language to be deleted (2) new language
CHAPTER 342-H.F.No. 2656 An act relating to consumer protection; regulating auto glass repair and replacement; restricting certain rebates and incentives; establishing an auto glass survey revolving account; appropriating money; amending Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 72A.201, subdivision 6; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 72A; and 325F. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 72A.201, subdivision 6, is amended to read: Subd. 6. [STANDARDS FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CLAIMS HANDLING, SETTLEMENT OFFERS, AND AGREEMENTS.] In addition to the acts specified in subdivisions 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9, the following acts by an insurer, adjuster, or a self-insured or self-insurance administrator constitute unfair settlement practices: (1) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of an automobile total loss on the basis of actual cash value or replacement with like kind and quality and the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to offer one of the following methods of settlement: (a) comparable and available replacement automobile, with all applicable taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the unexpired term of the replaced automobile's license, and other fees incident to the transfer or evidence of ownership of the automobile paid, at no cost to the insured other than the deductible amount as provided in the policy; (b) a cash settlement based upon the actual cost of purchase of a comparable automobile, including all applicable taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the unexpired term of the replaced automobile's license, and other fees incident to transfer of evidence of ownership, less the deductible amount as provided in the policy. The costs must be determined by: (i) the cost of a comparable automobile, adjusted for mileage, condition, and options, in the local market area of the insured, if such an automobile is available in that area; or (ii) one of two or more quotations obtained from two or more qualified sources located within the local market area when a comparable automobile is not available in the local market area. The insured shall be provided the information contained in all quotations prior to settlement; or (iii) any settlement or offer of settlement which deviates from the procedure above must be documented and justified in detail. The basis for the settlement or offer of settlement must be explained to the insured; (2) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of an automobile partial loss on the basis of repair or replacement with like kind and quality and the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to offer one of the following methods of settlement: (a) to assume all costs, including reasonable towing costs, for the satisfactory repair of the motor vehicle. Satisfactory repair includes repair of both obvious and hidden damage as caused by the claim incident. This assumption of cost may be reduced by applicable policy provision; or (b) to offer a cash settlement sufficient to pay for satisfactory repair of the vehicle. Satisfactory repair includes repair of obvious and hidden damage caused by the claim incident, and includes reasonable towing costs; (3) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, in the event that a damaged vehicle of an insured cannot be safely driven, failing to exercise the right to inspect automobile damage prior to repair within five business days following receipt of notification of claim. In other cases the inspection must be made in 15 days; (4) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, requiring unreasonable travel of a claimant or insured to inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate, to allow an insurer to inspect a repair estimate, to allow an insurer to inspect repairs made pursuant to policy requirements, or to have the automobile repaired; (5) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, if loss of use coverage exists under the insurance policy, failing to notify an insured at the time of the insurer's acknowledgment of claim, or sooner if inquiry is made, of the fact of the coverage, including the policy terms and conditions affecting the coverage and the manner in which the insured can apply for this coverage; (6) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, failing to include the insured's deductible in the insurer's demands under its subrogation rights. Subrogation recovery must be shared at least on a proportionate basis with the insured, unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered by the insured, except that when an insurer is recovering directly from an uninsured third party by means of installments, the insured must receive the full deductible share as soon as that amount is collected and before any part of the total recovery is applied to any other use. No deduction for expenses may be made from the deductible recovery unless an attorney is retained to collect the recovery, in which case deduction may be made only for a pro rata share of the cost of retaining the attorney. An insured is not bound by any settlement of its insurer's subrogation claim with respect to the deductible amount, unless the insured receives, as a result of the subrogation settlement, the full amount of the deductible. Recovery by the insurer and receipt by the insured of less than all of the insured's deductible amount does not affect the insured's rights to recover any unreimbursed portion of the deductible from parties liable for the loss; (7) requiring as a condition of payment of a claim that repairs to any damaged vehicle must be made by a particular contractor or repair shop or that parts, other than window glass, must be replaced with parts other than original equipment parts; (8) where liability is reasonably clear, failing to inform the claimant in an automobile property damage liability claim that the claimant may have a claim for loss of use of the vehicle; (9) failing to make a good faith assignment of comparative negligence percentages in ascertaining the issue of liability; (10) failing to pay any interest required by statute on overdue payment for an automobile personal injury protection claim; (11) if an automobile insurance policy contains either or both of the time limitation provisions as permitted by section 65B.55, subdivisions 1 and 2, failing to notify the insured in writing of those limitations at least 60 days prior to the expiration of that time limitation; (12) if an insurer chooses to have an insured examined as permitted by section 65B.56, subdivision 1, failing to notify the insured of all of the insured's rights and obligations under that statute, including the right to request, in writing, and to receive a copy of the report of the examination; (13) failing to provide, to an insured who has submitted a claim for benefits described in section 65B.44, a complete copy of the insurer's claim file on the insured, excluding internal company memoranda, all materials that relate to any insurance fraud investigation, materials that constitute attorney work-product or that qualify for the attorney-client privilege, and medical reviews that are subject to section 145.64, within ten business days of receiving a written request from the insured. The insurer may charge the insured a reasonable copying fee. This clause supersedes any inconsistent provisions of sections 72A.49 to 72A.505; (14) if an automobile policy provides for the adjustment or settlement of an automobile loss due to damaged window glass, failing to
assume all reasonable costs sufficient to pay the insured's chosen vendor for the repair or replacement of comparable window glassprovide payment to the insured's chosen vendor based on a competitive price. If the insurer disputes the amount charged by the vendor, the price shall be as established by the commissioner through a market survey to determine a fair and reasonable market price for similar services. The survey shall be: (a) an annual survey using accepted industry standards; (b) a statistically significant sample of auto glass vendors; and (c) of work actually done. The commissioner shall consult with interested parties in designing the survey document. Reasonable deviation from the market price determined by survey is allowed when based on the facts in each case. This clause does not prohibit an insurer from recommending a vendor to the insured or from agreeing with a vendor to perform work at an agreed-upon price, provided, however, that before recommending a vendor, the insurer shall offer its insured the opportunity to choose the vendor; (15) requiring that the repair or replacement of motor vehicle glass and related products and services be made in a particular place or shop or by a particular entity, or by otherwise limiting the ability of the insured to select the place, shop, or entity to repair or replace the motor vehicle glass and related products and services; or (16) engaging in any act or practice of intimidation, coercion, threat, incentive, or inducement for or against an insured to use a particular company or location to provide the motor vehicle glass repair or replacement services or products. For purposes of this section, a warranty shall not be considered an inducement or incentive. Sec. 2. [72A.202] [AUTO GLASS MARKET SURVEY REVOLVING ACCOUNT.] The commissioner shall deposit in a separate account in the state treasury all money voluntarily contributed by insurance companies and the auto glass industry for purposes of conducting the market survey referenced in section 72A.201, subdivision 6, clause (14). Money in the account is appropriated to the commissioner for that purpose. Sec. 3. [325F.783] [AUTO GLASS REPAIR OR REPLACEMENT.] (a) No person who provides retail auto glass products or services paid for in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an insurer regarding an insurance claim may: (1) waive, forgive, or pay all or any part of an applicable insurance deductible; or (2) as an inducement to the sale of goods or services to an insured, advertise or give any rebate, gift, prize, bonus, coupon, credit, referral fee, trade-in or trade-in payment, advertising or other fee or payment, or any other tangible thing or item of monetary value, directly or indirectly, to an insured or any other person not in the employ of the seller that has a value of more than $35. Any permissible inducement must be given within seven business days of the completion of the work and must have a redeemable cash value of no more than 50 percent of the retail value of the inducement offered. (b) The attorney general may pursue the penalties and remedies available to the attorney general under section 8.31 against any person who violates this section. Sec. 4. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Sections 2 and 3 are effective the day after final enactment. Presented to the governor April 3, 2000 Signed by the governor April 6, 2000, 3:57 p.m.