Connecticut is the unofficial insurance capital of the country, so it should come as no surprise that when an insurance bill is in contention in the state legislature, it gets more than a little attention. Such was the case on a recent Wednesday when more than forty tow trucks and other vehicles staged a lunchtime rally by driving around the state Capitol, honking their horns in support of a bill that will forbid insurance companies from directing their clients toward preferred body shops.
The rally was sponsored by the Auto Body Association of Connecticut, and began at the Connecticut Expo Center with opening remarks from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. After he captured the crowd’s attention, the protest continued at Progressive Insurance Company’s “concierge” claim center.
The current bill being supported by the Auto Body Association is in the General Assembly right now, and is similar to a bill that was sponsored last year. If passed, it would prohibit auto insurers from recommending, requesting or requiring that their customers use a company-preferred auto body shop for covered repairs. In addition, the bill would require that insurers cover “usual and customary” rates for such repairs – the same rates customers would bay for work not covered by insurance.
According to AG Blumenthal, “We must preserve consumer choice and industry competition, deterring collusive relationships between certain insurers and repairers.”