There are two recent auto glass developments that will impact Auto One auto glass replacement customers in Michigan and in Florida.
Potential Increase for Michigan Auto Glass Insurance
New auto insurance charges following auto insurance refunds?
If you remember getting a $400 refund check from your auto insurance company, you remember correctly. In 2021, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) declared a $5 billion surplus and agreed to send $3 billion of that back to Michigan drivers in the form of refunds issued by auto insurance companies. The MCAA kept the remaining $2 billion from the surplus to pay ongoing claims.
Two years later, the MCAA is expecting a $3.7B deficit. The deficit, the MCCA says, comes from both lower investment returns as well as higher claims costs due to a successful appeals court lawsuit that challenged the state’s [Michigan’s] 2019 no-fault insurance reforms.
What does it mean for Michigan auto glass customers?
New costs for drivers will depend on how much personal injury protection (PIP) you choose to have on your insurance. The increase could be between $36 and $48 per driver. Drivers with low PIP or no PIP will see the largest increase from $0 to $48.
“By statute, the $48 assessment [for 2022-23] has to be recouped from every driver when [the MCCA is] recouping a deficit,” Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services Director Anita Fox said. “The statute says that’s an assessment on everyone.”
The new assessments will take effect on July 1, 2023.
Florida is no longer a zero-deductible state
Fix the Cracks, an initiative to protect consumers from predatory auto glass claims and litigation and to ensure passenger safety, reported that Florida Bill SB 1002 was signed into law in late May 2023. SB1002 was crafted to deter the large number of auto glass lawsuits in Florida. According to their website, “The number of auto glass lawsuits filed in Florida went up by more than 4,000% in ten years (2011 to 2021)”.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1002 into law, ‘fixing the cracks’ in the state’s auto glass laws.
How the problem litigation started?
In Florida, a law meant to encourage drivers to repair or replace damaged windshields was exploited by glass repair shops and attorneys, leading to exorbitant legal fees churned out by abusive litigation.
The new auto glass law
Senate Bill 1002, championed by Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) and Representative Griff Griffitts (R-Panama City Beach), addresses the problems caused by the old law.
“Florida leaders made it their mission to stop rampant fraud in the property market, and we’re thankful they prioritized fixing the cracks in the auto market as well,” said Michael Carlson, president and CEO of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida. “This is an important win for the health of the marketplace and Florida consumers. Eyes have been opened to the cottage industry of predatory claims and litigation. The signing of SB 1002 means Florida can reset and even become an example to other states tackling this type of exploitation. We’re grateful to Governor DeSantis, CFO Patronis, Senator Stewart, Representative Griffitts and partners in the Fix the Cracks initiative for the collective effort to address the glass harvesting and litigation crisis in Florida.”
What does Senate Bill 1002 mean for Florida auto glass customers?
- Prohibits the assignment of policy benefits (“AOB”) relating to an automobile glass claim;
- Prohibits the use of inducements such as gift cards which are offered in exchange for the filing of an insurance claim;
- Defines auto glass “advanced driver assistance systems,” and includes calibration and recalibration of such systems under the definition of motor vehicle repair;
- Requires disclosures by glass vendors to consumers that calibration or recalibration is required for an advanced driver assistance system as part of the repair of an automobile and to ensure such service is performed in a manner that meets or exceeds the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications; and
- Prevents an insurer from “steering” a glass claim to a particular vendor or location.
To see the text of the Florida bill, please visit The Florida Senate website. If you have any questions about your auto glass replacement or repair, please call your local Auto One Glass & Accessories.