Do I have the right to select the shop that will repair my car?
Yes. In order to expedite your claim, select the repair shop; leave your automobile there; and notify your insurance agent or company.
This applies regardless of whether your vehicle is leased, financed or you own it outright.
Do I need to get three estimates?
No. You do not have to obtain more than one estimate. You need only one estimate, from the shop of your choice. You are not required to bring your vehicle to the insurance company. If they intend to see the damage, they must come to you. You may also leave the vehicle at the repair shop. The insurer has six business days after you report a loss to them within which to inspect the vehicle, or they forfeit their rights to see the damage.
What can I expect my insurance company to do?
All insurance companies owe to return your damaged vehicle to pre-loss condition as related to appearance, function and value.
What should I do if the insurance company offers me a check?
If you are offered a check, take it! Do not sign any releases you are not required to sign under any law. If you deposit the check, write upon it, “Open for additional damage, all rights reserved.”
Can anyone make me drive my car if it is unsafe?
You do not have to drive a damaged vehicle if any safety item is affected. You can be ticketed for driving an unsafe vehicle. Towing is an expense covered under all insurance claims. You are entitled to two tows per loss. The first tow is allowed to safely secure the vehicle from further loss; the second tow, to a repair shop of your choice.
Can insurance companies force me to use imitation parts?
You do not have to accept non-original or counterfeit parts to repair your vehicle; remember the buzzwords here: “Pre-loss condition and value.” Make sure only original equipment manufacturers’ parts are used in the repair of your vehicle. Imitation parts are not always as good as the original, and we believe our customers should be assured of a top-quality repair. After all, you pay premiums month after month just to have the assurance that your car will always be protected. Using substandard parts can put the condition of the car in jeopardy.
HOWEVER: Some insurance policies state “the policy gives their insurance company permission to use NON-FACTORY parts.” Since most people have little or no idea what their insurance policy really says, we encourage you to get that policy out and read it until you know what you pay for every time you make your payment. Call your agent and have him or her review it with you. Feel free to contact us with your questions. There’s a real good chance we’ve seen your insurance company in action. There are many solid insurance companies and agents out there with excellent products. Make sure you really have the “full coverage” you think you have.
I have more questions, who do I contact?