CARSON CITY, NV --- The Nevada State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday, April 21, that would ban insurance companies from owning or acquiring an interest in any collision repair facility.

Existing insurer-owned body shops could continue operating, but would have to adhere to a new set of restrictions and requirements. One requirement would be to post a notice in the facility stating: You are hereby notified that you are entitled to seek repairs at any body shop of your choice."

The bill, which passed 31-10 in the Assembly, now moves to the Senate.

Other provisions in the bill define the circumstances in which an insurance company can forge a "favored facility agreement" with a collision repair shop.

The bill has drawn support from the Nevada Collision Industry Association and other collision repair groups.

"This bill helps to protect a consumer's freedom of choice, and will prohibit insurers from holding or acquiring an interest in more body shops," said Michael Spears of Collision Authority. "It will prevent an insurer-owned shop from gaining an unfair competitive advantage over independent and dealer-owned body shops while providing civil penalties for such actions."