AASP-MN OEM-related Legislative Initiative Cut Short

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March 20, 2019—AASP-MN had recently proposed to make it an unfair claims practice for an insurance company to refuse payment for a repair procedure that's called for by an original vehicle manufacturer.

However, that proposal was pulled from the House Commerce Committee Agenda last week, effectively ending prospects for passage this legislative season.

The bill initially sought to clarify that an insurer’s obligation to assume all costs for the “satisfactory repair” of a vehicle includes completion of vehicle repairs consistent with OEM specifications. After two meetings with representatives of the insurance industry and an exchange of proposed amendments, the repair industry refocused its attention to adding a new provision to the unfair claims practices established at Minn. Stat. 72A.201.

The new language, to be introduced as an “Author’s amendment”, would have made it an unfair claims practice for an insurer to deny payment for repair operations and procedures performed in accordance with the original vehicle manufacturer’s documented technical procedures. The proposal would not have changed current law regarding the types of parts to be used in the repair of a damaged vehicle.

The bill, House File 2234, was scheduled for hearing on March 15 in the House Commerce Committee. However, late on March 14, AASP-MN was contacted by the bill author, Representative Ruth Richardson, who shared concerns of the committee chair, Representative Laurie Halverson, regarding the lack of agreement between the insurance industry and the repair industry. Halverson opted to pull the bill from the Committee Agenda in favor of continuing discussions between the two industries with the intention of trying to find accord.

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