On March 6, 2006, Charles Bryant, executive director for the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ), gave testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee in support of Senate Bill 1208. The bill would clarify the type of liability insurance coverage certain licensed auto body repair facilities must carry.
Currently, collision shops throughout the state are required to carry $300,000 in Garage Keepers’ liability insurance in order to attain or renew an auto body repair facility license. S-1208 changes the insurance requirement of $300,000 in Garage Keepers Liability Insurance to Garage Liability Insurance and drops the amount of Garage Keepers Liability Insurance to $50,000.
S-1208 would not only eliminate the need for some small shops to over-insure to meet insurance requirements, but would also protect consumers from certain damages resulting from operations of an auto body repair facility. Holding the minimum requirement of $50,000 in Garage Keepers’ liability insurance still protects customers whose cars are in the care of a repair facility that may not otherwise maintain an amount of coverage in this area (the larger shops will likely maintain even more than the minimum $50,000 in this area because of their exposure).
According to Bryant, even the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission agrees that legislation should be passed to rectify this issue of consumer protection. “It is now our hope that this legislation can stay on the fast track and get passed before September of this year, when all New Jersey collision shops must renew their auto body license.”