Rhode Island bill would double damage amount for an inspection requirement

June 1, 2022
The bill would also give insurers longer to appraise vehicles.

Rhode Island Senators are considering legislation that would make it an unfair claims practice act violation for an insurer to fail to have an appraisal performed by a licensed appraiser when a vehicle exceeds $5,000 in repairs. The current iteration of the bill (S. 2784) requires an appraisal when a vehicle exceeds $2,500 in repairs and gives appraisers three business days from the time they receive the request from the auto body repair shop. 

"Failure to have an appraisal performed by a licensed appraiser where the motor vehicle has sustained damage estimated to exceed five thousand ($5,000)," according to the bill. "The licensed appraiser referred to here in must be unaffiliated with the repair facility repairing the subject motor vehicle; must perform a physical inspection of the damaged motor vehicle; and may not perform an appraisal based upon pictures of the damaged motor vehicle."

The bill, introduced by Sen. Rodger Picard in March, would double the amount of money in which an appraisal is required for damaged vehicles and would increase the amount of time appraisers receive to complete the appraisal from three to four days. The act currently allows for the time given for appraisers to complete the appraisal to be extended if agreed upon by the auto body shop and the appraiser. 

Along with time and money, the updated S.2784 would correct a citation regarding salvage and reconstructed titles, and fair market value and determining total losses would be determined by the insurer.

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