  • Threaten, coerce or intimidate a policyholder for the purpose of inducing the policyholder to file a claim for auto glass repair or replacement.
  • Induce a policyholder to file an auto glass replacement claim if the damage to the auto glass is insufficient to warrant auto glass replacement according to the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard™ (AGRSS™) as approved by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Induce a policyholder to file an auto glass repair claim if the damage to the auto glass is insufficient to warrant auto glass repair according to the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS™) as approved by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Waive or offer to waive the policyholder’s deductible or offer a rebate, gift, gift card, cash or coupon with an aggregate value of more than $25 for a referral of a policyholder to the auto glass repair facility in connection with an auto glass repair or replacement claim under an insurance policy.
  • Waive or offer to waive the policyholder’s deductible or offer a rebate, gift, gift card or coupon with an aggregate value of more than $25 to any person in order to induce the policyholder to file an auto glass repair or replacement claim under an insurance policy.
  • Misrepresent the value of the rebate, gift, gift card, cash offer or coupon to any person in conjunction with an auto glass repair or replacement claim under an insurance policy.
  • Represent verbally, electronically or in any other way, including an advertisement or website or any marketing materials that a claim for auto glass repair or replacement under an insurance policy is free without disclosing that a deductible may apply to the policyholder or that the policyholder’s insurer may be charged in conjunction with the auto glass repair or replacement services.
  • Perform auto glass repair or replacement services in this state without obtaining a transaction privilege tax license number issued by the department of revenue pursuant to section 42-5005.
  • If the person repairing or replacing the auto glass does not accept the insurer’s price, fail to provide a written estimate to the policyholder before the work begins that includes all of the following:
  1. A statement whether the person repairing or replacing the auto glass does not accept the insurer’s price for parts, kits and labor.
  2. The actual price that will be charged for that work and the difference between that price and the insurer’s price.
  3. A statement that the policyholder may be financially responsible to pay the difference between the actual price that will be charged for that work and the insurer’s price.
  4. The signature of the policyholder.
  5. The business’ transaction privilege tax license number issued by the department of revenue pursuant to section 42-5005.
  • Perform auto glass repair or replacement services under an insurance policy without first obtaining the policyholder’s and insurer’s approval for the specific work to be performed.
  • Falsely transpose, duplicate or sign either electronically or in any other form a policyholder’s or other person’s signature onto a work order, insurance assignment form or any other related document that is required to authorize the repair or replacement of auto glass.
  • Bill the insurer for more than the repair or replacement cost agreed on with the policyholder, a third-party administrator of the insurer or an agent representing the insurer for the written estimate.
  • Obtain a signature from a policyholder or other person on a contract if the work under the contract is not fully completed at the time the policyholder or other person signs or does not accurately reflect the negotiations and agreement between the policyholder or other person and the auto glass repair or replacement facility.
  • Take an assignment of any claim relating to the repair or replacement of auto glass.
  • It is unlawful for a person who sells or repairs and replaces auto glass to fail to make the vehicle available for inspection at the request of the insurer before performing auto glass repair and replacement services on an insured vehicle.

Rex Altree founder of SafePro Auto Glass in Phoenix, Ariz., had not yet responded to a request for comment at press time.

The statute will now move onto the Arizona Senate for consideration.

We would like to thank GLASSBYTES.com for reprint permission.

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