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Wisconsin bill targets insurance company steering

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 23:00

The Wisconsin Assembly is considering a bill that would expand anti-steering laws from the purchase of automobile glass to all types of automobile repair.

AB 221 would not prohibit insurers from establishing direct-repair program agreements with collision repair shops nor would it prohibit insurance companies from recommending a shop to policyholders who request a referral.

The bill would require insurers to inquire whether the insured has selected a repair shop before recommending one.

It also would require that every motor vehicle proof of insurance card issued after the effective date of the bill contain a notice that insurance companies are prohibited from requiring repairs be made by a particular repair facility. The same information would have to be posted at auto body repair shops and auto insurance claim facilities.

The bill also would prohibit an insurer or anyone acting on behalf of an insurer from unilaterally and arbitrarily disregarding a repair operation or cost identified under a damage repair estimate system.

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