A recent announcement from the California Autobody Association (CAA) gave body shops some hope, but that does not mean that shop owners in California can rest for even a minute, because the insurance industry isn't slowing down on AB 1679.
In a recent email, CAA Executive Director David McClune briefed its membership about the current state of AB 1679.
"Good news! The Assembly Appropriations Committee has delayed consideration on AB 1679 until next year. However, we know the insurance industry may attempt another "gut and amend" in the Senate yet this year, skirting any public hearings or legislative deliberations in an attempt to get that same bad law passed. We need to prepare properly for those underhanded tactics.
We are still David against the Goliath Insurance Industry and whatever reincarnation AB 1679 may appear as next, and we need your help. We can win this battle, but only if every shop, each staff member, each employee, and every family member does their part...and we are going to make it easy for each and every one of you to be heard.
Forward this email to anyone and everyone that can help! Especially Employees!
Non-Member shops need to know too!"
McClune then included the following letter in his email and urged CAA members to send it to Senate Insurance Committee Members and the Chair of Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Senate Insurance Committee members:
I am employed in the collision repair industry. AB 1679 will tighten the insurance industry's grip over the auto repair process, weaken the only advocate (independent body shops) consumers have when dealing with their auto insurer, and cause cuts in employee pay & benefits, layoffs, and more. It is unfair and unreasonable.
Simply put, AB 1679 threatens us and our livelihood and hurts consumers. A few big insurance companies want to lower our pay so they can "save consumers from higher premiums" and make even bigger profits. The Department of Insurance estimates the yearly premium cost would only be 20 cents.
In the long run, the auto repair industry will become less competitive because the insurance companies will completely control it. And we all know what happens to costs, wages and consumer protection when things become less competitive.
AB 1679 also takes away rights of consumers to freely choose their repair shop by weakening the existing anti-steering law. There is a reason that law was passed 14 years ago and that reason has not gone away.
AB 1679 is anti-worker, anti-competitive, anti-small business, and anti-consumer.
I URGE YOU TO VOTE NO ON AB 1679!
Click Here for the CAA Formal Letter of Opposition
Please contact CAA Executive Director, Dave McClune at 916-557-8100 for more information.