Lombardozzi asked, “What’s the percentage of shops in New Hampshire that is capable of repairing vehicles to OEM recommendations? I bet it’s way less than 50 percent. If a collision repair shop does most of the OEM repair procedures but not all of them, is it entitled to get paid as if it did them all, or does it only get paid for the repairs completed according to OEM recommendations? The language is crazy. It will probably increase complaints to the insurance department, but who cares.”
Proponents of the bill are proud to say they have not received much opposition from insurance companies other than threats of increased premiums, which is a typical threat.
“Premiums never go down in this state or any other state anyway,” Lombardozzi quipped. “Insurers aren’t complaining about this proposed bill, but why should they? It gives them a license to cheat consumers out of their rightful cash value. If 30 percent of people opt not to get their car repaired, it allows the insurer to underwrite the value of the loss legally since the law only applies if the vehicle is repaired. This is what happens when you have shop owners who want to interfere in the business of insurance and have no idea what they are trying to do.
“House Bill 664 is just a new example of the collision repair industry interfering with the insurance industry. Who cares what insurers pay. They pay their insureds for a covered loss, and it’s the shop’s responsibility to correctly repair the vehicle. The contract spells out exactly what they owe their insureds. Collision repair people get ticked off when insurers interfere in our business, so they should be more focused on getting the insurance industry out of the collision repair industry’s business. There are lots of laws on the books to prevent their interference, but it doesn’t benefit anyone if we start doing to them what we don’t want them doing to us! In my opinion, this will get passed because insurers know it’s more beneficial to them than to the body shops. Too often, attempts to improve the industry through legislation backfire in our faces.”