Both houses of the Louisiana Legislature have approved a bill to notify consumers of their shop choice right and increase fines for steering.
Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards is “inclined to sign the bill,” communications director Shauna Sanford wrote in an email Monday.
The Louisiana House of Representatives passed House Bill 411 unanimously 88-0 on May 15. The Senate approved the House version 36-0 on Saturday.
“The Governor is inclined to sign the bill given the overwhelming support of the measure by the Legislature,” Sanford wrote in an email. “There was no objection to the bill by the full House and Senate.”
Louisiana state Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, sponsored the House legislation, joined by 20 co-sponsors. State Sen. Fred Mills Jr., R-Parks, appears to have sponsored the Senate version of the measure.
Louisiana law already forbids an insurer requiring a certain shop be used. The bill will add language that a carrier “shall not recommend the use of a particular motor vehicle service or network of repair services without informing the insured or claimant that the insured or claimant is under no obligation to use the recommended repair service or network of repair services.”
The bill also bars insurers from using “any act or practice of intimidation, coercion, or threat to use a specified place of business for repair and replacement services.”
Under the bill’s language, the commissioner “may” fine an insurer $1,000 for the first offense, $2,500 for the second steering violation if it’s within a year, and $5,000 for the third within the same 12 months. Current Louisiana law only fined up to $500 for each offense.
Be heard: Gov. Edwards can be reached here.
Featured image: Democratic Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is shown. (Marie Constantin/Provided by Louisiana Governor’s Office)