Wednesday, 16 June 2010 19:30

PCI Calls on Rhode Island Governor to Veto Anti- Consumer Auto Body Bill

With passage of SB 2508 last night, consumers could be facing increased hassles and overall higher costs in the auto body repair process unless Governor Donald Carcieri vetoes this legislation, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). "This legislation is bad for consumers and we will urge the governor to veto the bill,” said Frank O'Brien, vice president, state government relations for PCI.

"SB 2508 will add to the hassle of being in an accident by requiring the additional step of an independent appraisal in the repair process. The majority of repair jobs would need this extra step, adding time and cost to a repair process that is already one of the costliest in the country.”

In recent years the Auto Body Association of Rhode Island (ABARI) has pressured Rhode Island legislators to pass 15 various measures that have driven up costs to consumers without improving the quality of repairs. Rhode Island is now the fourth most expensive state in the country to repair a car. On average, it costs $2,818 here – $460 more than the US average of $2,358.

“ABARI has been chipping away at consumer choices and repair options that would control costs for several years,” said O’Brien. “As a result of these bills costs continue to rise and with SB 2508 both time and expense will be added to the repair process. We will be asking Governor Carcieri to step in and protect consumers from yet another self-serving auto body repair measure that has been pushed through the legislature."

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $180 billion in annual premium, 37.4 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 44 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 30.7 percent of the homeowners market, 35.1 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41.7 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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