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Insurers Show Support for Right to Repair

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association calls on Congress to pass the SMART Act and the REPAIR Act.

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The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) has issued a statement supporting two recently released white papers focused on the impact of right to repair legislation in the auto industry. 

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The white paper “Right to Equitable and Professional Auto Industry Repair (REPAIR) Act, H.R. 6570,” authored by Aaron Perzanowski, professor of law at the University of Michigan, emphasizes that restrictions to consumers choice of repair shops could increase the cost of vehicle repairs. 

According to Perzanowski, “By denying consumers and their preferred independent repair providers access to this crucial information, carmakers and dealers can reduce competition and increase the cost of vehicle repairs.” He also notes, “The REPAIR Act offers a sensible, forward looking, nationwide solution that protects the rights of vehicle owners and promotes a robustly competitive repair industry.”

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The updated white paper “Protecting the Consumer Patent Law Right of Repair and the Aftermarket for Exterior Motor Vehicle Repair Parts: The SMART Act, H.R. 1879,” authored by Joshua Sarnoff of DePaul University College of Law, underscores that rising costs and restrictions to auto repairs could impact consumers, without legislative action.

Sarnoff underscores that “Without legislative adoption of the SMART Act, American consumers will continue to absorb over $1.5 billion per year in additional costs when they repair their vehicles after collisions.” He also stresses that “Original Equipment Manufacturers have increasingly and will continue to resort to using design patent rights to raise prices to consumers, prevent competition, and threaten the viability of the aftermarket in exterior automobile repair parts.”

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“Preserving competition and the consumers’ right to repair their automobile to its original appearance with less expensive cosmetic parts is vital now more than ever with rising costs. Consumers should have the choice of parts to replace the cosmetic exterior parts of a car that are commonly damaged in an auto crash. As the cost of auto repair is increasing, the availability of more choices could save families money,” says Bob Passmore, APCIA’s department vice president.

“APCIA calls on Congress to take up and pass the SMART Act and the REPAIR Act for the benefit of consumers,” concludes Passmore.

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.

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