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03/05/2001
     
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Association of North Dakota Insurers
Threatens / Misleads Consumers !

Tempe, AZ 03/05/2001 - The Insurance Consumer Advocate Network, an InterNet based Insurance Consumer Advocacy Effort, monitors insurance industry legislative efforts in ALL 50 STATES !

The North Dakota Legislature currently has a Bill pending [SB-2358] which would protect consumers from the auto insurance industry's ongoing efforts to short-change consumers on the repairs of their damaged vehicles. This Bill puts limitations on the insurance industry's ability to mandate the use of Aftermarket Body Parts. Such parts - [1] Compromise new vehicle factory warranties and - [2] Reduce the resale value of repaired vehicles by Double that of vehicles repaired with Factory (OEM) Parts.

When a State Legislature begins considering some form of Consumer Protection effort, that impacts the way the auto insurance industry conducts business, the insurance lobby begins applying pressure to kill or dilute the effort. Their typical battle cry takes the form of "Insurance Premiums Will Go Up !"

For decades, this form of lobbying effort has been effective among the legislators of various states.

However, over recent years, Legislators have become more savvy about insurance industry practices. Truths about the auto insurance industry have been made public and Legislators have become less susceptible to the insurance industry's "Spin" campaigns.

When Legislators are no longer persuaded by the insurance industry's arguments, the industry will then try to "Spin" the public. Consumers in North Dakota know Exactly what we mean.

There was a Full-Page Ad appearing in the Sunday edition of virtually every major newspaper in North Dakota yesterday. The old threat of "Higher Auto Insurance Premiums" has now been taken to the public. However, when Consumers learn some Truths about the auto insurance industry, the same Truths Legislators have come to learn, then everyone will understand why the insurance industry's threats just don't ring true.

TRUTH - Auto insurance policies require replacement parts to be of "Like Kind and Quality". Judges and Juries around the country AND the United States General Accounting Office (US/GAO) have looked at Aftermarket Body Parts and determined they are NOT of "Like, Kind and Quality !"

TRUTH - Insurance Companies have known (for years) that These Parts are NOT of "Like, Kind and Quality !"

TRUTH - Warranties on Aftermarket Body Parts take consumers on a trail that leads all the way back to Taiwan !

TRUTH - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has No mechanism to recall or even Track these defective Aftermarket Body Parts (Documented in the US/GAO Report) !

TRUTH - A. M. Best, the world's most universally acknowledged insurance industry rating authority, has revealed the Property and Casualty (Auto - HomeOwner) insurance industry is 30% Over Reserved. What that means in English . . Consumers already pay 30% MORE for their Auto - HomeOwner Insurance than is necessary !

CONCLUSION - Yesterday's Full-Page Ad is mis-leading. Put your pencil to it. Apply the threatened 15% Premium Increase (as quoted in yesterday's Full-Page Ad) and apply it against A. M. Best's "30% Over Reserved" figure (their own experts' figures - not ours) doesn't it seem logical that SB-2358 could be Passed, Consumers could be Better Protected AND the auto insurance industry could still LOWER AUTO INSURANCE PREMIUMS by 15% ?


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