PROVIDENCE, R.I. --- The Rhode Island House and Senate this week voted to override Gov. Donald L. Carcieri's veto of legislation seeking to more tightly regulate how insurance companies appraise vehicles after a collision. The new law prohibits insurance companies from failing to use an estimating system in its entirety while appraising vehicle damage, or from modifying any estimating system without notifying the body shop beforehand. Further, the law states that if an insurer refuses payment of any documented paint and materials charges called for by a recognized estimating software program, that insurer is performing an unfair claims settlement practice. The law becomes effective immediately. The legislation was prompted by complaints that some insurance companies were selectively using procedural pages when appraising vehicles after a collision, CollisionWeek reported. The law also includes a provision that excludes direct repair shops from these new regulations. Also this week, Rhode Island legislators overrode a veto of a bill requiring insurers to disclose to consumers that they have the right to choose the body shop that repairs their vehicle. The disclosure must be printed on all proof-of-financial responsibility cards.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials