Monday, 14 June 2021 22:52

Rhode Island Collision Repairers Seek to Clarify Concerns with 2 House Bills

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Last month, the Rhode Island House Corporations Committee heard from collision repairers advocating for House Bill 6234 and House Bill 6235, both introduced by Reps. William O'Brien, Scott Slater, Jacquelyn Baginski, Raymond Hull, Camille Vella-Wilkinson and Gregg Amore.

House Bill 6234 seeks to update Rhode Island General Laws §27-9.1-4, the state’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, by addressing issues related to paint and materials charges, vehicle abandonment and sublets.


House Bill 6235 would require insurers using recycled parts to choose parts that are “at least equal in kind and quality to the OEM parts in terms of fit, quality, performance and warranty, and be from a vehicle of the same year or newer and have the same or less mileage than the vehicle receiving the used part.”


House Bills 6234 and 6235 were reviewed simultaneously during the Rhode Island House Corporations Committee hearing. O’Brien, the House Corporations Committee vice chairman, said the main reason he sponsored the bill was related to a constituent’s experience where their insurer abandoned a total loss, accumulating $1,000 in storage fees, which, he said, the insurer was responsible for.


The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Northeast has “no objection to the total loss notification provisions,” according to Rory Whelan, northeast regional vice president, though the group opposes the other two amendments proposed by the bill.


Rep. Robert Craven Sr. supports House Bill 6234 because of “the general frustration that the auto body shops are having dealing with the insurers, but most importantly, the consumer who pays for this insurance policy and doesn’t get what he or she expects to get.”


Craven indicated insurers object to paying for items as simple as taping windows before painting, though it is part of the process required. Policyholders pay for the insurance company to return their vehicle to its original state after an accident, according to Craven, who also specified...

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