|TO:||All Companies Writing Personal Automobile Insurance|
|FROM:||Linda Ruthardt, Commissioner of Insurance|
|DATE:||April 15, 1994|
|RE:||211 CMR 123.06|
The following bulletin (94-03) contains guidance for insurers as they produce written information necessary to comply with the requirements of the above referenced regulation, especially as it relates to the provision of a list of referral and registered auto body shops.
Carriers who wish to use alternative language should assure that it communicates the same information and is written so as to understandable by an insured having an 8th grade reading level.
Attachment - B
Name of Insurance Company
This list contains the name of every registered auto body repair shop in your county. Massachusetts law requires that all repair shops be registered. An insurance company cannot pay for any repair work done by an illegal unregistered shop.
We have underlined "Referral Shops" on the list. A Referral Shop has an agreement with us to perform the repair work listed on our appraisal for the amount we pay you plus that part of the damage for which you are responsible (your deductible). We will guarantee the quality of repairs done by a Referral Shop. You are not required to use a Referral Shop. You may go to any repair shop on this list. We will negotiate with that registered repair shop, but we cannot promise that we will pay the difference between our check plus your deductible and the amount the shop charges to repair your auto. We do not guarantee the quality of repairs at other shops, but a registered shop has posted a bond for the protection of its judgment creditors and may provide you with its own warranty.
We will give you the list of registered repair shops in other counties at your request.
List as of _______________, 1994
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS
DIVISION OF INSURANCE
470 ATLANTIC AVENUE BOSTON. MA 02210-2223 (617) 521-7794 TTY/TDD (617) 521-7490
April 15, 1994
Michael B. Meyer, Esq.
Meyer, Connolly, Sioman & MacDonald
12 Post Office Square
Boston, MA 02109
Re: Implementation of 211 CMR 123.00.
Dear Mr. Meyer:
Upon further review of the file in the matter of implementing the duly promulgated revisions to 211 CMR 123.00, Direct Payment of Motor Vehicle Collision and Comprehensive Coverage Claims and Referral Repair Shop Programs, it is my determination that the current stay may be and is hereby lifted effective Friday, April 15, 1994, to be implemented for all claims received on or after May 1, 1994. The outstanding issues that have been the subject of repeated negotiations between the Division of Insurance, the Automobile Insurers Bureau (AIB) and the Massachusetts Auto Body Association (MABA) appear to involve interpretation of the regulation's provisions, with particular reference to what list an insurer is required to provide to insured claimants.
It is my intent to clarify the regulation in this area by an interpretive bulletin, a copy of which is appended hereto. In essence, the interpretive bulletin will indicate that providing the insured with a list of referral and registered shops in the county in which the vehicle is garaged and a notice that such a list for any additional counties will be provided upon request will meet the requirements of the regulation. Additionally, insurers may indicate referral shops by asterisk, underlining, boldface type and/or any other similar way. Samples of recommended acceptable consumer information which reflects the negotiations of the AIB and MABA will be included for guidance.
I would like to thank you and the Automobile Insurers Bureau for your anticipated cooperation in implementing the regulation pursuant to the attached interpretive bulletin.
Commissioner of Insurance
cc: Hon. Priscilla Douglas
George B. Dean, Esq.
James Castleman, Esq.
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