as introduced - 83rd Legislature (2003 - 2004) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to insurance; regulating auto glass repair 1.3 and replacement; amending Minnesota Statutes 2002, 1.4 sections 72A.201, subdivision 6, by adding a 1.5 subdivision; 325F.783. 1.6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.7 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 72A.201, 1.8 subdivision 6, is amended to read: 1.9 Subd. 6. [STANDARDS FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CLAIMS 1.10 HANDLING, SETTLEMENT OFFERS, AND AGREEMENTS.] In addition to the 1.11 acts specified in subdivisions 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9, the following 1.12 acts by an insurer, adjuster, or a self-insured or 1.13 self-insurance administrator constitute unfair settlement 1.14 practices: 1.15 (1) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the 1.16 adjustment and settlement of an automobile total loss on the 1.17 basis of actual cash value or replacement with like kind and 1.18 quality and the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to 1.19 offer one of the following methods of settlement: 1.20 (a) comparable and available replacement automobile, with 1.21 all applicable taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the 1.22 unexpired term of the replaced automobile's license, and other 1.23 fees incident to the transfer or evidence of ownership of the 1.24 automobile paid, at no cost to the insured other than the 1.25 deductible amount as provided in the policy; 2.1 (b) a cash settlement based upon the actual cost of 2.2 purchase of a comparable automobile, including all applicable 2.3 taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the unexpired term of 2.4 the replaced automobile's license, and other fees incident to 2.5 transfer of evidence of ownership, less the deductible amount as 2.6 provided in the policy. The costs must be determined by: 2.7 (i) the cost of a comparable automobile, adjusted for 2.8 mileage, condition, and options, in the local market area of the 2.9 insured, if such an automobile is available in that area; or 2.10 (ii) one of two or more quotations obtained from two or 2.11 more qualified sources located within the local market area when 2.12 a comparable automobile is not available in the local market 2.13 area. The insured shall be provided the information contained 2.14 in all quotations prior to settlement; or 2.15 (iii) any settlement or offer of settlement which deviates 2.16 from the procedure above must be documented and justified in 2.17 detail. The basis for the settlement or offer of settlement 2.18 must be explained to the insured; 2.19 (2) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the 2.20 adjustment and settlement of an automobile partial loss on the 2.21 basis of repair or replacement with like kind and quality and 2.22 the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to offer one of 2.23 the following methods of settlement: 2.24 (a) to assume all costs, including reasonable towing costs, 2.25 for the satisfactory repair of the motor vehicle. Satisfactory 2.26 repair includes repair of both obvious and hidden damage as 2.27 caused by the claim incident. This assumption of cost may be 2.28 reduced by applicable policy provision; or 2.29 (b) to offer a cash settlement sufficient to pay for 2.30 satisfactory repair of the vehicle. Satisfactory repair 2.31 includes repair of obvious and hidden damage caused by the claim 2.32 incident, and includes reasonable towing costs; 2.33 (3) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, in 2.34 the event that a damaged vehicle of an insured cannot be safely 2.35 driven, failing to exercise the right to inspect automobile 2.36 damage prior to repair within five business days following 3.1 receipt of notification of claim. In other cases the inspection 3.2 must be made in 15 days; 3.3 (4) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, 3.4 requiring unreasonable travel of a claimant or insured to 3.5 inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate, 3.6 to allow an insurer to inspect a repair estimate, to allow an 3.7 insurer to inspect repairs made pursuant to policy requirements, 3.8 or to have the automobile repaired; 3.9 (5) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, if 3.10 loss of use coverage exists under the insurance policy, failing 3.11 to notify an insured at the time of the insurer's acknowledgment 3.12 of claim, or sooner if inquiry is made, of the fact of the 3.13 coverage, including the policy terms and conditions affecting 3.14 the coverage and the manner in which the insured can apply for 3.15 this coverage; 3.16 (6) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, 3.17 failing to include the insured's deductible in the insurer's 3.18 demands under its subrogation rights. Subrogation recovery must 3.19 be shared at least on a proportionate basis with the insured, 3.20 unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered by the 3.21 insured, except that when an insurer is recovering directly from 3.22 an uninsured third party by means of installments, the insured 3.23 must receive the full deductible share as soon as that amount is 3.24 collected and before any part of the total recovery is applied 3.25 to any other use. No deduction for expenses may be made from 3.26 the deductible recovery unless an attorney is retained to 3.27 collect the recovery, in which case deduction may be made only 3.28 for a pro rata share of the cost of retaining the attorney. An 3.29 insured is not bound by any settlement of its insurer's 3.30 subrogation claim with respect to the deductible amount, unless 3.31 the insured receives, as a result of the subrogation settlement, 3.32 the full amount of the deductible. Recovery by the insurer and 3.33 receipt by the insured of less than all of the insured's 3.34 deductible amount does not affect the insured's rights to 3.35 recover any unreimbursed portion of the deductible from parties 3.36 liable for the loss; 4.1 (7) requiring as a condition of payment of a claim that 4.2 repairs to any damaged vehicle must be made by a particular 4.3 contractor or repair shop or that parts, other than window 4.4 glass, must be replaced with parts other than original equipment 4.5 parts; 4.6 (8) where liability is reasonably clear, failing to inform 4.7 the claimant in an automobile property damage liability claim 4.8 that the claimant may have a claim for loss of use of the 4.9 vehicle; 4.10 (9) failing to make a good faith assignment of comparative 4.11 negligence percentages in ascertaining the issue of liability; 4.12 (10) failing to pay any interest required by statute on 4.13 overdue payment for an automobile personal injury protection 4.14 claim; 4.15 (11) if an automobile insurance policy contains either or 4.16 both of the time limitation provisions as permitted by section 4.17 65B.55, subdivisions 1 and 2, failing to notify the insured in 4.18 writing of those limitations at least 60 days prior to the 4.19 expiration of that time limitation; 4.20 (12) if an insurer chooses to have an insured examined as 4.21 permitted by section 65B.56, subdivision 1, failing to notify 4.22 the insured of all of the insured's rights and obligations under 4.23 that statute, including the right to request, in writing, and to 4.24 receive a copy of the report of the examination; 4.25 (13) failing to provide, to an insured who has submitted a 4.26 claim for benefits described in section 65B.44, a complete copy 4.27 of the insurer's claim file on the insured, excluding internal 4.28 company memoranda, all materials that relate to any insurance 4.29 fraud investigation, materials that constitute attorney 4.30 work-product or that qualify for the attorney-client privilege, 4.31 and medical reviews that are subject to section 145.64, within 4.32 ten business days of receiving a written request from the 4.33 insured. The insurer may charge the insured a reasonable 4.34 copying fee. This clause supersedes any inconsistent provisions 4.35 of sections 72A.49 to 72A.505; 4.36 (14) if an automobile policy provides for the adjustment or 5.1 settlement of an automobile loss due to damaged window glass, 5.2 failing to provide payment to the insured's chosen vendor
based5.3 on a competitive priceprovided the price charged falls within a 5.4 competitive range that is fair and reasonable within the local 5.5 industry at large. 5.6 Where facts establish that a different rate in a specific 5.7 geographic area actually served by the vendor is required by 5.8 that market, that geographic area must be considereddifferent 5.9 rate must be used. This clause does not prohibit an insurer 5.10 from recommending a vendor to the insured or from agreeing with 5.11 a vendor to perform work at an agreed-upon price, provided, 5.12 however, that before recommending a vendor, the insurer shall 5.13 offer its insured the opportunity to choose the vendor. If the 5.14 insurer recommends a vendor, the insurer must also provide the 5.15 following advisory: 5.16 "Minnesota law gives you the right to go to any glass 5.17 vendor you choose, and prohibits me from pressuring you to 5.18 choose a particular vendor."; 5.19 (15) requiring that the repair or replacement of motor 5.20 vehicle glass and related products and services be made in a 5.21 particular place or shop or by a particular entity, or by 5.22 otherwise limiting the ability of the insured to select the 5.23 place, shop, or entity to repair or replace the motor vehicle 5.24 glass and related products and services; or 5.25 (16) engaging in any act or practice of intimidation, 5.26 coercion, threat, incentive, or inducement for or against an 5.27 insured to use a particular company or location to provide the 5.28 motor vehicle glass repair or replacement services or products. 5.29 Conduct within the scope of this clause includes, but is not 5.30 limited to, making statements about any glass company's 5.31 practices unless the insurer has actual knowledge that the 5.32 particular glass company engages in the practice or practices 5.33 referenced. For purposes of this section, a warranty shall not 5.34 be considered an inducement or incentive. 5.35 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 72A.201, is 5.36 amended by adding a subdivision to read: 6.1 Subd. 6a. [AUTO GLASS COVERAGES; THIRD-PARTY 6.2 ADMINISTRATORS.] (a) Any third-party administrator who takes 6.3 first notice of loss calls on behalf of an insurance company 6.4 shall, before speaking with an insured, play a recorded message 6.5 for the insured disclosing: 6.6 (1) the exact identity of the third-party administrator and 6.7 any affiliation the third-party administrator has with any 6.8 automobile glass manufacturer, wholesaler, or retailer; 6.9 (2) that the person answering the call is not an employee 6.10 of the caller's insurance company; 6.11 (3) that the insured has the right to choose any vendor to 6.12 perform his or her automobile glass repair or replacement work; 6.13 and 6.14 (4) that it is against the law in Minnesota for the person 6.15 answering the call to engage in any act or practice of 6.16 intimidation, coercion, threat, incentive, or inducement for or 6.17 against an insured to use a particular company or location to 6.18 provide the motor vehicle glass repair or replacement services 6.19 or products. 6.20 (b) In any written material provided by the insurance 6.21 company to its policyholders directing them to call a number 6.22 answered by a third-party administrator, the disclosure of 6.23 information set forth in paragraph (a) must be made in the same 6.24 writing in close proximity to the telephone number provided. 6.25 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 2002, section 325F.783, is 6.26 amended to read: 6.27 325F.783 [AUTO GLASS REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT.] 6.28 (a) No person who provides retail auto glass products or 6.29 services paid for in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, 6.30 by an insurer regarding an insurance claim may: 6.31 (1) waive, forgive, or pay all or any part of an applicable 6.32 insurance deductible; or 6.33 (2) as an inducement to the sale of goods or services to an 6.34 insured, advertise or give any rebate, gift, prize, bonus, 6.35 coupon, credit, referral fee, trade-in or trade-in payment, 6.36 advertising or other fee or payment, or any other tangible thing 7.1 or item of monetary value, directly or indirectly, to an insured 7.2 or any other person not in the employ of the seller that has a 7.3 value of more than $35. Any permissible inducement must be 7.4 given within seven business days of completion of the work and 7.5 must have a redeemable cash value of no more than 50 percent of 7.6 the retail value of the inducement offered. 7.7 (b) The attorney general may pursue the penalties and 7.8 remedies available to the attorney general under section 8.31 7.9 against any person who violates this section. 7.10 Sec. 4. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 7.11 Sections 1 to 3 are effective the day following final 7.12 enactment.