According to AASP-MN Lobbyist Kevin Walli, “[We] are resolved to renew efforts to move legislation which would make it an unfair claims practice for an insurer to deny payment for repair operations and procedures performed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications.”
In 2019, Representative Ruth Richardson (DFL – Mendota Heights) and Senator Karin Housley (R- St. Mary’s Point) introduced legislation designed to ensure payment for repairs that follow OEM guidelines. According to Walli, “AASP-MN argued that the increased complexity of vehicles, including collision avoidance systems, makes proper repair a public safety consideration.”
The Minnesota lobbying team for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) joined AASP-MN in support of the proposed legislation, but the insurance industry did not agree, though several meetings were held with insurance industry officials prior to the March 15 committee hearing. “Lack of consensus with insurers on the eve of our hearing resulted in the postponement of the bill for the remainder of the 2019 session,” Walli recalled.
As AASP-MN renews its efforts for 2020, the association will be meeting with bill authors and other allies to ensure their continued support, including AAM, ASA, SCRS and AASP National. Walli shared, “We will re-engage in conversations with the insurance industry to see whether the public safety argument pushes them to come to terms with recognizing recommended procedures for safe repairs.”
“Then, we will go back to the House and Senate Commerce Committee Chairs to let them know we have done our due diligence in framing and presenting our argument for adoption of this measure which must be considered in the context of public safety concerns,” Walli continued. “AASP-MN members and staff will begin this process this summer and will continue pursuing support for this measure up to the start of the new year. It is our goal to have this issue properly framed for consideration by the House and Senate Commerce Committees as we start the new session.”
For updates on AASP-MN’s legislative endeavors, visit aaspmn.org.