Thursday, 07 February 2008 17:00

CRA Sponsors Tough Anti-Steering Legislation

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The Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) is sponsoring SB 1167 to stop insurers from driving through two holes in California’s anti-steering law. The legislation, introduced February 7, 2008 by State Senator Pat Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa), requires insurers to first determine if the claimant has selected a shop prior to any discussion of repairs; and it prohibits insurer discussions of DRPs if a claimant has selected a shop.

 

Allen Wood, CRA executive director, stated, “While we have a good anti-steering law on the books, it isn’t being enforced. SB 1167 takes away the Department of Insurance’s remaining excuses for not stopping blatant acts of steering.”

 

The CRA’s lobbyist, Richard Steffen, noted that insurer representatives argue that they have the right to explain the benefits of DRPs to a claimant.  “Insurers are using the DRP concept to skirt California’s anti-steering law. The CRA’s position is clear. If a claimant doesn’t know where to take a damaged vehicle, then the insurer can recommend shops. When a claimant has made a choice, the choice should be protected and not manipulated through DRP rhetoric such as ‘we don’t guarantee the work at that shop,’ or ‘you’ll be responsible for extra charges’. “

 

Steffen predicted that there will be heated debate on the issue, but he said he remained optimistic that the department’s regulators are growing tired of insurer word tracks that violate the spirit of the anti-steering statutes.


The CRA is also sponsoring SB 1059 (Migden) which prohibits an insurer from requiring a repairer to use aftermarket parts.   

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