Featured in Autobody News
Wednesday, 05 June 2019 17:13
Written by Chasidy Rae Sisk
Louisiana House Bill 411, an anti-steering bill which would require consumers to be notified of their right to choose a shop, passed the state’s House of Representatives and Senate in May.
In order to become law, the bill merely needs to be signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
According to an email written by Edwards’ communications director Shauna Sanford, “The Governor is inclined to sign the bill given the overwhelming support of the measure by the Legislature. There was no objection to the bill by the House or Senate.”
House Bill 211 was introduced on March 29. Sponsored by Louisiana State Representative Terry Landry (D), along with 20 co-sponsors, House Bill 211 unanimously (88-0) passed the House of Representatives on May 15. It moved to the Senate without amendments. On June 1, the Senate also passed the bill unanimously (36-0).
While Louisiana law already prohibits insurers from requiring policyholders to repair their vehicles at a specific shop, the bill adds language, stating a carrier “shall not recommend the use of a particular motor vehicle service or network of repair services without informing the insured or claimant that the insured or claimant is under no obligation to use the recommended repair service or network of repair services.”
Additionally, House Bill 211 prohibits insurers from using “any act or practice of intimidation, coercion, or threat to use a specified place of business for repair and replacement services.”
If Gov. Edwards signs the bill into law, it will increase fines for steering. Current law fines up to $500 per offense, but under the new law, the Insurance Commissioner could fine an insurance company $1000 for the first offense, $2500 for a second offense within a year and up to $5000 for a third steering violation within the same 12-month period.