The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed H-8013/S-2679, which aims to effectively ban the use of aftermarket parts in the repair of vehicles. The bill is now awaiting Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s action.
If signed, the legislation provides that insurance companies can not mandate the use of aftermarket parts without the owner’s consent on motor vehicles less than 48 months beyond the manufacture date.
Aftermarket parts are motor vehicle body replacement parts that are not original equipment manufacturer parts, or parts produced by the manufacturer of the motor vehicle being repaired, according to the proposed legislation.
The legislation has faced opposition from some insurers, however, with The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) encouraging Raimondo to veto the bill over concerns it could create pressure to raise auto insurance premiums and raise auto repair costs.
“By passing extremely narrow interest legislation to ban the use of aftermarket parts, the General Assembly has unfortunately voted to raise auto repair costs for Rhode Island drivers who, as a result, could end up paying the highest auto insurance premiums in the U.S.,” said Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for PCI, in a PCI press release.
Since 2003, Rhode Island has passed several laws regarding auto body shops in Rhode Island, according to the press release. PCI stated in the release it believes that overall, these laws have increased the amount paid for auto body repairs and have limited the role of auto insurers in the claims process, as well as reduced insurers’ ability to provide checks and balances on behalf of their customers.
“Saturday’s vote benefits a small group of auto body shop owners at the expense of Rhode Island’s 700,000 licensed drivers,” said O’Brien in the release. “It’s simple. The more the auto body shop owners pad their profits repairing vehicles, the greater the pressure to raise auto insurance premiums.”
Source: The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
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