Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming
The author of AB 1200, a bill that would make it easier for insurers to steer customers, will chair a legislative hearing on auto body repair fraud on Tuesday, August 25, 2009 at 2 pm in Room 126 of the State Capitol, Sacramento. The CRA---which is opposed to the bill---will request an opportunity to testify before the bill’s author, Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi who runs the powerful Assembly Business and Professions Committee.
“We resent the tone of the author who [implies] that insurers need more control over the repair process because there are too many dishonest collision repairers,” stated Lee Amaradio, CRA president. “ We applaud Congresswoman Jackie Speier for standing in opposition to Assemblywoman Hayashi’s special interest effort to reward insurers by giving them a blank check to strong arm claimants through the claims process. “ Amaradio is asking CRA members to come to the hearing to address any untruths that might be foisted upon committee members. CRA will issue updates on the hearing on August t as they occur.
The California Autobody Association (CAA) is asking its membership to send letters to both their Senators and Assemblymembers in
opposition of AB 1200. This bill could be heard on the Senate and Assembly floors within the next few weeks.
The CAA is very concerned that AB 1200, as proposed, would allow insurers to legally “steer” the insured or claimant to an insurer
preferred repair shop even after an informed consumer has clearly made a choice as to where the vehicle should be repaired. This bill
would override current law which prohibits insurers from “steering” the insured or claimant to an insurer preferred shop after the
Diamondback Collision Center, in Glendale, Arizona, has been acquired by the Boyd Group Inc. (“Boyd Group”) and will now operate under the Gerber Collision & Glass trade name. This acquisition was completed on August 10, 2009. The new location is approximately 18,000 square feet and well located in an area to help serve consumers and insurance clients in the northwest suburban Phoenix area. Including this acquisition, Boyd Group now owns and operates 37 centers in Canada and 47 centers in the U.S., for a total of 84 centers in North America.
The Califiornia Department of Insurance has announced the arrest of a Sacramento Area Family for Alleged Auto Insurance Fraud
On July 9, a Los Angeles County appelate court upheld Infinity Insurance’s claim that it is only liable for all of its insured’s costs if the vehicle owner uses an Infinity DRP shop for repairs, otherwise it is only liable for 80% of the repair costs.
Consumer Watchdog is urging Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) to amend her proposal (AB 1200) that seeks to undo a current California law prohibiting insurance companies from pushing, or "steering," customers to auto body shops under contract with the insurer.
Since late 2008, Southern California body shops have been prevented from installing new spray booths or been able to modify their existing spray booth from its existing permit condition, including moving an existing booth to a new location, or adding an air make-up system for waterborne paint.