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State Senator Jeff Brandes calls for review of state windshield replacement law following 10 News investigation

6:02 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PETERSBURG, Florida - Following a 10 News Investigation into unnecessary windshield replacements and the insurance fraud associated with it, an influential state senator says he'll file an amendment in the legislative session's final days to review the law.

State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) wants the Division of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to study Florida's zero-deductable windshield replacement law and issue recommendations on how to combat fraud.

"This is really the first I've heard of anything like this coming up," Brandes said of the 10 News Investigation, which exposed salesmen pushing unnecessary windshield replacements on consumers.  "Any time there's this kind of consumer problem, it's something the legislature should address."

As chairman of the Senate's transportation committee, Brandes carries significant weight in the Capital, and indicated the bill could be en route to the governor's desk by the end of the week.

While the National Insurance Crime Bureau indicates questionable claims for windshields have soared 500% in recent years - and Florida leads the county in insurance fraud - arrests have been few & far between.

State Rep. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey) wants the consumer-friendly law to stay in-place, but suggests more enforcement and tougher penalties for rule-breakers.

"Then, (unscrupulous salesmen) are aware that if they get caught, they're going to go to jail for it," Fasano said.

Both the NICB and Florida CFO's office told 10 News it will be pursuing numerous open investigations into glass fraud.

Find 10 News Investigator Noah Pransky on Facebook or follow his updates on Twitter. Send your story tips to noah@wtsp.com.

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