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Maine Governor Vetoes Anti-Steering Bill

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July 19, 2017—Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed Maine LD 1540. If enacted, LD 1540 would have clarified a provision in Maine’s anti-steering law, specifically regarding an insurer’s responsibility to convey that the insured or claimant has the legal right to choose the motor vehicle repair service to fix the vehicle.

LePage submitted his position to the legislature, explaining:

Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1540, "An Act to Protect Consumers’ Freedom of Choice in Auto Collision Repairs."

LD 1540 appears to be a solution in search of a problem. If auto insurance companies were truly steering business toward specific collision repair businesses, this may be a discussion worth having. But over the course of the last nine years, Maine’s insurance bureau has only received six consumer complaints regarding this issue; two of those complaints were that insurers did not direct insureds to shops participating in the insurer’s networks.

Additionally, the Superintendent of Insurance conducted a study of the seven largest auto insurance carriers in Maine and did not identify any instances of steering.

This bill micromanages Maine businesses and creates more unnecessary regulations for Maine’s auto insurance industry. For this reason, I return LD 1540 unsigned and vetoed.

 

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