The measure (HB 664) would make it clear that auto insurers must reimburse repair shops as long as they make fixes that comply with "applicable manufacturers procedures."
This would block the insurer from using its own collision expert to conclude a repair shop estimate was too high and would not be fully covered.
The bipartisan bill (HB 664) passed by a veto-proof majority in the
Bill sponsor Rep.
"We found there were a lot of differences among the body shops and the insurance companies in terms of repair requirements they were allowed or reimbursed for," Williams told a state
But Sununu said the measure risked raising auto insurance premiums and could be a boon to large chain repair shops at the expense of smaller, independent businesses.
"The requirements outlined in this bill would introduce a significant disadvantage for smaller, independent repair shops and could limit their ability to compete. This limits consumer choice while raising insurance rates without the corresponding increase in safety for our citizens."
The average auto insurance premium in
The national average is
"The people who built the car know how to best fix the car," McNamara said. "This veto means the safety of 1.3 million local car owners in
"Today's high-tech vehicles with collision avoidance, multiple computers and different types of metals and refinishing materials requires expert repairs including manufacturer recommendations," Nadeau said. "Scans and re-calibration of safety systems are critical to ensure occupant safety."
"Stakeholders and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle worked hard to address concerns over unfair collision repair reimbursements to improve current practices and protect public safety. Unfortunately,
"The Department feels that the same parties, with sufficient time in the future, will be able to work together to ensure that the bill can be designed to fulfill the important interest of industry and consumers in a way that is consistent with the original intent of the sponsors."
"What this bill does is eliminate the insurer from the discussion and make them pay the choice of auto repairers and manufacturers," said
"HB 664 eliminates the check and balance of this process. This permits manipulation, it is a recipe for abuse and it is an invitation to fraud. This is bad public policy."
The head of the
But repair shop executive Nadeau said some collision shops have gone under because owners were not getting costs recovered while having to deal with more expensive technology built into newer cars and trucks.
"The insurance companies should not be able to control how these cars are repaired. They control the price. They control the parts," Nadeau said. "Rates have been held in this state for the past 15 years."
(c)2019 The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.)
Visit The New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.) at www.unionleader.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.