Q : Do I have to take my vehicle to an Insurance Company’s drive-in claims facility?
A : You are not required to take your vehicle to a drive in claims facility. It is your right as the vehicle owner to obtain an estimate wherever you choose. You are only required to notify your Insurance Company of the vehicles location so that it may be examined by the Claims Adjuster. However, if you have already gone to a drive in Claims Facility, make sure you take a copy of the Insurance Adjusters estimate with you.
Q : Who is responsible for the guarentee of workmanship?
A : The repair shop. Your Insurance Company is not accepting the liability for the quality and safety of your vehicles repair. Therefore, you and you alone must control the fate of your vehicles repair by choosing a proper facility that is adequately trained and equipped to restore your automobile to its pre-accident condition.
Q : What should I look for when chosing a repair facility?
A : Referrals from other satisfied customers are a start. The Shop Owner/Manager should be willing to take you around the shop to give you a first hand view of the equipment and procedures being used. Also, ask to see evidence of employee training and certification. Notice the attitude and commitment of the shop Owner/Manager towards a quality restoration of your vehicle to its pre-accident condition.
Q : Can my Insurance Company authorize a repair shop to start repairs?
A : No, only the vehicle owner may authorize repairs. You must be presented with an estimate to know what is being repaired on your vehicle before repairs are started.
Q : Who is responsible for the payment of the repair?
A : You are. Your Insurance Policy states that your Insurance Company will pay for the damages to your vehicle, less the deductible amount. You may instruct your Insurance Company to pay directly to the repair shop of your choice, however, full payment must be arranged before your vehicle can be picked up.
Q : Do I Have to Take my Vehicle to One of my Insurance Preferred Shops for Repair?
A : No. The California Department of Insurance has released its proposed changes to the states Anti-Steering statute. The proposed rules would prevent an Insurer from discussing DRP’s or an alternative facility if the Claimant informs the Insurer that he or she has selected a specific repair facility. The rules would also prevent an Insurer from raising questions about the quality of the repair facility selected by the Claimant. The Collision Repair Association of California believes the Department of Insurances proposed changes to the states Anti-Steering law would improve enforcement of it. For More information please download this PDF
Q : Must I obtain three different estimates?
A : No one can tell you to obtain more than one estimate. You, as the vehicle owner, however, may do so should this be your desire.
Q : My Insurance Company does not agree with my repair facility. What can I do?
A : Most Insurance Policies contain an appraisal clause. When the Insurance Company and the Customer fail to agree, either party may demand an appraisal of loss within 60 days after the claim has been filed. Each party may then select a competent Appraiser to represent them and the two Appraisers will select a competent and disinterested Umpire. If the two Appraisers do not agree, they submit their findings to the Umpire. A decision by the Umpire which agrees with either Appraiser will determine the amount of loss.
Q : Am I required to notify my Insurance Company before repairs begin?
A : Yes. Your Insurance Policy requires you to notify your Insurance Company and make a claim report. Once a claim report has been made, you may proceed to leave your vehicle at the repair facility of your choice and notify the Insurance Company Claim Representative or Adjuster where your damaged vehicle may be inspected. Once a Claim Representative or Adjuster has had an opportunity to inspect your vehicle, you may authorize repairs to begin.