Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Alaska and Wyoming
Bill Status: AB 1200 (Hayashi) was narrowly defeated on the Senate floor on August 24th. But, the bill was granted reconsideration, so victory is not yet assured. The legislation passed the Senate Banking, Finance, and Insurance Committee by a vote of 8 to 1, with 3 abstentions on July 9th.
“Unfortunately, AB1200 has been subject to a disinformation campaign led by those who have a vested interest in not allowing insurers to discuss these options with their claimants. These include trial lawyers who sometimes file questionable or frivolous lawsuits related to auto body shop repair.”
—Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi
In a piece written for the San Francisco Chronicle Open Forum on Aug. 19, Hayashi (photo left) asserted that AB1200 was under attack from a “disinformation campaign.” When looking at the facts of the bill it becomes clear that there is an abundance of disinformation on the bill, largely emanating from Assemblywoman Hayashi and the bill’s insurance company bankrollers.
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi has authored a bill (AB 1200) that is meant to undo California’s anti-steering consumer protections. Hayashi’s bill is sponsored and supported by the auto insurance industry. The insurance industry supporters maintain that this bill allows insurance companies to better inform their policyholders about the benefits of DRPs. Uniformly opposing Hayashi’s bill are consumer advocacy groups.
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.