In an effort to curb excess litigation and protect consumers, Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) has filed a bill on automotive windshield replacement practices.
Senate Bill 1002 would make multiple changes around the process of windshield replacement. The bill would prohibit a replacement service provider from offering an inducement to a customer for using their business. It would also prohibit consumers from entering an assignment of benefits contract for the replacement and calibration of the windshield.
“We have all seen the signs offering us cash or gift cards to have our windshields replaced. These incentives sound great, but the reality is some of these services are using you to sue your insurance for more money than the replacement actually costs,” said Stewart. “This behavior ultimately contributes to the ever increasing auto insurance rates as insurers raise rates to compensate their losses from this practice.”
The bill is companioned in the house by HB 541, and additionally introduces into statute language on calibration requirements for automobiles with advanced driver assistance features. A notice to the vehicle owner stating the need for calibration would be required so that owners know that the service is necessary for some components of their car to operate properly.
“Today’s cars have a slew of new features integrated into the windshield to improve driver safety. Without notice that these systems need to be calibrated after a windshield replacement, drivers could find themselves in dangerous situations or at a service provider surprised by the costs and possibly having to pay out of pocket for the calibration of these features,” said Stewart.