Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my car to the repair shop of my choice?
You have the legal right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. When reporting your claim, immediately let your insurer know which shop you’d like to repair your vehicle. Your insurer should not attempt to influence your decision regarding where to have your vehicle repaired and is obligated to cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made.
Does my insurance company have the right to inspect my vehicle?
Yes, they have a right to inspect your vehicle, but are not required to do so. If your company chooses to perform an inspection, they can require you to travel a reasonable distance to complete their inspection. However, they cannot require you to drive your vehicle to one of their own “drive-in” claim centers. Rather, an adjuster of the insurance company’s choosing may perform the inspection.
How long will I have to wait for an inspection?
If your vehicle cannot be safely driven, the insurance company must inspect the vehicle within five business days after you notify them of the claim. If your vehicle can be safely driven, the company must complete the inspection within 15 days after you notify them of your claim.
Am I responsible for obtaining more than one estimate?
Your insurance company may require more than one estimate before settling your claim. Multiple estimates help insurers determine the extent of your loss and prevent fraudulent claims. However, if the insurer requests more than two, they must pay for each additional estimate. Also, your insurance company cannot require “unreasonable travel” for you to obtain an estimate or for the company to inspect your vehicle.
Can the repair shop I select adjust its estimates and charges to absorb the deductible required by my insurance company?
No. The repair shop cannot change the cost of repairs to help you pay your deductible. Misrepresenting the cost of repairs constitutes fraud.
Can I have my vehicle repaired with original equipment parts … and will the insurance company pay for them?
If parts are being replaced on your damaged vehicle, your insurance company is required to pay for original equipment (OE) parts, unless you agree to aftermarket parts (parts not made by your vehicle’s manufacturer). However, your insurance company is only responsible for restoring your vehicle to the way it was before it was damaged. If your vehicle was not new at the time of the loss, the insurer does not have to pay for new OE parts. They must pay for parts of “like kind and quality” (OE parts of comparable age and condition). If you request new OE parts on an older vehicle, you may have to pay the difference.