Texas House Passes ‘Fair Appraisal’ Bill, Sends to Senate

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After the Texas House on May 9 passed a bill establishing a fair appraisal process for damaged cars, the state Senate will now consider it.

Texas Watch and the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) are asking residents to support HB 1437 and its companion bill in the Senate, SB 554, and to ask their representatives in the Legislature to do the same.

With less than two weeks left in the session, the organizations are giving it their all to get the bills across the finish line.

The bills make fair auto appraisal mandatory in Texas auto policies, ABAT said. HB 4194 makes clear rules for appraisal so insurance companies can't play games with the timing of appraisal.

Fair auto appraisal is a process that allows a vehicle owner and their insurance company to determine how much a repair will cost. After a car crash, insurance companies often lowball claims, trying to repair cars on the cheap. Repairs should be done safely, according to the manufacturer’s specifications, ABAT said. Fair auto appraisal, with protections built in to prevent delay tactics, can help consumers resolve disputes with their insurance company quickly, so they can get back on the road with the confidence their repair was done safely.

A separate bill, HB 1321, would ensure quality auto parts are used to make repairs that follow accepted safety standards, and will prevent insurance companies from steering people to preferred body shops.

"Every Texan should have the right to a quality repair, made in a quality repair shop of your choice, using quality parts---without insurance companies bullying us," ABAT said. "Auto insurance companies are trying to take appraisal away in policies, which will hurt you and your family financially. Claims must be paid on time and in full."

ABAT said 1,200 people have signed a petition to support the bills, and it aims to get that number up to 1,500. Sign the petition here.

To access a form to help call lawmakers, visit this site.

Source: ABAT

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