ABAT Raising Funds to Target Right to Appraisal Bill in Texas in 2025

The Auto Body Association of Texas is preparing for a 2025 legislative battle to ensure consumers have a fair assessment of repairs.


The Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) is gearing up for a busy legislative season in 2025 by establishing a fund to support its legislative activities. The fund is mainly aimed at backing the Right to Appraisal (RTA) bill, a crucial initiative that would mandate all automobile insurance companies to include it in their policies.

This bill ensures consumers can engage an unbiased third-party appraiser to determine the appropriate repair scope for their vehicles, counterbalancing the insurance companies’ influence.

It also benefits shops, because if the third-party appraiser determines the consumer should get more for their claim, the shop is paid more, easing its cost to complete a safer repair to OEM standards.

“The Right to Appraisal bill is at the top of our legislative agenda for 2025," said ABAT President Burl Richards, owner of Burl’s Collision Center in Henderson, TX. "It’s about ensuring consumers have a fair and unbiased assessment of their vehicle repairs, beyond what insurance companies might dictate.”

ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle said the funds raised will be pivotal in educating legislators and providing data to illustrate the necessity of the Right to Appraisal. “We need to make our case compelling and clear, which requires resources,” Tuggle said.

CrystalEdGriffinCrystal and Ed Griffin, Griffin’s Paint & Body, Winnsboro, TX.

A Closer Look: Griffin’s Paint & Body and the Right to Appraisal Bill

To understand the impact of the Right to Appraisal bill on local body shops, Autobody News spoke with Ed and Crystal Griffin, owners of Griffin’s Paint & Body in Winnsboro, TX. As ABAT members and active legislative partners, the Griffins have firsthand experience with the current system's challenges for small body shops and their customers.

“In our small town with a population of about 4,000, we see insurance companies underwrite only 25% to 50% of actual repair costs regularly,” Ed Griffin said. “This forces consumers into a tough position, often fighting their insurance companies for fair coverage.”

A striking example involved a claim with Allstate. Initially, Allstate estimated the repair costs to be $8,000. After a month-long battle, the consumer could not get Allstate to budge, so he had a hard decision. He invoked his Right to Appraisal, where neutral appraisers and an umpire determined the actual cost was $19,000, resulting in a win for the consumer.

“We strive to perform quality repairs to OEM specifications," Crystal Griffin said. "Without the Right to Appraisal, insurance companies can steer consumers to contracted shops that cut corners, compromising repair quality and safety. This bill is essential for ensuring fair and thorough repairs.”

The average price of invoking the Right to Appraisal at Griffin’s Paint & Body shop is approximately $800 to $1,500 per claim, which Griffin's often helps its customers pay. While a larger shop might more easily absorb these costs, for smaller operations like Griffin's, the financial burden of covering independent appraiser fees can be significant. However, it usually pays off for the customer, as the estimate increases, on average, by $6,000 once the Right to Appraisal is complete.

The Broader Legislative Landscape

In addition to the Right to Appraisal bill, ABAT is also focusing on other legislative efforts for 2025. These include a bill to define “LKQ” (Like Kind and Quality) and set minimum specifications for aftermarket parts. This initiative aims to clarify terms often left to insurance companies’ interpretation and promote safe, proper repairs.

ABAT calls on its members to support these initiatives by becoming legislative partners. The goal is to have 82 shops join the cause before the legislative session begins. “We’re hopeful for the next session, but we need the funds now to ensure this crucial policy crosses the finish line,” urged Tuggle.

“We’re fighting an uphill battle, but it’s one we must fight," Ed Griffin said. "ABAT’s legislative fund is our way of standing up for consumers and ensuring they receive the quality repairs they deserve.”

For more information on how to support ABAT’s legislative efforts, visit their landing page or contact the association directly.

Leona Scott

Contributing Writer
With extensive experience in the auto care industry and working for nonprofits, Leona D. Scott has dedicated years to crafting compelling content for print... Read More

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