The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 1638 which amends a 1972 law requiring insurance appraisers to be present for all automotive inspections, according to Snapsheet, a provider of virtual auto claims settlement by photo. If the bill passes the Senate, auto insurance appraisals could be completed through a variety of customer-friendly options, including through the use of photographs.
The bill, while enabling virtual inspections, still retains the customers’ right to choose the method of inspection. The bill states, “an appraiser may not require the submission of photographs or videos in order to obtain an appraisal,” but it opens the doors to a new option for virtual inspections that will prove beneficial to consumers.
“For five years, Snapsheet has been enabling a new choice for customers through virtual estimating technology. We have made the process easier for customers, insurance carriers and for body shops,” said Brad Weisberg, Founder and CEO of Snapsheet. “The Pennsylvania House Bill 1638 is a huge step forward for consumers who prefer to opt-in for a self-service or virtual inspection.”
HB 1638 offers consumers the choice of how an appraisal is handled. Consumers who choose a virtual inspection will be free to schedule a repair at any body shop of their choice. Resolving a claim through the use of photos leads to higher customer satisfaction and efficiency gains.
Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Dauphin County/Schuylkill County, said in a House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda that the bill would “improve customer service and satisfaction” through methods of inspection that are based on new quality electronic enhancements and developments. According to Tobash, only five states including Pennsylvania do not allow for the use of photographs and/or video as an option to obtain an auto appraisal for accident damages.
Rep. Eddie Pashinski, D-Luzerne County argued that the bill “protects the consumer, the policy-holder,” and would ultimately save the consumer money.
The bill was introduced on Oct. 20, 2015 and sponsored by Rep. Tobash.
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