Understanding Insurance Company Rules

Your insurance company is the final decision maker as it relates to what their insurance policy to you includes. The statements below are meant to be general statements concerning the industry for your knowledge.

Insurance companies decide what and how your vehicle is to be repaired based on the facts available to them on the specific accident. Collision shops report facts on the vehicle repairs needed. Parts, Labor, Paint, Materials, Haz waste allowable payments are decided by the insurance companies in accordance with the insured's policy.

Insurance companies do NOT pay for prior damage. Any prior damage is the customer's responsibility, even if it is on a part that is being repaired.

Insurance companies require that detailed estimates and photographs be submitted electronically for their review prior to any repairs being approved.

Each Insurance company has a part replacement policy to determine when Competitive Make(non-OEM) or Reconditioned or Used part versus an OEM part is to be used on the repair. Customers requests for a higher cost level part than their insurance policy covers is the customers financial responsibility.

Many Insurance policies allow for Competitive Make or Used or Reconditioned parts to be used in repairs if possible. Your agent would have the best information on your insurance policy.

Collision Shops MUST perform ALL the work they collect money from the insurance company for performing according to I-Car standards. Shops cannot just perform a portion of the job and let the customer keep the rest of the money. Shops are held financially responsible any work found not performed.

Insurance companies do NOT allow collision shops to reduce a customers deductible or betterment. If shops are caught reducing customer payments they can be prohibited from future business with the insurance company.

Payment of Bills:

  • The collision repair bill must be paid before the vehicle can be picked up by the customer, unless the shop is a Direct Repair shop for that Insurance company.
  • If the customer was sent the check or checks in their name, they will need to sign it over to the collision shop or pay the dealership via cash or cashier's check. Credit cards or personal checks are not used for the replacement of the insurance company payment portion.
  • If the Insurance Co. is sending a check with both the customer and the Collision Shop names are on the check, a Power of Attorney Form will need to be signed by the customer to allow the Collision Shop to cash the check or the customer will have to wait for the check to arrive, in order to pick up the vehicle.

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