AGRR Magazine

Wisconsin Senate and Assembly Hold Public Hearings on SB 181 and AB 353

by Penny Stacey

The Wisconsin State Senate and the House Assembly held public hearings on Senate Bill 181 (SB 181) and Assembly Bill 353 (AB 353), respectively, yesterday. Both bills could have implications for the auto glass industry, as they would remove the word "glass" from the current law, which reads as follows:

"An insurer that issues a motor vehicle insurance policy covering the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass may not require, as a condition of that coverage, that an insured, or a third party, making a claim under the policy for the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass obtain services or parts from a particular vendor, or in a particular location, specified by the insurer."

While the bill would open up the current law, 632.37, to other sectors of the automotive industry, it would also require insurers to post notices that an insured can utilize the repair facility of his choice, would require this language to appear on insurance policy cards and would require insurers to first ask customers if they have a repair vendor in mind and allow them to make a recommendation only if the insured indicates he has not selected a repair shop and/or requests a referral. The bills also contain several other provisions regarding insurers and insurer payments.

A representative from Rep. Karl Van Roy's office, Tanya Hein, says she feels the Assembly hearing was positive. Van Roy was one of the original sponsors of the bill.

"I feel the [committee] members recognize that there is a problem in the industry with steering practices," she told glassBYTES.comô/AGRR magazine today.

She says the bill is now in the hands of the Insurance Committee chair. "The bill could be voted on as is, as amended or the committee chair could decide not to move, so it's up to the committee chair to decide where we'll go from here," Hein said.

Sen. Roger Breske, who originally wrote the Senate bill, could not be reached for comment.

Insurance News notes that representatives from the American Insurance Association were in attendance to urge legislators not to amend the current law.

CLICK HERE for coverage from Insurance News.

Penny Stacey is the editor of glassbytes.comô/AGRR magazine.

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