In an effort to curb excess litigation and protect consumers, Senator Linda Stewart (D – Orlando) passed SB 1002, a bill on automotive windshield replacement practices, unanimously out of its final committee.
Making 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 post-loss benefits contract for the replacement and calibration of the windshield.
“I am happy that this bill has been voted on favorably and look forward to seeing it on the floor. This policy has long been in the works and is a major priority of mine. It’s taken 5 years to get it this far, and I believe we have crafted an excellent product that will put an immediate stop to inappropriate business practices that drive up premiums,” said Stewart. “Over the last decade we’ve seen litigation over glass repairs rise over 4000%. We are now a step closer to helping combat the ever increasing auto insurance rates and providing relief to consumers.”
The bill additionally updates statute to reflect new driver assistance technologies imbedded in windshields and adopted an amendment to combat a practice known as ”steering.” Replacements of windshields will now also need to receive recalibration or notice to vehicle owners from the service provider that a recalibration is necessary for all systems in their car to work properly. In regards to “steering,” a third party which serves as a referral service for replacement claims may not direct consumers to a preferred vendor.
“The bill gets our windshield replacement policies up to date with the current times and further ensures consumer protections through notice of need for recalibration. Through these new requirements for replacements, the removal of AOB’s, and the recently adopted amendment to prohibit steering, I believe we have developed a comprehensive package that will greatly benefit consumers and ultimately lead to rate relief,” said Stewart.