Anti-steering Legislation Introduced in New York Assembly

A companion bill has been introduced in the New York State Assembly by RoAnn M. Destito, assembly member from the 116th assembly district in Oneida County, identical to the one introduced earlier into the Senate that would amend the state insurance law to prohibit insurance companies from recommending or suggesting repairs be made by a specific place, shop or particular concern unless requested by the insured.

The bill also adds language that regulations relating to the replacement of auto glass shall contain standards at least as stringent as those developed by the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard Council (AGRSS).

The bill, like the one in the Senate, has been referred to the insurance committee.

This is done by amending section 2610 of the insurance law to prohibit insurers from attempting to recommend or suggest that auto glass repairs be made at a particular place or shop. It also requires the insurance superintendent to promulgate regulations relating to the installation of auto glass.

Scott Owens, owner of Excel Auto Glass in Lake Katrina, N.Y., has been the driving force behind the proposed legislative change in the state. He points out that he and others in the industry are trying to get the consumer protection people involved in the drive to pass the legislation.

"The key was to make sure that we had Republican support in the Senate and Democratic support in the Assembly," he explained. "That gives us majority control in both sections."

He went on to say that he is building support across the state. "The insurance industry won't try to defeat a bill on consumer rights now with the way Eliot Spitzer [the state's attorney general] is watching the insurance industry," he adds.

Owens says that he hopes the bills will get out of committee this year. "Then it's hard to tell if it will go to another committee or to the floor, but we hope to get the legislation enacted within two years."

The Long Island Glass Association meeting on Wednesday, May 4 will include updates on the S3429 and A07199 auto glass anti-steering bills. Information on that meeting, which will be at the Holiday Inn in Plainview, is available at 516/349-7400.

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