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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) 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 glass provide 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.