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Montana bill could add estimating guidelines to anti-steering law

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Jan. 5, 2011 — A bill recently introduced in Montana would require insurance companies to consider all repairs and costs identified by an estimating system agreed to by the shop and insurer.

If approved, the language would be added to current Montana law that prohibits insurers from:

• Requiring claimants to use a particular shop or location for an estimate;
• Intimidating, coercing or threatening a claimant, or providing an incentive to use a specific shop or location.

A similar bill passed in Minnesota in 2008. Darrell Amberson, an Automotive Service Association (ASA) board member from that state, said in an ASA news release_notes that the change improved estimating practices. He thought it would do the same in Montana.

“This legislation, if enacted, will improve the plight of Montana collision repairers,” Amberson said.

To read the full bill, go to ASA’s legislative website.

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