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Connecticut official questions auto insurance repair practices

Posted On Wed, September 2, 2009

The attorney general of Connecticut is calling for a federal investigation of a practice that could impact how much auto insurance customers pay for repairs.

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal recently announced that he was seeking support from colleagues in other states to seek the investigation from the U.S. Department of Justice into insurer steering.

The practice, which was supposed to have been ended under a 1963 agreement with the federal government, involves insurers pushing consumers to get vehicle work done at favored repair shops.

"Auto repairers and consumers are victims of the very same misconduct today: insurer control of appraisers, insurer financial incentives and steering of consumers to preferred auto facilities, and setting labor rates that repair facilities must use. Both federal and state law enforcers should send a message: your car, your choice," said Blumenthal.

A number of auto shop owners from Connecticut and elsewhere have also joined Blumenthal in seeking the federal investigation because they, along with auto insurance customers, tend to lose out financially with such practices.

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