Columbia, MD – A bill that was actively supported by the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) was signed by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter earlier this month. Rep. Dorothy Butcher (D) successfully sponsored the consumer rights bill – HB 1104, the Insurance Consumer Freedom of Choice Bill, which the association hopes will set a precedent nationwide for consumer freedom of choice in property restoration.

The bill, which easily passed both the Colorado House and Senate, prevents insurance companies from dictating which restoration company must be used in a covered property repair insurance loss.

“We applaud the Colorado state legislature for having the foresight and wisdom to support legislation that will directly benefit their constituents. This law represents a first step, and ensures and preserves a consumer’s right to choose who will restore their home or business following a disaster,” said Don Manger, executive director of RIA. “RIA knows this bill will go miles in serving the public, and will reduce the inherent conflict-of-interest of insurers who attempt to limit spending on their own behalf, instead of representing the best interests of the policyholder.”

The bill states: “competition is fundamental to the free market system and that the unrestrained interaction of competitive forces will yield the best allocation of…economic resources, the lowest prices, the highest quality commodities and services.”

Both the House and Senate concurred that passage of this bill would safeguard the public against monopolies, trusts and market barriers; as well as foster and encourage competition by prohibiting unfair and discriminatory practices that impede fair and honest competition.

RIA member and business owner, Joe Arrigo, CR, WLS, president of Arrigo Restoration in Pueblo, Colorado, has been actively involved in supporting this legislation for several years on behalf of the restorers in Colorado and throughout the U.S. Following the passage of the bill in the senate, he quoted Ben Franklin to sum up the experience and encourage restorers throughout the U.S. to get involved in legislative action, “The good particular men may do small, compared with what they may do collectively.”

RIA is pursuing legislation of this type nationwide on behalf of consumers and the rights of small businesses in the restoration industry.