Tuesday, 02 February 2010 10:33

Arizona Glass Assn VP, Kerry Soat, says billing errors shouldn't be felonies

Below is a draft of the speech given by Kerry Soat to the Arizona House of Representatives Banking and Insurance Committee regarding House Bill 2463. Cindy Ketcherside and Rex Alltree also spoke on House Bill 2464, with regards to eliminating the $0 deductible from the Arizona Law. 

State Farm, Farmers Insurance Group and Progressive had representatives there speaking on behalf of the bill. The bills still moved forward with the insurance company reps told to get with industry groups to make amendments correcting these issues brought up by Soat.  The committee was concerned about the failure by the insurance companies to consult with our organization when preparing this bill.
Said Soat to the committee:


Madam Chair and members of the committee.  My name is Kerry Soat, CEO of Fas-Break, Inc.   I am also the Vice President of the Arizona Glass Association and hold an insurance and securities license in the state of Arizona.

I would like to address these:
Parts of the bill:
A1. a, b, c,             Already illegal under Arizona Law
A1.d    Not an illegal action deserving a felony. ( I ordered hats in October from my screen printing company which was delivered to me a week before Christmas.  The invoice was dated October when I placed the order.  Should my screen printing company be charged with a felony for this billing practice? )    
A2.                Already illegal under Arizona Law
A3.                Already illegal under Arizona Law
A3a.    Too Vague – Define Relationship?  What constitutes a legal relationship that can be represented to a client?
A3b.    Too Vague - Cost to Whom?  This bill does not establish what constitutes “cost”.  
A3c.    Too Vague – Define Approved?  This bill does not establish by whose determination a job could be considered approved.  
A4.    Shouldn’t be an illegal action with $0 Deductible Glass Coverage and by the Waiving of deductibles for repairs in Arizona.
A5.    Already illegal under Arizona Law
A6.    Too Vague - By what or whose standards?  This bill does not establish a standard by which is legal.
A6B.    Redundant – Un-Necessary
A6C.    Removes “Private Right of Action” from insured’s.
Removes “Presumption of Innocence”
Makes this bill Unconstitutional
Section 2.
20-466.01    Already illegal under Arizona Law    
20-466-02    Already available under Arizona Law

When you take this bill at face value, as I have just demonstrated, the answer is not by writing more laws, but by enforcement of the ones we already have.


It’s possible the real issue here is effective enforcement and for the public to be made more aware of their current rights against fraudulent practices by any industry, not just the Auto Glass Industry.
I understand the Legislature can only write laws and pass them down for enforcement but by writing the same laws over and over, you are only complicating the system and “making effective enforcement” almost impossible due to “interpretation” by the very powers given the duty to enforce these laws.
Allowing an Insurance Company to engage in any type of “enforcing” the laws of Arizona, you are opening up a precedent they will take to further reaches than just the Auto Glass Industry.  
Any company that operates in “any” fashion that doesn’t fit with their view of handling claims will be “locked up and jailed” according to this bill.
A felony is a very serious charge, not to mention being found guilty of one.  
It means you no longer have the right to vote, you no longer have the right to hunt in the state of Arizona, you no longer have the right to carry or own a gun, and it is becoming increasingly impossible to find a place to live or to get a job.    
It currently means, with a felony, you cannot “direct bill” most of the major insurance companies for replacing a windshield and that’s without this bill.
Unfortunately, when a person is found guilty of a felony, most people’s opinion is “he desires it” and everything that goes along with it.  We seem to have a real desire to “punish”.
But, to put someone’s home address on their invoice instead of the address to the parking lot where the installation occurred;
or to tell a client their installation has been “approved” by their insurance company, when that isn’t actually true because “we are not allowed” to talk to the insurance company but instead the clients and ourselves are calling into an 800 number that rings directly to some of our largest competitors for this “so called” approval;
or possibly charging extra for taking the time to do an installation safely using original equipment glass, original materials, and taking the time necessary to adhere to the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard, known as AGRSS.  This “ANSI Safety Standard” is not recognized by the largest Auto Glass Dealer in the state of Arizona today, because they consider it “not necessary” when compared to “their standards”.  This one fact alone should make this bill disappear;
Just these few actions would subject the Auto Glass Shop owner and installer to “felony” charges by the passage of this bill.  The above listed business practices shouldn’t even be considered misdemeanors in the state of Arizona or any other state for that matter.
All of the other fraudulent practices some of you on this committee have shared are already “illegal actions” in the state of Arizona, but to make innocent business practices a felony should be a crime in itself.
Thank you respectfully for giving me this time.
Kerry D. Soat
Fas-Break, Inc.

Vice President
Arizona Glass Association

25850 S. Montana Ave
Chandler, AZ 85248

See previous article here