Last week, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed a bill , H7782, that will provide auto body shops with the ability to challenge unfair practices by RI auto insurance companies.
The bill has generated controversy. As of this writing, it is on the Governor’s desk and it is unclear whether he will sign or veto it. The Providence Journal has reported that the Governor has met with representatives from both sides.
All RI personal injury lawyers and other consumer oriented folks should review this legislation. Predictably, the car insurance industry is repeating its tried and true mantra that the law would “raise rates.” But the insurance companies never actually share with consumers the basis of rate increases. And even without legislation, it sure seems like this industry finds a way to raise rates anyway.
The auto body group noted that the bill simply gives shops access to the courthouse to challenger unfair acts by the insurance companies as noted in one trade publication:
As Providence personal injury lawyer, there is no question that we have witnessed the RI auto insurance companies routinely flex their muscle over consumers and their choice of independent shops. This law is a step in the right direction at curtailing the might of the auto insurance industry.
**** Cranston Personal Injury lawyer UPDATE: NOTE THAT GOVERNOR CHAFEE HAS SINCE VETOED THIS BILL.