Is Your Insurance Company Lying to You?
Here Are the Facts on Your Rights
After an accident, you have a lot on your mind. When you’re in a stressful situation, you rely on those you trust to give you guidance and not to lead you astray. That trust is often found in many different ways: a close friend, a relative, someone that has provided advice before, and a company that you have a working relationship with. You pay your insurance company a lot of money every year; they have your best interest in mind… right?
In most cases, the answer is yes. The insurance company wants to make sure that you’re well taken care of. If they take care of you, then you remain a client. Your insurance company, however, is still in the business of making money. Paying out large settlements doesn’t make them as much money, so sometimes you may get poor information from them, misleading information, or downright false information. Here are lies that some insurance companies may tell you about getting your vehicle fixed by a collision repair shop.
You Need to Use our In-Network Auto Body Shop
One of the biggest misdirections you will get from an insurance company is that you have to use their preferred auto body shop. As the consumer, you have the right to choose. You get to decide who you want to repair your vehicle.
The reason this is controversial is that the insurance companies do indeed have partnerships with auto body repair shops. These partnerships aren’t kickback programs, and they are entirely legal. The reasons they exist is to streamline the process. You can read more about preferred providers in one of our recent posts.
If You go with Another Shop, You Pay the Difference
Because the insurance company wants you to use their preferred provider, or in-network, auto body repair shop, the communication can sometimes break down. It is often a customer service rep that doesn’t fully understand the process that gives the bad advice that the company will pay what they quote, and anything above that is out of your pocket.
Because you have the right to choose, the insurance company has to pay to have the work completed (minus your deductible). The risk is if you have an older vehicle, and your chosen shop quotes repairs that exceed the value of the vehicle, the insurance company may then deem it a total loss.
You might be able to “untotal” your vehicle though.
Your Claim Wasn’t Filed Right So We Owe Nothing
One myth out there is that if you lied on your insurance application, then the company legally owes you nothing. This depends on how much you fudged on the application though.
Suppose your commute to work is 12 miles each way, and you told the company it was 12 miles round trip. Fewer hours on the road every year means less risk, and you likely got a better rate. But when you make a claim, the company discovers the truth. Can they deny your claim because of it?
The short answer: no. Although it’s never a good idea to fudge the numbers even a little bit to get a better rate.
We Can’t Guarantee Work at another Shop
This isn’t exactly a lie. The insurance company won’t guarantee or warranty the work done at any shop. It’s not their job to do that. It’s a subtle way to direct you to go to their preferred provider shop and not the shop of your choosing.
Any collision repair shop worth their salt will stand by the work they do.
There’s a Deadline on Your Settlement
If you file a claim, the insurance company may try to rush you into taking their initial offer. If it’s simply a matter of getting enough to repair your vehicle, it’s not a big deal. But if there are other circumstances (injuries, loss of life, loss of income, etc.) then you will want to make sure that the settlement is making you whole.
Deadlines on settlements are arbitrary. If you don’t think you have been treated fairly, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to look it all over for you.
Big Sky Collision Center is Founded on Uncompromising Integrity
Here at Big Sky Collision Center, our goal is to provide you with the absolute best service. That means we go above and beyond to do what is right.
By creating a culture where uncompromising integrity is held as the standard, the result is that the customer gets the best of the best.
Want your vehicle repaired by the best auto body repair shop in Billings? Then give us a call at 406-259-6328.