Kopriva noted, “We were pleased by the number of supporters for HB1348. Melissa Hamilton and her office requested that we provide examples of some shortcomings that we are fighting, and members spoke up about steering, insurers’ refusal to follow OEM procedures, and how insurance companies are endangering the motoring public with their unethical practices.”
House Bill 1348 was sponsored by Representative Clardy along with Representative Leo Pacheco (D). The bill addresses certain insurer practices with respect to the repair of motor vehicles. It would prohibit an insurer from requiring that: “(1) a vehicle be repaired with a part or product on the basis that the part or product is the least expensive part or product available; or (2) the beneficiary of a policy purchase any part or product from any vendor or supplier, including an out-of-state vendor or supplier, on the basis that the part or product is the least expensive part of product available.”
Additionally, an insurer “may not consider a specified part or product for the repair of a motor vehicle to be of like kind and quality as an original equipment manufacturer part or product for any purpose unless the insurer or the manufacturer of the specified part or product has conclusively demonstrated that the specified part or product: (1) meets the fit, finish, and quality criteria established for the part or product by the original equipment manufacturer of the part or product; (2) is the same weight and metal hardness established for the part or product by the original equipment manufacturer of the part or product; and (3)has been tested using the same crash and safety test criteria used by the original equipment manufacturer of the part or product.
“(a-3) Under an automobile insurance policy that is delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state, an insurer described by Subsection (a), an employee or agent of the insurer, an insurance adjuster, or an entity that employs an insurance adjuster may not directly or indirectly limit the insurer's coverage under a policy covering damage to a motor vehicle by: (1) [(2)] limiting the beneficiary of the policy from selecting a repair person or facility to repair damage to the vehicle to the vehicle's condition before the damage occurred in order for the beneficiary to obtain the repair without owing any out-of-pocket cost other than the deductible; (2) intimidating, coercing, or threatening the beneficiary to induce the beneficiary to use a particular repairperson or facility; or (3) offering an incentive or inducement, other than a warranty issued by a repair person or facility, for the beneficiary to use a particular repair person or facility.