Indiana Lawmaker Introduces Anti-Steering Legislation for Insurance Carriers, Auto Body Shops

by Josh Cable, SENIOR EDITOR  |    Body Shop Business

Indiana Sen. Mark Messmer has introduced a bill that would place anti-steering restrictions on insurers and collision repairers.

Indiana Senate Bill 164, introduced Jan. 3, would make it illegal for insurance carriers to steer consumers to a particular body shop for repair, and would make it illegal to steer consumers to the insurer’s drive-in claim center for inspection.

The bill also would forbid insurers from specifying a particular vendor for parts procurement.

At the same time, the bill would make it illegal for body shops to “coerce or intimidate” consumers to boycott an insurer’s drive-in claim facility, and would make it illegal to “unreasonably deny” an insurer’s representative access to the shop to inspect or re-inspect a collision-damaged vehicle.

The bill places additional restrictions on insurers.

Under the proposed bill, insurers would be forbidden from engaging in a “boycott, intimidation or coercive acts” when negotiating with shops on repairs. Likewise, insurance carriers would not be allowed to “unilaterally and arbitrarily disregard a repair operation or cost identified by an estimating system” that the insurer and body shop have agreed to use.

The bill also would require insurers to physically inspect a vehicle before adjusting a body shop’s damage appraisal.

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