Insurance Coverage Concerns…
Are you getting the Coverage you are Paying for? ‘Read YOUR Policy Carefully!’
You bought insurance, you’ve got a deductible, you’re covered for damage – comprehensive and collision plus all the other necessary coverage, but have you actually read your policy? You may be surprised at some of the clauses in it that can cause some real problems later on. For example if you have a clause that states that your insurance carrier can re-fit your vehicle with the use of Aftermarket parts you may be stuck with paying the difference when that part just doesn’t fit. Not because the body shop did a faulty repair or replacement installation, but for the fact that the part just does not fit, and this is a frequent problem now being faced by both insured motorists and body shops.
Here’s the problem…we are finding that approximately 30% of the After Market Parts fit and 70% don’t. This causes trouble for the customer who thinks he’s insured for a proper repair and for the shop that knows this can happen but is caught in the middle.” Not exactly what one might consider solid coverage on your insurance policy, and that’s only part of it, as your body shop probably won’t or can’t guarantee the work using such a part, say a bumper or fender. Can you demand OEM part replacement? Sure, but if your policy states that the insurance company can at any time only be responsible for Aftermarket parts you’ll probably find yourself paying the difference between the cost of the Aftermarket part and the OEM part.
It’s a mess…
“the insurance company says they’ll only pay for an Aftermarket part, the shop knows the part probably won’t fit right, the customer gets upset at the shop because they did the repair and can’t guarantee the fit and the whole process turns into a battle. That’s why at ICC, we do our best to protect our customer’s repair and discuss the key elements with them up front, we help them fight this out with their carrier for an acceptable resolve or if necessary with the Department of Insurance and if the customer takes their insurance company to court we’ll even go with them to explain the repair.”
So how does all of this conform to the Department of Insurance protection clause that states you have the right to have your vehicle repaired or brought back to ‘like new condition’ again, or to it’s ‘pre-accident condition’? A statement/code from the California Department of Insurance regarding replacement parts states as follows:
-The insurer guarantees that it will replace the Quality Replacement Parts (parts not manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer or Non New OEM parts that are manufactured by the Original Equipment Manufacturer) identified on this estimate if a defect is discovered. The insurer further guarantees that the parts are C.A.P.A (Certified Automotive Parts Association) certified when applicable. This guarantee is in effect as long as you own your vehicle. This guaranteed covers the cost of the part, labor to install, paint and material if required and cost of a temporary replacement vehicle during the repairs. –
– Source: California Department of Insurance –
Nothing in the code tells the shop where to buy parts from. This is where the problem can come in!
Mandatory vs Alternate:
‘That definition of ‘Alternate’ as stated in Websters Dictionary states the word ‘Alternate’ as follows:
“offering or expressing a choice”. In other words an option or choice of where
you ‘Choose’ to patronize, but not ‘required to’. ‘ An Choice, not a Requirement’.
Mandatory vs Recommended:
‘That definition as stated in Websters Dictionary states the word ‘Recommended’ as follows
a : to present as worthy of acceptance or trial <recommended the medicine
b : to endorse as fit, worthy, or competent <recommends her for the position
As in Mandatory vs Alternate above, Recommended is an option or choice of where
you of where You ‘Choose’ to patronize, but not ‘required to’ ‘ A Suggestion,, not a Requirement’.
So what happens when the insurance company says they’ll only pay for an Aftermarket Part from one of ‘their’ Aftermarket or Recommended suppliers, the body shop states up front that they won’t guarantee the proper fit, which of course they can’t, and you do nothing and allow the repairs to continue to completion? Well, if when you arrive to pick up your vehicle and see that the bumper clearly has flaws and gaps and is not an acceptable fit you may be stuck with paying for a re-do. The options you would have are to either get your insurance company to come out and inspect the car and authorize a redo at their expense, accept the job as-is, pay the shop to redo it yourself, or file a complaint with the Department of Insurance. You can’t hold the shop responsible because they have already completed the job that you approved after they warned you about using this Aftermarket part your insurance company stated was to be used.
This example serves as a good lesson to all to read carefully your insurance policy ahead of time and to know your rights not only before approving and signing for the work to be completed, but before you sign with an insurance company. It is also very important to be sure to select a trustworthy credible body repair facility to help you understand the elements of your repair prior to authorizing the work. Demanding that your car be repaired to like new condition or it’s pre-accident condition is not unreasonable, demanding that safe OEM parts be used on all replacement parts is not unreasonable. ICC is here to help you as we are a certified collision center for most OEM’s.
Safety is the very foundation of our motto and is not subject to compromise.
Been in an accident? Looking for a repair facility with Certified OEM Parts? Look no further than ICC Collision Centers.
ICC Collision Center has built a reputation as a top level service center for your auto body needs.
ICC Collision Centers, Inc provides auto collision repair services in Southern California and Arizona. It offers towing services, vehicle replacement service, and automotive collision repair services, as well as automobile damage claims support. The company also provides a wide variety of added value programs for it’s client base. ICC Collision Centers operates collision repair centers in 7 locations providing services to its customers, insurance partners and affiliated new car dealers. The company was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in Santa Ana, California.
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