Insurers Oppose California Auto Repair Dispute Legislation

May 9, 2006

California is scheduled to consider a bill today, May 9, that is designed to resolve auto repair disputes between insurers and policyholders, according to Jeff Fuller, executive vice president and general counsel of the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC). The bill is SB 1492 by Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough,. It is scheduled to be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

According to ACIC, the bill is unnecessary. “As a threshold issue, there appears to be no demonstrated problem that SB 1492 would resolve. There is no need to establish a rapid dispute resolution program, as proposed by the legislation, because there is no evidence that such a program is necessary,” Fuller said

In addition, he said that the proposed program – which would be created in the Department of Insurance – would bind insurers to the state’s decision, but not claimants. Fuller also questioned placing such a program within the Department of Insurance because the agency does not have any expertise in auto body repairs.

He added, “SB 1492 would accomplish nothing of benefit for consumers. Indeed, the bill would involve more inconvenience and waste of time for them, for insurers and the Department of Insurance.

“ACIC believes insurance consumers are well served by the current system which allows for both free market operation and consumer choice.”

Source: ACIC

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