• July 16, 2009

We have all seen the promotions — a free box of steak if you get your windshield replaced at a particular vendor.

Here’s the legal backdrop giving rise to the box of steaks: Minnesota law requires auto insurance. Minnesota law requires that auto insurers cover windshield replacement. Minnesota law provides that insureds are allowed to pick any auto glass vendor and the insurer must pay a competitive price for auto glass. Minnesota law forbids auto-glass vendors “from enticing policy holders with items of monetary value if their services are actually paid for by an insurer.”

So…it is okay to offer a box of steaks to customers, so long as the steaks are of no value or the customer is violating Minnesota law and driving without auto insurance?

On a related note, today the Minnesota Supreme Court released an opinion “limited to the question of whether anti-assignment clauses in automobile insurance policies can be read to bar post-loss assignments of proceeds for auto glass repair claims or the right of auto glass vendors to arbitrate disputes with insurers over those proceeds.”

The Court concluded, “No,” or, more specifically, concluded that, “[T]he legislature intended for auto glass vendors to be able to arbitrate their shortpay claims against insurers.” That is, “because the statutory scheme removes the policyholder from the payment process for auto glass claims and requires disputes to be arbitrated, we hold that the anti-assignment clauses in the auto insurance policies do not preclude a policyholder’s assignment of post-loss proceeds to an auto glass vendor.”

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