Tuesday, 29 June 2021 22:58

Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Reminds Collision Industry that Anti-Steering Laws Exist

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On June 3, Arkansas Insurance Commissioner Alan McClain issued a statement reminding auto body shops anti-steering laws exist and reminding consumers they have the right to choose the body shop that repairs their vehicle after an accident.

“Consumers should know that insurers cannot require a claimant to have an automobile repaired at a specific repair shop," McClain said. "If an insurer inaccurately informs you that your vehicle’s coverage is contingent upon utilizing a particular preferred vendor, they are in violation of the law and will be subject to penalties.”


Collision repair shop owners and other industry professionals should be aware of the laws that govern their local markets, especially those designed to prevent steering and other detrimental practices by insurers.


The statement from the Arkansas Department of Insurance further clarified: “While insurers may provide a list of preferred repair shops, consumers are not obligated to select one of those preferred vendors. Arkansas consumers maintain the freedom to choose the repair shop to which they take their vehicle.”


Arkansas Rule and Regulation 43(10)(c) states, “Insurers shall not require a claimant to have the automobile repaired at a specific repair shop as a condition of recovery.”


Rule 43 continues to prohibit practices that harm consumers and shops with (10)(e): “When the insurer elects to repair, and with the insured’s written consent, a specific repair shop is selected, the insurer shall cause the damaged automobile to be restored to its condition prior to the loss at the estimate cost with no additional cost to the claimant other than as stated in the policy and within a reasonable period of time.”


Arkansas Code 23-66-206(13) defines “unfair claims settlement practices” as meaning “committing or performing with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice” and identifies...

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