|Governor rejects Rhode Island collision repair bill|
|News - Collision Repair|
|Tuesday, 26 June 2012 13:30|
By Mike Davey
Providence, Rhode Island -- June 26, 2012 -- It looks like repairers in Rhode Island won’t be able to sue insurance carriers for reasonable reimbursement after all. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee has vetoed the bill, saying it would negatively impact auto insurance rates. The bill would have allowed repairers to pursue legal action if they could determine an agreed upon price with the insurer. The bill would have also required auto industry guidebook valuations to be used for calculating total loss values, rather than guides developed for the insurance industry.
Chafee explained the reasons behind the veto in a statement issued by his office. “"While I understand the desire to ensure auto body employees are adequately compensated for their skills and attention to safety, I believe this bill would hurt Rhode Island consumers by raising their auto insurance rates and impairing their existing contract agreements with their insurance companies," he wrote.
Frank O’Brien is the Vice President, State Government Relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. He released a statement in praise of the Governor’s decision.
“Governor Chafee’s veto of H-7782 A represents the triumph of everyday Rhode Island consumers over well-connected political insiders. The governor carefully considered the legislation and rejected this latest attempt by a group of body shops to further increase their revenues at the expense of Rhode Island drivers. We applaud the governor for taking this important stand against special interest legislation and the politics as usual approach which fails to protect the people’s interests.
“Residents in Rhode Island already pay among the highest auto repair bills in the nation and H-7782 A could have driven costs even higher," said O'Brien.
The bill was supported by the Auto Boyd Association of Rhode Island. The organization expressed its disappointment in a statement issued earlier today.
"ABARI has fought to pass laws that protect consumers and small business from insurers who care only about their bottom line. H7782 was no different. Insurers always claim that rates will go up, regardless of the legislation's substance, because it's the last scare tactic they have left. The truth is, collision premiums have been declining in Rhode Island, the opposite of their certain predictions," said the association.
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