Several Support Calibration During Rhode Island Hearing

Representatives from Allstate Insurance and Safelite spoke at the Rhode Island Committee on Corporations hearing last week to voice concerns over vague language in proposed legislation regarding calibration. The two pieces of legislation referenced throughout the hearing were House Bill 6104 and Senate Bill 850. Both, if passed, would impact how repairs are done within the state and have the same section related to aftermarket glass and calibrations.

“This chapter shall not apply to the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass performed by licensed motor vehicle glass repair shops for non-collision related damage provided, the owner of the vehicle is notified in writing that installation of an aftermarket glass will require re-calibration of safety related systems, for which cost the insurer is responsible; provided, further, that an OEM glass is installed if specifically requested by the vehicle owner,” a section of House Bill 6104 reads.

Although many, including the representative for Safelite, agreed on the need for vehicles with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) to be calibrated regardless of the vehicle make and model and that customers should be made aware of the importance, there was one point that caused opposition.

According to Scot Zajic, Safelite legislative affairs vice president, his company took a dim view of its vague language, references to different types of auto glass being superior to others, and the need for vehicle calibration only for select vehicle models.

“We have concerns about the language of this bill. First it’s very vague and we fear it could, in a way, claw at the exemption we created last year and it could impact other glass shops and us for mobile repairs and replacements. Secondly the language in the bill insinuates that one form of glass is better than another and we know that isn’t the case. And third, it states only certain cars with ADAS need to be calibrated when we know for a fact that all cars with ADAS need to be calibrated,” said Zajic.

Allstate had similar issues with how the legislation is written.

“What incentive is there not to have safety when it comes to windshields,” said Tim Knapp, Allstate Northeast regional counsel.

Knapp continued by saying the insurance company relies on its glass repairers to know if calibration is necessary and “we absolutely pay for that based on safety concerns and the expertise of the repairer.”

“Our proprietary Bosch agreement gives Safelite the ability to calibrate 95% of vehicles on the road. So we know what we’re doing and we’re doing it right,” said Zajic.

He also mentioned the company has performed more than 20,000 calibrations nationwide within a fortnight prior to the hearing. He noted that each typically takes 30 minutes to complete and costs around $300.

Though Safelite maintained its opposition to some of the bill’s current language, Zajic said the company is “happy to keep working with stakeholders.”

The hearing concluded with neither bill moving forward, however they will be reviewed based on the comments made during the hearing.

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