Mckee Veto: Auto Body Legislation Would Hurt Consumers

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee has vetoed legislation regarding auto body insurance claims that he said would ultimately burden consumers.

“While I recognize the stated intent of this bill is to protect consumers, and there are portions of this legislation that I could support, overall the legislation will add costs without adding commensurate benefits to consumers,″ McKee wrote in his veto message Friday.

McKee said the legislation would have added two types of costs that insurers would be required to pay to auto body shops when repairing an insurance-covered vehicle. He said the terms are not defined and there are no clear limitations of when the costs might be appropriate.

The legislation also have declared an insurer guilty of an “unfair claims practice” for ″refusing to compensate an auto body shop for their documented charges″ for paint, body and refinishing materials if they reflect automotive industry-recognized costs, the Providence Journal reported.

McKee wrote that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ranks the state seventh in the nation for highest auto insurance premiums.

“As we look to restart our economy after the pandemic, we cannot implement measures that may drive costs even higher for consumers and small businesses," he wrote.