The Texas Auto Body Insurance Accountability Bill, House Bill 1348, failed to receive a second reading by the end of this legislative session, simply running out of time rather than being defeated by the bill’s opponents.
House Bill 1348 was only six bills away from being heard in the House Chamber when the clock signaled the end of the session, but proponents of the bill are still optimistic about the progress that was made.
John Kopriva, president of the Houston Auto Body Association (HABA), said, “The 86th Legislative session is in the books. Looking back over the last couple of months, a lot of time and effort was spent in Austin at our State Capital in support of HB 1348. This bill was well on its way for approval, but the legislative clock ended the session before it could be presented.”
“Our platform, ‘Safety before Profitability,’ is strong and we will be back. We count this as a successful legislative session. During the months ahead, we need to keep our momentum going. Join your local collision associations and help move our industry forward,” Kopriva added.
Though she acknowledged that it would be “easy for us to feel defeated,” Jill Tuggle, executive director of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT), said there’s plenty to be proud of. "The bill wasn’t voted against. We made it far in the process, but our work isn’t over. We’re excited about the future.”
House Bill 1348 was written to hold insurers to OEM repair procedures, forbidding an insurer from “disregard[ing] a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system, including the system’s procedural pages and any repair, process or procedure recommended by the original equipment manufacturer of a part or product.”
In addition to defining “kind and quality” for aftermarket parts, the bill also defined a reasonable and necessary amount as “the amount determined by the original equipment manufacturer’s manufacturer and estimating systems required to repair a vehicle to the condition before the covered damage to the vehicle occurred.”
During the April hearing, bill sponsor Rep. Travis Clardy (R) addressed the need for lawmakers to give the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) the authority to “do the right thing” for consumers.