A Colorado automobile insurance company, IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. (better known as Ameriprise Auto & Home Insurance Co.), has been fined $71,100 and ordered to change its business practices following an investigation into repair shop “steering,” which violates Colorado law, the state Division of Insurance reported.
Steering, in which an insurance company illegally pushes business to certain repair shops using rebates or incentives, can harm consumers by restricting consumer choice.
According to the DOI, between September 2006 and January 2010, more than 700 Colorado consumers participated in the Ameriprise incentive program, for which they received a discount of $100 off the collision deductible amount for using a repair shop that was contracted with the insurance company as a direct repair facility. Ameriprise will pay a monetary penalty of $71,100 ($100 for each of the 711 consumers who was steered to a preferred repair shop using the program), which will go into Colorado’s general fund. By law, the company must also pay a 10 percent surcharge ($7,100) to the Department of Regulatory Agencies outreach and education fund.
Details of the Stipulation and Final Agency Order for IDS Property Casualty Co. can be found on the Division of Insurance Web site:
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