DENVER - Jan. 25, 2006 - Members of the Association of Specialists in Cleaning and Restoration appeared at a hearing for Colorado House Bill 06-1006, a bill that concerns referrals by an insurance company to a personal property repair business.
According to the ASCR, if passed, HB 06-1006 would directly impact restoration work in the state. ASCR member Joe Arrigo, who worked on the bill with House Majority Whip Dorothy Butcher, testified in front of the Insurance Oversight Committee in support of the bill.
The bill is patterned after an existing Colorado law concerning automobile repairs paid by insurers. Among the provisions of the bill:
- An insurer or its agent that issues or renews a personal property policy may not directly or indirectly require that appraisals or repairs be made by specified repair businesses.
- Claimants may not be penalized for their failure to use a specific business.
- Insurance companies may not intimidate, coerce, or threaten a claimant, forcing him or her to use a specific business for the repair.
- Insurance companies may not contract with a person or company to manage, handle or arrange for insurance repair work at a particular price predetermined by the insurer; or solicit or accept a referral fee or compensation in exchange for referring the claimant to a repair facility.
- Insurance companies would be required to pay for repair services and products based on a prevailing competitive price, as established by competitive bids or market surveys that determine a fair and reasonable market price for similar services.
- Insurance companies would also be required to disclose, either orally or in writing, to a beneficiary or claimant that he or she may freely choose any repair business.
- An insurance company would be required to pay promptly the cost of the personal property repair less any deductible, and disclose any interest in or ownership of a repair business recommended by the insurer when the recommendation is made.
The Senate Committee later voted 13-0 in support of the bill.