Obama signs bill to let dealers toss out insurance booklets
Bill Underriner: "Printing and mailing this booklet has simply been made obsolete by technology."
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS
WASHINGTON -- President Obama today signed into law a bill allowing dealerships to stop stocking copies of a government booklet on insurance costs, the White House said.
The measure, which dealers sought as a way to save time and money, cleared the U.S. House of Representatives in July without a dissenting vote. It quietly passed the U.S. Senate over the holidays.
Dealer groups pushed for the passage of the bill as a way to eliminate red tape. They say the booklet is scarcely requested and lacks a purpose in an era when customers can get personalized car insurance quotes within minutes online.
"Printing and mailing this booklet has simply been made obsolete by technology," said Bill Underriner, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, in a statement today.
When NADA conducted a survey of 800 new car dealers this summer, 96 percent of respondents said that none of their customers had ever asked for the booklets.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which enforces the requirement, has agreed -- it told Congress last year that the booklets are "rarely used" and "not useful."
The booklets contain information from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that ranks new cars on their insurance costs. The numbers reflect the crashworthiness of vehicle models and how much insurers will typically pay to settle claims.
The legislation signed into law by President Obama would spare dealerships from the current fine of $1,000 for failing to keep the booklets on hand.
It directs the U.S. Department of Transportation to study how to help consumers figure out which cars are most likely to need costly repairs.
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