IDS Insurance fined $71,000

IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co. has been fined $71,100 by the Colorado Division of Insurance for practices that violate state law.
The division discovered that the company, better known as Ameriprise Auto and Home Insurance Co.) was engaging in a practice known as, “steering,” or illegally pushing business to certain repair shops using rebates or incentives.
“Consumers need to be able to compare repair rates, quality and service,” said Marcy Morrison, insurance commissioner. “While the repair shops contracted with Ameriprise might have done good work, the anti-steering law ensures that consumers, not insurance carriers, are in the driver’s seat to decide where they want repairs done.”
Records show that between Sept. 2006 and Jan. 2010, more than 700 consumers participated in the incentive program, receiving a discount of $100 off the collision deductible amount for using a repair shop that was contracted with the insurance company as a direct repair facility. The company will pay $100 each for the 711 consumers steered to a preferred repair shop. The money will go into Colorado’s general fund.