Connecticut Attorney General Blumenthal looking to reform auto insurance industry practices

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is urging the federal government to investigate the practices of some auto insurance companies who only allow their customers to get their vehicles repaired at certain mechanic shops.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is urging the federal government to investigate the practices of some auto insurance companies who only allow their customers to get their vehicles repaired at certain mechanic shops.

Blumenthal's stance looks to reverse what has been a longstanding policy of many auto insurers who have preferred mechanics that they send their customers to when vehicles are in need of work.

Critics of the policy argue that it takes business away from auto body shops that have not been singled out by insurers and could also lead to shoddy work being done in order to complete more repairs than one shop should be accommodating.
"Problematic practices persist," Blumenthal told Bloomberg of the current auto insurance landscape. "We're asking the federal government for an immediate review and remedy to stop coercive and deceptive tactics."
Blumenthal added that he had received petitions from auto repair shops in 48 different states supporting a request for a federal investigation to be initiated and "really send a very powerful message that this problem is pervasive across the country."

According to the Hartford Courant, Blumenthal will forward the petition to officials at the U.S. Justice Department, including copies of the various petitions from the repair shops across the country, and request relief from "onerous and arbitrary insurer practices harmful to auto repairers and deny consumers the unfettered right to choose the most appropriate repair facility for their car."

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Posted: September 2, 2009

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