NAII Opposes Proposed Conn. Auto Repair Pricing Regulation

October 18, 2002

The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) has decried a proposed Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicle regulation that would allow auto dealers and repair shops to use a reference guide for calculating repair charges.

NAII contends that the regulation will enable repairers to use any reference guide they see fit to determine charges.

“As currently written, the proposed regulation would allow auto repairers to simply choose whatever reference guide would provide the highest cost for each individual aspect of the overall repair,” said Jay Jackson, local counsel for the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII). “This would allow the repairer to use the regulation as a way to inflate overall charges, which would lead to an increase in insurance premiums.”

The proposed regulation, “Charges for Motor Vehicle Repairs,” permits auto dealers and repairers to use a “reference guide for computing repair charges, so long as such guide is objective and has wide acceptance in the industry.” However, the vague language in the proposal will create confusion about which reference guides are acceptable, according to testimony submitted by the NAII.

Currently, insurers and body shops determine the cost of repairs through open channels of negotiation. If enacted, the proposed regulation will increase the adversarial nature of the negotiation process and give auto repairers a way to exert leverage by justifying their repair charges through use of the reference guides.

“We’re requesting that the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles put consumers first and reject this ill-conceived regulation,” Jackson said.

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