As AASP-MN continues to promote the passage of legislation that would require insurers to pay for OEM-mandated repair procedures, the association invited Representative Ruth Richardson (DFL – Mendota Heights, MN), who authored the bill in the House, to a recent meeting which was held at Heppner’s Auto Body in Inver Grove Heights, MN.
“Procedures such as pre- and post-repair scans ensure that damaged vehicles returning to the road have been properly repaired,” said Kevin Walli, AASP-MN lobbyist.
“Coincidentally, the meeting took place the day that Auto-Owners Insurance issued a notice that it would pay a shop’s mechanical rate for pre-repair and post-repair scans,” Walli added. “Auto Owners is taking the lead in the insurance industry to help ensure the proper repair of its insureds’ vehicles.”
Jesse Jacobson, owner of Heppner’s, and his team took time to explain the collision repair process to Representative Richardson, and she also learned about the need for a thorough repair process due to the complexity of modern vehicles from Will Latuff of Latuff Brothers Auto Body, Dan Sjolseth from Superior Service Center, and Darrell Amberson of LaMettry’s Collision.
While Representative Richardson was present, AASP-MN also shared information about their efforts to discuss the satisfactory repair legislation with insurance representatives, including a July meeting with the Minnesota Insurance Federation who they asked to take the latest version of the language to a Federation Legislative Committee meeting that was scheduled for August.
Walli explained, “One of the challenges of securing passage of legislation in the Commerce Committee is that there is typically a call for the parties who are at odds on a particular proposal to find a ‘peace in the valley’ compromise before their provision will be taken up. While the insurance industry has participated in discussions and has moved in our direction, we have not yet found that ‘peace in the valley’ solution. We will continue our efforts to find common ground.”
As AASP-MN renews efforts for the 2020 legislative session, beginning Feb. 11, 2020, the association will meet with allies to ensure their continued support, including AAM, ASA, SCRS and AASP National, plus they hope to engage the Minnesota Safety Council in conversations about the role that safe repairs have in the safety of consumers.
Walli stressed, “[We] are resolved to renew efforts to move legislation which would make it an unfair claims practice for an insurer to deny payment for repair operations and procedures performed in accordance with manufacturers’ specifications. AASP-MN argued that the increased complexity of vehicles, including collision avoidance systems, makes proper repair a public safety consideration. We will re-engage in conversations with the insurance industry to see whether the public safety argument pushes them to come to terms with recognizing recommended procedures for safe repairs.”
“It is our goal to have this issue properly framed for consideration by the House and Senate Commerce Committees as we start the new session,” Walli continued. “We owe [Representative Richardson] our thanks for continuing to give us her time and attention on this important industry issue.”
For more information on AASP-MN, its events and its legislative initiatives, visit aaspmn.org.