OEM Collision Repair Parts and Procedures Bill Becomes Law in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Senate Bill 2679 (SB 2679), that expands the state’s existing requirement that consumers be given the right to choose and insurers pay for OEM parts on claims for 30 months after a vehicle is manufactured to all claims for a period of 48 months, is now law in Rhode Island. The bill that was approved by the Rhode Island legislature in June along with its companion House Bill 8013 took effect without Governor Raimondo’s signature on July 4. This means that insurance companies in Rhode Island no longer require use of aftermarket auto body parts, and more importantly do not install these after market parts onto a vehicle without the owner’s consent. So long as their vehicle is less than 48 months beyond the vehicle’s manufacture date. There are some ups and downs to this law going into place for consumers. The upside is that you have more control of what parts go onto your new car. Some of you might be thinking “this is amazing who would want after market parts on their vehicle”? While OEM parts will restore your vehicle back to factory specifications (which, most people would prefer because their vehicle is still very new), some people like replacing parts with aftermarket ones when they either mechanically fail or get damaged by accident. Think of Jeeps. Many Jeep owners swap out the entire look of the vehicle, for after market parts. However, insurers are not to thrilled about this because it costs more to put OEM parts on vehicle’s most of the time. For example, The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America initially wanted this bill to be thrown out as it could create pressure to raise auto insurance premiums and raise auto repair costs.

“We’re disappointed that the governor decided to let this bill become law,” said Frank O’Brien, vice president of state government relations for PCI, in a statement to Insurance Journal. “It is yet another in a series of auto body-related bills that the Rhode Island legislature has passed and have gone into effect which do nothing but increase rates for Rhode Island consumers so that the auto body industry in Rhode Island can continue to make the kind of money that it makes.”

O’Brien had previously spoken out in a PCI press release against the bill when it passed the General Assembly, adding that, “Rhode Island drivers, as a result, could end up paying the highest auto insurance premiums in the U.S.”

As a consumer, what do you think about this new law? Should California consider implementing this too? Cline Collision Center is an OEM certified collision repair facility. Give us a call today to schedule your free estimate.