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NCOIL rejects model act for aftermarket crash parts

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March 7, 2011 — After years of debate, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) Model Act for Motor Vehicle Crash Parts and Repair is dead.

NCOIL’s Property and Casualty Committee on March 6 voted to reject the model—intended to protect consumers filing auto body damage claims with insurers—at its spring meeting in Washington, D.C. The act, opposed by numerous automotive groups, would have required shop disclosure and customer approval of parts prior to repair or replacement; allowed insurers to limit their payment to the cost of aftermarket crash parts; and mandated permanent, transparent crash parts identification.

Prior to defeating the model act, the Property and Casualty Committee accepted an amendment that said “certified aftermarket crash parts shall be presumed to be capable of restoring a vehicle to its pre-loss condition.”

Amendment withdrawals from Rep. Barb Byrum, D-Mich. helped give the committee enough time to discuss and vote on the model act. Byrum had worked with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) on the amendments, which would have held insurers liable for aftermarket parts they choose. But as the act’s impending rejection became clear, the amendments were dropped.

“During the hearing in D.C., and in the days leading up to it, SCRS and our partners in opposition to the model became increasingly convinced that we had the necessary support from the committee members to put this issue to rest once and for all,” said SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg. “Given our confidence in the legislators on the committee during this meeting, we didn't want to risk that the amendments could delay a final vote by creating additional discussion over the proposed language." Once the additional amendments were removed from consideration, the committee called for an up-and-down vote on the model, which resulted in the vote to oppose, and the conclusion of several years spent discussing this topic within NCOIL.

The SCRS, Automotive Service Association (ASA) and nearly 40 other automotive groups sent a letter to NCOIL days before the committee meeting, urging the model act’s rejection.

“It is rewarding to see our longstanding efforts to defeat this model succeed,” said SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn. “Our membership and affiliates have worked tirelessly to share our opposition with the legislators on the committee over the past several years, and defeating this model at NCOIL curtails the inevitable need to oppose the language on a state-by-state basis had it passed. It is great to bring home a win for our constituents.”

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