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California Insurance Law - Your Rights To A Quality Repair

What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
No matter how minor, it is wise to report every accident to the police. Then, contact the registered collision repair shop of your choice. Your independent repair shop can assist you with the processing of your claim, answer your questions, and advise you to ensure safe and proper repairs are made to your vehicle.

Do I have to take my vehicle to a drive-in claims center or get multiple estimates?
No. If you request it, your insurer must inspect the damage to your vehicle at your chosen collision repair shop rather than at their drive-in claims center or sending their mobile adjuster to you.They are legally prohibited from coercing or using any tactics intended to prevent you from seeking damage estimates from your own body shop rather than their  drive-in facility. Wasting your time obtaining multiple estimates is unnecessary and not required by LAW. It's all about choosing the shop you feel has your best interests at heart.
Do I have to use a specific collision repair facility?
No. In California, you have the absolute right to select the collision repair shop of your choice. When your insurer gives you a list of network repair shops, they likely will have indicated those shops which have entered into a contract with them. The contract determines how your vehicle will be repaired and encourages the use of imitation replacement parts. By choosing an insurance preferred or referral shop, you may be giving up your rights in the repair process.

Why should I choose my own collision repair facility rather than one suggested by the insurance company?
There are compelling reasons to choose an independent, trusted repair shop that you know will make sure the vehicle is truly restored to its pre-accident condition. Insurance appraisers work for the insurance company. Independent auto collision repair facilities work for you. They are looking out for your best interest. They will negotiate directly with the insurance company for the proper repairs so that your vehicle is safe for you and your family. Independent collision repairers look out for your interests and will serve as your advocate in the repair process.

Preferred or network repair shops represent the insurance company in both negotiations and the repair of the vehicle. They contract with insurance companies regarding the repairs, the costs and the repair procedures. The insurance company sets the rules and the repair shop simply follows them to keep the insurance companies costs down. These cost reductions have to come from somewhere. They may affect the quality and thoroughness of the repair service and/or the quality and condition of the parts used. You have paid your insurance premiums with the expectation of receiving safe and proper repairs , not cheap repairs.

What are imitation or non-OEM parts?
Imitation parts (aka generic, aftermarket, quality replacement or non-original equipment manufacturer) are knockoff parts made by a company other than the manufacturer of your vehicle. These parts are made to look like your original vehicle parts, but may never have been crash tested and are not covered under your vehicle manufacturer warranty. In its February 1999 issue Consumer Reports, published the results of its extensive study of non-OEM parts. The cover story was entitled, Shoddy Auto Parts: How to beat car repair rip-offs, Bumpers that shatter, Parts that do not fit. Fenders that rust.
In addition to these concerns, there are no provisions for recalls based on the safety or performance of these parts. Your insurance company may attempt to use imitation parts to save money on your vehicle repairs. An independent collision repair facility will help you negotiate with your insurance company for the appropriate original equipment manufacturer parts to maintain the integrity and value of your vehicle. We have Manufacturers parts matching programs to help provide many Factory OEM parts for your repair at no extra cost to you.

Who guarantees the workmanship for the repairs?
The repair facility is responsible for the workmanship. Insurance companies do not repair automobiles. If there is a concern, even with a facility selected by the insurance company, the facility itself is responsible. Every collision repair shop registered as a Motor Vehicle Repair Shop with the California Bureau of Automotive Repair and is responsible for safe and proper repairs. If your insurance company claims they will not guarantee the repairs do NOT worry. The repair facility must guarantee them, as required by law.