YOUR CHOICE & RIGHTS
By law, insurance companies cannot tell customers where to go for repairs. The Ohio Department of Insurance provides consumer protection through education and fair but vigilant regulation while promoting a stable and competitive environment for insurers.
By law, you have the right to select where your motor vehicle is repaired and the parts used for repairs. However, an insurance company is not required to pay more than a reasonable amount for such repairs and parts.
Some insurance companies try to push you to use a specific repair shop, this is called steering. They say carefully worded phrases to avoid conflicting with Ohio rules and to scare customers into thinking they won’t receive payment for their claim. Furthermore, some insurance companies may have ownership in the repair shop they recommend. Some pay bonuses to employees for sending customers to specific repair shops.
IMPORTANT ITEMS TO CONSIDER BEFORE CHOOSING YOUR REPAIR FACILITY.



1. You choose where you want your vehicle towed and repaired. It’s the law.



2. You only need one estimate to determine the amount of damage.

3. Review your car insurance policy especially regarding car rentals.

4. Verify the insurance company pays for all covered repairs.



5. Take care in choosing the right repair shop because your safety depends on it.



6. Insurance companies have deadlines they must follow regarding the claims process.



7. Ask questions until you get all of them answered.  This is a step toward picking the right body shop.

HERE ARE SOME PHRASES YOU MAY HEAR FROM AN INSURANCE COMPANY:
– “THE REPAIR SHOP IS NOT ON OUR NETWORK SHOP LIST, SO WE CAN’T GUARANTEE REPAIRS.”

First, they are not doing the repairs. We are, and our repairs come with a lifetime guarantee. How can they guarantee repairs when they don’t do the actual repairs? We choose not to appear on every insurance company’s “network list” because we put vehicle owners first. Second, the Ohio Department of Insurance states, “You have the right to choose the repair shop and replacement parts for your vehicle. An insurance company may not specify the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products used to repair your automobile.”

– “THE REPAIR SHOP CHARGES MORE THAN THE GOING RATE, SO YOU’LL NEED TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE.”

We go over all costs with you. No work gets done without your approval. With a couple of phone calls to the insurance company, most customers collect the difference. We can help with the phone calls.

– “YOU SHOULD NEVER PAY FOR A RENTAL CAR OUT OF YOUR POCKET.”

In most cases your insurance policy will dictate if you have to pay for a loaner and then be reimbursed, but only if you have rental coverage. The only way you are guaranteed a rental, is if you are a claimant but also remember there is also age restrictions on rentals.

– “YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT LONGER TO SETTLE CLAIMS IF YOU USE THE REPAIR SHOP.”
Insurance companies may pay preferred providers quickly than those not on their list but OHIO has a deadline they must follow for all claims. From the Ohio Department of Insurance web site:

“Generally, within 15 calendar days, your insurance company must acknowledge receipt of your claim and request any additional information reasonably related to your claim. Within 15 business days after receipt of all requested information, the company must approve or deny your claim in writing. The law allows the insurance company to extend this deadline up to 45 days if it notifies you that more time is needed and tells you why. After notifying you that your claim is approved, your insurance company must pay the claim within 5 business days.”

Whatever area repair shop you choose, keep these tactics in mind so you can decide what’s best for you and your vehicle. You have every right to decide which shop repairs your vehicle.

 

Not found your question? Just ask us!

Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorperadipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy
nibh  suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.[/column]