On July 1, Michigan State Sen. Joe Hune (R-22), chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, introduced Senate Bill 430, a bill that amends the insurance code to prohibit insurers from requiring automotive repairers to use a specific vendor or process to procure parts and other materials. If enacted, this legislation would effectively end all such requirements in current direct-repair program agreements for Michigan shops.
This bill was introduced in response to the Automotive Service Association’s (ASA) advocacy efforts in the Michigan legislature. Ray Fisher, president of ASA-Michigan, said, “This bill would continue to allow repairers to choose their parts procurement systems and their parts vendors as they currently do with a majority of their customers’ insurance carriers. In turn, this will continue to increase efficiency for the automotive repair process by supporting local parts vendors and ensuring quality parts for consumers.”
ASA President Dan Risley echoed Fisher’s remarks. “ASA has communicated our concerns with mandatory parts procurement to the industry,” said Risley. “We believe that direct repair program mandates to utilize specific vendors to purchase parts and/or third-party software applications adversely impacts collision repairers and consumers.
“When you allow repairers the freedom to choose the best means to efficiently operate and manage their business and the claim, it benefits all the stakeholders (insurer, repairer and the consumer). This bill will allow collision repairers to identify and select the best vendors to purchase and source parts. More importantly, it will foster healthy competition among parts vendors and third party software providers where the best product and service will prevail. A free and open marketplace always results in better product and service.”
S.B. 430 is now before the Committee on Insurance for further consideration. If enacted, this bill will go into effect within 90 days. To review S.B. 430 and related issues, please go to ASA’s legislative website, www.TakingTheHill.com.
The Automotive Service Association is the largest not-for-profit trade association of its kind dedicated to and governed by independent automotive service and repair professionals. ASA serves an international membership base that includes numerous affiliate, state and chapter groups from both the mechanical and collision repair segments of the automotive service industry.