RI Gov. Vetoes Collision Repair Legislation

In July, Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed several bills affecting auto collision repair procedures within the state.

Automotive Body Repair News reported that Carcieri vetoed House Bill 5547, which sought to allow claimants and insured parties to use the car rental company of their choice. The bill also clarified insurance card notice as it relates to the consumer's right to choose an auto body repair shop.

Another bill, House Bill 5549, would have required insurance companies to follow all parts of a repair manual when appraising a damaged vehicle. Failure to do so would have constituted an "unfair practice." The bill also would have designated as an unfair practice the altering of a published repair manual without prior agreement among the parties, failure to use the manual or system in its entirety for the appraisal, and refusing to pay proper compensation for paint and refinishing materials. Shops with existing contracts with insurance companies would have been exempted.

Carcieri also vetoed a bill that would have given body shop customers the right to designate a representative to authorize repairs to their vehicle, as long as that designee wasn't from an insurance company or an auto body repair shop.

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America had opposed the package of bills.

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